Barack Obama

Legislators on Capitol Hill Want Obama To Get More Aggressive With Putin

Canceling meeting could be just the start


Canceling a summit is a start.

Declining to make a courtesy call to Vladimir Putin afterward isn't bad, either. Or adding a trip to Sweden instead of Moscow.

But if President Barack Obama really wants to show Russia he's serious, goes an increasingly popular line of thinking among both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, he's got to get more aggressive than he and his predecessors have been with Russia on missile defense. And, they say, there's no time like the present — even as soon as his scheduled press conference Friday afternoon.

For years, American presidents struck a delicate balance of arguing that the United States has to step up its capacities to stop a rogue nation attack, with particular concern about North Korea and Iran, while reassuring the Russians that the batteries of missiles that would be installed for protection aren't a conspiracy to prepare for a march into Moscow.