What's Behind the Ginned-Up Crisis in U.S.-Russia Relations?
Storm clouds are gathering over what has been a signature shift in U.S. foreign policy under President Barack Obama: the "reset" of relations with Russia. The usual suspects, from the Weekly Standard to the Washington Times to hawkish cold warriors in Congress, see recent news as vindication of their argument that the reset represents dangerous appeasement of a relentless foe on the march, an adversary with which it would be folly to cooperate in any way.
Some of the headlines, including a supposedly Kremlin-ordered attack on a U.S. Embassy, leave one with the impression that the U.S.-Russia relationship is on the brink of a return to the state of near confrontation that Obama inherited.
Reset-bashing is, of course, nothing new; critics of the policy have seized on every faint hint of Russian hostility abroad and revanchism at home to denounce Obama for his weakness and naivete. But much of the recently published analysis is deeply misleading. Some of the reset-bashers seem so blinded by their rage that they simply refuse to acknowledge its successes and have conveniently forgotten how disastrous the alternative—an antagonistic U.S.-Russia relationship—is for U.S. national interests and Russia’s own development.
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This article was originally published in Foreign Policy.
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