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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 8, 2013 - 6:53 am

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) may have launched a minor protest by refusing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but needs to follow up with a tougher action such as refusing to slash our nuclear arsenal on the hope that Putin will do the same.

“It would be nice if Russia and the United States would be friendly rivals. But this relationship, because of weakness, because of the president’s policy of leading from behind where we don’t have the respect of Russia — and quite honestly, most countries in the world. This has been an utter failure and we need to recognize this and we need to move forward with something far more significant than just not meeting with President Putin. We have to start, for example, let’s not make sure we don’t reduce unilaterally our nuclear arsenal by a third,” Johnson said last night on Fox.

“There are a number of things that we need to start showing more strength in this world. We need to start leading America.”

President Obama used his speech before the Brandenburg Gate in June to tout further planned reductions to the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

“This is the latest in a series of concrete steps the President has made to advance his Prague agenda and the long-term goal of achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the White House said in a fact sheet. “…The guidance narrows U.S. nuclear strategy to focus on only those objectives and missions that are necessary for deterrence in the 21st century. In so doing, the guidance takes further steps toward reducing the role of nuclear weapons in our security strategy.”

The senator noted that Obama launched his first term with an “apology tour,” bent on “looking for the love of the world when what we need is respect.”

“We need to show strength. We need to show that we are the world’s super power, we are the world’s leader. Then Russia would start respecting us. So what we need to start doing now is we need to start encouraging NATO expansion. We need to beef up our missile defense,” Johnson continued.

“We have to recognize that Russia is not a friendly rival. They’re moving toward a posture of a hostile rival. We need to recognize that reality. That is the first thing that you have to do in developing a strategy, you have to recognize reality. I’m afraid this administration is not recognizing that reality.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said “it’s hard for us to hold our place in the world if we let [Putin] continue.”

“When you negotiate with someone like Putin, who is former KGB, you want to have a strong hand and you want to be the dominant personality. Those two things are very important. It they neither fear you nor respect you, it is going to be hard to talk them into letting Snowden come back into the United States in our custody. And that’s something you build for a long period of time,” King said.

“Putin looks into the eyes of Barack Obama, if he would understand, if there was a strong personality there, a strong leader and someone that was willing to put out a strategy, Putin would react to that. Instead, he’s pushing back on the United States. I see the hand that he is playing.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.