Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Limits of Reset

I'm not sure why Romney is getting hammered for a somewhat recent statement to the effect that Russia is our primary foe.

Reset notwithstanding, Russia is no friend.

And don't forget that Russia remains the only country that has the nuclear arsenal to destroy us. Russia is also the only country to invade one of our friends in the last several years (Georgia, which has troops in Afghanistan with us, in 2008. LATER NOTE: I should have written "in Iraq" at that time). Russia also sold China lots of weapons that allowed China's growing military power to be more effective at sea and in the air. And Russia continues to run interference for Iran and Syria.

And the Russians sure like to claim we are out to get them--as if we think about them more than now and then in a world crowded with threats. If they believe we are their primary threat, we should at least respect them enough to ponder that possibility.

But because of Russia's conventional military weakness, I don't consider them much of a military threat to us or our allies. But they are actively causing us problems. And there are all those nukes, which mean that while it is tempting to just think of Russia as an annoying pest nipping at our heels we need to give them a thought now and then.

Would I count Russia as more of a primary foe than China or Islamo-fascism? No. But it isn't without some basis for argument. Unless you seriously want to claim that our Russia relations are truly reset.