The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russia last week to address this question: How should we think about Russian actions in the Middle East and Europe? Having been invited to speak, I found that one theme of my testimony stirred up an argument—among other witnesses, senators, staff, and even (in follow-on e-mails) administration officials.
In his Senate testimony before the Committee on Armed Services, CFR's George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies Stephen Sestanovich argued that the United States should challenge responsible Russians to see how strange their country's military policy in Syria looks to the outside world.
Russia's military buildup in Syria could set back the self-proclaimed Islamic State and lay the groundwork for a political transition, but could also lead to a confrontation with the United States, says expert Edward Djerejian.
Washington wants to shape the conflict from afar, but Russia is now shaping the facts on the ground.
We should not rule out the possibility of working with Russia and Iran against ISIS, says CFR President Richard N. Haass.
What CFR.org Editors are reading the week of September 21–25, 2015.
It looks as though President Barack Obama will sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the United Nations later this month. In a New York Times report Wednesday, journalists Peter Baker and Andrew E. Kramer described the administration’s internal debate about whether to schedule the meeting.
Pentagon and White House officials can’t agree on whether Russia is an “existential threat” to the United States, nor about what the top threats to the country even are. Micah Zenko discusses how this inhibits government effectiveness and what needs to be done to address it.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is expected to welcome India and Pakistan as full members at its fifteenth annual summit in Ufa, Russia. CFR's Elizabeth C. Economy and William Piekos weigh the rewards and risks of expansion.
For many who arrived in Moscow in recent decades, the city had an almost narcotic effect. In the vacuum created by the Soviet collapse, unabashed opportunism and a limitless sense of the possible became the closest thing the wounded country had to a collective ideology.
It is totally unrealistic to think that the West can gain desired Russian restraint and cooperation without dealing with Moscow as a great power that possesses real and legitimate interests.
The United States and China have developed competing visions for reviving ancient trade routes connecting Asia and Europe. The U.S. diplomatic strategy focuses on Afghanistan, while China hopes to economically integrate Central and South Asia. India and Russia also have regional ambitions.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Stephen Sestanovich argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin could grow more dangerous—both for his neighbors and for the United States.
Mikhail Kasyanov discusses Russia's relations with the United States, the fallout following the murder of Boris Nemtsov, and potential developments between Russia and Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine.
Russian-American relations are in ruins. A look back at decisions made after the Cold War can help us understand what went wrong—and whether the United States had other options.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced this initiative in 2013, which aims to connect countries along the original Silk Road and other maritime nations. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will lend to countries working on these infrastructure and trade projects. On March 28, 2015, the China's Foreign Ministry released the first edition of the initiative's joint vision and actions.
In 1934 Sergei Kirov, an old Bolshevik who had been head of the Party organization in Leningrad, was assassinated with a shot to the back. Most of his NKVD bodyguards had been mysteriously removed before the murder. Josef Stalin, the Soviet Union’s absolute dictator, expressed shock at the murder and promised to investigate personally.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vaunted “stability” has turned into spoliation. The methods he used to fix the corrupt, dysfunctional post-Soviet state have produced yet another corrupt, dysfunctional state—and unfortunately, there is no end to it in sight.