In a recent interview with the CNN (Clinton News Network), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once again lied to defend her totally failed, treasonous, immoral policy of “reset” with Russia that she implemented during her tenure from 2009 to 2013.
That policy of appeasement towards Moscow was a one-way street of unilateral American concessions for which the US got absolutely nothing in return. Moscow simply pocketed those concessions and gave nothing in return. This idiotic policy only emboldened Russia and led it (quite rightly) to believe that it could do anything it wanted to and not suffer any meaningful consequences.
This is what led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its illegal annexation of the Crimea, its creation of a fictional “separatist” movement in eastern Ukraine, and its spetsnaz troops’ shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
So let us recount how the Obama-Clinton “reset” policy has always been an utter failure and a disaster for US national interest:
1) The New START treaty: Celebrated by the Obama administration and the entire Left as the crowning achievement of the “reset”, it is actually its most disastrous and shameful failure. This treasonous treaty requires ONLY the US to cut its deployed nuclear arsenal by an entire third, from the 2,200 warheads allowed by the 2002 Moscow Treaty to just 1,550 warheads, while Russia is allowed to (and has taken many steps to) increase its own arsenal. Today, Russia has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads, of which 1,500 are deployed and another 50 will be deployed. Russia also wields a huge arsenal of delivery systems: 434 ICBMs, 13 ballistic missile submarines, and 251 strategic bombers (171 of which are not even counted under New START treaty rules). As Russia adds more missiles able to carry more warheads (e.g. RS-24 Yars missiles to replace single-warhead Topol missiles), its deliverable nuclear arsenal will only increase significantly.
2) Iran: Russia has agreed only to minimal, symbolic sanctions against Tehran, and has fiercely opposed, and repeatedly vetoed, anything more than the weakest sanctions against Iran. It has also completed the construction of Iran’s first nuclear reactor, is now building the second, and has continued supplying tons of nuclear fuel to Iran. It has also pledged to deliver state-of-the-art S-300 air defense systems to Iran (and Syria). Contrary to the popular myth, Russia has NOT cancelled the delivery of those systems.
3) Syria: When a popular uprising broke out against Syrian dictator (and Hezbollah supporter) Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran, he immediately began to attempt to quell this uprising by brute force. And Russia has continually supported him with weapons and diplomatic protection from the start. Even during the supposedly halcyon Medvedev years, it vetoed draft UNSC resolutions aimed at punishing Assad.
4) America’s European allies: Throughout the entire Medvedev years, Russia continued to threaten America’s European allies with nuclear weapons and missiles, especially those who have agreed to host elements of America’s missile defense system – in response to which Russia continued, and continues, to threaten nuclear mayhem and withdrawal from the (useless) New START treaty.
5) The INF Treaty: It was during the supposedly halcyon Medvedev years that Russia began developing and fielding intermediate range missiles (such as the R-500, the Iskander-M, and intermediate range “air defense” missiles) that violate the INF treaty. The Clinton State Department did NOTHING to counter this obvious violation. To this day, the Obama Administration is doing nothing.
6) Missile Defense: Despite cancelling President Bush’s plan to build missile defense installations (intended to protect the US, not Europe) in Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama and Hillary got NOTHING in return from the Kremlin. NOTHING. No concession whatsoever.
7) Bombers Flying Into US Airspace: As early as April and May 2012, when Medvedev was still in office, the Russians began flying nuclear-armed bombers close to and sometimes into US airspace – and said they were “practicing attacking the enemy.” They have also repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers into Japanese and even into Swedish (neutral) airspace.
So for the entire Clinton period, and beyond, the Obama-Clinton “reset” (read: appeasement) policy has been an utter, disastrous failure. America has not benefitted AT ALL from this idiotic policy. It has not produced ANY benefits to the US whatsoever.
Hillary falsely claims that the reset “worked” when Dmitry Medvedev was president, thus implying that during those 4 years (2008-2012), Vladimir Putin was somehow out of power.
But they are dead wrong. The Obama-Clinton “reset” policy NEVER worked, even when Dmitry Medvedev (who was just a puppet of Vladimir Putin’s) was President.
That’s because Putin, throughout the whole time, was the man really in power, while Medvedev was never anything more than a figurehead. In that respect, Russia was, in those years, similar to the China of the 1980s: Deng Xiaoping was really in power, content with “only” the post of Chairman of the CMC, while other politicians held the posts of President, Premier, and CPC General Secretary. But – as with Putin – Deng was really “the power behind the throne.”
Only a fool could have ever thought that Putin had relinquished power for four entire years to Medvedev, and that Medvedev was ever anything more than a figurehead.
Therefore, the reset’s defenders are dead wrong: the reset was ALWAYS a failure, even during the Medvedev years. Which is not surprising given that, as stated earlier, Vladimir Putin was always in power before, during, and after the Medvedev years, and still is.
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, we have the Republican Party, which has been critical of the “reset”, and of Russia, for some time (though not strongly enough, with the noble exception of Mitt Romney).
If that party wants to defeat Hillary Clinton, it will have to dispel the myth that the “reset” and the New START treaty were a “success”, and attack Clinton at her weakest point: her foreign policy, especially towards Russia. The “reset” has been exposed for what it is – a total, abysmal failure – and that failure should be mercilessly exploited by the GOP if it wants to have any chance of winning the White House.
The political environment for doing so is more favorable than ever; a vast majority of Americans hold a negative view of Russia and hold it responsible for the shootdown of Flight 17. 55% of Americans view Vladimir Putin very unfavorably. They demand tougher action, including stronger sanctions, against Moscow. They also demand that defense cuts be stopped – 62% of Americans believe that US defense spending is either “too low” or “sufficient”, as opposed to only 35% who believe it is “too high.”
The political environment for taking tough action against Russia is now more favorable than ever. And the “reset” has been such an abysmal failure that it’s a huge liability for Hillary. Therefore, Republicans need to exploit it mercilessly if they want to beat Hillary in 2016.
As Sun Tzu and other ancient Chinese strategists, including the author of the Thirty Six Stratagems, advised, one should always attack an opponent’s weaknesses – especially those that the opponent doesn’t think will be attacked – and not his strengths.
If Republicans want to defeat Hillary Clinton, they’ll have to publicly debunk her fiction of “the reset worked well”, name her as one of those responsible for the shootdown of the Malaysian airliner, and in general, attack her biggest weakness: foreign policy.
For another superb article on the utter failure of the Obama-Clinton reset policy, see Charles Krauthammer’s excellent column.
UPDATE: John McCormack weighs in.