How Clinton and Obama Disarmed and Abandoned Ukraine
By Cliff Kincaid – (Originally published on December 7, 2019).
If Ukraine had kept and modernized the nuclear weapons it had inherited from the old Soviet Union, it is entirely possible that Russia would never have invaded in 2014. Those weapons could have been transformed into a deterrent to Russian aggression. But President Bill Clinton signed an agreement to send the weapons to Russia.
These facts have been conveniently ignored in the current hysteria over how, why, and when President Trump armed Ukraine against Russia. History shows that Clinton disarmed Ukraine through a flawed international agreement with Russia and then, when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, President Barack Hussein Obama failed to send the Ukrainians the arms they needed to defend themselves. It was Trump who rescued Ukraine from the Clinton/Obama policies.
Hillary Clinton accuses many people of being Russian agents, but it was her husband President Clinton who engineered the disarmament of Ukraine in the so-called Budapest Memorandum. It was an executive agreement and not a treaty, meaning that Congress had not approved it. It was signed by Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States, and Britain on December 5, 1994, and marked Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapons state.
Not surprisingly, our “fake news” media failed to use the recent 25th anniversary of the Budapest Memorandum to educate the American people about how Ukraine was set-up by Deep State actors in the Clinton and Obama Administrations to lose its nuclear weapons and then be invaded and occupied by Russia.
In exchange for Ukraine removing its strategic nuclear weapons and sending them to Russia, the Budapest Memorandum confirmed that the United States, Britain and Russia “reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations…”
The document was submitted to the United Nations Security Council, in accordance with globalist thinking, as if the U.N. would have a role of some kind in protecting Ukraine.
The last nuclear weapon was removed from Ukraine in June 1996 and transferred to Russia. Finally, under Obama, Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. It was another Obama foreign policy failure that has to be blamed on President Trump.
Despite these foreign policy blunders, in the face of Trump’s actual arming of Ukraine against the Russian threat, the left-wing and well-funded National Security Archive has released a special report, “Nuclear Weapons and Ukraine,” treating the removal of Ukraine’s nuclear weapons as a great example of nuclear disarmament. The group sings the praises of the congressional legislation known as Nunn-Lugar, named for a Democratic Senator, Sam Nunn, and a Republican Senator, Dick Lugar. It was formally called the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.
At the time, Ukraine had some 1,900 strategic nuclear weapons, the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal at the time.
In 2012, two years before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Obama had declared the Nunn-Lugar legislation a success, saying, “…it was Dick who took me on my first foreign trip as a Senator -- to Russia and Ukraine and Azerbaijan. We were there to see the Cooperative Threat Reduction program [Nunn-Lugar] in action.” During that trip abroad, in a strange development, Russian authorities detained Obama and Lugar, threatened to search their plane, and examined their passports.
A frequent traveler to Russia and the old Soviet Union, the late Indiana Senator Dick Lugar was one of the most left-wing Republican U.S. senators on foreign policy issues, having proudly accepted campaign contributions from the pro-world government group, Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS). He was Obama’s mentor on foreign policy and gave the Democrat bipartisan cover for his globalist policies.
Speaking at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Symposium being held at the National War College, Obama noted that in the audience, “We’re joined by some of our Russian friends today.” Obama went on, “Let’s work with Russia as an equal partner. Let’s continue the work that’s so important to the security of both our countries. And I’m optimistic that we can.”
It sounds like Russian collusion.
Obama concluded that speech by saying, “Missile by missile, warhead by warhead, shell by shell, we’re putting a bygone era behind us. Inspired by Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar, we’re moving closer to the future we seek. A future where these weapons never threaten our children again. A future where we know the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons.”
This was complete bunk, of course, but that is the globalist mind-set. It resulted in Ukraine being invaded and occupied, 13,000 deaths in the war so far, and Democrats gearing up for impeachment of Trump over policies that Democratic presidents put in place.
Today, former Senator Nunn sits on the board of the organization he co-founded, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), working for a “safer world.” His fellow board members and advisers include billionaire Warren E. Buffett, Ted Turner, former California Governor Jerry Brown, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, USN (Ret.), and Igor S. Ivanov, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Russia. Funders include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Canada Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the U.S. Russia Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The National Security Archive has been funded by George Soros (the Open Society Institute), the Rockefellers, and foundations associated with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Barbra Streisand.
