Under the Obama administration, there was a significant amount of support placed behind Syrian rebels who opposed Assad as leader. After his election, President Trump ended the support to those same rebels. An article from The Atlantic describes how President Obama really didn’t want to oust Assad, but rather pressure him politically. The support of the rebels began in 2013 and soon after we saw Russia invade Crimea and claim it. In 2015, Russia officially came out in support of Assad and began intervening in the Syrian civil war that was taking place. Russia took a tough stance with the US throughout this period and called for the US to back out of Syria stating it had no business in being there. Then Russia goes into Venezuela and tells the US that it needs to not intervene with Venezuela.
Last week, I read an article over at Bloomberg describing Kim Jong Un of North Korea arriving in Russia seeking assistance from Russia. The article outlines that Putin has supported relaxing the sanctions against North Korea, the article also outlines that North Korea was seeking support from Russia in whatever manner it could receive that would not violate the current sanctions. All of this combined with a recent article discussing how NATO and the US are actively training and preparing for potential Russian aggression should cause some concern.
It should be disturbing that Russia continues to step into these situations in being the world leader. While US allies continue to see the importance of US involvement, many other countries are seeking help from Russia. All the while, Russia continues to expand its reach telling the US to stay out. The recent Mueller report describes how Russia attempted to meddle in the US election, signaling that they have no respect for US leadership anymore. The softening of foreign policy began under the Obama administration with the world famous apology tour and “more flexibility” to work with Russia after Obama’s re-election. It’s time for President Trump to reverse years of bad foreign policy and put the US back in a leadership position. A hard line needs to be taken with Russia to put Putin back in his place.