Feature

So much for the Russian ‘reset’

In his first term, the president fell all over himself trying to build new bridges to Vladimir Putin’s autocratic regime.

Peter WehnerCommentaryMagazine.com

“Barack Obama’s ‘reset’ with Russia is really going well, don’t you think?” said Peter Wehner. In his first term, the president fell all over himself trying to build new bridges to Vladimir Putin’s autocratic regime, scrapping a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic that upset the Russians. The U.S. and Russia, Obama explained, would “reset” their relationship, creating “a win-win” for both nations. Putin’s response to these overtures? Nothing but contempt. Russia this week thumbed its nose at the U.S. government’s demand that it hand over Edward Snowden, who fled to Moscow after being charged with leaking U.S. intelligence secrets. In Syria, Putin continues to defy the West by funneling aid and weapons to the Assad regime; at the G-8 meeting last week, a scowling Putin mocked Obama’s plan to send arms to the Syrian rebels. Putin also remains supportive of the Iranian regime, defying the West’s efforts to curtail its nuclear ambitions. At home, Putin has presided over intense suppression of his political enemies, jailing those who dare to defy him. All told, the Obama “reset” has been a total failure. Putin “is cleaning Obama’s clock.”

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