National security expert Stephen Yates breaks down the Obama Administration’s ‘weak’ foreign policy

Stephen Yates, CEO of D.C. International Advisory and former deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs, joined TheBlaze’s national security editor Buck Sexton on radio this morning to discuss the Obama Administration’s ‘weak’ foreign policy. Yates offered his unique perspective into why the handling of the crisis in Ukraine is just the latest in a series of foreign policy missteps for the Obama White House.

Having served former Vice President Dick Cheney from 2001 to 2005, Buck wanted to get Yates’ reaction to a comment Cheney made over the weekend. During an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Cheney told Bob Schieffer that he believes President Obama has lost credibility abroad, and “there’s no question” Putin believes President Obama is “weak.”

While Buck agrees that President Obama is seen as weak on the world stage, he believes Putin would have behaved in the same manner regardless of who is in office.

“Now, your former boss, Vice President Cheney, was on Face the Nation…I know you worked very closely with him specifically on national security issues. I wanted to have you react to his statement that Obama is weak,” Buck said. “The notion that Obama is weak. I think that Obama’s foreign policy in general… is essentially a piñata of ill-conceived notions, stupidity and missteps. But in this case some people are pointing out, Putin probably would have done this no matter who was president. What do you say to that?”

“It’s always fun to imagine what may have happened on anyone else’s watch. And it’s definitely true that the nature of Putin is that he would do these kinds of things, and it probably wouldn’t make a huge difference who’s in office,” Yates agreed. “But the nature of the response that he would anticipate and the magnitude of the challenge that he would expect and the frustration he might anticipate in doing so is very different depending on the leader… So Obama doesn’t have a lack of a foreign policy. There’s really seemingly no purpose for American power in his world.”

Despite his bleak outlook on American power and influence, Yates does not believe Ukraine is a lost cause.

“If you’re in the White House and Bush and Cheney looked you in the eye, as they did many times, and said is Crimea is lost, what would your answer be,” Buck asked.

“I would say it’s not lost, but it’s extremely difficult once a major military force has taken over a territory to remove it,” Yates concluded. “So you have to be looking at fairly maximal political diplomatic, economic, and possibly even joint military options.”

Watch the entire interview below:

Get Glenn Live! On TheBlaze TV

Did you miss any of today’s Glenn Beck Radio Program? You can listen anytime, anywhere absolutely free with the Glenn Beck Podcast. Head over to to start streaming now.

  • Anonymous

    Funny how the right calls Obama weak after an aggressive pursuit of Bin Laden and drone policy taking out Al Qaeda leaders. The LAST thing the American people wanted was a US lead war in Syria after Iraq and Afghanistan cost us so much. The US spends vastly more money on its military than any other country and Obama’s budget continues that spending investing in technology and lowering troop levels in the middle east. What would Beck have us do, start a war with Russia? What a bunch of one-sided nonsense.

    • Jim

      I’m a Constitutional conservative and I don’t want this anti-American idiot involving us in any other foreign military action! Liberals don’t know how to use the military as it is intended to be used. The primary use…defending our home against invasion. Eleven million illegals? Put our military shoulder to shoulder on our borders. But if we are attacked, strike fast, strike hard, remove their will and ability to retaliate, and go home. No nation building! No reparations! No “boots on the ground” for 10 years!

      By the way…Bin Laden? I’ll believe he’s dead when the throw his body in the ocean and refuse to show us the pictures…oh wait.

      • Anonymous

        So the liberal, Obama, does not want to involve the US in wars it can avoid. But Sexton, Chaney and Yates criticize Obama for not threatening military action in Ukraine now. Unlike Bush, Obama focused on Al Qaeda, who actually attacked us, and avoided other costly wars. So who would you want calling the shots regarding Ukraine? Someone that builds coalition to put political and economic pressure on Russia or someone that would pose military threats to a country that hasn’t attacked us? Beck’s show advocates that later.

        • Connor

          How about something a little stronger than a strongly worded letter. Idiot no one is saying go to war we are saying stop with the weak handed bull and hurt them where it counts.

