Opinion

John McCain: American leadership is 'missing in action'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Israel,John McCain,Vladimir Putin,Ukraine

American leadership under President Obama is missing in action, Sen. John McCain said, adding that the "feckless foreign policy" of the last five years has emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin in an array of aggressive, Cold War-era actions.

"The President of the United States believes that the Cold War is over. That's fine, it is over -- but Putin doesn't believe it's over!" McCain, R-Ariz., said Monday at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He was discussing Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Putin's arming of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, which McCain said is destabilizing the Middle East and endangering Israel.

"The whole situation cries out for American leadership, and I'm sorry to tell you, it's MIA," McCain said, using the military acronym for "missing in action."

McCain clearly meant Obama's leadership in particular, as he reminded the AIPAC audience immediately of Obama's 2012 promise to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be more flexible with Putin after his re-election.

"This is the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America's strength anymore," he said.

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