◼ The foreign policy of a narcissist. - George H. Wittman/American Spectator
...It would appear that President Obama lost sight of the fact that the United States is desirous of Russia's cooperation rather than the other way around. It has been apparent for some time that Moscow intends to keep its foot in the doorway of Middle Eastern politics and stalwartly supporting Iran and Syria is how it intends to accomplish this. Putin already has shown he doesn't alter positions on anything unless his interests are enhanced. This fact should have been understood by Barack Obama. If he was as clever and expert in all aspects of negotiation as he obviously thinks he is, the meeting in Mexico with Putin would have gone quite differently. Obama's autocratic instincts are as deep as Putin's, even if his rhetoric pretends differently.
Unlike Obama, Putin is a graduate of the Cold War and the days of Russian ascendancy. A renowned historian of that period, Charles Gati, wrote revealingly regarding Russian foreign policy that it was " a mixture of assertiveness and accommodation." That accommodation comes, however, only when the alternative is feared. It was true during the days of the Soviet Union and it remains true today. The current Russian president has made quite clear his desire to return his country to the preeminence it once held when it was recognized as one of the world's two superpowers. Putin will never deal with Obama on an equal basis and certainly has no intention of granting him acceptance personally.
What President Obama does not appear to grasp is that his Russian adversary -- and Putin is that -- intends to treat him as strictly a "short timer" no matter the November election results. If President Obama is to get anywhere with Russia, it will have to be with the assistance of "Dimi" Medvedev with whom he is far more congenial. This, too, is part of the Russian ploy. Putin recognizes that the U.S. is the greatest military power in the world, but he also knows Obama will never use that power to get what he wants in the Middle East -- or anywhere else. Putin is a well-practiced tough guy who is careful in his assessment of his opponent. Russia's #2 is deemed adequate to deal with America's #1, as long as it remains Obama.
The world in which Barack Obama lives is dominated by himself; everything else is simply a backdrop. Putin has been well briefed on this by his intelligence profilers. It hasn't taken extraordinary talent to analyze the American president's narcissism, but the Russians surely know how to exploit it. Too bad that Barack Obama is incapable of doing the same thing the other way around. - More at the link.
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