More Chaos In Ukraine, Venezuela Raises Questions About Obama Foreign Policy

Acting Interior Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov wrote in Facebook that the nation’s Ministry of Interior Affairs has placed ousted President Viktor Yanukovych on a wanted list and has issued a warrant for his arrest.

The Brookings Institution’s Steven Pifer argues that now is the time for the US and the European Union to take action in Ukraine by “applying all of their limited leverage” and “immediately announce targeted visa and financial sanctions.”

This twin goals of these steps would be to make clear that those responsible for violence are held to account for by having their travel limited and to apply pressure on Ukrainian President Yanukovych’s inner circle “in the hopes that they will push him to end the violence and seek a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The inner circle should understand that, if it is not part of the solution, it also will not be allowed to travel or bank in the West.”

Ulrich Speck also makes the case for more action in the New York Times. According to Speck, the West needs to “send unequivocal messages” to the leadership in Russia that any support by Russia for the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine to break away from the rest of the country” will have harsh consequences and could result in a reconsideration of relations.

“In parallel, they must make sure that their own resources, and those of the European Union institutions in Brussels, are available to political leaders in Kiev to assist them in their transition to a new regime,” he writes.

Chaos Continues In Venezuela
While Pifer concedes sanctions are no magic bullet, he contends the West has a limited opportunity to wield its influence and that time is now.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, the death toll resulting from protests continues to rise as it was learned that President Nicolas Maduro will meet with State governor Henrique Capriles, who represents the opposition forces.

Is Obama’s Foreign Policy Having A Negative Impact Globally?
Niall Ferguson writes in The Wall Street Journal the “fundamental shift we are witnessing in the national-security strategy of the U.S,” or the “geopolitical taper” is more important than the Federal Reserve’s taper.

“For it is not only U.S. monetary policy that is being tapered. Even more significant is the ‘geopolitical taper.’ By this I mean the fundamental shift we are witnessing in the national-security strategy of the U.S.—and like the Fed’s tapering, this one also means big repercussions for the world. To see the geopolitical taper at work, consider President Obama’s comment Wednesday on the horrific killings of protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev,” he writes.

Furthermore, says Ferguson, President Obama is responsible for more casualties in the Middle East than his predecessor.

“In 2013, according to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, in 2013 “more than 75,000 people died as a result of armed conflict in this region or as a result of terrorism originating there, the highest number since the IISS Armed Conflict database began in 1998. Back then, the Greater Middle East accounted for 38% of conflict-related deaths in the world; last year it was 78%.”

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