The crisis in the Ukraine has really shown the weaknesses in Obama’s presidency. These weaknesses were apparent to most Republicans before the Ukraine incident, but now they are on display for the whole world to see, and they cannot be denied or ignored anymore.
He has been too accommodating to foreign leaders making aggressive and illegal moves in his foreign policy throughout his presidency, and now those leaders think they can get away with anything without reprisals from the United States. That is just what Vladimir Putin has done.
President Obama may as well have invited him to take the Ukraine. His weak foreign policy led to this crisis and he is responsible for it. Therefore, it is up to him to fix it.
A President Absent from Foreign Affairs
From the beginning of his time in office, President Obama has given far too much leeway to Putin. He says he wants to “reset” our relations with Russia, but what he is really doing is making America look weak to Russia, and to the rest of the world.
By staying out of Russia’s way and largely saying nothing about what its leader is doing, Obama is making Putin and other leaders like him feel like they have free reign in the world again. The U.S. is obviously not there to keep them in line anymore, all in the name of having an “open dialog” with these would-be despots.
This has resulted in a foreign policy that is no policy at all. It has caused foreign leaders to question America’s strength and willingness to act on anything anymore.
Meaningless Threats from a Weak President
Of course, Obama has made some minor talk about lines Putin should not cross, at least to show that Americans are angry. These metaphorical lines in the sand that Obama drew were crossed almost as quickly as he drew them. Putin knew there would be no consequences.
The president was all talk, and that talk was simply to placate the American people. He never intended to do anything about Russia’s move on the Ukraine at all. It’s very similar to his refusal to allow an attack on Syria last year, when that action was clearly warranted at the time. That set the precedent of the United States having a “do nothing” foreign policy, and this emboldened Putin to make his move, knowing he could do so freely.
Cutting Defense Spending to Confirm the Message
Obama has already cut defense spending quite significantly. By doing so, he is leaving the United States in a position where it is not ready to respond to problems abroad in a swift and decisive manner. Leaving the military without the money it needs to maintain its power has weakened the position of the United States as a powerful influence on the world.
That leaves a power vacuum. Russia sees that vacuum and seems ready to fill it. No vacuum will stay empty for long. Other satellite nations around Russia, such as Georgia, are already expressing concern that Putin may annex them next, and the United States will do nothing to defend them.
After all, Obama warned Putin not to interfere with the Ukraine and he went ahead and did it, as if Obama had said nothing. It is because he knows Obama’s priorities are not in defending the world. Putin is only too happy to use this lack of leadership from Obama to restore Russia’s old power and influence in the world from the time of the Cold War.
While no one seriously expected or wanted the United States to launch a disastrous military war with Russia, what was needed and expected was a political response from our president. Putin should have been punished for his actions with diplomatic and economic sanctions.
The rest of the world has come to look at the U.S. as a leader and expects it to act as such. Other nations want us to lead. If we don’t, it will only give other potential tyrants and dictators the courage they need to make a move, as they know there will be no reprisals from the United States.
If the United States does nothing, it’s likely the rest of the world will do nothing too. That’s something that is just not acceptable. Ukraine is now part of Russia, and Ukrainians were not given a choice. It’s Obama’s fault. If he continues on this “do nothing” path of foreign policy, it is only a matter of time before it happens again in another place. How many places must suffer despotism because the President of the United States refused to lead the world in foreign policy?