'It was him (or her) that started it.' Who else remembers those immature words in the playground when two children get into trouble? Except in politics at the moment, those words are entirely appropriate. Donald Trump has been accused of behaving like a child in many ways, but if relations with Vladimir Putin escalate further, he would be well within his rights to legitimately accuse his predecessor, #Barack Obama, 'of starting it.'
Trump has accused Obama of many outlandish things recently, including spying on him during last year's presidential elections, and the latter has accused Putin of influencing the outcome of #trump's victory, yet it is safe to blame the crisis in Syria on the former US president as well as #Russia's rise to power.
By attempting to distance himself from George W. Bush's foreign policy, Obama left a political vacuum for Putin to suck up. The 1990s and 2000s marked a golden era of relations between Russia and America in the aftermath of the Cold War. Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin both collaborated with each other and had a respectful relationship. Bush and Putin were even friendlier.
The solution to dealing with Russia not to merely suck up to its leaders. Western countries should always be cautious of the Russians when they are led by the likes of Putin. But Obama provoked the Russian President to such a significant degree that he felt he had no choice but to sever his links to America.
It is no secret Obama supported the EU and its plans for expansion. And how did the Russian bear respond when the EU attempted to encourage the Ukraine to join? They annexed the Crimea. And what was Obama's response? His usual rhetoric and then nothing.
Instead of taking action in Syria without British support, Obama allowed Putin to take the lead and persecutions from both ISIS and al-Assad, the latter of whom is clearly supported by Russia, which escalated the refugee crisis engulfing Europe and enabled cities like Aleppo to be destroyed.
Some will argue Trump is now making the situation worse, but he is dealing with a crisis handed down to him by his predecessor. Anyone care to argue Obama is still 'one of the greatest' presidents America has ever had? And please don't give me the 'he implemented Obamacare' argument, otherwise you will find yourself 'at the back of the queue.'