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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, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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