It’s slowly being undone, and not a moment too soon.
Barack Obama was inarguably the least Atlanticist president since the end of World War II. Within a year of Russia’s brazen invasion and dismemberment of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Obama scrapped George W. Bush-era agreements to move radar and missile interceptor installations to Central Europe. In 2013, the last of America’s armored combat units left Europe, ending a 69-year footprint on the Continent. By 2014, there were just two U.S. Army brigades stationed in Europe. The folly of this demobilization became abundantly clear when Vladimir Putin became the first Russian leader since Stalin to invade and annex territory in neighboring Ukraine.
A year later, Putin intervened militarily in Syria, where U.S. forces were already operating, resulting in the most dangerous escalation of tensions between the two nuclear powers since the end of the Cold War. Putin’s move in Syria should not have come as a surprise; Barack Obama outsourced the resolution of the Syrian conflict to Moscow in 2013, if only to avoid making good on his self-set “red line” for intervention in that conflict despite the norm-shattering use of WMDs on civilians. Even Rice’s chief complaint about Trump, his failure to condemn Putin’s brazen intervention in the 2016 election, didn’t elicit a reaction from Barack Obama until the final month of his presidency.
By contrast, and to the surprise of just about everyone, the Trump administration has been tough on Russia. Trump has ordered harsh sanctions on Moscow’s Iranian allies for violating United Nations resolutions—a course the Obama administration declined to take even if it allowed Hezbollah terrorists with direct links to Putin to operate with impunity. He ordered long overdue airstrikes on Putin’s vassal regime in Syria, halting any further use of chemical weapons in the process. Trump not only declined to lift Obama-era sanctions on Moscow, as many feared he would, but expanded them. This administration closed Russian consulates and annexes in the United States. It has targeted Putin allies like Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov under the Magnitsky Act—the same act that Kremlin cutout Natalia Veselnitskaya lobbied the Trump campaign to scuttle. Trump has even gone so far as to open U.S. arms sales to Ukraine, representing a significant blow to Putin’s ambitions in Europe. It is without a doubt that Trump now has a stronger record on Russia than Barack Obama ever did. No wonder Susan Rice is so angry.
Even as early as March of 2017, it was clear that the Obama administration’s foreign-policy professionals were quite insecure about how posterity would remember their stewardship of American interests abroad. They had every reason to be.
They sure did. I said right from the beginning that Obama was going to be way more interested in completing his “fundamental transformation” of America into another staggering socialist shitrapy, and would remain relatively indifferent to foreign policy. Even so, he managed to do plenty of damage with his usual feckless, halfwitted blundering about.
Remember my rule: it’s not that he’s incompetent, it’s that he’s a moron: a vile, hubristic, America-hating douchebag whose success can only mean damage to us all. The ideology he so stubbornly, stupidly hews to has never created anything but misery, impoverishment, and destruction for those unfortunate enough to suffer under it. Even now, he’s not smart enough to see it.
Obama has a legacy all right; even after the mess made by his reign of error has been put right, that legacy will be remembered. But not in the way he hoped and expected. He’ll go down in history as one of the worst presidents the American people ever were foolish enough to elect; thankfully, he’s been succeeded by one of the best. Given the chaotic, ever-fluid nature of foreign relations, the wreckage he left there will be a lot more easily and quickly straightened out than cleaning up his domestic trainwreck will be. But I guess we earned it; we’re the ones who inflicted him on the world, after all.
On the bright side: her desperate fantasies notwithstanding, Hillary!™ will never be president. So we got that going for us, at least.