Normalizing U.S.-Russian Relations   [open pdf - 425KB]

"Ten years after the Cold War, the United States is still looking for an organizing principle to guide policy toward Russia. Because of its systemic weakness, neither partnership nor competition is an appropriate concept Washington should put aside its search for a comprehensive concept in dealing with Moscow and pursue a case-by-case approach rooted in specific U.S. interests. Priority interests involve a redefined strategic relationship, including Russian acquiescence to national missile defense; collaboration by Moscow in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other destabilizing technologies; and inducing Russia to base its behavior on respect for the international norms to which it is committed. The United States should be prepared to deemphasize other issues, such as conventional arms sales, that do not threaten core national interests. The Bush administration needs to communicate its intent to respect Russian interests, while making it clear that a productive relationship will depend primarily on Russian willingness to adhere to the values shared by the United States and other democratic nations. The choice of what kind of relationship Russia wants is largely in its own hands. However, Russia's chaotic policymaking and the mismatch between its ambitions and capabilities preclude resolving key bilateral issues. Therefore, prospects for engaging Russia constructively appear dim and the United States will have to go it alone in areas where Russian acquiescence is lacking."

Report Number:
Strategic Forum (April 2001), no.180
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
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