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Why the Russians Can’t Be Trusted in Syria

September 20, 2013


Via Free Republic

For more than four years, the Obama administration has capitulated to Mr. Putin’s demands and accepted his rebukes.

It began with the New START treaty on arms control signed in April 2010. U.S. negotiators limited our missile defense deployments, reduced our delivery systems and hampered our ability to monitor Russian missile production plants. In return, Russia gave up little to nothing of value: The U.S., for example, allowed limits on missile delivery vehicles requiring us to make unilateral reductions, as Russia was already well below the limits.

Later, in March 2012, a microphone accidentally picked up President Obama telling Dmitry Medvedev that following his re-election he would have “more flexibility” to grant the Russians further concessions on missile defense. Mr. Medvedev memorably replied: “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Russia’s actions in Syria are not the only reasons to distrust Mr. Putin. Moscow has opposed attempts by the U.N. in November 2011 to increase sanctions against Iran for its illicit nuclear program. The Russians voted against a December 2011 resolution that expressed only tepid concerns about repression in North Korea. And Russia continues to refuse to extradite the fugitive Edward Snowden, who stole U.S. national-security secrets.

Meanwhile, the human-rights situation in Russia continues to deteriorate. The country is consistently ranked among the world’s most corrupt and least free.

Moscow is not even complying with a commitment to eliminate its own chemical weapons. A State Department assessment in January reported that Russia has provided an “incomplete” list of its chemical agents and weapons to be destroyed. It has also missed deadlines to convert former chemical-weapon production plants. Why would we expect Moscow to help enforce similar restrictions against Syria?

(Excerpt)


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