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Rocky Reset

The US Senate condemns Russia’s “occupation” of Georgian territory; Prime Minister Putin calls the US an economic “parasite“, one of the Soviet Union’s ultimate terms of abuse. The US bans Russian officials from visiting the US over alleged human rights violations; Russia threatens the US with global opposition to its policies — especially over Iran.

So it goes with the shaky US-Russia reset.

A failed rapprochement with Russia would be yet another foreign policy similarity between the Obama and Carter administrations.  We really do not need more of these.

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  • WigWag

    Reset, what reset?

    If Obama wants a change in relations with the Russians (something that clearly would promote American interests) he needs to start wheeling and dealing. The problem is, that as we learned from his recent defeat by Congressional Republicans, negotiation isn’t his strong suit. I guess no one ever taught him how to do it in “community organizer school.”

    How about the United States trading something of value to the Russians in return for something of value to us? The United States could easily afford to stick its nose out of Ukraine and Georgia in return for more cooperation from Russia on Iran and the Middle East.

    We also have a chit to trade in the Balkans; we could reverse our mistake of recognizing Kosovo and stop siding with Islamic and Roman Catholic constituencies in Bosnia to the detriment of Republika Srpska. Is there any doubt that this would be strategically as well as emotionally appealing to the Russians?

    Our iron clad support for former Warsaw Pact nations should be beyond question; our interference in the affairs of the former Soviet Republics (with the possible exception of the Baltic States) should be a chit we are willing to trade in return for something of value to us. The same thing is true in the Balkans where we have no interests at stake and where the contestants we are allying ourselves with are every bit as dubious as the contestants we oppose.

    If we want the Russians to stop poking a stick in our eye we need to stop poking a stick in theirs.

    I am no “realist” but nor do I think that there is any doubt that both the neoconservatives and the liberal internationalists are so nostalgic for the bad old days of the Cold War that they can’t stop conceiving of the Russians as enemies and they are blind to the real benefits to us of reaching and understanding with our former Cold War adversary.

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