Balancing the East, Upgrading the West
U.S. Grand Strategy in an Age of Upheaval
From Hope to Audacity
Appraising Obama's Foreign Policy
Foreign Affairs Live: Zbigniew Brzezinski
NATOs History and Next Course of Action
An Agenda for NATO
Toward a Global Security Web
A Tale of Two Wars
The Right War in Iraq, and the Wrong One
A Geostrategy for Eurasia
A Plan for Europe: How to Expand NATO
The Premature Partnership
The Cold War and its Aftermath
Selective Global Commitment
America's New Geostrategy
A Divided Europe: The Future of Yalta
U.S. Foreign Policy: The Search for Focus
How the Cold War Was Played
Japan's Global Engagement
America and Europe
The Framework of East-West Reconciliation
Moscow and the M.L.F.: Hostility and Ambivalence
Russia and Europe
Threat and Opportunity in the Communist Schism
Peaceful Engagement in Eastern Europe
The Challenge of Change in the Soviet Bloc
AMERICA AND RUSSIA
For nearly 45 difficult years the United States pursued a remarkably consistent policy toward the Soviet Union. On the level of grand strategy, that policy was defined as containment of both Soviet geopolitical and ideological ambitions. The practical implementation of the policy of containment involved American geostrategic concentration on the defense of both the western and eastern peripheries of Eurasia, manifested by permanent troop deployments and defined by binding treaty commitments. The doctrine of deterrence, designed to neutralize any Soviet nuclear blackmail, reinforced this defensive posture.
Though the Cold War never escalated into direct American-Soviet warfare, on several occasions it did generate indirect military collisions. In the western extremity of Eurasia, American and Soviet forces twice confronted each other in Berlin, and in the east, U.S. troops were engaged in repelling the Soviet-supported invasion of South Korea, while the Soviet Union later provided Vietnam with the military wherewithal needed to expel the American armies. The closest the two sides ever came to a head-on collision occurred in Cuba because of the Soviet effort to leapfrog its strategic containment. Nevertheless, containment, which in turn made possible the vitally important integration into the Western camp of both Germany and Japan, relied heavily on the ingredient of power.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent end of the Cold War necessitates a new strategy, one that no longer views Russia as an adversary and in which the factor of power is no longer central. But if Russia is no longer an adversary, is it already an ally, or a client or merely a defeated foe? What should be the goal and the substance of a post-Cold War grand strategy toward a major country, destined one way or another to be a power in world affairs, irrespective of its current malaise? Is current American policy toward Russia guided by a well-considered and historically relevant successor to the grand strategy of the Cold War years?
This essay argues that the present U.
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