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Department of Peace for Our Time

And yet, there it is -- a report that the State Department hopes to woo Russia by answering the Kremlin's insults and power-and-influence grabs with an invitation to come on in and set up GPS monitor stations for Roscosmos on U.S. soil; never mind the worries of the CIA and Defense Department. I'm not questioning the reporting in this article; in context there is every reason to believe that the reporters are accurately providing information about State Department policy. It's the policy itself that makes no sense, at least not if the aim here is to protect U.S. interests and national security.

But there's a lot going on right now that in terms of actually protecting the U.S. makes zero sense. The endless, amnesiac and oh so flexible "reset" with Russia is consistent with the State Department's zeal, and for that matter, the president's, to ensure that no new sanctions are imposed on Iran, lest any flexing of U.S. muscle might wreck the chances for a nuclear deal at the talks now scheduled to resume Nov. 20 in Geneva. Call it pre-existing appeasement. Nor are these independent matters. In Tehran, in Beijing, in Pyongyang and beyond, policy and military elites are reading that article in the New York Times, and drawing their own conclusions about just how thoroughly the U.S. administration will prostrate itself to appease despotic regimes that deride, oppose and threaten America and its allies. This is a policy far removed from the ways of the real world, in which, 26 years ago, to spectacular effect in the cause of peace, President Reagan went to West Berlin and commanded Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev: "Tear down this wall." Instead, buying deals for our diplomats today at the cost of proliferating threats tomorrow, we are tripping step by step down the trail of "Peace for our time."