The Presidential Daily Brief

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  1. White House Tries to Calm Standoff Ahead of Crimea Vote

    The Obama administration is working on several fronts to try and calm the Ukraine crisis ahead of Sunday’s referendum on Crimea’s future, which could further inflame an already volatile situation. For this crucial task, the U.S. president appears to be taking a reverse approach to Roosevelt’s diplomatic axiom, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” So far, Washington has been “speaking more loudly” against Russia than its European allies while, when it comes to threats, Obama has chosen to discard the scarier military option and use the “smaller stick” of sanctions. Critics, meanwhile, have been calling on the president to get tougher with Putin.

    Sources: New Republic, NYT, Washington Post

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