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Off Message? Bill Clinton Slams Hillary’s Failed Russia Reset

- January 4, 2016

Today At A Campaign Rally, Bill Clinton Knocked Hillary's Russia Reset Policy, Conceding It Had Few Accomplishments And Went From "Our Attempt To Do Better" To "Estrangement." BILL CLINTON: "The only thing that has survived the estrangement of the United States and Russia from our attempt to do better is something called the New START Treaty, negotiated by Hillary's State Department, which makes us much safer from this prospect from an accidental or intentional nuclear exchange. In a dangerous world, I think that's a pretty good deal." (Bill Clinton, Remarks At A Hillary Clinton Campaign Rally, Nashua, NH, 1/4/16)

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CLINTON'S RESET POLICY "LIES IN TATTERS"

Clinton On The Russia Reset, June 2014: "I Thought It Was A Brilliant Stroke, Which In Retrospect Appears Even More So, Because Look At What We Accomplished." BBC HOST: "You famously pressed the reset button. Are you embarrassed by that now, that gesture?" HILLARY CLINTON: "No I thought it was a brilliant stroke, which in retrospect appears even more so, because look at what we accomplished." ( Interview With BBC, 6/13/14)

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In 2012, Then-Secretary Hillary Clinton Mocked Concerns Over The Russian Threat , Saying, "In Many Of The Areas Where We Are Working To Solve Problems, Russia Has Been An Ally. … So I Think It's Somewhat Dated To Be Looking Backwards …" HILLARY CLINTON: "Well, without getting into the political campaign, because that's for others to comment on, I think if you take a look at the world today, we have a lot of problems that are not leftovers from the past, but are of the moment. We've just been talking about one, namely Iran. And in many of the areas where we are working to solve problems, Russia has been an ally. They're in the P-5+1 talks with us, they have worked with us in Afghanistan and have been very helpful in the Northern Distribution Network and in other ways. So I think it's somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don't agree, but looking for ways to bridge the disagreements and then to maximize the cooperation." ( CNN Interview With Secretary Of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Istanbul, Turkey, 4/1/12)

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Clinton, March 2010: "Our Goal Is To Help Strengthen Russia." HILLARY CLINTON: "One of the fears that I hear from Russia is that somehow the United States wants Russia to be weak. That could not be farther from the truth. Our goal is to help strengthen Russia." ( Interview With Vladimir Pozner, 3/19/10)

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As Russia Continues To Flex Its Might On The World Stage, Clinton's Reset Policy "Lies In Tatters"

Clinton's Russia Reset Policy "Now Lies In Tatters." "But most experts agree that the policy now lies in tatters, with Russian President Vladimir Putin openly fueling anti-American sentiment at home and pursuing confrontational policies abroad, such as the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of its Crimea region." (Olivier Knox, "Russia 'Reset' Architect To Next President: Don't Try That Again," Yahoo, 5/27/15)

Just Days Ago, Putin Named The United States As A National Security Threat To Russia. "A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years. The document, 'About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation', was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO." (Vladimir Soldatkin, "Putin Names United States Among Threats In New Russian Security Strategy," Reuters, 1/2/16)

  • The New Designation Is "A Sign Of How Relations With The West Have Deteriorated In Recent Years." "A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years. The document, 'About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation', was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO." (Vladimir Soldatkin, "Putin Names United States Among Threats In New Russian Security Strategy," Reuters, 1/2/16)

Last Month, The U.S. "Sought To Tighten Economic Pressure On Russia For Its Intervention In Ukraine, Imposing Sanctions On Dozens Of Individuals And Companies It Said Were Circumventing American And International Restrictions." "The Obama administration on Tuesday sought to tighten economic pressure on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, imposing sanctions on dozens of individuals and companies it said were circumventing American and international restrictions." (Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "U.S. Imposes Sanctions Over Russia's Intervention In Ukriane," The New York Times, 12/22/15)

