On President Obama’s “reset” with Russia

The left-wing media – including Newsweek, CNBC, and CNN – as well as Congressional Democrats – claim that the Obama Admin has repaired America’s relations with Russia and thus achieved an “unqualified foreign policy success”. However, their claim does not stand up to serious scrutiny.

The supposedly “new Russo-American partnership”, the supposedly “warmer era of Russo-American relations”, is actually a one-way street of American unilateral concessions, as documented in detail by the Heritage Foundation:

“The compromises made in the past year by the Obama Administration demonstrate that what Senator Kerry and the Administration hail as a “partnership” is in fact a one-way street full of unilateral concessions. The U.S. cannot build a lasting relationship with Russia by giving out the farm.

The concessions include severely diluting and limiting the U.S. ballistic missile defense; recognition of Russia’s ‘exclusive zone of interests in the post-Soviet “near abroad”; and consideration of a new security architecture in Europe.  In short, Russia will be milking the reset for all its worth.

The U.S. concessions also include the so-called 123 civilian nuclear reactor agreement, which will provide Russia with $10 billion-$15 billion in new nuclear fuel reprocessing business and support for Russia’s entry into the WTO.

Consider arms control. According to Senator Kerry, the New START Treaty signed on April 6, 2010, limits the number of deployed nuclear warheads. Actually, what the treaty limits are only numbers of accountable nuclear warheads, and the U.S. has to eliminate 80 warheads more than Russia. Worse yet, America will have to eliminate 150 delivery platforms (subs, bombers or silos), while Russia can add more than 130 vehicles!

What the Treaty clearly limits, both in the Preamble and Article V in the main body, is the U.S. ability to deploy effective missile defenses to protect the homeland and its allies. When viewed together, it is clear that the treaty’s Preamble, the Russian unilateral statement on missile defense, and remarks by senior Russian officials suggest an attempt by Russia to future U.S. missile defense capabilities by threatening to withdraw from the treaty should the U.S. expand its missile defense. It is hard to imagine an administration committed to getting to zero nuclear weapons risking the viability of this treaty by upsetting the Russians.

In addition to this, credible published reports indicate that there may be a secret deal to further limit U.S. ballistic missile defense. It is no wonder that Sergei Karaganov, Chairman of the Russian Council on Defense and Foreign Policy, said that “In the course of the negotiations, Russia reached almost all of the objectives it could possibly set.””


I would add that Russia (together with China) continues to block genuine UN sanctions against North Korea, remains an ally of that country (as shown by Vladimir Putin, who shook hands with Kim Jong Il, and Sergei Lavrov, who paid tribute to Kim Il Sung), continues to build a nuclear reactor in Iran, and continues to sell modern weapons (including  SAM systems) to Iran, Venezuela and Syria.

And no claims of “a new era of warmer relations with Moscow” or “a true Russo-American partnership” can change these facts.

Sure, the Russians do speak nicely of Obama, do shake hands with him, do eat burgers with him, and do claim that there is “a new era of relations” – but that is because Obama has made (and plans to continue to make) unilateral concessions to them, so that they get all they want. The Russians WANT a softie like Obama to be President of the United States. But what they want is contrary to America’s interests. America needs a tough president who will not make any unilateral concessions, not a pacifist appeaser like Obama.

The Obama Administration has NOT made relations with Russia “warmer” or anyhow better. It has not convinced Russia to make ANY significant concessions. It has not convinced Russia to help the US with anything. It has not achieved an “unqualified foreign policy success”. It has not achieved any foreign policy success of any kind – neither with Russia nor with any other foreign country. Its entire foreign policy record is one of dismal failure.


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