Sen. John McCain charged Monday that the Obama administration and its "feckless foreign policy" have helped lead to the growing crisis in Ukraine.
In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
at its annual conference in Washington, the Arizona Republican, who sits on both the Senate Armed Services and Senate Foreign Relations committees, said President Barack Obama has his head in the sand when it comes to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The president of the United States believes that the Cold War is over," he said. "That's fine, it is over, but Putin doesn't believe it's over. He doesn't believe that this is a zero-sum game."
McCain charged that the march of Russian military forces into the Crimean Peninsula in eastern Ukraine "is the ultimate result of feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America's strength anymore."
McCain has accused
the White House before of being "feckless" in its foreign policy. But in talking about what options the United States has in the current crisis, McCain ruled out a military response.
"I have to be very honest with you, there is not a military option that could be exercised now, but the most powerful and biggest and strongest nation in the world should have plenty of options," he said. "And those options are many."
Earlier Monday, Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN
that the United States' most potent leverage against Moscow is "financial."
"The Achilles heel for Russia is their economy — the ruble," the California Republican said. "We have to lead and we have to rally Europe around a series of steps that would actually impact the Russians economically: sanctions against state-owned banks."
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