January 11, 2016

Clinton Admits Her Failed Russian Reset Left Europe With No “Backbone”

Since Secretary Clinton left the State Department, she has struggled to name a crowning achievement from her four years there. But one of her biggest failures is unquestionably the “Russian Reset,” which saw the United States, led by Clinton, attempt to ease tensions with the old Cold War foe.

Buying Russia’s spin, President Obama and Secretary Clinton believed Russia was no longer ruled by Vladimir Putin but instead by then-President Dmitry Medvedev. Clinton launched a “Russian Reset” campaign, including a botched PR stunt with a literal reset button, and began referring to Russia as an “ally”:

That critical error in judgment gave Russia the space it needed to turn itself into what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, described in 2015 as “the greatest threat to our national security.

Now, running for president, Clinton is eager to talk up her foreign policy bona fides. During an interview with the Boston Globe editorial board, Clinton said she believed the United States needed to help nations like Ukraine, who have lost territory to an increasingly aggressive Russia:

On foreign policy, Clinton said she wants to see the United States doing more to help the Ukrainian government fend off additional territorial incursions from the Russians. “We need to help them defend the borders they now have,” she said.

Make no mistake, this is a tacit admission of failure. Clinton got it wrong on Russia, plain and simple. Her tough talk today is no replacement for the failed leadership and judgment she displayed when it mattered most.

While Clinton touts her experience as Secretary of State on the campaign trail as a resume asset, this example – one she brought up on her own accord – shows why that asset is actually a liability for Clinton.