Towards a New Russia Policy
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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East-West relations have noticeably deteriorated, and Russias behavior has become commensurately more self-assertive. Key arms control achievements are in jeopardy, and Russia claims to be facing an array of growing threats, most prominently from America. In fact, Russia demands more respect from and equality with Washington and a free hand in world politics. In key respects, Moscows new foreign policy grows out of the logic of its ever more autocratic and neo-imperial political structure. As analyzed in the monograph, this structure reinforces the long-standing Russian tendency to view other states as being inherently adversarial, i.e., it has a disposition to see world politics in terms of a presupposition of a priori enemies. Thus it views arms control issues from the standpoint of deterring enemies not working with strategic partners. There are already growing signs that certain sectors of the policy making community are increasingly inclined to view Russia as a question mark, if not a rival of American policy. This is particularly the case regarding issues of arms control and nuclear policy. Thus the current rhetorical belligerence seen in Russian policy and the increasing amount of interest in higher defense spending and inflated threat assessments could bring about exactly what Russian elites already claim to observe. Accordingly, it is necessary for the United States to understand the scope of the challenge posed by Russia and to take steps towards reformulating its policies so that they are more coherent and unified, more deeply engaged with Russia across a wide spectrum of issues, and also more coordinated with our European allies.
- Government and Political Science