Good New York Times article today about the difficulties in the “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.
People may have thought it just like getting back on a bicycle, but it isn’t.
There are too many grievances over the last 20 years – or is it 80 years – between the U.S. and Russia to make buddy-buddy easily again.
Most experts thought that the New START nuclear reductions treaty negotiations would go rapidly and smoothly.
Unfortunately, not so.
The most important deadline was the December 5, 2009 expiration of the START I agreement, and the two countries breezed past that three-month-old deadline.
The U.S. nurses grievances over Russian trade with Iran and Moscow’s harsh response in last year’s Russia vs. Georgia conflict. And their crackdown on dissidents.
The Russians nurse grievances about how we treated the former Soviet Union when it was down (before petro-dollars shot up) and our persistence in placing missile defense in former Soviet dependencies. And our tendency to tell them how to run their country.
Both countries could probably extend their list of grievances as long as their arms (either connected to their bodies or their weapons).
We have heard predictions that the New START agreement is 95% done and will be concluded in a matter of weeks.
But we have heard those predictions before.
The new treaty will be worth the wait and will be positive for American national security and yes, even for improved U.S.-Russian relations, but it has been a wait.
The Times article suggests: “The American officials said the answer might be persistence and patience,” and they are correct.
Persistence. Patience. Say in over and over again.