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.
President Donald Trump on Monday expressed hope that he and the presidents of China and Russia might jointly agree to scale back defense spending…
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.
Konstantin Kosachyov, a Russian lawmaker who heads the foreign relations committee of Russia’s upper house of parliament, described the Bush era as “probably the peak of trust between our two states.”
CCI’s Sharon Tennison writes, “We are honored to have had a two-hour meeting with President Mikhail Gorbachev on September 4, 2018. This event was prior to our delegation of U.S. ‘citizen diplomats’ traveling across Russia…”
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.