Better East Texas: U.S. relations with Russia

(KLTV) - It has been 30 years since President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany, at the foot of the Berlin Wall, and gave one of the most historic speeches of modern day presidents. The US and Russia were locked in the Cold War and the US was slowly gaining an edge. Mr. Reagan delivered those famous words to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev – "Mister Gorbachev – tear down this wall."  And it was down some two years later.Soon after, the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia's house of cards crumbled. 

For the next two and half decades, Russia was largely in a recession and did little to try to expand territorially or ideologically.  But in recent years, under the rule of President Putin, Russia has grown strong again. And it is obvious that some freedoms that were won by the Russian people with the destruction of the Berlin Wall have been lost. Today protests in Russia are met with police crackdowns and arrests – political dissent is not tolerated, and Russia continues to strengthen on the world stage.

International struggles including the turmoil in Syria, the annexation by Russia of Crimea and other actions demonstrate that Russian influence is growing.  As a country, we will have to address this as a threat at some point.  It is unlikely that smooth negotiators will be able to keep the Soviets in check.  I say all this with the hope that we all see Russia for what it has become again, and what a strong United States will mean for the future.

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