In Recent Months, Russia Has Stepped Up Its Opposition To The U.S. By Vowing To Counter NATO's U.S.-Led Missile Defense Program, Selling Missile Systems To Iran, And Attacking The Syrian Opposition Instead Of ISIS

In November, Putin Announced That "Russia Will Counter NATO's U.S.-Led Missile Defense Program By Deploying New Strike Weapons Capable Of Piercing The Shield." "Russia will counter NATO's U.S.-led missile defense program by deploying new strike weapons capable of piercing the shield, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. Putin told defense officials that by developing defenses against ballistic missiles Washington aims to 'neutralize' Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent and gain a 'decisive military superiority.'" (Vladimir Isachenkov, "Russia To Deploy New Weapons To Counter US Missile Shield," The Associated Press, 11/10/15)

Also In November, Russia Signed A Contract To Sell Iran S-300 Surface To Air Missiles Systems. "Russia and Iran have signed a contract for Moscow to supply Tehran with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, Sergei Chemezov, the chief executive of Russian state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec, was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying on Monday." ("Russia, Iran Have Signed Contract For Missile System Delivery: RIA," Reuters, 11/9/15)

  • "Israel And The US Fear The Missiles Could Be Used To Protect Iranian Nuclear Sites From Air Strikes." ("Russia To Provide Iran With S-300 Air Defence Missiles," BBC, 11/9/15)

In September, The Russian Military Launched A Bombing Attack In Syria Against Opposition Fighters, Not ISIS Targets. "Russian aircraft carried out a bombing attack against Syrian opposition fighters on Wednesday, including at least one group trained by the C.I.A., eliciting angry protests from American officials and plunging the complex sectarian war there into dangerous new territory." (Helene Cooper, Michael R. Gordon and Neil MacFarquhar, "Russians Strike Targets In Syria, But Not ISIS Areas," The New York Times, 9/30/15)

  • "Russia's Sudden Moves To Seize The Initiative In The Syria And Iraq Crises In Recent Weeks Have Stunned U.S. Officials And Laid Bare The Erosion Of Washington's Influence In The Region." (Matt Spetalnick and Phil Stewart, "Across Arc Of Conflict, 'Obama Doctrine' Shows Sign Of Failure," Reuters, 9/30/15)

Obama's Top Defense Officials Point To Russia As "The Greatest Threat" To The United States

Marine Corps Chief Lt. Gen. Robert Neller Pointed To Russia As Posing "The Greatest Threat" To The United States. JOE MANCHIN: "Sir, with that being said, I've asked this question to everyone who's come to this committee for their approval, and that would be, what do you assess as the greatest risk or threat the United States of America faces from another country?" LT. GEN. ROBERT NELLER: "If you are asking me about a country, Senator, who poses the greatest threat, I would say another nation-state, I would agree with General Dunford that Russia has the most increasing capable force, and their actions and the fact that they have strategic forces make them the greatest potential threat, although I don't think they want to fight us. Right now I don't think they want to kill Americans. I think violent extremists want to kill us. And their capability is not that great but their intent is high." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/23/15)

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Army Chief Of Staff Gen. Mark Milley: Russia Is The Greatest National Security Threat To The United States. JOE MANCHIN: "What do you consider the greatest threat the United States of America faces, national security, as far as the country?" GENERAL MARK MILLEY: "As a soldier, as a military officer, I'd have to say that it's Russia." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/21/15)

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Vice Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff Gen. Paul Selva: Russia Presents The Top Threat To The United States. GENERAL PAUL SELVA: "I would put the threats to this nation in the following order: Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, and all of the organization that have grown around the ideology that was articulated by al Qaeda early in the turn of the century." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/14/15)

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Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford: "Russia Presents The Greatest Threat To Our National Security." JOE MANCHIN: "And sir, I'm sure you've had the opportunity to form opinions on what our threats have been and what our threats are today. What would you consider the greatest threat to our national security?" GENERAL JOSEPH DUNFORD: "My assessment today is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/9/15)

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