What do you think Putin thinks of Obama?

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#1 BossPerson
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Do you think Putin feels like he has more wiggle room because of Obama's non-interventionist foreign policy? I know he went into south ossetia while Bush was here but do you think he would have done as he did in Ukraine if Bush was in office?

Does Putin think Obama is a checkers playing idiot or does he think he genuinely doesn't care about American influence in the world?

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#2  Edited By -Sun_Tzu-
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I don't think you can call Obama a non-interventionist. Nor do I think Putin would've acted any differently with Ukraine had Bush still been president. I also think it's important to realize that Obama does not have nearly as much authority to dictate US foreign policy compared to the authority Putin has dictating Russian foreign policy. I'm not just talking about congress (if anything congress is just a country club of impotent old white men), I'm talking about the CIA, NSA, and the US Armed Forces (as well as business interests that can't be ignored). These institutions influence US foreign policy to such an extent that there is no equivalent Russian comparison.

Proportionally, Putin is much more powerful on the world stage than Obama or any potential US president.

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#3  Edited By Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 20493 Posts

I think Putin sees Obama as a dithering, no credible fool.

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#4  Edited By Darkman2007
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South Ossetia was towards the end of the Bush presidency, not to mention the US was too busy drowning in the Iraqi and Afghan swamp. Not to mention going up against Russia is a different ball game than Saddam's Iraq.

Putin is relying on Obama's ideology and the platform he was elected on (driven by the three words "don't invade Iraq) , as such he probably made a cold , calculated assumption that Obama wouldn't do much and neither would the Europeans who think they are at the end of history (or at least they act like it).

Even if this is Obama's last term , he has to think about the future of his party too , unpopular decisions made by him will reflect badly on a future candidate , so there is that to consider. Do I think Obama wants to appear as a leader? maybe (sending Kerry to the Mideast, enduring an Egyptian body search and running to Qatar shows how desperate he is at least in one region) , but the tools he is willing to use are limited, making him pretty useless.

on a slightly more satirical note, Putin was a KGB agent when Obama was smoking dope in college , maybe that has something to do with it .

Im half joking with that comment.

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#5 GamingGod999
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It wouldn't surprise me if they were offensive thoughts.

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#6  Edited By BossPerson
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@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't think you can call Obama a non-interventionist. Nor do I think Putin would've acted any differently with Ukraine had Bush still been president. I also think it's important to realize that Obama does not have nearly as much authority to dictate US foreign policy compared to the authority Putin has dictating Russian foreign policy. I'm not just talking about congress (if anything congress is just a country club of impotent old white men), I'm talking about the CIA, NSA, and the US Armed Forces (as well as business interests that can't be ignored). These institutions influence US foreign policy to such an extent that there is no equivalent Russian comparison.

Proportionally, Putin is much more powerful on the world stage than Obama or any potential US president.

But I get the impression that Obama hardly even tries to effect anything on the international stage. He just as his different secretaries and his UN ambassadors pay lip service to vague principles all the while he plans to do the bare minimum. He's basically constantly playing domestic politics. He wants the benefits of looking like he's doing something and the benefits of not doing something.

It's not an understatement to say that Obama because of his inaction has allowed ISIS to form into a credible group and flourish.

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#7  Edited By BossPerson
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@Darkman2007 said:

South Ossetia was towards the end of the Bush presidency, not to mention the US was too busy drowning in the Iraqi and Afghan swamp. Not to mention going up against Russia is a different ball game than Saddam's Iraq.

Putin is relying on Obama's ideology and the platform he was elected on (driven by the three words "don't invade Iraq) , as such he probably made a cold , calculated assumption that Obama wouldn't do much and neither would the Europeans who think they are at the end of history (or at least they act like it).

Even if this is Obama's last term , he has to think about the future of his party too , unpopular decisions made by him will reflect badly on a future candidate , so there is that to consider. Do I think Obama wants to appear as a leader? maybe (sending Kerry to the Mideast, enduring an Egyptian body search and running to Qatar shows how desperate he is at least in one region) , but the tools he is willing to use are limited, making him pretty useless.

on a slightly more satirical note, Putin was a KGB agent when Obama was smoking dope in college , maybe that has something to do with it .

Im half joking with that comment.

I think Putin has generally been involved in what I personally call "the grand chess game" (world politics) for most of his career. I'd say your comment at the end is very relevant

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#8  Edited By SaintLeonidas
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#9 -Sun_Tzu-
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@Darkman2007 said:

South Ossetia was towards the end of the Bush presidency, not to mention the US was too busy drowning in the Iraqi and Afghan swamp. Not to mention going up against Russia is a different ball game than Saddam's Iraq.

