It’s also about standing up to the United States, delighting some segments of Russian society and distracting them from their social ills while chest-beating for audiences abroad. This is Putin after all.
Unfortunately, Putin feels he can treat the president — and by extension America — this way. Obama needs to show some pique, making it clear there’s a price to be paid for this sort of disdain. Otherwise, more of it is sure to follow.
***Peter Brookes is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, and a contributing editor to A Line of Sight. This article also published August 5, 2013 in his regular column in the Boston Herald.