News / Europe

Ukraine Crisis Sharpens Debate on Obama Foreign Policy

Ukraine Crisis Sharpens Debate on Obama Foreign Policyi
X
Michael Bowman
March 09, 2014 6:56 PM
Events in Ukraine have reignited debate in Washington about President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and whether his administration suffers from a fundamental naïveté about the goals and motives of America’s adversaries. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Michael Bowman
Events in Ukraine have reignited debate in Washington about President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and whether his administration suffers from a fundamental naïveté about the goals and motives of America’s adversaries.
 
Pointing to Syria’s ongoing civil war bloodbath, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, Republican lawmakers have criticized President Obama’s leadership on the world stage. Among those who took issue with his handling of global affairs was Senator Ted Cruz, who spoke on ABC’s This Week program.
 
“A critical reason for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s aggression has been President Obama’s weakness.  [The administration’s] policy has been to alienate and abandon our friends,” said Cruz.
 
Expanding on the critique was House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who also spoke on ABC’s This Week.
 
“Up to date, we thought it was a different century and the administration thought, ‘Well, if we just act nice, everyone will act nice with us.’  And that is just unfortunately not the way that [President] Putin and the Russian Federation see the rest of the world,” said Rogers.
 
White House Spokesman Jay Carney took issue with the criticism.

“There is an argument out there, factless, founded on no substantiated basis, that suggests that the president of Russia has taken the action that he’s taken because of actions the United States has taken. I think that any historian, anybody knowledgeable about Russia or the former Soviet Union, would be as dismissive of that suggestion as I am trying to be now,” said Carney.
 
President Obama should focus on the immediate situation in Ukraine, according to analyst Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.
 
“I do not think he should worry, and I do not think he is inclined to worry, that this broader cacophony of criticism about his supposedly ‘feckless’  foreign policy needs to be proven wrong by how he reacts to Ukraine.  The stakes are too high, and the potential for doing something really wrong is too high,” said he.
 
O’Hanlon describes the administration’s response to Ukraine as “fairly robust,” but adds stronger measures may be needed.
 
“If Russia were to launch some kind of a blatant assault against Ukraine, I think helping Ukraine’s military with various kinds of assistance should be seriously considered,” added O’Hanlon.
 
Russia says it is acting in Crimea to protect Russian nationals from what Moscow considers an illegitimate Ukrainian government.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid