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    Former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Barack Obama Sunday of appeasing Russian President Vladimir Putin and said there’s “no question” that Putin “believes he is weak.”

    Cheney said in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation that Obama and his advisers “have created an image around the world, not just to the Russians, of weakness… the Syrian situation is a classic. We got all ready to do something -- a lot of the allies signed on -- and at the last minute, Obama backed off.”

    Cheney said that in responding to Russia’s seizure of Crimea, “there are military options that don’t involve putting troops on the ground in Crimea. We could go back and reinstate the ballistic-missile defense program that was taken out, that was originally going to go in Poland (and) the Czech Republic and Obama took it out to appease Putin.”

    He also suggested that Obama offer military equipment and training to the Ukrainians and do joint training exercises in Poland.
    Cheney did admit that Bush administration’s responses to the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia “were not effective in terms of driving Putin out.” Some observers see Putin’s successful invasion of Georgia as the template for Russian actions in Crimea.

    Cheney’s comments came as Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary under both President George W. Bush and under Obama, said on Fox News Sunday that Putin’s seizure of Crime appeared to be irreversible. “I do not believe that Crimea will slip out of Russia's hand," he said.

    More Republican criticism of Obama’s handling of the Ukraine crisis came from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential Republican presidential contender. In an interview on ABC’s This Week, Cruz said Obama’s foreign policy was “to alienate and abandon our friends and to coddle and appease our enemies. You better believe that Putin sees in Benghazi four Americans are murdered and noting happens, there’s no retribution. You better believe that Putin sees in Syria (that) Obama draws a red line and ignores a red line.”
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