The Nunn-Lugar program was supposed to provide financial assistance for the purpose of dismantling or safely storing the weapons in the old Soviet nuclear arsenal. But that’s not how it worked out. Citing various reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the American Foreign Policy Council charged that Nunn-Lugar funds in the billions of dollars had been “used mainly to destroy obsolete weapons that Moscow will replace with high-tech arms currently under development” and that Nunn-Lugar funds “have been diverted to fund some of this development.”
It said Nunn-Lugar money had:
In short, Nunn-Lugar funds, which were designed for the "demilitarization of the former Soviet Union," were used to underwrite a Russian defense build-up.
Trying to rewrite history to favor Obama and Clinton, the National Security Archive, based at George Washington University, said the countries had “successfully eliminated the world’s third largest nuclear weapons force in the 1990s – the ICBMs, strategic bombers, and nuclear warheads left in Ukraine when the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991...” The group released “declassified documents” about the negotiations that only served to illustrate the inner workings of the bureaucrats in the Clinton Administration who made a flawed agreement that was violated by Russia and benefited the Kremlin.
Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On
In a moment of candor, their report goes on to say that the Budapest Memorandum had “provided security assurances to Ukraine – assurances that Russia subsequently violated…” (emphasis added).
This is the key point that makes claims of “success” totally bogus.
If Ukraine had kept those nuclear weapons and had used them as a deterrent against Russia, perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin might have had second thoughts about invading Ukraine in 2014. But Obama -- and many Republicans – had treated the Budapest Memorandum as something that might actually deter Russia.
The National Security Archive goes on to say that “the consolidation of the Soviet nuclear legacy in Russia directly served Russia’s security interests.” That’s another way of saying it left Ukraine defenseless and basically became a jobs program for Russian scientists working to modernize Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.
This is not something to be celebrated. It should be investigated and those on the U.S. side who negotiated this debacle should be held accountable. But that would expose the failures of those in the Deep State now after Trump’s scalp because he has raised concerns about corruption in the former Soviet republic involving Joe Biden’s son.
Legally, Clinton did not submit the Budapest Memorandum as a treaty and the document was therefore never ratified by Congress. But as analyst Lyle Denniston notes, while the Obama Administration acted as if the document was in fact legally binding, the Budapest Memorandum “did not include any promises [from the U.S. and Britain] about how they would defend that nation if its territory were actually to be invaded.” Russia must have seen it that way, too. It was an invitation to invade Ukraine after the weapons were transferred to Russia. This is how the Clinton/Obama tag team operation betrayed a country now seen by Democrats as an indispensable ally.
While the Obama Administration may have considered the Clinton executive agreement legally binding, the fact is that it did nothing to implement its so-called security guarantees. And the United Nations, of course, was completely worthless in terms of protecting the sovereignty of Ukraine.
Academic scholar Mariana Budjeryn notes, “Using new archival records, this examination of Ukraine’s search for security guarantees in the early 1990s reveals that, ironically, the threat of border revisionism by Russia was the single gravest concern of Ukraine’s leadership when surrendering the nuclear arsenal.” In other words, Ukraine sensed that their withdrawal would invite Russian aggression.
It would have been better to let the weapons decay in Ukraine than financially underwrite the process of paying Russia to take or dismantle them. Another alternative would have been to use American personnel to help safeguard the material. After all, Ukraine had access to the weapons. But pressure from Washington forced them to capitulate to a deal that benefited Russia.
Once again, it was a case of Russian collusion.
The leaders of Ukraine saw they were being cornered and a trap was being set. Obama failed to help the nation get out of the trap set by Clinton.
But our media insist that it’s Trump’s fault that Ukraine is vulnerable to Russian aggression because he asked the country to investigate corruption that involved Joe Biden’s son. Meanwhile, Trump gave the Ukrainians the weapons Obama denied them.
The impeachment of Trump over Ukraine is what the professional magicians call misdirection.
*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org