Mittens has an op-ed in the WSJ journal, “The Price of Failed Leadership.” He’s not writing about his 2012 campaign, he’s writing about Obama.
He says that if only Obama had assured Putin that “we would not exclude Russia from its base in Sevastopol or threaten its influence in Kiev,” Putin might not have invaded Crimea.
But I don’t think it ever occurred to Putin (or to Obama) that we might kick him out of Sevastopol. I don’t think even Dick Cheney or John Bolton ever wanted to do that. If you like your warm water port, you can keep your warm water port. Nor were we threatening Russia’s influence in Kiev. In case, Mitt hasn’t noticed, we kind of have enough problems right now, and we’ve been trying to get Putin to work with us on stuff like Syria and Iran. We really weren’t looking for trouble in Ukraine, of all places.
Putin has long wanted to get Crimea back. Events in Ukraine gave him an opening/excuse, and he took it. I don’t blame Putin for doing what he thinks is in Russia’s interest, and I don’t blame Obama, any more than I blame Bush for what happened in Georgia in 2008. Geo-political shit happens.