Poll Context: According to Politico, Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Monday that Russia will begin pulling out of Syria appeared to take the White House by surprise, and revived concerns that the Russian leader is outmaneuvering Barack Obama. Just six months after he threw international relations into a tailspin by launching airstrikes in Syria, Putin on Monday declared that “the tasks put before the defense ministry have been completed over all,” adding that he had ordered that “the main part” of Russian forces in Syria would be withdrawn.
A speedy Russian exit from Syria would confound President Obama’s talking point that Putin had walked into a “quagmire” in that country’s civil war that he would come to regret. Obama made the case most recently in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, in which Obama said Russia was “overextended” and “bleeding” in Syria.
Is President Obama out of his depth when dealing with Vladimir Putin?