After Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent visit, the Obama administration wants to prove it has a strategy to deepen ties with allies such as Poland while it pursues a reset with Russia, so it has sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a whirlwind tour of Central and Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. The trip also seeks to blunt conservative criticism that Washington is sacrificing allies for the sake of reconciliation with Moscow.
The administration has tried to pursue a twin-track strategy: reengaging Russia while upholding the core principle that these countries have the right to choose their own foreign policies and reject Moscow’s claims of a sphere of influence.… Seguir leyendo »
As Washington and Moscow zero in on a new strategic arms control treaty, it is time to look at what lies ahead in U.S.-Russian relations. The greatest gap between Western and Russian thinking today may not be on Afghanistan or Iran. It may well be on Europe. The first signs of the unraveling of the European security system built after the Cold War are evident.
Almost unnoticed in the U.S. media, Moscow last month proposed a new draft treaty on European security — thus making good on President Dmitry Medvedev’s call after the Russo-Georgian war of August 2008 for changes to the current system.… Seguir leyendo »
President Obama’s decision to shelve the Bush administration’s missile defense plans has created a crisis of confidence in Washington’s relations with Central and Eastern Europe. The defense architecture the administration proposes may make more strategic sense in addressing the immediate Iranian threat. Nevertheless, it runs the risk of shattering the morale and standing of transatlantic leaders in the region who now feel politically undermined and exposed. The roots of this crisis lie less in missile defense than in policy failures over the past decade. Understanding and rectifying those errors is key to getting back on track with our allies.
Our first mistake was being overly optimistic about what would happen when these countries joined NATO and the European Union.… Seguir leyendo »
Some controversies fade so quickly, and seem so silly in retrospect, that people forget they ever took place. But they can be instructive. For example: Less than a decade ago, there was an intense public debate over whether NATO should be enlarged to take in new members from Central and Eastern Europe. The issue was closely linked to the war in Bosnia; the foreign policy establishment in the United States and Europe — including many commentators, both liberal and conservative — largely opposed enlarging NATO, and most senior diplomats and bureaucrats thought it would destabilize Europe. The majority of old NATO hands, from Paul Nitze to George Kennan, and the Pentagon itself, were also opposed.… Seguir leyendo »