The United States is on a dangerous trajectory in its relations with Russia, a nuclear superpower that believes itself to be under direct threat. Several former U.S. officials and top think-tank experts released a report calling on the West to provide military support to Ukraine. (Two of them, our colleagues at the Brookings Institution, expanded on the report a week ago on this page [“Ukraine needs the West’s help now”].) The logic of sending weapons to Ukraine seems straightforward and is the same as the logic for economic sanctions: to change Vladimir Putin’s “calculus.” Increasing the Ukrainian army’s fighting capacity, the thinking goes, would allow it to kill more rebels and Russian soldiers, generating a backlash in Russia and ultimately forcing the Russian president to the negotiating table.… Seguir leyendo »
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The Obama administration has decided it’s time to “reset the reset” with Russia. The reset was one of the administration’s first foreign policy initiatives in 2009 and certainly reduced bilateral tensions for a period. But President Obama now faces Vladimir Putin as Russia’s president instead of Dmitri Medvedev, and the entire premise of U.S.-Russia relations will have to be reviewed.
After 12 years at the top of Russian politics, Putin should be a known quantity. But policy makers and pundits are constantly diverted by the images that proliferate inside and outside Russia — from the action man tranquilizing tigers and flying with cranes, to the cruel anti-American autocrat who exploits orphans to undermine U.S.… Seguir leyendo »