As reports increasingly indicate that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election to benefit Donald Trump, the president-elect has forcefully pushed back on the intelligence community. Admitting that Moscow played a role in the election, Trump believes, would delegitimize his victory, so he has doubled down on his position that Russia was not involved in the hacks on Democratic Party officials, writes Robert Knake.
Trump is too mercurial a figure to pursue any policy with any consistency, even a pro-Russia policy. We can only hope that Russia does not succeed in reestablishing its empire and swallowing some of America’s more vulnerable allies in Eastern Europe before Trump wakes up to the fact that Putin is not America’s friend.
Our democracy is under attack by Russia, but almost no one is treating the situation with the gravity it deserves. President Obama is loathe to retaliate. Would-be president Donald Trump denies that any attack is happening. And the media are acting as enablers for the attackers.
Russia is more estranged from Europe and the United States than at any point since the end of the Cold War, and perhaps much longer ago than that. The president of Russia is simply a poor judge of the country’s interests, writes Stephen Sestanovich.
Donald Trump has gotten a lot of well-justified criticism for his paeans to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s anti-American dictator. But Trump isn’t backing down from his effusive praise of Putin, and neither are his supporters. On both foreign and domestic policy there is simply no comparison between the democratically elected president of America and the thug who has seized control of Russia. Putin is not serving Russia’s interests, only his own and those of his crooked cronies and it’s terrifying that Trump sees Putin as an admirable leader, and shameful that his supporters have fallen in line to defend his indefensible views.
Twenty-five years ago this week, a group of Politburo hard-liners launched a coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The effort to depose him provoked a gigantic popular protest and collapsed in just three days. With the failure of the coup, the communist system itself began to unravel. “The 20th century” — so claimed Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s rival, rescuer and eventual successor — had “essentially ended.” People power had defeated the Soviet state.
Donald Trump's suggestion that NATO allies would lose U.S. protection unless they "pay" more for their defense is a reminder of how easily presidents can blunder their way into trouble, writes CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.
Some people—the Republican nominee Donald Trump included, it seems—think the U.S. should take a more relaxed view of Russia. But the public do not seem to agree, as American people have become increasingly hostile toward Russia since the Ukraine crisis became acute in early 2014.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that summer has seemingly brought a new optimism about the Russian economy. Russia’s economic downturn is coming to an end, and markets have outperformed amidst global turbulence. But the coming recovery is likely to be tepid, constrained by deficits and poor structural policies, and sanctions will continue to bite. Brexit-related concerns are also likely to weigh on oil prices and demand. All this suggests that Russia’s economy will have a limited capacity to respond to future shocks.
Reacting to the Brexit vote, critics question whether the UK deserves a UN Security Council seat. If the British do not deserve a seat, then the Russians certainly do not, Elliott Abrams writes in National Review.
For half a millennium, Russian foreign policy has been characterized by soaring ambitions that have exceeded the country’s capabilities. Beginning with the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the sixteenth century, Russia managed to expand at an average rate of 50 square miles per day for hundreds of years, eventually covering one-sixth of the earth’s landmass. By 1900, it was the world’s fourth- or fifth-largest industrial power and the largest agricultural producer in Europe.
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