Russia, foreign policy and 2016
During the 2008 and 2012 elections, the candidates mostly slid by topics of foreign policy since, generally, it’s a hard topic. It appears that some lessons are being taught right now with Russia flexing some international might which will require a pop quiz for the next presidential contenders in a few short months.
Report from The Washington Post:
Russia effectively absorbed Crimea Tuesday afternoon, moments after President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia has no designs on any other parts of Ukraine.
In a speech to a joint session of parliament, which he used to call for the “reunification” of Crimea with Russia, he said that the region has a special role in Russian history that makes it unique.
Ecstatic members of the Russian parliament watched while Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty of accession as soon as Putin was done speaking, and the Kremlin said afterwards it considers the treaty to be in force even before parliament has ratified it.
Sevastopol, the city where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based, also entered the Russian Federation, as a separate entity.
Even while declaring that Moscow will not seek to expand its holdings in Ukraine, Putin also promised that Russia will do what it must to protect the rights of Russians living abroad — which suggests that he intends to play a role in restive eastern Ukraine, with its large Russian population.
He said Moscow will always protect the rights of Russians using “political, diplomatic and legal means.”
But he stressed: “Don’t believe those who say Russia will take other regions after Crimea. We don’t need that.”
This incident has already created the environment for deeper foreign policy discussions between GOP candidates like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Considering that many Americans feel foreign policy discussions put them into a coma, who wins this topic in 2016?