U.S. Policy and Strategy in Europe, Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, First Session, March 21, 2017   [open pdf - 453KB]

This testimony compilation made by the HSDL staff is from the March 21, 2017 hearing, "U.S. Policy and Strategy in Europe," before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services. The purpose of this hearing was to, "receive testimony on U.S. policy and strategy in Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, American policy and strategy in Europe have been guided by the idea that Russia was, or at least might become, a reliable security partner. To varying degrees, each of our last three Presidents pursued a partnership with Russia on these terms. And each time, high hopes ended in disappointment, not for lack of good faith or effort on the American side, but because of the simple fact that Vladimir Putin has no interest in such a partnership. He believes achieving his goal of restoring Russia as a great power means diminishing American power, as well as the values and institutions it sustains and defends. Unfortunately, we as a country were slow to recognize that fact. Russia invaded Georgia and Ukraine, annexed Crimea, repeatedly threatened our NATO allies, violated the INF [Intermediate Nuclear Forces] Treaty, rapidly modernized its military, executed a major military buildup along its western border, and interfered in American elections, all before policymakers on both sides of the aisle truly began to come to terms not only with the reality of Vladimir Putin's neo-imperial ambitions, but also with the heavy price we have paid for [...] 'hugging the bear.'" Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Philip M. Breedlove, William J. Burns, and Alexander R. Vershbow.

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