          • Anonymous

            Yet another Beck fan that can’t refrain from insulting people. The Obama admin is organizing diplomatic and economic pressure, which does hit Russia where it counts. For example, US selling LNG to Europe would hurt Russia deeply because they primarily depend on energy exports.

          • Connor

            Your the idiot that thinks that we want to go to war instead of what we been really saying. I know reality is hard Mr.Bean but please try.

        • Jim

          You’re right. Putin hasn’t attacked us, so we have no business getting involved in the Ukraine. Thank you for clearing that up. One question…when did Qaddafi attack us and what was the vital national interest to charge into Libya? …but we had a “coalition”, so it must have been legal. Did BO get Congressional approval? I honestly don’t remember, but I know they didn’t declare war. Article 1 Section 8 gives the power to declare war to the Congress. It’s their job! You asked who I want calling the shots in the Ukraine. My answer…NO ONE! We need to mind our own business! Who made us the policemen of the world? Bring our troops home to defend our sovereignty! BO has done more damage…intentionally, in my opinion, to how the world perceives us. He has flirted with our enemies and dissed our allies. No one knows where we stand.

          • Anonymous

            Qadhafi demonstrated a brutal willingness to kill civilians and mass murders were thought to be imminent without intervention. BO was careful to not make that a USA-only action. I agree with stepping up in humanitarian crisis like NATO did in Bosnia. BO has stayed focused on killing Al Quada leaders, troop draw-down and has managed to keep us out of deep entanglements unlike GWB. He has not dissed our allies. He may have stood behind the long standing US position with Israel regarding the 1967 borders with land swaps, but that’s hardly dissing. That’s being firm. Isolationism will not win election in this country because both sides of the political spectrum know the risks of ignoring US geo-political interests.

          • Jim

            So what is the standard? If a dictator is willing to hurt his own people…as long as we don’t go in alone? What about Somalia…Syria…Nigeria? I’ve heard China has committed some civil rights abuses. Why not attack them? Where do you draw the line? I’m not a Bush fan, but if I remember right, he also had a coalition, Congressional approval, and public support. Yet, you seem to think Bush was wrong and Obama was right. I don’t see much difference. In my opinion, we shouldn’t drop one bullet on foreign soil without a congressional declaration of war, then go in to win and go home. I’m not an isolationist. I simply want us to keep our noses out of places where we have no legal authority…Constitutional legal authority. If it’s important enough for us to get involved, make the case to the Congress and get the votes. We don’t have a king! We don’t have a ruling class! We have a Constitution that is supposed to limit the power of the government. I want to return the those limits. I want them to honor the oath they take to defend it.

          • Anonymous

            How can there be a black and white standard on the level of evil on which to act? Genocide in Solalia deserved global intervention. Syria deserves global attention, although a solution is difficult because of Assad’s disparate opposition. Chaney calls BO weak for not leading in Syria, but BO was right to take the opportunity to dismantle Assad’s chemical weapon stockpile. When it is possible to stop mass murder, united nations have a moral obligation to act. It is not always possible or easy to act, but to turn our back on extreme human rights abuses is not what America stands for. Bush was wrong to have America single-handedly invade Iraq. That is much different than NATO or a coalition effort to stop specific acts of mass murder. I believe it is naive to ignore American interests abroad.

          • Jim

            My black and white standard is the law of our land…our Constitution! If you think action is needed, make your case to your congressman. Just be consistent. Military action is not the only solution and I never said to ignore anything. By the way, Bush didn’t go it alone in Iraq. He had a larger coalition than BO did for Libya. As for Assad…I’m not convinced he was the one to use the chemicals, but he and Putin played BO like a fiddle in the aftermath.

          • Anonymous

            BO sought congressional approval for Syria. Dismantling chemical weapons seemed much faster and easier for the US to accomplish. I agree BO was wrong and inconsistent to join the UN sanctioned campaign in Libya without Congressional approval.

