By Greg Richter
America has no credibility with European allies following the Syrian crisis last year and will have trouble getting them to agree to sanctions against Russia as a result, says former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“We have created an image around the world … of weakness, of indecisiveness,” Cheney said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
While President Barack Obama is trying to take all the diplomatic steps he can, he has no credibility with U.S. allies, Cheney said. Allies were ready to move against Syria in late summer when the Bashar Assad regime used chemical weapons against his own people, Cheney said, but Obama backed off at the last minute.
“He seems to operate that way most of the time,” Cheney said.
He also blasted the administration for taking military options off the table early. There are military options that don’t involve troops on the ground in Crimea, he said, suggesting a reinstitution of the missile defense program in Poland and the Czech Republic, joint military operations near the Russian border and military assistance for Ukraine.
Cheney also noted that although Putin has threatened to cut off natural gas and other energy it sells to Europe, such a threat is a “double-edged sword.”
Russia relies on such energy sales for half of its GDP, so it is unlikely to follow through on the threat.
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