Globalization: The Victor Bout Case & Hillary’s Global Foreign Policy

Black & white portrait photograph of Hillary R...

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Blog Note: So OK, DC has Bout that could embarrassed Russia. But Russia also has  Hillary’s foreign police in its hand and Hillary needs to play ball with Russia. Bout will probably get a “Soft Touch” if Hillary gets her way. The problem is the US national security apparatus, while winning some crucial battles against the ACLU-obviously, thing are teetering-and Bout is the solution to their problems-meaning the US intelligence apparatus needs to “Hype” up the Bout case and indirectly down-play Hillary’s global objective.

Well it is already happening. The US intelligence and military has already leaked information (propaganda?) to the press that Victor does not care who he sells arms to is not exactly right, because: “Victor prefers the weapons kill American.”

Obviously, Hillary has some “Whacking” the heads of some  “Hot Heads” in DC to do-or is it called some critical re-balancing.

And obviously, the GOP doing so well, the always into the GOP of the US national security thinking-well what do you expect from the Senate-where the only left leaning Foreign Relations Committee member is gone.

Thai Intel’s suggestion to Hillary is to smack the Senate in the head that the last thing the US national security needs is a Russia and China as a herd-core alliance-against a stupid US Senate.

The Following is from the NYT:

WASHINGTON — When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked out of a gilded room in the Capitol on Wednesday, after a breakfast with lawmakers, she said she was tickled to be back in familiar surroundings.

But the occasion was anything but festive. Mrs. Clinton was on a mission to save one of President Obama’s few foreign policy victories: an arms-control treaty with Russia suddenly jeopardized by the refusal of a single Republican to allow a vote on the pact in the Senate this year.

It is a role Mrs. Clinton expects to play frequently in coming months, as the White House girds for a more hostile Congress bent on challenging or even blocking the Obama administration’s foreign policy agenda, whether arms control, the Middle East peace process, the war in Afghanistan or the tentative outreach to Cuba.

“There will be differences about the best way to proceed,” she said in an interview. “I do hope that the new Congress respects the time-honored tradition of leaving politics at the water’s edge.”

With eight years in the Senate, half in the minority, and a reputation for getting along with Republicans, Mrs. Clinton is well equipped to be an emissary to Congress, several administration officials said. But the blow to the so-called New Start treaty — despite two dozen meetings and phone calls by Mrs. Clinton — shows that her skills may not be enough in this combative political environment.

Mrs. Clinton told Senate and House leaders on Wednesday that the administration was determined to get New Start approved, despite the surprise announcement Tuesday by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican point man on the issue, that he could not foresee a vote in the lame-duck session.

She said she planned to contact Mr. Kyl in coming days.

“I understand the concerns my former colleagues have about this treaty,” Mrs. Clinton said. “There’s a lot more outreach that needs to be done.”

She has already lobbied Mr. Kyl twice, once in person and once by phone, teaming with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. And it is not clear what else the White House can do to cajole him.

The administration has pledged an additional $4.1 billion to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons complex, on top of an existing $80 billion over 10 years. Mr. Kyl had sought the financing in return for not blocking the treaty, which reduces nuclear stockpiles in the United States and Russia.

The senator ducked at least one opportunity to hear from Mrs. Clinton: he was a no-show at the breakfast, which drew Arizona’s other Republican senator, John McCain, and Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Both men spoke in favor of New Start.

“We’ve all been schooled on what unanimous consent means in the Senate, and it’s been a painful lesson,” said Ellen O. Tauscher, the under secretary of state for arms control who was a seven-term representative from Northern California.

Ms. Tauscher said that Mrs. Clinton, as a former elected official, had an inherent advantage in lobbying members of Congress. Her relationships, particularly with influential Republicans like Mr. McCain, are deep and genuine, and she has distanced herself from partisan battles in her nearly two years at the State Department.

“Even in the last 20 months, when we were in the majority, I reached out to Republicans all the time,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Certainly, she has lavished attention on former colleagues in both parties, calling to congratulate them on election victories, inviting them on trips and having lunches and dinners for them.

She phoned Representative John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, to congratulate him on his presumptive ascension to House speaker and Representative Mark Steven Kirk after his election as a Republican senator from Illinois. Each new member of Congress will receive a welcome kit from her office, with a letter from Mrs. Clinton and a copy of a new National Geographic documentary about her diplomacy.

Of course, having held elective office is not a prerequisite for a secretary of state to be an effective lobbyist. James A. Baker III, the first President George Bush’s secretary of state, was a skilled operator on Capitol Hill, despite having no previous experience there.

Mrs. Clinton also has help from Mr. Biden, a 36-year Senate veteran who still works his former colleagues assiduously, not to mention Mr. Obama himself. But her profile is bound to increase, analysts said, if only because of recent turnover among national-security officials and the likely departure next year of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

“She has certainly got to play a more central role, simply because she is the most senior foreign policy person in the administration,” said David Rothkopf, a national-security expert who worked in the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton has had a few notable victories. She brokered a last-minute compromise with House leaders on the Iran sanctions bill, which gives Mr. Obama a waiver to avoid penalizing companies in countries the United States believes are cooperating with United Nations sanctions against Iran.

At a time of straitened finances, she won a modest budget increase for the United States Agency for International Development to send more civilians to Afghanistan and Pakistan. She used Wednesday’s breakfast to brief lawmakers about a soon-to-be-released State Department review of development policy.

Persuading a Republican-controlled House to spend more on development will not be easy, Mrs. Clinton acknowledged.

“There’s no doubt that despite Bob Gates’s and my best efforts, people are much more willing to go along with defense spending,” she said, recalling that the defense secretary had also called for the State Department to get more money.

For the next few weeks, saving New Start will consume much of Mrs. Clinton’s time. On Thursday, she and Mr. Biden will keep the spotlight on the treaty, meeting Mr. Lugar, Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a phalanx of former secretaries of state and defense, all of whom support the pact.

She plans to delay a trip to a NATO summit meeting and she scrapped a trip afterward to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she was to attend a conference on saving tigers hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.

Whatever misgivings Mrs. Clinton may have about letting down Mr. Putin are most likely to be outweighed by the administration’s fears about souring relations with all of Russia if the treaty is not ratified.

Noting that the Russian government has cooperated with the United States on Iran and Afghanistan, she said, “This is also a treaty that is critical to our bilateral relationship with Russia.”

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