Putin is relying on Obama's ideology and the platform he was elected on (driven by the three words "don't invade Iraq) , as such he probably made a cold , calculated assumption that Obama wouldn't do much and neither would the Europeans who think they are at the end of history (or at least they act like it).

Even if this is Obama's last term , he has to think about the future of his party too , unpopular decisions made by him will reflect badly on a future candidate , so there is that to consider. Do I think Obama wants to appear as a leader? maybe (sending Kerry to the Mideast, enduring an Egyptian body search and running to Qatar shows how desperate he is at least in one region) , but the tools he is willing to use are limited, making him pretty useless.

on a slightly more satirical note, Putin was a KGB agent when Obama was smoking dope in college , maybe that has something to do with it .

Im half joking with that comment.

I wouldn't say that Putin is just making the assumption that Obama and the EU won't do much, I think he's making the (correct) assumption that they can't do much in certain circumstances. I can't think of many instances where Putin has forced the issue or extended his hand.

Take Crimea as an example - what could the west possibly have done to stop Russia? There's no doubt in my mind that Putin also has his eye on Eastern Ukraine (and probably all of it eventually, he's said publicly that the collapse of the USSR was a geopolitical disaster for Russia). But he realizes that now isn't the time - it doesn't ever seem like Putin is prepared to do something on the world stage where the risk of failure is significant.

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#10 Gaming-Planet
Member since 2008 • 20940 Posts

Putin thinks Obama should 1v1 fite him irl.

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#11 -Sun_Tzu-
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@BossPerson said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't think you can call Obama a non-interventionist. Nor do I think Putin would've acted any differently with Ukraine had Bush still been president. I also think it's important to realize that Obama does not have nearly as much authority to dictate US foreign policy compared to the authority Putin has dictating Russian foreign policy. I'm not just talking about congress (if anything congress is just a country club of impotent old white men), I'm talking about the CIA, NSA, and the US Armed Forces (as well as business interests that can't be ignored). These institutions influence US foreign policy to such an extent that there is no equivalent Russian comparison.

Proportionally, Putin is much more powerful on the world stage than Obama or any potential US president.

But I get the impression that Obama hardly even tries to effect anything on the international stage. He just as his different secretaries and his UN ambassadors pay lip service to vague principles all the while he plans to do the bare minimum. He's basically constantly playing domestic politics. He wants the benefits of looking like he's doing something and the benefits of not doing something.

It's not an understatement to say that Obama because of his inaction has allowed ISIS to form into a credible group and flourish.

I don't know how much I agree with that. If anything I'd say that he wants the benefit of looking like he's not doing anything while he's actually doing quite a lot.

Take Syria as an example - do you really think that the US hasn't been arming Syrian rebels? You see the rise of ISIS as a bug in US foreign policy, but there's a strong case to be made that it is a feature.

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#12 uninspiredcup
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Very beautiful eyes,

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#13 Darkman2007
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@BossPerson:

Putin's goal is ultimately to be the only major player in the former USSR region , that part is obvious, one of the ways he does this is by delegitimizing western democracy.

By showing that he gets his way, and showing how capable he is of supporting his allies (Assad for instance, while any pro western forces in Syria are crushed) , he is telling his neighbors "western democracy is a sham , the western camp is weak , However can protect you and your economies"

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#14 Darkman2007
Member since 2007 • 17926 Posts
@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@Darkman2007 said:

South Ossetia was towards the end of the Bush presidency, not to mention the US was too busy drowning in the Iraqi and Afghan swamp. Not to mention going up against Russia is a different ball game than Saddam's Iraq.

Putin is relying on Obama's ideology and the platform he was elected on (driven by the three words "don't invade Iraq) , as such he probably made a cold , calculated assumption that Obama wouldn't do much and neither would the Europeans who think they are at the end of history (or at least they act like it).

Even if this is Obama's last term , he has to think about the future of his party too , unpopular decisions made by him will reflect badly on a future candidate , so there is that to consider. Do I think Obama wants to appear as a leader? maybe (sending Kerry to the Mideast, enduring an Egyptian body search and running to Qatar shows how desperate he is at least in one region) , but the tools he is willing to use are limited, making him pretty useless.

on a slightly more satirical note, Putin was a KGB agent when Obama was smoking dope in college , maybe that has something to do with it .

Im half joking with that comment.

I wouldn't say that Putin is just making the assumption that Obama and the EU won't do much, I think he's making the (correct) assumption that they can't do much in certain circumstances. I can't think of many instances where Putin has forced the issue or extended his hand.

