NATO

STOP THE DETERIORATION IN TONE


The U.S.–Russia relationship matters for many reasons, both immediately and over the long term.  Most pressing, the United States has a very important national security interest in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon—and Russia’s cooperation is key in maintaining united international pressure on Iran to negotiate as well as limiting or shutting off the supply of advanced conventional weapons to Tehran. Moscow’s assistance is also valuable in conducting the U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Strategically, America’s relationship with Russia can play a significant role in defining the twenty-first century international system and in sustaining U.S. global leadership. As China has grown in influence, it has increasingly challenged some aspects of the U.S.-led international system. However, Beijing is unlikely to be in a position to rewrite international rules without considerable backing.  As the second-largest world power dissatisfied with elements of the current system, Russia can either support this effort or not. For Americans who see China as America’s principal foreign policy priority, effectively managing U.S.-Russia relations is a critical building block in dealing successfully with Beijing in the decades to come.

The first priority for Washington and Moscow in repairing their fraying relations must be to stop and reverse the sharp deterioration in tone. Improving the tone of the U.S.–Russia relationship was the first step in the Obama administration’s reset policy and—until 2011—was in some ways its most significant accomplishment.  President Obama’s recent comments about Mr. Putin’s body language are not helpful; nor is officially encouraged anti-American sentiment in Russia.

To improve relations significantly, however, both sides will need to do much better than avoiding gratuitous mutual criticism. To succeed, the two governments must define a shared vision for their relationship that advances each nation’s individual national interests, they must make achieving that vision a priority in a manner that shapes decisions on some other issues, including on issues that may be politically painful for each, and they must explain their policy approaches convincingly to their citizens and to skeptical elites. Thus far, the U.S. and Russian governments have failed at the first of these tasks and have applied limited effort at best to the last two. Most damaging has been the mutual failure to make clear why the U.S.-Russia relationship matters to both countries.

Paul J. Saunders is Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest.

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationship project produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Printable PDF

RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE DESTINED TO BE PARTNERS

Sergey Oznobishchev, Institute for Strategic Assessments

| U.S. Foreign Policy | Syria | NATO | Cold War |


The recent upsurge of cooperation between Moscow and Washington toward a resolution of the Syrian crisis demonstrated once again that the most urgent regional and world security issues cannot be resolved effectively in the absence of close U.S.-Russian cooperation.

This is also true with regard to a much broader array of important global-level problems. Dismantling the Cold War machine and confronting global threats and challenges—terrorism and nonproliferation being among them—are a few of the most urgent from the first-order agenda of problems to be resolved. This list may be further expanded.

Another important goal, which is also impossible to reach for any country on its own, is a nuclear-free world—a distant dream that should, however, be realized if we really want to build a safer world based on new security principles. There is no logical explanation why we should be unable to make an attempt and start moving, in much more practical terms, to this noble goal and agree on a certain timeframe and on measures to be implemented—as it was presupposed in the mid-1980s according to Gorbachev’s multistage plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons by the end of the 20th century.

It is also difficult to find rational reasons to justify why we cannot proceed further with arms control, taking into account that efforts in this field were implemented even in the decades when Moscow and Washington considered each other to be “potential enemies.” It seems that all of a sudden we have to look for an explanation for the things we considered to be a natural common interest for dozens of years.

Is it some new outstanding threats that have emerged? Or, which is more probable, is it something that went wrong in U.S.-Russian relations, unprecedentedly reducing the level of mutual trust?

I suppose that in such a short piece there is no need to go into detail and remind readers what concrete steps led to the present unsatisfactory state of mutual relations. Experts and politicians on both sides can enumerate a lot of them. And all their assessments should be taken seriously—for they will reflect the perception of the two sides.

The Russian specialists, most probably, will point to the one-sided U.S. and Western policy over a long period of time of ignoring Russian concerns (on the enlargement of NATO, for instance). The U.S. experts will be emphasizing the “value gap”—differences in the ideological foundations of approaches to the resolution of domestic and external issues. A lot of other discrepancies will be found.

Hence, to improve mutual perception is the first priority task, and what is even more important, to refrain from creating again the image of the other side as a potential enemy. Let us also do everything in our power to reestablish mutual trust.

