Foreign policy reset equals game over
President Barack Obama recently traveled to Russia in hopes of advancing his foreign policy in the former USSR.
From the outset, Obama has made his goals clear. He wishes to ‘reset’ relations between the U.S. and our Cold War era opponent.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a symbolic red button that was supposed to read reset, but was mistakenly labeled ‘overcharge.’ This anecdote serves as an example of the ineptitude of the administration’s foreign policy aims.
The primary problem with Obama’s reset policy is the false assertion that our country’s relationship with Russia was harmed by George W. Bush’s administration. This is simply an extension of Obama’s election strategy.
It is not surprising that Obama claims Bush harmed this relationship. According to the commander in chief, his predecessor negatively affected every aspect of foreign policy, including our relationship with Russia and essentially every other country in the world.
By basing his policies with Russia on this faulty ‘blame-Bush’ premise, Obama’s strategy may accomplish the opposite.
In another classic move toward the appeasement of tyrants, Obama made news by signing an agreement with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in which both countries agreed to cut their nuclear stockpiles by at least one third.
A stipulation that the U.S. would abandon our allies Poland and Ukraine, and cancel plans to build a missile defense system in these former satellites of Mother Russia was included in the agreement. This is a show of weakness on the part of our president.
On paper, any nuclear weapons drawdown sounds like a good idea, but one must consider the parties involved. Russia is currently aiding Iran, a rogue nation led by a madman on a quest to obtain a bomb, despite protests from the international community. Clearly, double-dealing Russians cannot be trusted to carry out their end of this disarmament agreement.
Even more troublesome is the precedent set by Obama’s scrapping of the missile defense systems. This sets a model in which Russia controls the fate of the smaller countries around it, eerily similar to the situatin during the Cold War.
In the 1980s, former President Ronald Reagan defeated communist Russia with his policies of peace through strength and trust. Obama has inverted Reagan’s winning strategies and reset our nation’s approach to Russia and other dubious nations to peace through appeasement and trust without just cause.
By resetting our Russian policy to one of weakness, Obama has created a fertile ground for the Russian government, led in reality by Vladimir Putin, to return to its Cold War era standing as the bully of the Balkans.
Timothy Mathis is a history junior and may be reached at [email protected]