Designing U.S. Policy Toward Russia
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Relations between the United States and Russia are more strained now than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Observers in Russia report that mistrust of the United States is as pervasive as it was at the end of the Cold War. Similarly, in the U.S., an increasing number of experts describe Russia as a nation once again lost to despotism and a potential threat to its neighbors, Western Europe, and America. Leadership transitions in both the United States and Russia create an opportunity to reconsider these trends and longer-term prospects for cooperation.
With support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Academy is conducting a major reexamination of U.S. foreign policy toward Russia. The goal of the study is to develop a comprehensive, coherent, and effective policy on U.S.-Russian relations for consideration by the new U.S. administration, the incoming Congress, and the media. Outreach efforts at both regional and national levels will ensure that the project’s results are widely disseminated and policy recommendations given serious consideration.
The Academy has convened a diverse group of policymakers, business leaders, policy analysts, and academics to participate in this initiative. The project will generate:
The Academy has long a history of work in security studies, having developed policy recommendations on U.S.-Russian relations that have influenced decision-makers across a wide political spectrum. During the Cold War, the Academy was the U.S. sponsor of the Pugwash Conferences, whose vital contributions to the prevention of armed conflict garnered the Pugwash organization and its president, Joseph Rotblat — a Foreign Honorary Member of the Academy — the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize.
- A scholarly reassessment of U.S. policy toward Russia;
- A new coalition of analysts drawn widely from the academic and public policy communities;
- Reports and white papers with recommendations to various constituencies;
- Outreach efforts to promote the findings within the executive and legislative branches of government, the media, and the policy community.
More recently, the Academy’s study on “International Security in the Post-Soviet Space” examined security challenges in the new post-Soviet nation-states of Eastern Europe.
The Academy is collaborating on this project with Georgetown University, the National Defense University’s Institute for National Security Studies, the Carnegie Moscow Center, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, among other organizations. As part of the Academy’s project:
- Rose Gottemoeller, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, is leading a 12-part seminar series on the security dimension in U.S.-Russian relations, with primary emphasis on areas of real and potential nuclear cooperation.
- Angela Stent of Georgetown University and Eugene Rumer of the Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University are leading a series of meetings devoted to the larger questions surrounding the relationship and the challenges facing U.S. policy. Recent meetings have focused on developing a framework for assessing key political and economic trends in Russia and values versus interests when dealing with Russia.
- Ambassador James F. Collins, now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is coordinating conversations with former ambassadors regarding the issue of structure in the U.S.-Russia relationship.
- Andrew Kuchins, director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, will head a study group to consider the increasingly complex and important economic dimension of U.S.-Russian relations.
The project Steering Committee includes: Robert Legvold (Project Director, Columbia University), Deana Arsenian (Carnegie Corporation of New York), Coit Denis Blacker (Stanford University), James F. Collins (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Rose Gottemoeller (Carnegie Moscow Center), Thomas E. Graham (Kissinger Associates), Thomas R. Pickering (Hills & Company/ The Boeing Company), Eugene Rumer (Institute for National Security Studies), Strobe Talbott (The Brookings Institution), and Angela Stent (Georgetown University).
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