Dole Hits Clinton Foreign Policy: `Misguided Romanticism' on Russia, `No Clear Purpose' in Balkan Mission

By Myers, E. Michael | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 26, 1996 | Go to article overview

Dole Hits Clinton Foreign Policy: `Misguided Romanticism' on Russia, `No Clear Purpose' in Balkan Mission


Myers, E. Michael, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


PHILADELPHIA - Bob Dole accused President Clinton yesterday of harboring delusions of a benign Russia and bogging America down in a failed Bosnia mission, calling the commander in chief a "would-be statesman" still suffering from "post-Vietnam syndrome."

"Bill Clinton's policy of indecision, vacillation and weakness is making the world a more dangerous place," Mr. Dole said.

"Today's great tragedy is that this administration is squandering the inheritance that America - through 45 years of struggle and sacrifice - won for free peoples everywhere when we won the Cold War," the former World War II Army lieutenant and wounded veteran said.

In his 30-minute address to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Mr. Dole said the president has deferred to foreign leaders.

"President Clinton's misguided romanticism towards Russia has led him and his advisers to try to fine-tune the intrigues of Russian domestic politics instead of guarding against the nationalist turn in Russia foreign policy that has already occurred."

As president, Mr. Dole said, he would "restore decisiveness and purpose to America's foreign policy."

As a senator, Mr. Dole has frequently criticized what he called a tentative, inept or indifferent foreign policy by the former governor of Arkansas, who came into office publicly committed to domestic issues, not troubles abroad.

"In an era of tectonic shifts in world affairs, we must not continue to entrust American leadership to would-be statesmen still suffering from a post-Vietnam syndrome . . . who are still suffering from the illusion that communism merely fell instead of being pushed," Mr. Dole said.

He said President Clinton resisted his call to lift the arms embargo against Bosnian Muslims and ultimately was forced to send in American ground forces as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission. The move would not have been necessary "if we had done what I recommended from the start," Mr. Dole said.

"Now, after haphazardly getting into Bosnia, President Clinton now has no idea how to get Americans out or how to accomplish the mission they went to fulfill," Mr.

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