Let us try to put aside the issues we cannot solve for the time being. Let us take the most urgent and fundamental issues, agree on some of them, put others down on the list of our concerns and try to discuss them openly. We are really lacking such an open dialogue, particularly at the expert and public level. But such a dialogue should be a standing one, not the sporadic attempts at discussing disconnected topics, which the politicians often prefer to do. The dialogue should embrace the fundamental issues of our relations, including the military and strategic ones.

At the official level, it is essential to start building the foundations of the mechanism of partnership—when, at least, neither of the sides is introducing steps that will definitely raise concerns of the other. In parallel, attempts should be intensified to revitalize the arms control process. To improve relations, cooperation should be started in all possible spheres.

What could draw us into tighter relations and make partnership more probable is a common “grand project” which would incorporate an ever-increasing number of spheres of science, technology, economics, and human relations. This should be a project of a new kind, for instance, to oppose the threat from space (an asteroid striking the Earth, which is now taken as a rather serious threat by certain Russian officials) or cooperative preparation for an expedition to distant planets.

In view of the common goals and challenges that Russia and the United States are facing, they are destined to be partners, if the national elites do not sway them off this course.

Sergey Oznobishchev is the director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments and department head at the Center for International Security of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationship project produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York in partnership with the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Printable PDF

PLACE ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS AT THE TOP OF THE AGENDA


Information that emerged recently regarding the further shift of the United States’ foreign policies toward the Asian region and diminishing U.S. attention to the Middle East (with the exception of the Israeli-Palestinian track) has already caused widespread reaction. If Washington truly intends to carry out the policies of the U.S. pivot toward Asia that was announced several years ago, this does not represent a significant disengagement by this leading global player from the effort to support stability in our restless world. In turn, emphasis on the Asian Pacific region cannot but have an impact on global and regional dynamics. It also serves as a testament to the United States’ increasing attention on relations with China.

No matter how one views the rebalancing of U.S. foreign policy, relations with the United States will remain at the heart of Russia’s foreign policy priorities. Recent progress toward the resolution of the crisis in Syria demonstrated that there are new advantages for those who support the strengthening of Russian-U.S. relations.

It is not by chance that last September, during the Valdai Forum, the Russian minister of foreign affairs made it clear that successful efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis will lead to the restoration of strategic cooperation with the United States on a wide array of important bilateral and multilateral issues.

In Russia the issue of respect for international law and adherence to UN decisions, including those pertaining to the use of military force, are of particular importance. Any attempts to circumvent international law will be perceived with extreme sensitivity in Moscow, and may affect relations with various countries and organizations.  Therefore, agreement on this issue between such prominent players as Russia and the United States will facilitate the improvement of bilateral dialogue.

The future of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of coalition forces represents an extremely important challenge for Russia. This issue is of concern to Moscow and its partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization. It would be useful to gradually establish contacts between the Collective Security Treaty Organization and NATO. Such contacts would have a positive effect on Russian-U.S. relations due to the United States’ leading role in NATO. Certainly there are many obstacles, primarily stemming from the West, but it is worth considering.

Recently signed bilateral documents related to cyber security represent an important event. Our two countries should continue to actively consult with one another in order to expand agreements in the sphere of Internet governance and cyberspace on an international level, in order to overcome serious common threats. The voices of those who proclaim the importance of strengthening the economic foundation for Russian-American relations and of moving toward a significantly higher level of interaction in that sphere are becoming more prominent these days. Given all the obvious difficulties on this path, this would enhance predictability in Russian-American relations and diminish the chance of sudden changes.

Related to this, the ongoing formation of new trade and economic partnerships between the United States and EU, with the participation and under the auspices of the U.S. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), should be noted. Thus far, it’s too early to assess the risks for Russia in this regard, but we must consider ways to jointly overcome possible misunderstandings. That may be facilitated by the strengthening of cooperation and mutual understanding at such important venues as the G-20 and G-8. But on the whole, it is useful to place economic considerations in the top tier of the agenda for Russian-American relations.

Igor Yurgens is chairman of the board of the Institute of Contemporary Development.

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationship project produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York in partnership with the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Printable PDF

TRANSFORMING THE BASIS OF U.S.-RUSSIAN RELATIONS


It is still unclear what Russia and the United States want from each other, or what strategies these two countries have in respect to one another. The practice of their bilateral relations shows that Moscow and Washington pretend to be partners, keeping a bead on one another at the same time.

