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:
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