President Donald Trump posed a question via Twitter on Wednesday morning: “Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?”

According to NATO expert Jorge Benitez of the Atlantic Council, he was — but there’s more to the story.

“Yes, Obama was too soft on Russia,” Benitez told Business Insider. “But so were Germany, France, the UK, the EU, the UN, and Congress.”

Benitez said that the international community’s treatment of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 was “too soft” and “contributed to Putin’s willingness to attack Ukraine,” adding that the softness also added to “Putin’s willingness to break international treaties like the INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) and probably attack another of his neighbors in the future.”

But the 2008 invasion of Georgia happened under President George W. Bush’s watch. James Jeffrey, former deputy national security adviser under Bush, told Business Insider that there’s “very little you can do” about Russian aggression.

Jeffrey said that the Russian swiping of Crimea was ” unpredictable and unstoppable,” just like their move into Georgia, but Benitez says it was the US response to these moves by Russia that came off as too soft.

 

Trump reaffirms NATO's concerns, suggests lifting sanctions on Russia

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Featured image courtesy of MSgt Thompson