How’s that Russia “reset” going? Not so well, as the news this week shows. In addition to blocking tougher sanctions on Iran for its illicit nuclear weapons activities after a damaging report by the U.N.’s watchdog, Russia is “studying” building more reactors at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.
Recently, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R–OH) blasted the Administration’s “reset” policy with Russia, saying: “Over the last two and a half years,” Russia “has been the beneficiary of American outreach and engagement. [Yet it] has continued to expand its physical, political, and economic presence…under the guise of…a ‘sphere of influence.’”
The reset strategy needs, as Boehner put it, to be reset. Despite years of “engagement” and outreach to Russia—and sacrificing key missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic to appease Moscow’s angst—Russia has given the Administration little help in ending Iran’s nuclear program.
Heritage’s Kim Holmes says President Obama’s reset policy is failing because it is based on false premises.
For example, Russia’s leaders do not share America’s worldview. To Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, every American gain in the international realm is a potential Russian loss. It should surprise no one that Russia is using any potential conflict, such as Iran’s nuclear program, to extort disproportionate concessions from the U.S.—as it did in the New START agreement that lets Russia build and deploy more missiles.
President Obama’s reset policy has actually made Russia’s adversarial policies quite profitable for its leaders. It is time for the Administration to tell the truth about Russia and its leaders.
Emil Maine is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm