A New Cold War?
The Sources of Soviet Conduct
Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century
Atomic Weapons and American Policy
The Illusion of Disengagement
On Peaceful Coexistence
The Search for Stability
The Challenge of Change in the Soviet Bloc
The Practice of Partnership
The Framework of East-West Reconciliation
The Limits of Détente
After the Cold War
On Power: The Nature of Soviet Power
The Rise, Fall and Future of Détente
What Went Wrong With Arms Control?
Containment: 40 Years Later
Containment Then and Now
Beyond the Cold War
From Cold War Toward Trusting Peace
Toward the Post-Cold War World
America's Stake in the Soviet Future
Beyond Boris Yeltsin
Can Russia Change?
Russia Leaves the West
The Costs of Renewed Confrontation
Mission to Moscow
Why Authoritarian Stability Is a Myth
What Has Moscow Done?
Rebuilding U.S.-Russian Relations
Moscow's Modernization Dilemma
Is Russia Charting a New Foreign Policy?
The Dying Bear
Russia's Demographic Disaster
Managing the New Cold War
What Moscow and Washington Can Learn From the Last One
Russia's Perpetual Geopolitics
Putin Returns to the Historical Pattern
Putin's Foreign Policy
The Quest to Restore Russia’s Rightful Place
The Revival of the Russian Military
How Moscow Reloaded
Why Putin Took Crimea
The Gambler in the Kremlin
Trump and Russia
The Right Way to Manage Relations
Why New Russia Sanctions Won't Change Moscow's Behavior
Washington's Approach Lacks Clear Goals
The Kremlin's Latest Crackdown on Independent Media
Russia's New Foreign Agent Law in Context
Containing Russia, Again
An Adversary Attacked the United States—It’s Time to Respond
Putin's Past Explains Russia's Future
What to Expect After the Election
Has a New Cold War Really Begun?
Why the Term Shouldn't Apply to Today's Great-Power Tensions
This past summer's war in Georgia -- and its aftermath -- delivered a higher-voltage shock to U.S.-Russian relations than any event since the end of the Cold War. It made Russia an unexpected flashpoint in the U.S. presidential campaign and probably won Russia a place at the top of the next administration's agenda. Yet this is hardly the first time in the last two decades that Washington has buzzed with discussion of ominous events in Russia. Before long, the buzzing has usually subsided. Will this crisis prove different? Has Washington's thinking about Russia really changed, and how much?
At first glance, the change seems fundamental. Five years ago, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, Alexander Vershbow, said that the main difficulty in U.S.-Russian relations was a "values gap." The two sides were cooperating effectively on practical problems, he argued, but were diverging on issues such as the rule of law and the strengthening of democratic institutions. No U.S. official would make such a statement today -- or would have even six months ago. Well before Russian tanks rolled into Georgia in August, the list of issues separating Washington from Moscow had grown long, and, more important, these issues extended well beyond the values gap. Although great powers are widely thought to have stopped viewing security as the core problem in their dealings with one another, that is what most troubles U.S.-Russian relations. Things were bad enough when the U.S. government used to say that then Russian President Vladimir Putin was undermining Russian democracy. Once Putin, now prime minister but apparently still the country's leader, started saying that the United States was undermining Russia's nuclear deterrent, he took tensions to an entirely new level.
Against this backdrop, Russia's invasion of a small neighbor might have seemed to be final confirmation of the view that Russia has become, in the words of the British economist Robert Skidelsky, "the world's foremost revisionist power." And yet,
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