Usually, we could chalk this type of hyperbolic article to a media attempting to create something big out of policy debates within an administration. Alas, the issue seems a bit more serious than that, and, considering how much fecklessness we've seen out of Obama's policies these past 6+ years, it's entirely believable
Rift in Obama administration over Putin
The president’s reluctance to respond assertively is signaling U.S. weakness and indecision, some officials say.
Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria is creating new rifts inside an exhausted and in some cases demoralized Obama national security team, where officials pushing for bolder action see the president as stubbornly unwilling to assume new risk as he nears his final year in office.
Current and former Obama officials say the president’s reluctance to respond more assertively against Putin is signaling U.S. weakness and indecision. “We’re just so reactive,” said one senior administration official. “There’s just this tendency to wait” and see what steps other actors take.
This is simply an extension of "leading from behind", Obama's long standing avoidance for getting involved in international affairs that could be difficult and do not feed his narcissism. Obama likes to bluster verbally, but, when it comes to actual action, he seems so often to make the wrong decision. Then doubles down on it.
And, while we might say "he's gone in a little over a year", the fecklessness will further damage America's standing.
But expectations are low that those efforts will lead anywhere. Sources familiar with administration deliberations said that Obama’s West Wing inner circle serves as a brick wall against dissenting views. The president’s most senior advisers — including National Security Adviser Susan Rice and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough — reflect the president’s wariness of escalated U.S. action related to Syria or Russia and, officials fear, fail to push Obama to question his own deeply rooted assumptions. “Susan and Denis channel him,” says a former administration official who has witnessed the dynamic.
That dynamic is not new. But Putin’s escalation has combined two of Obama’s biggest foreign policy headaches — a newly aggressive Russia and Syria’s civil war — into one throbbing migraine.Even John Kerry wants more action, calling for a no fly zone, among others. He was resoundingly smacked down. Of course, much of this is a migraine created by Obama's, yes, let's use the word again, fecklessness.
Powerline is running an article entitled RUSSIA AND IRAN RUNNING NECK-AND-NECK IN OBAMA-HUMILIATING SWEEPSTAKES
Iran and Russia are competing to see which nation can humiliate President Obama more. Russia got off to a flying start with its intervention in Ukraine and its “assistance” to Obama in the non-enforcement of the president’s red line against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria.
It's well worth the read, but forgets one thing: it's Obama who puts himself in these situations, both passively and through words and actions. As Politico notes in their final paragraph "As one of the former officials put it: “This is driven by one man, and one man only, and it is Barack Obama.”" He's his own wrecking crew.
BTW, where's Biden? Whenever there is some sort of big international policy debate, Biden seems to be missing from it. He was chosen by Obama to be the running mate in 2008 specifically for his foreign policy bonafides, yet, he appears to be the invisible man. Crossed at Pirate's Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.