More than 30 years have passed since the day the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, meeting in Geneva, adopted a joint statement declaring that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
The ongoing intense focus on the Russia collusion investigation is preventing President Trump from dealing freely with President Putin, says Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen Cohen, author of ‘War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate.’
If we look at current Russian-Western tensions, the problem, it seems to me, is that both sides are trapped within discourses which encourage them to frame events in terms of blame, conflict, and threat and not in terms of mutual misunderstanding.
War With Russia?, like the biography of a living person, is a book without an end. The title is a warning—akin to what the late Gore Vidal termed “a journalistic alert-system”—not a prediction. Hence the question mark. I cannot foresee the future. The book’s overarching theme is informed by past and current facts, not by any political agenda, ideological commitment, or magical prescience.
Why are we letting ourselves be dragged into everyone’s quarrels—from who owns the islets in the South China Sea, to who owns the Senkaku and Southern Kurils; and from whether Transnistria had a right to secede from Moldova, to whether South Ossetia and Abkhazia had the right to break free of Georgia, when Georgia broke free of Russia?
The nexus of interests uniting Moscow, Tehran and Beijing grows ever stronger, so it seems, as the temperature of the new Cold War grows colder with each passing week.
At a minimum, these events should remind everyone that the small-minded and lethargic approach that now characterizes all players’ approach to the Donbas impasse is not as tolerable or risk-free as they appear to believe.
The incident in the Kerch Strait should remind us that we are lucky (or blessed) President George W. Bush failed in his effort to add Kiev (and Georgia) to NATO.
Beijing and Moscow are building up trade, infrastructure, and living standards in long-neglected regions.
At first glance, Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian warships that attempted to enter the Sea of Azov seems to follow a familiar pattern of aggression aimed at solidifying control over the annexed Crimean peninsula.