Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

At the outset of your presidency, you declared a “reset” of the relationship between the United States and Russia. Among other things, you abandoned the Eastern Europe missile-defense shield in return for Russia pressuring Iran to discontinue its nuclear program. You also promoted and signed the New START Treaty — ratified by a lame-duck Senate — that limits U.S. strategic nuclear warheads but preserves an estimated 8-to-1 Russian advantage in shorter-range nukes. Meanwhile, Russia continues to assist Iran’s nuclear program, including the construction and operation of the Bushehr nuclear plant opposed by the U.S. because it can produce weapons-grade plutonium.

A few days ago Russian president Dimitry Medvedev told the Financial Times, “I would like Barack Obama to be re-elected president of the United States maybe more than someone else.” Medvedev also said, “If another person becomes U.S. president, then we may have another course.”

What specific benefits has the U.S. gained from your “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations?

What specific compromises or concessions has Russia made that it would not have but for the “reset?”

What, if any, steps have you taken to neutralize Russia’s overwhelming tactical nuke superiority?

Has President Medvedev told you why he prefers you as president to someone else? If so, what did he say?

Has Vladimir Putin given you any indication what he thinks of the “reset?” Does he like you, too?

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