WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations.
Obama has vowed to enact biting sanctions against Russia's vital economic sectors if the Kremlin tries to replicate its actions in Crimea elsewhere in Ukraine. But despite those warnings, Russia appears to be testing Obama's limits, instigating protests in eastern Ukraine and massing thousands of troops on the border.
For Obama, the U.S. response to the chaos in Ukraine has become more than a test of his ability to stop Russia's advances. It's also being viewed through the prism of his decision last summer to back away from his threat to launch a military strike when Syria crossed his chemical weapons "red line."