July 8, 2009

FORGET THEM, DON'T RESET THEM:

U.S.-Russian Summit Ends With Mixed Results (JONATHAN WEISMAN, GREGORY L. WHITE and ALAN CULLISON, 7/08/09, WSJ)

Following some tough talk before his trip, Mr. Obama's visit to Moscow is likely to fuel criticism from some in the U.S. who see the "reset" he has proposed for relations with Russia as a series of concessions by Washington.

Whether Mr. Obama will profit from his efforts to make Russia a stronger ally depends in part on the magnanimity of Moscow, which has been skeptical of his administration. With a tight lock over all the major television channels, the Kremlin has in recent years relied on a steady anti-American message to stoke national pride and shore up its control in the country.

Cordial talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday were followed on Tuesday by what appears to have been a much tougher working breakfast with Mr. Putin, in which both sides stood their ground. [...]

Russian officials said Mr. Putin did most of the talking.


This is one of those areas where the shallowness of the UR's thought and his lack of any strategic vision matters. Realistically, there are only three facts about Russia that matter: demographically, it's dying; geographically, it's located near several regimes we are at de facto war with; and, militarily, it has nukes. Add these three factors together and you realize that its usefulness to us is basically limited to the threat it poses to mutual enemies it might take with it in a sort of murder/suicide pact. Note that it really makes no difference whatsoever what kind of relationship we have with them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 8, 2009 6:46 AM
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