Russia House

editorial

2018-02-15

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2018-02-15
The Deep State Is Very Real
How the Deep State stopped better relations with Russia.

By Robert W. Merry
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2018-02-15
Dutch Official Admits Lying About Meeting With Putin: Is Fake News Used by Russia or About Russia? (excerpt)

By Glenn Greenwald
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2018-02-15
Russia's Clash With the West Is About Geography, Not Ideology
The Marshall Plan recognized the limits of U.S. power in Europe. To be successful, so must diplomacy with Moscow today.

BY BENN STEIL
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2018-02-13
Why Democrats Are Obsessed with Russia

By Ted Galen Carpenter
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2018-02-13
Democratic ties to Russia are ample, and often ethically dubious

BY SHARYL ATTKISSON
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2018-02-13
In the Russia probe, what if no one is guilty?

By F.H. Buckley
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2018-02-13
The FBI Was Desperate for Somebody to Spy On
The Steele dossier served up an improbable tale about Carter Page, but it would have to do.

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
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2018-02-12
Why the Directors of Russias Intelligence Agencies Visited Washington (Op-ed)
Secret meetings between the U.S. and Russia are the best hope for restoring relations
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2018-02-12
Is the Steele Dossier Full of Russian Dirt or British?

By JAMES GEORGE JATRAS
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Russia House

2016-09-06

TRUMP, PUTIN & NATO

By Frank Shatz

It is remarkable that it was at the symposiums held at William & Mary and at the Old Dominion University in 1996-1997, that one of the most contentious issues of the 2016 presidential elections, namely, how to manage U. S.-Russian relations, got a thorough public airing.
The symposium was sponsored by the Supreme Allied Command Atlantic, headquartered in Norfolk. Its aim was to deal with one of the most critical decisions facing the West in the post-Cold War era, whether to expand NATO to the East.
Marine Gen. John Sheehan, the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, responding to my question why his command is sponsoring an essentially intellectual inquire into national security issues explained, NATO expansion to the East encompasses not just military components but also political and economic issues.
Indeed, during the ensuing debate, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, and the keynote speaker at the symposium, considered the expansion of NATO as a foregone conclusion. But several nationally recognized foreign policy experts warned of the consequences. Among them Richard Haass, former special assistant, to President George H. W. Bush, who currently serves as President of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The by-polar world was more or less predictable, Haass said. Now we are entering a much less structured, more volatile world. Take for example the Middle East. It must be considered a region that rest on top of a politically earthquake-prone fault line. We can expect that the situation there will likely get bad before it gets even worst. And interestingly, NATO, as a defense organization, has no role to play there.
Those were prophetic words uttered 20 years ago, augmented by Robert Legvold, the former director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. He emphasized that vital European security interests are much more threatened by instability in the Middle East, a region that is the source of most of Europes energy supplies, than by any foreseeable danger posed by Russian expansionism.
We should keep in mind that Russia wont roll over to accommodate the Wests desire to expand NATO closer to their border, Legvold said. If we disregard Russias interest, we do so at our own peril.
Another authority, on U. S.- Russian relationship, John Pepper, the former CEO and Board Chairman of Procter & Gamble, the giant American consumer product company, who took P&G to Russia, in a recently published essay, wrote:
I believe Putin truly started out with the overwhelming goal to restore Russias stability and return it to greatness. He had experienced the ravages not only of the war but also the 1990s as the economy disintegrated.... He began his Presidency wanting to become part of the West. This was reflected in his being the first leader to reach out to President Bush right after the 9-11 terrorist attack. This manifested not only his desire to reach out to the West but, above all, his fear of terrorism, of unrest, of chaos, which he had experienced in many forms.
Over the last year, Vladimir Putins apparent meddling in U. S. elections and his cozying up to the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, had a chilling effect on U. S,-Russian relations. Many now believe that Trump is an admirer of Putins autocratic rule and if elected, he would emulate him.
Interestingly, however, the mutual admiration between Trump and Putin may have a detrimental effect on gaining the votes of American citizens of Eastern European descent in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Virginia. Trumps alarms them with suggestion that under his presidency the United States will live up only conditionally to its obligations under the NATO charter, namely to defend countries like Poland, the Baltics, the Czech Republic and others.
John Weaver, a Republican strategist said, Youre talking about voters with family in those places. These voters are key, to any narrow path that Trump has left.
Shatz, a Williamsburg resident, is the author of Reports from a Distant Place, a compilation of his selected columns. The book is available at the Bruton Parish Shop and Amazon.com