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Flawed U.S. Policy Led to New Cold War

Published: April 9, 2014 (Issue # 1805)




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TheEast-West confrontation over Ukraine, which led toMoscows annexation ofCrimea but long predated it, is potentially theworst international crisis inmore than 50 years andthe most fateful. Anegotiated resolution is possible, but time may be running out.

Anew cold war divide is already descending onEurope not inBerlin but onRussias borders. Worse may follow. If NATO forces move toward western Ukraine or even toits border with Poland, as is being called forby zealous cold warriors inWashington andEurope, Moscow is likely tosend its forces intoeastern Ukraine. Theresult would be adanger ofwar comparable tothe Cuban missile crisis of1962.

If NATO forces move near Ukraine, Moscow may invade eastern Ukraine. This could be worse than theCuban Missile Crisis.

Even if theoutcome is thenonmilitary isolation ofRussia, todays Western mantra, theconsequences will be dire. Moscow will not bow but will turn, politically andeconomically, tothe East, as it has done before above all, tofuller alliance with China. TheU.S. will risk losing anessential partner invital areas ofits own national security, fromIran, Syria andAfghanistan tothreats ofa new arms race, nuclear proliferation andmore terrorism. And no small matter prospects fora resumption ofRussias democratization will be terminated forat least ageneration.

Why did this happen, nearly 23 years after theend ofSoviet communism, when both Washington andMoscow proclaimed anew era offriendship andstrategic partnership?

Theanswer given bythe administration ofU.S. President Barack Obama andoverwhelmingly bythe U.S. political-media establishment is that President Vladimir Putin is solely toblame. Theclaim is that his autocratic rule athome andneo-Soviet imperialist policies abroad eviscerated thepartnership established inthe 1990s byPresidents Bill Clinton andBoris Yeltsin. This fundamental premise underpins theAmerican mainstream narrative oftwo decades ofU.S.-Russian relations andnow theUkrainian crisis.

But there is analternative explanation, one that is more inaccord with historical facts. Beginning with theClinton administration, andsupported byevery subsequent Republican andDemocratic president andCongress, theU.S.-led West has unrelentingly moved its military, political andeconomic power ever closer topost-Soviet Russia. Spearheaded byNATOs eastward expansion, already encamped inthe three former Soviet Baltic republics onRussias border andnow augmented bymissile defense installations inneighboring states this bipartisan, winner-take-all approach has come invarious forms.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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