The Obama administration is either unable or unwilling to see that the Russian government does not share America’s values or interests. Bad policies like the New START treaty and other elements of the Russian “reset” are allowing this expansionist regime to bully America’s allies and weaken our ability to ensure our own long-term safety. Continue Reading »
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will speak at The Heritage Foundation today for an important discussion about the Obama administration’s “reset” policy towards Russia and the risks it poses for America.
His remarks are part of a day-long conference on U.S.-Russian relations that features Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov and other policy experts.
In 2009, the Obama administration announced a “reset” of relations with Russia. Coming shortly after the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, which brought U.S.-Russian relations to a post-Cold War low, the “reset” has become a centerpiece of American foreign policy. Its thinking was embodied in the negotiation and ratification of the New START Treaty in 2010, as well as in U.S. hopes that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would be the face of a new, modernizing and friendly Russia.
In June 2010, President Obama, after lunching on burgers and fries in D.C. with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, announced that the pair has “succeeded in resetting” U.S.-Russian relations. Yet in the run-up to this summit, the administration made quite a few concessions to Moscow, such as canceling an agreement with Poland to deploy a missile defense against Iranian attack; restarting a terminated 123 civilian nuclear deal and delinking it from Russia’s aggression in Georgia, and codifying a lopsided nuclear arms deal (New START) under which America must reduce its nuclear arsenal while Russia can stand pat and even upgrade their weaponry. It seemed as though vital national interests were being compromised in the rush to reset.
With Vladimir Putin looking to return to the Russian presidency in 2012, there are serious doubts a “reset” policy will occur. As such, American foreign policy must reflect American interests as well as the values that shape those interests of limited government, the rule of law, human rights, economic freedom, democratic politics, and the sovereignty of democratic nation-states.
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In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece earlier this month, Heritage Foundation scholar Ed Meese joined Richard Perle, his colleague in the Reagan White House, to dissuade President Obama of the notion that former President Reagan would have supported the New START treaty.
Today on the Senate floor, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) quoted Meese and Perle: “But New Start has a very weak verification regime, one that establishes a dangerous precedent and lowers our standards for verification.”
Heritage has been researching the New START agreement in depth. Read more on Heritage.org, including analysis and media appearances by Heritage experts.
Yesterday, 66 Senators agreed to move towards a vote on the New START agreement with Russia. Now, one could argue that ratification is in the bag at this point. But Heritage’s Conn Carroll points out that there two major questions remain unanswered: where are the negotiating documents and when will we be allowed to see them?
These documents are crucial to our understanding of the treaty. And our leaders are actually considering ratifying the Treaty without them? This is irresponsible, Carroll argues. We need to know what concessions were made to the Russians and why.
All along, the White House has claimed that New START will not limit our ability to defend against ballistic missile attack. Then why did Russians insist on inserting language limiting our missile defenses?
These are questions we need answers to. After all, as Heritage foreign policy expert Steven Groves notes, “American foreign policy must ultimately be controlled by the American people.” This is how the Founding Fathers intended it, and how it is written into our Constitution.
As it stands, Carroll explains, the New START Treaty is one “no true conservative could support.”
On a recent show, Rush Limbaugh cited The Heritage Foundation’s work to expose the dangers of the new START Treaty.
“I don’t need to tell you–because I have–that Heritage is all over this. You already know that,” he said. “But I want to share this with you because it’s a perfect example of the kind of work that Heritage does on our behalf, on behalf of the United States.”
This evening in the 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Distinguished Fellow Ed Meese will discuss why any deal made to pass a two-year extension on tax relief in exchange for passing the START treaty would be a stab in the back of U.S. national security. Look for a pre-taped interview with Senior White House Correspondent Mike Emanuel.
Then at 7:20 p.m. on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” Director of Government Relations Brian Darling will discuss the Obama tax hikes and also why a deal on START would be so damaging for U.S. security.
Would President Reagan support the New START? President Obama, in a recent broadcasting campaign, has been arguing that he would. However, Edwin Meese and Richard Perle, two former Reagan staffers, in a piece found on the subscription only page of the Wall Street Journal, beg to differ.
The main reason Reagan would have objected to this treaty is that it may well undermine his dream that our country might one day be shielded by a missile defense system from nuclear attack. On this issue, Presidents Obama and Reagan are diametrically opposed.
Well, it looks like Washington is back at it. Reports of new backroom deal-making – the same practices that America so vocally denounced earlier this November – have the media in a tizzy.
So what’s being gambled this time? Only our national security.
The White House is trying to strike a deal with Senate Republicans: the Democrats will agree to extend the Bush tax cuts if Republicans agree to ratify the New START treaty.
But Heritage’s Conn Carroll points out that this should not and cannot be an either/or negotiation. He writes:
National security is one of the primary responsibilities of the United States Congress. It is right there in the Preamble to the United States Constitution…New START either is, or is not, good for national security (we think it’s not). Senators should vote on the merits of New START by itself. It is absolutely shameful that any Senator from any party would use New START as a bargaining chip on tax policy. We hope that reports of any taxes-for-New START deal are wildly inaccurate.
The Republicans’ continued efforts to extend the Bush tax cuts to all income brackets is admirable. Allowing the tax cuts to expire would have detrimental economic and fiscal side effects, as Heritage research shows. But bartering our national security to achieve this end is the height of irresponsibility.
The “reset button” needs to be reset again.
At the end of World War II, the United States assumed a strong stance toward Russia. The U.S. ambassador declared to Russia that: “We are fully conscious of our own strength.” It would be misinterpreting the character of the United States to assume that because we are basically peaceful … [we are] weak, unwilling to face our responsibilities.”
Compare this strong U.S. policy to the current one of weakness. James Carafano declares that Obama’s weak policies have resulted in the problematic START Treaty. “The treaty gives Moscow everything it wants,” reports the Heritage defense expert. “Meanwhile, Obama got nothing but liabilities. The treaty is a deliberate act of American self-weakening.”
Senate leaders hope to use the lame-duck session to push through ratification of the New START treaty that President Obama signed with Russia.
Heritage Foundation national security expert James Carafano has analyzed this treaty and in the Daily Caller outlines ten reasons why this new treaty is detrimental to the United States:
10. An out-moded, unreliable nuclear arsenal is no deterrent;
9. Making Russia a more dominant nuclear power is bad strategy;
8. Reagan would have hated New START; Continue Reading »
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