The Corner

Obama, Russia’s Trap, and the Iranian Precedent

Is President Obama — by trusting Russian president Dmitry Medvedev when Vladimir Putin is really calling the shots — repeating the mistakes that President Clinton made in the late 1990s? Impressed by the soft rhetoric of Mohammad Khatami, Clinton took his eye off the ball as the real powers, Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, pushed full steam ahead on Iran’s nukes. As the Senate considers the START treaty for ratification, are we embracing reality or Russian smoke-and-mirrors? My wife (a Russia analyst) and I approach many issues from different points of view, but here we found our worries similar.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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