The leaders of Russia and the United States have repeated on multiple occasions that their bilateral relations are based on pragmatic approaches and that their countries fruitfully cooperate in fields of mutual interest or concern.

On the one hand, this allows the bilateral dialogue to keep going under any circumstances. For instance, the cooperation in Afghanistan is still unchanged despite several serious crises in U.S.-Russian relations, including the recent one related to the Snowden case. There is also the example of counterterrorism cooperation, recently proved by the help provided to the United States by Russia in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings.

One the other hand, the superfluous pragmatism can make U.S.-Russia relations fragile and limited, in addition to the obvious inability of a pragmatic approach to end the contradiction between partnership and threatening posture in U.S.-Russian relations. The dependence on several projects can help save the relations between countries in the short run, but it cannot create a basis for a long-term partnership.

So far, Russia and the United States continue to use the foundation that was built during the Cold War. That is why it is no wonder that these countries still exercise mutual nuclear deterrence, which is based on a threat of inflicting unacceptable damage on one other. But it also means arms control, predictability, transparency, and, equally important, a strategic dialogue, which existed between Moscow and Washington in all weathers.

Nuclear deterrence looks obsolete. But it would be impossible and improvident to just throw it away, since without it Russia and the United States may be left without predictability and transparency in their relations.

The question is how to transform U.S.-Russian relations in such a way as to depart from nuclear deterrence and at the same time save predictability and transparency between these countries. This can be possible in the framework of a long-term transformation of the basis of Russia-U.S. relations.

This transformation may include an expansion of the arms control dialogue to emerging issues such as ballistic missile defense, precision-guided conventional weapons, and cyber warfare. Though one can hardly count on the likelihood of an agreement covering nuclear arsenals plus these weapons, there are many options aside from the START treaties to separately take on these issues, including implementing confidencebuilding measures and signing memorandums of understanding.

In some areas it is possible to expand the dialogue to third countries. Ballistic missile defense (BMD) can be a case for this. Russia and the United States could initiate two tracks of the BMD consultations: Euro-Atlantic with NATO, and Asian with China and other regional powers. This is but an example from the arms control field to demonstrate that the U.S.-Russian dialogue can be a focus for regional security, too.

The number of U.S.-Russian initiatives will depend only on political will in Moscow and Washington. An urgent need for such initiatives is evident.

Petr Topychkanov is an associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationshipproject produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York in partnership with the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Printable PDF

A STRATEGIC RESPONSE TO THE UKRAINE CRISIS

Edward W. WalkerUniversity of California, Berkeley, April 1, 2014

| U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | NATO | PutinSanctions | EU |


 

Originally published on The Huffington Post. Read additional entries on Carnegie Corporation’s Huffington Post Column.

Although Russia has managed to consolidate control of Crimea without provoking a full-blown war with Ukraine, the crisis is by no means over, above all because the annexing of Crimea does not solve the Kremlin’s redline issue — Ukraine’s external orientation and possible NATO accession. If anything, it has made it worse.

The annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s heavy-handed pressure on Ukraine mean that there is now no chance that Kiev will integrate into any Russian-led political, economic, or security system. Instead, it will move as close as possible to Europe and the United States politically and economically, and already it is seeking Western military assistance. The fact that the current Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, indicated in a speech last week that his government has tabled the question of NATO accession for Ukraine does not prevent his government or any future Ukrainian government from changing its mind later. Meanwhile, NATO is taking measures to fortify its eastern defenses.

The upshot is that Moscow has solved one non-urgent strategic problem — securing Sevastopol as the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet — but it now confronts a much more serious security challenge to its west. It is also saddled with the burden of keeping Crimea from collapsing economically even as the Russian economy enters a period of stagnation or perhaps decline.

Before taking comfort in Moscow’s predicament, however, it is important to ask whether an angry, nationalistic, aggressive, and cornered Russia is in the interest of Ukraine or the West. The stark fact is that Russia has the capacity to make life miserable for its neighbors, including Ukraine, and it will be much easier, and less costly, for Russia to undermine Ukraine’s economy and destabilize it politically than it will be for the West to turn the economy around and consolidate Ukrainian democracy.