Take Crimea as an example - what could the west possibly have done to stop Russia? There's no doubt in my mind that Putin also has his eye on Eastern Ukraine (and probably all of it eventually, he's said publicly that the collapse of the USSR was a geopolitical disaster for Russia). But he realizes that now isn't the time - it doesn't ever seem like Putin is prepared to do something on the world stage where the risk of failure is significant.

thats half true , the Europeans will never act militarily due to how unpopular this would be, but they also can't do much economically because many of them rely on Russian gas (and the Eurozone isn't exactly in the best shape anyways)

what could have been done in Ukraine? short of a military presence by the US or the Europeans, not much..

Like I said , I think he is doing this to discredit the west and build Russian credentials in the USSR region, and he is doing this in baby steps..

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#15 BossPerson
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@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BossPerson said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't think you can call Obama a non-interventionist. Nor do I think Putin would've acted any differently with Ukraine had Bush still been president. I also think it's important to realize that Obama does not have nearly as much authority to dictate US foreign policy compared to the authority Putin has dictating Russian foreign policy. I'm not just talking about congress (if anything congress is just a country club of impotent old white men), I'm talking about the CIA, NSA, and the US Armed Forces (as well as business interests that can't be ignored). These institutions influence US foreign policy to such an extent that there is no equivalent Russian comparison.

Proportionally, Putin is much more powerful on the world stage than Obama or any potential US president.

But I get the impression that Obama hardly even tries to effect anything on the international stage. He just as his different secretaries and his UN ambassadors pay lip service to vague principles all the while he plans to do the bare minimum. He's basically constantly playing domestic politics. He wants the benefits of looking like he's doing something and the benefits of not doing something.

It's not an understatement to say that Obama because of his inaction has allowed ISIS to form into a credible group and flourish.

I don't know how much I agree with that. If anything I'd say that he wants the benefit of looking like he's not doing anything while he's actually doing quite a lot.

Take Syria as an example - do you really think that the US hasn't been arming Syrian rebels? You see the rise of ISIS as a bug in US foreign policy, but there's a strong case to be made that it is a feature.

Do you think ISIS was an accident though? Or did they either not mind or prefer jihadists to take up the fight? If the latter, then you just opened the door to about 40 conspiracy theories about the US and Israel trying to plunge the arab world deeper into a dark age.

anyways, the problem is that Obama could have done so much more easily. He could have provided REAL support to the FSA in the beginning (blank cheque for arms and anti tank/plane equipment, training, etc) which would have isolated and made irrelevant gulf funded jihadists and would have allowed the FSA to better fight whatever jihadist force emerged. There's really no disagreement on this point in all major newspapers and magazines: Obama's syria policy (or non-policy) has blown up in the US's face.

However, I agree with your first point though. Obama often likes to switch around the facts to suit his needs.

When talking to young progressives in universities he talks about how America is winding down the empire, withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, but later in a different crowd he'll talk about how much America is committed to Afghanistan and trying to take down Assad.

Like I said, Obama is constantly playing domestic politics. His international politics is just an element of his domestic reputation.

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#16 -Sun_Tzu-
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@BossPerson said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BossPerson said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't think you can call Obama a non-interventionist. Nor do I think Putin would've acted any differently with Ukraine had Bush still been president. I also think it's important to realize that Obama does not have nearly as much authority to dictate US foreign policy compared to the authority Putin has dictating Russian foreign policy. I'm not just talking about congress (if anything congress is just a country club of impotent old white men), I'm talking about the CIA, NSA, and the US Armed Forces (as well as business interests that can't be ignored). These institutions influence US foreign policy to such an extent that there is no equivalent Russian comparison.

Proportionally, Putin is much more powerful on the world stage than Obama or any potential US president.

But I get the impression that Obama hardly even tries to effect anything on the international stage. He just as his different secretaries and his UN ambassadors pay lip service to vague principles all the while he plans to do the bare minimum. He's basically constantly playing domestic politics. He wants the benefits of looking like he's doing something and the benefits of not doing something.

It's not an understatement to say that Obama because of his inaction has allowed ISIS to form into a credible group and flourish.

I don't know how much I agree with that. If anything I'd say that he wants the benefit of looking like he's not doing anything while he's actually doing quite a lot.

Take Syria as an example - do you really think that the US hasn't been arming Syrian rebels? You see the rise of ISIS as a bug in US foreign policy, but there's a strong case to be made that it is a feature.

Do you think ISIS was an accident though? Or did they either not mind or prefer jihadists to take up the fight? If the latter, then you just opened the door to about 40 conspiracy theories about the US and Israel trying to plunge the arab world deeper into a dark age.

anyways, the problem is that Obama could have done so much more easily. He could have provided REAL support to the FSA in the beginning (blank cheque for arms and anti tank/plane equipment, training, etc) which would have isolated and made irrelevant gulf funded jihadists and would have allowed the FSA to better fight whatever jihadist force emerged. There's really no disagreement on this point in all major newspapers and magazines: Obama's syria policy (or non-policy) has blown up in the US's face.

