Monday, March 06, 2006
Constructive Attitude on Russia
We need to move away from the paradigm of the U.S.-Russia relationship requiring lockstep engagement or having to be hostile and confrontational; we also have to kick the habit of assuming we can have a la carte partnerships and relationships where we expect the other party to work closely with us on a few selected issues of importance to us but with no quid pro quos. The world doesn't work that way.
I think we can have a productive relationship with Russia, one that doesn't require us to whitewash Russia's faults and problems but at the same time doesn't have to be irritating--and one that prioritizes what U.S. interests are.
Russia needn't transform itself into an enormous Holland in order to side with the West; but until Russia does side, eventually instinctively, with the Western democracies, we are engaged in a dance of doom given the schema of threats we face now and for the foreseeable future.