          • The truth about spammers

            “Bush was wrong to have America single-handedly invade Iraq. ”

            That’s a total lie and I call BS on you.

            Coalition Countries – Iraq – 2003

            Czech Republic
            El Salvador
            South Korea
            United Kingdom

            [Source: US State Department]

      • Fat Lip

        I think you know the truth Hussein’s boy’s riddled with bullet holes and not to mention daddy hanging by the neck , al-Gaddafi beatin’ and shot all on our boob tubes for everyone to see , but Bin Laden ?
        Someone is getting it in the rear end and i’m with you It’s all of us !
        Great response to Scamdree

    • Connor

      Funny how the left only has two examples but the rest of the time he has a jelly spine. Yes because cutting troop levels to pre world war 2 numbers is strong.

  • Anonymous

    Obama is an amateur–not now, nor ever has been, qualified to be the POTUS. He mocked Romney in the 2012 debate when Romney pointed out, correctly, that Russia is our #1 geopolitical adversary. Obama’s administration has the competence of Carter’s. Unfortunately, he also has the ethics of Nixon–Obama has an enemies list and comes after Patriotic Americans that disagree with his “fundamental transformation of the United States of America”. Hence we now have the worst modern day POTUS–A Nixonian Carter-like man. January 2017 can’t come quickly enough.

  • Deckard426

    If NATO wanted to lift a finger against Russia, they would have to wait for Obama’s absentee ballot “present” vote to arrive from Key Largo.

  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    I don’t want to go to war over Crimea. It is not a vital interest of ours where as it is a vital interest to Russia.

    We don’t need to be spending billions of dollars trying to stir up trouble in Ukraine. That money could be better spent right here at home.

    Dick Cheney should never be seen or heard from again. When he had the chance to serve his country he dodged the draft. He hasn’t earned the right to talk about sending Americans into harms way so as not to appear weak.

  • Fat Lip

    All on purpose , just like the visitor’s from Mexico that have taken up permanent residence Visitor’s indeed ON PURPOSE not to hard to see if you open those eyes .
    Please excuse this language but when I still lived in the great state of New New Mexico (Ca) this was the resounding call to Mexicans we will never have to raise fire arm’s to the stupid American’s we just have to take there fucking job’s !
    My apologizes to any due to the one word but it is the truth ON PURPOSE
    Look what’s happening at home first !!!

    • Mike Nelson

      But.. but… a Malaysian Airlines plane is missing! And Italy thinks that using the statue of David in a gun ad is offensive! And global cooling global warming climate change is making the Earth’s crust move! Didn’t you know that islands are being lost to rising sea levels?! What happens if the Earth’s core, which is millions of degrees happens???

      Plus, also, and there’s a war that we had nothing to do with starting (*covers ears* LALALALALALALALALALALALALAA!) happening all over the Middle East, also too!

      How could we possibly pay attention to things happening here?

      You must be a racist anti-gay job-hating hate machine republican drone, and a very mean person who doesn’t want to pay taxes. You’re probably a terrorist and don’t burn American flags, either!

      (did I capture the vapidity of the shrill left there?)

      • Melissa Alberto


        ✿✿✿ ✿✿✿⮚ ✿✿✿ ✿✿⧂✿ ✿✿✿Hence we now have the worst modern day POTUS–A Nixonian Carter-like man.

      • Fat Lip

        Just maybe you should go to work and work on that lie your living everything is ok Mike just ok .
        Puppet’s don’t always have strings

        • Mike Nelson

          Go to work? The lie I’m living? Puppet strings?

          Did you intend this response toward me, or post the wrong page? :)

          Tell me the Left doesn’t actually say those things (or similar enough all day long) instead of reporting real, meaningful events. I don’t believe you actually think that at all. Perhaps you didn’t notice that I gave you an up for a good post? This seems an awfully combative response for someone who is supporting your commentary… during a break from work… who is a veteran…

          If you go out on the street with this attitude, you’ll surely have a negative interaction. There’s no telling what you might say that will lead to someone kicking their dog, or slapping their kid around. Take a deep breath; you’re not even the one being lampooned.

