Future historians may recall Barack Obama’s foreign policy as the Clash of the Cliches: Every time the president draws a red line, he winds up painting himself into the corner.
After Obama warned Russia to back off – “there will be consequences if people step over the line” – Putin invaded the country anyway.
So what are the consequences? Russia, as the world’s third-largest producer of both oil and gas, is just too important for most countries to play economic hardball with. The EU who is most dismayed by Putin’s adventuring in Ukraine are also the least able to do anything about it: More than a third of their natural gas is supplied by Russia. If America was shipping oil and natural gas to world markets maybe Russia would not have so much power to demand cartel prices for its energy.