U.S. Great Game Against Russia Continues
Published: August 23, 2013 (Issue # 1774)
We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities," Winston Churchill once famously remarked.
In light of that dictum, we are still at the exhausting-other-possibilities stage — at least with regard to U.S. policy on Russia. Doing the right thing in this area appears to be as remote as ever. During the Cold War, the rhetoric on U.S. right and left somewhat balanced each other, but today they are practically unanimous: President Vladimir Putin's Russia is bad, and the only way to deal with it is to contain it politically and economically using freedom and democracy promotion slogans as cover.
The U.S. political establishment stubbornly sticks to this position, blindly ignoring the disastrous failures of color revolutions in several former Soviet republics and the equally disastrous results of the "Arab Spring." The prevailing attitude in Washington is: The democracy show must go on, and damn the realities.
As Sean Scallon rightly noted in the Aug. 20 issue of The American Conservative, U.S. foreign policy became very confused after the end of the Cold War. The White House's flawed Russia policy has caused considerable damage to U.S. security interests. Russia is the only country in the world that has achieved parity with the U.S. in terms of nuclear warheads. This by itself must imply careful handling of U.S.-Russia relations. Putting off negotiations in Moscow on nuclear arms reduction was extremely irresponsible on U.S. President Barack Obama's part, particularly given the fact that he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Another important reason why such unwise behavior by Obama undermines U.S. security interests is that it pushes Russia into China's welcoming embrace, the two countries edging toward a powerful, U.S.-unfriendly alliance.
One would have thought that the end of communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union was the right time to grab huge peace dividends by integrating Russia into the Western orbit. But every U.S. president after Ronald Reagan chose an anti-Russian policy to one degree or another.
NATO's eastward expansion was perhaps the most egregious error in U.S. foreign policy, but there were smaller mistakes as well, such as Obama's recent summit cancellation and his announcement that the U.S. needs to take a "pause" in the "reset" to re-evaluate relations with Russia.
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