In This Review

Hang Separately: Cooperative Security Between the United States and Russia, 1985-1994
Hang Separately: Cooperative Security Between the United States and Russia, 1985-1994
By Leon V. Sigal
Century Foundation Press, 2000, 397 pp
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Sigal's title refers to the absence of cooperative security between the United States and Russia, said to make the world a far more dangerous place than it need be. In contrast to the general tendency to pat the earlier Bush administration on the back for its skillful handling of German reunification and the Soviet collapse, Sigal thinks George H.W. Bush missed a major chance to reduce nuclear danger and promote Russian democracy. The failure -- and the Clinton administration's only marginally better record -- occurred because Washington was neither willing to run small risks to secure radical changes in the bilateral nuclear relationship nor ready to provide the needed material assistance to Russian political and economic reform. Why? Because of the "realist" view of the world subscribed to by senior U.S. policymakers, which biased them toward coercing concessions rather than inducing positive change, and the domestic politics that reinforced this tendency. Much as one may sympathize with Sigal's lament, however, the hard (and unanswered) question is, so then what?