There’s a tendency to emphasize the obvious when critiquing President Obama’s foreign policy. Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons continues unchecked. The Israelis and Palestinians are no closer to finding a solution that would ensure Israel’s security and establish a functional, responsible Palestinian state. Meanwhile, a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq has unleashed sectarian tensions, perhaps bringing into question Iraq’s viability as a unified state, and creating the conditions for an expansion of Iranian influence.
But Obama’s Russia policy — the so-called “reset” — has gone largely unnoted. This is especially surprising given that the administration advertises the Russian reset as one of its principal foreign-policy triumphs. Most casual observers don’t seem to be aware that if the president were asked to rank his achievements in the realm of foreign relations, he would probably list an “improvement” in U.S.–Russia relations behind only Osama bin Laden’s death and perhaps the jumbled Libya operation.
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