Erik at No Pasaran talks about a John Vinocur article in the NYT:

When Russia issues a reminder that it wants to buy an advanced, helicopter-carrying warship from France that’s built for amphibious assaults — hello all you folks along the Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas — then it’s pressing deeper its own reset button on altered relations with the United States and NATO.

Read the whole thing.

It’s my belief that when Hillary Clinton announced use of the “reset button”, and when Obama announced the end of plans to build ABM sites in Europe, they really did imagine that they were ushering in a new era of international chumship, in which all parties could desist from the difficult and expensive business of jockeying for dominance and concentrate on feeding the sick, housing the hungry, and curing the homeless.

It didn’t work out that way, and cannot work that way, because there are many, many people out there who consider their positions in the world lower than they deserve, and are ready and willing to take advantage of perceived (and real) weaknesses in the United States’ foreign policy to advance their own cause. Many of them are calmly prepared to bury the sick and ignore the hungry and homeless in order to gather the resources for their self-aggrandizement, and a few of them are not merely ready, but avid, to try themselves against American power, in the belief that whether or not American power can stand against them, it won’t be used for that purpose.

For valid and gripping historical reasons, Russia will, for the foreseeable future, see any power outside themselves as a threat against the rodina, the homeland. That predilection got bound up in the ideology of the USSR, and a lot of people, left and right, assumed that when the USSR went away so did the paranoia. It did not. It preceded the USSR, it preceded the Czars; it goes all the way back to Attila the Hun. It isn’t going away in the lifetime of anyone here, and it will always impel a Russian leader — whatever his or her ideology — to always seek expansion of Russia’s area of control.

An American not at least dimly aware of that has no business being employed by the State Department, let alone appointed its Secretary.