Next week in the Mexican resort town of Los Cabos, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Mitt Romney and his aides say that after 15 months of dithering on Syria, it is time for Obama to confront Putin on an increasingly brutal conflict that has left 10,000 dead.
“President Obama’s ‘reset policy’ toward Russia has clearly failed,” Romney said in a statement this week. “Russia has openly armed and protected a murderous regime in Syria, frustrated international sanctions on Iran and opposed American efforts on a range of issues.”
In an interview on Thursday, Richard Williamson, a senior foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign, argued that the White House should stop naively hoping the Russian leader will end his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Since when is it the U.S.’s job to sublet its interests to an authoritarian leader in Moscow?” Williamson asked. “What world do they think they live in?”
Election-year hyperbole aside, the Romney camp is right. Moscow is not going to give the U.S. an easy way out of Syria.