However, I agree with your first point though. Obama often likes to switch around the facts to suit his needs.

When talking to young progressives in universities he talks about how America is winding down the empire, withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, but later in a different crowd he'll talk about how much America is committed to Afghanistan and trying to take down Assad.

Like I said, Obama is constantly playing domestic politics. His international politics is just an element of his domestic reputation.

I don't think the US preferred ISIS to take up the fight, but if you're starting with the axiom that Assad must go, then you need groups like ISIS as a practical matter. You can argue that the west should've thrown more support at FSA from the beginning, but I don't think that was ever a realistic option just in terms of the logistics. Since at least the Iranian revolution, Islamists have always been much more organized and better trained.

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#17 Shadowchronicle
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I don't think it even matters what they would do as world leaders for either of them to dislike each other.

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#18 PurpleLabel
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He considers him a joke, like the rest of the world does.

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#19  Edited By BossPerson
Member since 2011 • 9177 Posts

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BossPerson said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BossPerson said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't think you can call Obama a non-interventionist. Nor do I think Putin would've acted any differently with Ukraine had Bush still been president. I also think it's important to realize that Obama does not have nearly as much authority to dictate US foreign policy compared to the authority Putin has dictating Russian foreign policy. I'm not just talking about congress (if anything congress is just a country club of impotent old white men), I'm talking about the CIA, NSA, and the US Armed Forces (as well as business interests that can't be ignored). These institutions influence US foreign policy to such an extent that there is no equivalent Russian comparison.

Proportionally, Putin is much more powerful on the world stage than Obama or any potential US president.

But I get the impression that Obama hardly even tries to effect anything on the international stage. He just as his different secretaries and his UN ambassadors pay lip service to vague principles all the while he plans to do the bare minimum. He's basically constantly playing domestic politics. He wants the benefits of looking like he's doing something and the benefits of not doing something.

It's not an understatement to say that Obama because of his inaction has allowed ISIS to form into a credible group and flourish.

I don't know how much I agree with that. If anything I'd say that he wants the benefit of looking like he's not doing anything while he's actually doing quite a lot.

Take Syria as an example - do you really think that the US hasn't been arming Syrian rebels? You see the rise of ISIS as a bug in US foreign policy, but there's a strong case to be made that it is a feature.

Do you think ISIS was an accident though? Or did they either not mind or prefer jihadists to take up the fight? If the latter, then you just opened the door to about 40 conspiracy theories about the US and Israel trying to plunge the arab world deeper into a dark age.

anyways, the problem is that Obama could have done so much more easily. He could have provided REAL support to the FSA in the beginning (blank cheque for arms and anti tank/plane equipment, training, etc) which would have isolated and made irrelevant gulf funded jihadists and would have allowed the FSA to better fight whatever jihadist force emerged. There's really no disagreement on this point in all major newspapers and magazines: Obama's syria policy (or non-policy) has blown up in the US's face.

However, I agree with your first point though. Obama often likes to switch around the facts to suit his needs.

When talking to young progressives in universities he talks about how America is winding down the empire, withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, but later in a different crowd he'll talk about how much America is committed to Afghanistan and trying to take down Assad.

Like I said, Obama is constantly playing domestic politics. His international politics is just an element of his domestic reputation.

I don't think the US preferred ISIS to take up the fight, but if you're starting with the axiom that Assad must go, then you need groups like ISIS as a practical matter. You can argue that the west should've thrown more support at FSA from the beginning, but I don't think that was ever a realistic option just in terms of the logistics. Since at least the Iranian revolution, Islamists have always been much more organized and better trained.

I have to disagree.

If the Obama administration doesn't think that Assad is preferable to a new Afghanistan (with oil money) in the Levant, then that is a whole other blunder of theirs. I don't think the removal of Assad is axiomatic for them, thus meaning that the emergence of ISIS is not something they're exactly cool with.

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#20  Edited By -Sun_Tzu-
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@BossPerson said:

I have to disagree.

If the Obama administration doesn't think that Assad is preferable to a new Afghanistan (with oil money) in the Levant, then that is a whole other blunder of theirs. I don't think the removal of Assad is axiomatic for them, thus meaning that the emergence of ISIS is not something they're exactly cool with.

Eh, there are good things that have come out of the emergence of ISIS. Because of ISIS, Iraq is closer to becoming partitioned, which weakens Iran's influence in the Arab world. And one of the most underreported stories in the past few years has been the rise of the Kurds (who are an ally worth having) - they more than almost anyone else has benefited the most from the Arab spring. They've made huge gains towards achieving statehood as a result of the regional chaos in Syria and Iraq.