Obama finally has punished Russia

The sanctions were imposed too late, and it may well be that they are insufficient, but there should be no doubt of the correctness of the decision of President Obama to put Russia retaliation for its hacking hacking American computers and for trying to influence the presidential elections.

On his part it would be irresponsible to leave his post next month to allow President Vladimir Putin to think that he can with impunity to undermine American democracy. It would be especially dangerous given the alarming proximity between the elected President is Donald trump and Putin, and persistent refusal to acknowledge the conclusions of us intelligence agencies that Russian cyber attacks were intended to help him and hurt Hillary Clinton. Before it was announced Obama’s decision, President-elect dismissively told reporters that the Americans “must go” and that they need to forget about this hacking scandal. No harm in dreaming.

Obama acted slowly, and until Thursday, he responded only once, and that very poorly. He urged to “name and shame” the Russians said that they are criminals behind cyber attacks against the National Democratic Committee and other political organizations, as well as the Kremlin warned about the inadmissibility of such intervention in the future.

His last answer, the President actually showed a determination, imposing sanctions against two leading Russian intelligence services FSB and GRU, including those against four senior leaders of the military intelligence, which the White house believes the organizers of hacker attacks. Obama also imposed sanctions against other individuals and companies, such as the center for Special technologies, which is engaged in electronic intelligence.

Obama also expelled 35 Russian intelligence officers and banned Russian diplomats to use the two recreation centers in the United States. The white house said that the response lasts for two years annoying harassment of American diplomats, which involved the Kremlin’s special services.

Obama had to respond to such actions. However, the expulsion of diplomats increases the rigidity of the American response and has a direct impact on Russian citizens. But the ban on entry and freezing accounts a direct result of not give. The leaders of the Russian intelligence services rarely travel in the US and don’t keep their money there. The sanctions imposed by the US and Europe against Russia over the annexation of Crimea and war in Ukraine, have been in place for two years, but their influence on Putin is questionable. Therefore, the question arises about whether or not there will be a new punitive measures Obama. Moscow has already threatened retaliatory action.

Obama was in a difficult position. He rightly thinks that his answer had had repercussions for Russia and kept her from further attacks, but it does not want escalation of cyber warfare. At the same time, he should think about secret actions in support of public reaction, in order clearly to show the Kremlin that the attacks on American elections on the part of Russia and any other country unacceptable and intolerable. Sound suggestions about how to publish the detailed information about the great state of Putin, as it could undermine the credibility of the Russian people.

Obama by his actions clearly creates problems for Trump, who rejects the conclusions of the intelligence services and questioned the involvement of Russia to hacker break-ins. Announcing the new sanctions, the administration published additional proof of the Russian intervention, including the report of the FBI and the Department of homeland security, which has examples of malware and other instructions to the Russian cyberactivist. And if the Congress will convene a special bipartisan Commission to investigate, on the surface can surface and many other details.

When sanctions were imposed, trump has repeated his call for the country to “move on”. But after elected President pointedly declared their unwillingness to listen to regular intelligence reports, he said that next week will meet with the leaders of the security services in order to find out information about the hacker attacks. Leading members of his Republican party in Congress, its conclusions already made. The speaker of the house of representatives Paul Ryan has called the sanctions appropriate, and senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham vowed to lead the effort even more stringent punitive measures. Less than a month, Trump will have to decide with whom it: with its democratic allies on Capitol hill or with your authoritarian friend of the Kremlin.