Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who Lost Russia?-2

"There is more to Valdimir Putin's popularity than oil-fueled prosperity. In the early to mid-'90's, I found young Russians to be largely pro-American. They looked on the U.S. as a model for their country and were hopeful that the fall of communism would usher in an era of cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. However, cold water was thrown on these hopes by the Clinton adminstration's decision to support expanding NATO to include former Warsaw Pact countries--without any prospect that Russia would ever be invited. ... Clinton also lost much credibility with Russia by pushing to intervene in Kosovo in 1999. The Bush administration, many Russians say, added insult to injury by sponsoring NATO membership for portions of the former Soviet Union itself--the Baltic States. ... Given that our alliances with both Pakistan and Turkey are getting 'frayed around the edges,' perhaps the U.S. should try to make up for missed opportunities to build a strategic relationship with post-Communist Russia", James Klebba (JL) letter in the WSJ, 12 December.

We have provoked Russia for no strategic benefit. See my 22 October post. I agree with JL.

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