          “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first…”

          ~John 15:18

          God Bless :)

          • Fat Lip

            Dear Mike I believe my response to you was taken in a manner not intended at you my friend it was a sarcastic response to you in the manner yours was sent to me i’m very sorry that you took it personally this was not my point at all my point was the everything is ok part , we are told to just go to work everything is ok and people act as puppets i’m sure you got my other response also Mike you and I are on the same side believe me brother we see the same things going on here. So my apologies are to you my friend .
            As far as me on the street with this attitude I run into cowards everyday brother that would much rather slap there wife around than deal with the real man I am I don’t think i’m mighty mouse by no means friend but I will stand to the death right by your side we are on the same side and I thank God for fellow men out there like YOU . : ) Two more things Mike .
            1. Thank you sir for your service !!!!!!!!
            2. Matthew 6:24 no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. you cannot serve God and mammon. My friend this is our countries biggest mistake May God bless you and yours sir and again my apologies if offended my brother. : )

          • Mike Nelson

            No offense taken mate, just was confused to see those two posts in a row… man, I thought MY humor was dry, at times 😉

            I’m just now, for the first time since childhood, reading the New Testament straight through, and have only begun to understand (relearn?) certain things that were obvious before the World was turned loose on me… and I appreciate the scriptural reference. So, so few understand that ANYTHING can be an idol – not just some golden bull, or stone altar to a dead god.

            We’ll talk again :)

          • Fat Lip

            Thank you Mike glad to see I didn’t go off the deep end with you sometimes I don’t like the way things come off from myself, even though I may think i’m being funny I guess I should reread my posts before I let them fly I thank you for helping me keep my feet on the ground bro. You know I have been thinking a lot about the way things come off on the web and it is kind of scary if you think about it from the Lords view he told us that the eyes are the window to the soul this machine completely eliminates that and the works we do maybe i’m over thinking it but it never has been this way before it gives me a strange feeling in my soul. Mike look back to the Old Testament And read Deuteronomy 23:19thru25 it also speaks of a system of idol worship but in a much more frightening way its called Usury and what that means is Credit and our entire system is set up upon the credit system and we are to strive with all means possible to be a great credit score I hope you see the correlation between those verses and why we are in so much trouble . Along with Matthew 6:24 its very easy to see where we go from here brother we as a country have turned from Gods rules . So many people now days no longer believe and all that can be said to that subject my friend is if one feels far from God Almighty they must come to terms with the fact that they are the people who have moved . Mike Thank you for accepting my apology and thank you brother for friendship I really need that . God bless you brother

      • Fat Lip

        THEY can’t fool us brother it’s what happens when people wake up the biggest question in my life is not why do people lie it is why do people want to be lied to and then believe it .
        Thank you for the response Mike God bless ya

      • Connor

        And you must be an hope and change zombie. Edited. I did not see that last part.

        • Mike Nelson

          Dry humor is dry, at times; most of the time I don’t engage in satire because it rarely produces a positive reaction after the initial laugh – which is usually only an expression of outrage on the order of, “I can’t believe he actually said that!!”

          By the way, I respect people who leave their original material posted and note the EDIT as such. This gives you great credibility, as it reinforces to the reader your willingness to own a mistake or mis-perception and correct your position accordingly.

  • Connor

    I love how liberals are like look at the evil right they want war but refuse to listen to what we are saying.

  • Kat Saved

    Related: More casualties in Hussein Obama’s war against the middle class:

  • fire lion

    Cheney should not have ANY word on ANYTHING. Thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis dead.

    Cheney weakened America more anything Obama could do. No one respects the word of America. Lies to go into war. Lies to protect war criminals like cheney. What happened to saddam and Qaddafi is too good for him.

    Shall I post a pic of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam? was that a strong foreign policy by conservatives?

The 411 From Glenn

Sign up for Glenn’s newsletter

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the day.