There is no doubt there is a serious difference between how Presidents Bush, Reagan, and Obama handled foreign policy during their tenures. Obama’s recent dangerous deal with Iran is something the other two would have NEVER done.
This picture summarizes it better than anything. This is incredible!
National Review’s Robert Joseph and Eric Eldeman summarized the differences clearly:
President Reagan operated on the principle that the U.S. must negotiate from a position of strength. He recognized the need to block Soviet aggression wherever it occurred and contested Soviet advances by supporting opposition movements in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and elsewhere with arms and ammunition that took a tremendous toll on the Soviet Union and played no small role in its ultimate collapse. He undertook perhaps the largest offensive nuclear-modernization program in U.S. history to ensure a strong deterrent and established the Strategic Defense Initiative to pursue new technologies to protect the American homeland from a Soviet attack. He insisted that NATO continue with the deployments of Pershing II and ground-launched cruise missiles to counter the already deployed Soviet SS-20 missiles that threatened to de-couple the United States from the deterrence of threats to Europe.
In the arms-control arena, Reagan was equally tough. When Moscow threatened to pull out of the negotiations if the U.S. went through with INF deployments, he called the Russian bluff. Reagan deployed, and the Soviets walked out of the INF, START, and even Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) negotiations in an effort to divide the alliance and promote partisan fissures in Western democracies, including the United States.
But Reagan stood firm and NATO stood firm, owing to adroit alliance management and confidence that Reagan would not flinch. In the START negotiations, Reagan insisted on real reductions in Soviet forces and effective verification measures to ensure compliance. “Trust but verify” was the motto — and perhaps also a reflection of his view of General Secretary Gorbachev as a negotiating partner. In Gorbachev, Reagan recognized a man who understood that, to survive, the Soviet Union had to undergo fundamental changes and could no longer afford to maintain its vast nuclear forces. As for the Krasnoyarsk radar, Reagan insisted it be dismantled. And, before START was signed, Moscow had acknowledged the radar to be a violation of the ABM Treaty and had begun its dismantlement. The contrast with President Obama in each of these areas couldn’t be starker.
In the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the U.S. has withheld lethal defensive military assistance, fearing that such aid might be seen as “provocative” by Moscow. While Russia has built up its nuclear forces and increased the role of nuclear weapons in its defense doctrine, the U.S. nuclear deterrent has atrophied, hindered by funding delays and policy constraints such as the “no new nuclear capabilities” standard imposed on the Defense and Energy departments.
The Obama administration is always determined to negotiate from the point of weakness. While President Reagan showed us that bold negotiating skills were necessary during nuclear negotiations.