More importantly, Russia has a great preponderance of force along its borders. If Putin is backed into a corner politically, or if he feels Russia’s national security interests are sufficiently threatened, he may well decide to invade eastern Ukraine. If that happens, Latvia and Estonia will be at great risk — both of these very small NATO countries share a border with Russia, have significant Russian-speaking populations, have tense relations with Moscow, and are virtually defenseless against a Russian ground invasion.

Were NATO to respond to a Russian incursion into eastern Ukraine by providing Estonia and Latvia with more credible defenses or by supplying Ukraine with lethal equipment, Russia might well decide to preempt and invade those countries as well. And of course a hostile and lawless Russia can do great harm to Western interests globally, whether in Iran and Syria today or some other crisis in the future.

In short, a permanently hostile and threatening Russia is not in anyone’s interest, least of all Ukraine’s.

The immediate task for Western policymakers is to deescalate the crisis and apply sanctions that deter further acts of aggression by Moscow. Washington, its European allies, and IMF should also provide the financial assistance that Ukraine needs to begin to address its dire economic problems as rapidly as possible. In the longer run, however, the West will need to come up with a strategic response that makes war less likely and Russia less able, or perhaps less willing, to destabilize its neighbors.

One option is to assume that Russia can only be deterred by sticks — economic sanctions, military assistance to Kiev, strengthening NATO’s eastern defenses, deepening Ukrainian, Georgian, Moldovan, and perhaps eventually even Belarusian integration into Europe, and leaving the door open to eventual NATO membership for Russia’s western neighbors. The rub, however, is that these measures virtually guarantee a hostile Russia that continues to resist Western encroachment tooth and nail, with all the attendant risks of conflict and economic and political costs.

The alternative is a strategic response that includes both sticks and carrots. Rather than proceeding as if Russia’s security concerns were entirely unreasonable and illegitimate, Washington could signal that it is willing to discuss Russia’s “legitimate interests” not only in Ukraine (as both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have stated) but elsewhere as well. The goal would be to negotiate an overarching security arrangement for a post-Cold War Europe that all parties can live with, including Russia.

To that end, the Obama administration could quietly suggest preliminary discussions with Moscow over the institutionalization of military neutrality for Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus. The arrangement would preclude those three countries from joining any military alliance (which would mean that Belarus would have to withdraw from the Collective Security Organization) or from allowing foreign troops to be stationed on their soil (which would mean that Russia would have to remove the forces is currently has in Belarus). Each neutral country would be free to develop its own defenses as it saw fit, and each could choose its own political and economic alliances. Ukraine, for example, could join the European Union, while Belarus could join a future Eurasian Union. NATO would agree not to forward deploy forces in Latvia or Estonia, and there could be a new treaty on conventional force deployments that placed limits on NATO forces in Poland and Lithuania and Russian forces in Russia’s western and southern military districts. NATO would also agree not to add any new members that share a border with Russia.

The result would be a buffer zone between NATO and Russia that would reduce the risk of war and the need for NATO to reinforce its eastern defenses at great cost to its member states. It would also mean that Russia would not have to worry about NATO incorporating additional countries on its borders, which would relieve it of the need to increase military spending further in the face of a slowing economy. At the same time, Ukraine and Georgia could enhance their capacities to defend themselves with Western assistance, while Estonia and Latvia would remain part of NATO with less reason to fear a revanchist Russia.

With respect to Crimea, there is unfortunately no chance at this point that the Kremlin will return control of the region to Kiev. The only political solution that might help institutionalize a more stable international environment for Ukraine, albeit one that would be very hard for Kiev to swallow, would be financial compensation by Moscow in the form of a long-term natural gas contract at below market prices. A political settlement might also entail visa free travel to Crimea for Ukrainian citizens, even if Russia and Ukraine have visa regimes on the rest of their border. Doubtless even suggesting such a possibility at this point will enrage many Ukrainians, but a long period of negotiations with Kiev’s participation might convince a majority of Ukrainian voters that compensated recognition of a fait accompli is better than the alternative, particularly in view of the financial costs associated with supporting the Crimean economy.

It is worth noting that hard-nosed, geopolitical bargaining over an arrangement like this is something that Putin and the Russian foreign policy elite have been advocating for years, and as a result they may well respond to it positively despite the extreme anti-American and anti-Western rhetoric in the Russian media today.

