President Obama’s lack of knowledge about Russia has led to current foreign policy challenges, Mitt Romney claimed on “Face the Nation” Sunday.
There's no question but that the president's naiveté with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives, has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face. And unfortunately, not having anticipated Russia's intentions, the president wasn't able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you're seeing in the Ukraine, as well as the things that you're seeing in Syria.
We really need to understand that Russia has very different interests than ours. This is not Fantasyland, this is reality where they are a geopolitical adversary. They're not our enemy, but they are certainly an adversary on the world stage.
In 2012, Obama chided the Republican presidential nominee for calling Russia a geopolitical foe. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” Obama said, “because the Cold War's been over for 20 years.”
The demonstrations in Ukraine, as well as the fact that Russia has a key base in Sebastopol, Crimea, were obvious indications that Russia would try to grab the territory, Romney said.
This had been prepared for some time. And we certainly have taken action early on. We would have had far more options to try and shape events to keep Russia from moving in. For instance, working with our allies around the world to develop the sanctions; communicating those to Russia very, very clearly; at the same time saying, "Look, we're not going to interfere with your base in Sebastopol, nor your influence in Kiev.
These kinds of things had the potential of keeping Russia from making a devastating move, one that changes the whole political landscape of the entire world, and certainly that of eastern Europe.
Obama’s relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin have been anything but clear and action oriented. Even comedian Jimmy Fallon recently highlighted the seemingly pointless phone conversations between Obama and Putin during the “Tonight Show” this week.
Effective leaders are able to see into the future to some degree, Romney said, and to take action to shape it. Obama has failed in this arena.
Watch the entire interview for Romney’s thoughts on moving forward: