Why Obama Can't Catch Up with Putin's Increasingly Bold Moves

Blind to the motives that shape the Russian president’s strategy, the White House pursues a futile search for “common ground.”


Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an annual meeting with high ranking officers of the Defence Ministry Board on December 11, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an annual meeting with high ranking officers of the Defence Ministry Board on December 11, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images.
Response
Dec. 14 2015
About the author

Leon Aron is the director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of, among other works, Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life and Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideas, and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution 1987–1991.

As conscientious chroniclers do, Michael Doran, in his painstaking examination of the Obama administration’s disastrous foreign policy toward Russia, both instructs us and provokes thoughts and questions that may exceed the intended scope of his essay. Specifically, one is drawn to ask: what caused this policy to be so dismal, so strewn with mistakes, so strikingly unable to predict Moscow’s behavior or to catch up with Vladimir Putin’s increasingly bold moves?

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More about: Barack Obama, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs, Russia, Syria, Vladimir Putin