Terrible mistake! Obama receiving the Noble Peace Prize at the beginning of his presidency.
I think that award kicked off a Gandhi illusion. By that I mean he became the great man of peace who would bring all together.
The most noticeable failure was in dealing with Republicans. They never gave an inch and undermined him in every way possible.
In the first term, when he had control of Congress; a lot could have been accomplished.
He wasted that opportunity and more importantly the tremendous approval he had from American people.
Now we have the same mentality emerging in foreign policy. Ukraine is the case in point. Russia annexed Crimea at a cost of some esoteric sanctions. Then Russia was warned that any further expansion into eastern Ukraine would result in further sanctions. Some of those have now been implemented due to continued Russian meddling in Ukraine.
Sanctions are a delusional policy. Putin is riding on phenomenal support from the Russian public. If he does not annex eastern Ukraine, support will plummet.
Sanctions pale in this equation. Russia can sell all their energy to China and India. Shut-off of energy to Europe will have catastrophic economic impact in the near term for the West.
Obama's weakness in the poker game called Realpolitik emboldens Russia and weakens support in Europe, particularly in the countries abutting Russia. Almost every country split off from the former Soviet Union has enclaves with high percentage of ethnic Russians. Those countries worry that they will be next after Ukraine.
At some point, even Obama will realize that sanctions are a folly on their own. Military deployment in the countries around Russia, primarily those now in NATO, will become a rapid necessity.
Then the chances of warfare with Russia will increase. Those nuclear weapons will always be in the background.