None of this, of course, could be agreed upon quickly or easily, and any agreement would have to be approved by all affected parties. One reason why the occupation and annexation of Crimea was such a strategic mistake for Russia is that it makes negotiating a security arrangement that Russia can live with so much more difficult politically for Ukraine and the West. Any effort to negotiate with Moscow will be seen as appeasement in the face of naked military aggression. But critics should remember that the Nixon administration initiated an earlier détente with Moscow for very practical reasons, and it did so despite Moscow’s imperial control of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.

By Edward W. Walker, Associate Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Berkeley Program in Eurasian and East European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationship project produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Printable PDF

COMMON INTERESTS, FUTURE BENEFITS


Russia is one of the two most influential nondemocratic countries in the world. While chances for a successful transition to democracy in the near future are low, the benefits of such a future course would be high. The key is to promote democracy without the appearance of interference in Russia’s internal affairs, since that would be counterproductive. Our common interests include:

  • The two countries still have a common interest in cooperating against terrorism. The Boston Marathon bombings show that such cooperation is in the interest of the United States as much as it is in Russia’s.
  • Russia continues to play an important role in providing the U.S. military with access to Afghanistan. While this is a short-term common interest, after the NATO withdrawal is complete, Russia will become the most important player in ensuring that potential instability in Afghanistan does not spread north.
  • Russia remains an important player in world energy markets.
  • Russia remains the United States’ only peer competitor in terms of nuclear weapons.

Dmitry Gorenburg is a Senior Analyst at CNAAnalysis and Solutions and a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University.

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationship project produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Printable PDF

Ukraine Deal Could Buy U.S. Time to Formulate Effective Russia Policy

Richard Weitz, Hudson Institute

The U.S. should make keeping Ukraine strong and independent of Russia an enduring priority…

U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | NATO | Putin

Read More

Russia’s Breakout From the Post-Cold War System: The Drivers of Putin’s Course

Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow Center

The abrupt end of the quarter-of-a-century-long era of cooperation and partnership between Russia and the West, and the return of confrontation and hostility between them, did not come out of the blue…

U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | NATO | Putin

Read More

Then and Now: Eight Lingering Questions on U.S.-Russia-Ukraine

David Speedie, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Why do we fail to understand that threats do not work with Putin’s Russia?…

U.S. Foreign Policy | NATO | Putin | Ukraine

Read More

The West Has Failed to Find a Constructive Role for Moscow

Robert Hunter, Center for Transatlantic Relations and former US Ambassador to NATO

American leadership is indispensable in Europe. Mr. Putin does not take seriously ministrations by European leaders…

U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | NATO | Putin

Read More

Is There a Plausible Strategy for the Ukraine Situation?

John Steinbruner, University of Maryland

Like it or not, we are entangled in the Ukraine situation and we need to face the implications unwelcome as they certainly are…

U.S. Foreign Policy | NATO

Read More

A Diplomatic Halfway House

Robert E. Hunter, Center for Transatlantic Relations and a former U.S. ambassador to NATO

Unless something new is done, everyone will lose…

U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | NATO

Read More

No Good Options

Timothy Frye, Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Calls to arm Ukraine have helped to galvanize diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the crisis, and over the longer term, the Ukrainian Army will need more weapons and better training, if only to enforce any peace agreement…

U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | EU | NATO

Read More

When threatened, Putin will push back

Kimberly Marten, Barnard College and Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Everything we know about Putin’s personality says that when he is threatened he will fight harder…

NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine | Putin

Read More

Endangering USA won’t stop Putin

Kimberly Marten, Barnard College, Columbia University

Supplying Kiev with lethal weaponry would endanger U.S. national security interests, while having little chance of stopping Vladimir Putin…

NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

How to Start a Proxy War with Russia

Michael Kofman, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The United States has absolutely no obligations to Ukraine’s security under any type of accord or framework…

NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Don’t Prop up Putin by Giving Him an Enemy

Kimberly Marten, Columbia University

Putin’s actions have gone beyond simply reasserting Russia’s great power status. He is goading the United States to take a more militarized approach to the crisis …

NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

The Guns of Ukrainian August

Arthur Martirosyan, The Bridgeway Group

From a conflict resolution perspective, the question—admittedly very difficult now that the violence has escalated and several thousand civilians, soldiers, and rebels have been killed in Eastern Ukraine—is: can the West go beyond isolating Russia and act together to contain the escalating violence and transform the conflict into constructive dialogue?…

EU | NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Ukraine: Cool the Rhetoric; Focus on the Outcome

Jack Matlock, Jr., Institute for Advanced Study

Settlement on any terms while fighting continues seems most unlikely, so efforts to stop the fighting and meet the humanitarian needs of the people trapped in combat zones must take priority. Nevertheless, active negotiations to reach an overall settlement must proceed in order to improve the prospects for a cease-fire and the durability of one, if reached…

EU | NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Diverging Visions of Partnership

Shireen T. Hunter, Georgetown University

In short, the West’s idea of partnership was Russia’s absolute acquiescence with all Western policies anywhere in the world, irrespective of the consequences for Russia, along with the total reshaping of Russian society according to a Western model, without any consideration for Russia’s peculiarities, history, and culture…

NATO | Putin | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

A Long History of Mistrust

Sergei Konoplyov, Harvard University

The main assumption underlying Putin’s vision is that the United States, by various ways and means, is set on deceiving Russia. Foremost in that assumption is that the United States destroyed the USSR and constantly seeks to diminish Russia’s global and regional role, all the while attempting to gain access to Russian oil and gas…

NATO | Putin | U.S. Foreign Policy

Read More

The Dangers of Inflexibility

Andrew S. Weiss, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The confluence of global crises this summer (Gaza, Ebola, Iraq, etc.) should remind all of us of the fragility of the existing global system and reignite a debate on why the post-1989 bipartisan American foreign policy vision sought to convert as many states as possible into stakeholders…

NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Russia and the New “New World Order”

Robert Hunter, Johns Hopkins University

The West does have to respond to Putin’s seizure of Crimea and threats to the rest of Ukraine, which, among other things, violate the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 2004 Budapest Memorandum. The U.S. and its allies have to take military and other steps to reassure anxious allies in Central Europe that NATO membership means what it says…

EU | NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Why Russia Intervenes

Mark Kramer, Harvard University

No doubt, the cynical brutality of Russian President Vladimir Putin can be infuriating, but the notion that Russia has been behaving in ways that other great powers normally eschew is not borne out by a perusal of the academic literature on international relations and the history of revolutions…

EU | NATO | Putin | Ukraine

Read More

Decoding Mixed Messages

Paul Saunders, Center for the National Interest

The bottom line is that there is a very big difference between the largely peaceful annexation of Crimea with its economy intact, and fighting a major war to win the privilege of investing tens of billions of dollars or more in eastern Ukraine…

China | NATO | Putin | Sanctions | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

NATO Enlargement 20 Years Later

Eugene Rumer, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

One hot war (Georgia), one covert war (Ukraine), two de facto annexations (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) and one de jure annexation (Crimea) later, Russia has made it clear that it intends to keep NATO out of its neighborhood…

NATO | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Personalization and Patriotism

Dmitry Gorenburg, Harvard University and CNA Corporation

[For Russian leaders] colored revolutions are a new form of warfare invented by Western governments seeking to remove independently-minded national governments in favor of ones that are controlled by the West…

NATO | Putin | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

A Tale of Two Russian Narratives

Timothy Frye, Columbia University

If the goal was to keep Ukraine out of the “new look” NATO, it has certainly succeeded in bringing back elements of the “old look” NATO with calls to increase the NATO presence in member countries near Russia…

NATO | Putin | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

A Moral and Strategic Calamity

John Steinbruner, University of Maryland

It is not in the long term interest of the United States to try to isolate the Russian economy or to degrade its productive development. It is decisively against the interest of the United States to stimulate corruption. That is already a massive problem in Ukraine and not a trivial problem in Russia…

NATO | Putin | Sanctions | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More

Driven by Domestic Politics

Daniel Treisman, Center for Strategic and International Studies

In just a few months, the Kremlin’s actions have: energized NATO to boost defenses around Russia’s borders; failed to avert (and maybe sped up) EU partnership agreements with Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia; and blackened Russia’s image around the world…

China | NATO | Putin | U.S. Foreign Policy | Ukraine

Read More