Sen. Jim Risch Questions John Kerry On "Out Of Control" Foreign Policy


SEN. JIM RISCH (R-ID): Mr. Secretary, I do not envy the position you’re in here today. This is supposed to be a budget hearing where the American people find out what they are getting for their money, and after the discussion we've had here today, I think anybody who would come in here would have the impression after we looked at the issues of Russia, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, the peace process, and all the difficulties with every one of these, I appreciate your view that there are some things happening which are positive, but I tell you, you can't help but get the impression our foreign policy is just spinning out of control. And we are losing control in virtually every area we are trying to do something in. Probably, we've got some limited time here to talk about all these problems, but probably what I want to talk about briefly are a couple of them. One of the best examples is the one that's on the front pages today and that is the Russian issue.

This administration said they were going to hit the reset button. I can't help think somebody hit the wrong button because things have not gone well during this administration. The Russians today are misbehaving worse than they have in decades and nothing seems to change that. When you look at what they did in Georgia and still remain occupying part of Georgia when they even agreed not to. What they've done in the Ukraine. What they've done in Syria and are continuing to do in Syria, plus we all know about the cheating that's going on on the treaties that have been entered into. I’m very disappointed in what's going on. You can't help but be discouraged about it. 

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about this meeting coming up next week. You know, you talked about what happened in Syria and you had a very similar meeting in Syria where you sat down with Lavrov and supposedly forged a road forward, and that road forward has been a disaster. You heard the people talk about how many tens of thousands of people have been killed since then. The dismantling of the chemical weapons has slowed down. What makes you think you're going to be able to make better progress on the Ukraine? We've seen this movie over and over and over again with the Russians. They misbehave, then we sit down at the table, we make some kind of agreement and they misbehave even worse after the agreement. Maybe you could give us a little taste of what you're going to tell Lavrov when you meet with him next week.

JOHN KERRY: Let me give you what I consider a taste of reality about our foreign policy and the realities of the world. Georgia happened under George Bush. Georgia happened under George Bush, and he didn't even bring a sanction. President Obama has brought sanctions. And it's having an impact.

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