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Flawed U.S. Policy Led to New Cold War

Published: April 9, 2014 (Issue # 1805)




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TheEast-West confrontation over Ukraine, which led toMoscows annexation ofCrimea but long predated it, is potentially theworst international crisis inmore than 50 years andthe most fateful. Anegotiated resolution is possible, but time may be running out.

Anew cold war divide is already descending onEurope not inBerlin but onRussias borders. Worse may follow. If NATO forces move toward western Ukraine or even toits border with Poland, as is being called forby zealous cold warriors inWashington andEurope, Moscow is likely tosend its forces intoeastern Ukraine. Theresult would be adanger ofwar comparable tothe Cuban missile crisis of1962.

If NATO forces move near Ukraine, Moscow may invade eastern Ukraine. This could be worse than theCuban Missile Crisis.

Even if theoutcome is thenonmilitary isolation ofRussia, todays Western mantra, theconsequences will be dire. Moscow will not bow but will turn, politically andeconomically, tothe East, as it has done before above all, tofuller alliance with China. TheU.S. will risk losing anessential partner invital areas ofits own national security, fromIran, Syria andAfghanistan tothreats ofa new arms race, nuclear proliferation andmore terrorism. And no small matter prospects fora resumption ofRussias democratization will be terminated forat least ageneration.

Why did this happen, nearly 23 years after theend ofSoviet communism, when both Washington andMoscow proclaimed anew era offriendship andstrategic partnership?

Theanswer given bythe administration ofU.S. President Barack Obama andoverwhelmingly bythe U.S. political-media establishment is that President Vladimir Putin is solely toblame. Theclaim is that his autocratic rule athome andneo-Soviet imperialist policies abroad eviscerated thepartnership established inthe 1990s byPresidents Bill Clinton andBoris Yeltsin. This fundamental premise underpins theAmerican mainstream narrative oftwo decades ofU.S.-Russian relations andnow theUkrainian crisis.

But there is analternative explanation, one that is more inaccord with historical facts. Beginning with theClinton administration, andsupported byevery subsequent Republican andDemocratic president andCongress, theU.S.-led West has unrelentingly moved its military, political andeconomic power ever closer topost-Soviet Russia. Spearheaded byNATOs eastward expansion, already encamped inthe three former Soviet Baltic republics onRussias border andnow augmented bymissile defense installations inneighboring states this bipartisan, winner-take-all approach has come invarious forms.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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