Obama failed on Russia; Trump must get it right

Obama failed on Russia; Trump must get it right
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President Obama failed to prevent foreign powers from meddling in our elections and was unsuccessful in imposing significant costs on the Kremlin for attacking the United States. The 44th president of the United States was consistently ineffective with his foreign policy toward the Russians.

The Obama administration attempted the infamous "Russian Reset" in 2009 where Secretary Clinton and the Russian foreign minister stood together smiling while pressing a reset button. The reset was misguided and unsuccessful as the two countries were opposed on Iran, Syria, Libya the annexation of Crimea and U.S. traitor Edward Snowden.

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The Obama administration’s attempt at an eased relationship with the Kremlin resulted in foreign policy headaches and revealed the weakness of Obama’s response to Russia’s continued aggression.

 

In 2012, the president was caught on tape telling the outgoing Russian president that he would have more flexibility after this election, because it was his last one.

A few months later, during the presidential debate with Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms Kavanaugh and the 'boys will be boys' sentiment is a poor excuse for bad behavior MORE, President Obama mocked Romney for calling Russian our greatest geopolitical threat, saying, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” He continued to go on saying the Cold War was long over.

In 2014, national security officials briefed the Obama administration on multiple occasions and warned them about Russia’s attempt to disrupt and undermine Western democracy, targeting the United States of America. These reports included that Russia wanted to spread disinformation, penetrate the media and conduct cyberattacks that influenced the electoral process.

The current fact is that Russia successfully meddled in the U.S. presidential election in 2016. The Obama administration failed to adequately deter the Russians from conducting cyberattacks on the United States.

President Obama did end up passing sanctions in conjunction with Congress after the reports of Russia attempting to hack our elections. However, these sanctions are not enough to deter Putin and other foreign powers from attacking us again.

Russia will not stop just because the 2016 election is over, they’re only getting started. They will continue to ramp up their cyberattacks and deploy disinformation campaigns to undermine our elections and institutions.

Contrary to popular belief, Russia does not prefer one political party. Their goal is to cause discord and spread disinformation, ultimately leading people to distrust our system of government here in America.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE needs to do what his predecessor failed to, which is deter foreign powers from hacking the United States and put substantive punishments in place for attempting to do so.

President Trump needs to definitively declare that the era of weakness under the Obama administration is over. His administration should make clear that the United States will not tolerate or ignore foreign governments attempting to undermine our democracy and any attempt to do so will be met with swift sanctions and potential retaliation.

If we fail to teach Russia a lesson, we are sending a clear message to other adversaries that we will tolerate cyberattacks. The United States can not permit this national security threat to go on.

The U.S. Senate recently received a report that the Russians will attempt to influence of upcoming midterm elections, Congress is running out of time and needs to act now to defend our democratic system.

Second, President Trump needs to issue a clear directive on our cybersecurity. The future battles between geopolitical foes are increasingly moving toward cyberspace. Foreign governments successfully attacking our infrastructure is something we should all fear, regardless of political affiliation.

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdDem introduces bill to create federal cybersecurity apprenticeship program Koch group launches digital ads in tight Texas House race Gingrich: Bushes view themselves as closer to Obamas, Clintons than to Trump MORE (R-Texas) has come up with the innovative idea to create a cyber-reserve. The president should endorse this idea and move forward with creating it. This will help protect our infrastructure and recruit top tech talent in the digital age.

Lastly, President Trump needs to endorse and enforce stronger sanctions on Russia that send a clear message to Putin and other foreign leaders. These sanctions should include diplomatic measures, potential cyber measures of our own and crushing economic sanctions on Russia.

The United States of America needs to act swiftly showing we will not tolerate future attacks. If you attempt to undermine our democracy, it will be met with punishment.

The United States has failed to set up a deterrence strategy after Russia interfered in our elections. Even after the election, and right now, Russia is spreading disinformation and planning to strike again in the near future.

As former Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Former NSA chief refutes report claiming Trump asked him to publicly deny Russia collusion Michigan college Dems sue state over voting laws, claim they discriminate against young people MORE, House Intelligence Committee chairman has pointed out, “True deterrence requires policies that prevent adversaries from achieving their objectives while imposing significant costs on their regimes. So far, we have done neither.”

President Trump has the opportunity and duty to prevent and respond to the Russian cyberattacks, unlike former President Obama. Time is running out, he needs to start now.

Garrett Ventry is a Republican public relations executive based in Washington, D.C. He has worked with clients from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Intelligence Committee and the Department of Justice.