Amid Multiple Dangerous Crises, Can U.S. and Russia ‘Just Get Along?’

Photo of Russia Troops by Vitaly V. Kuzmin via (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en) Wikipedia Commons

RUSSIA THREAT – President Joe Biden came to office as a fierce Kremlin critic after years bashing former President Trump as a Putin ‘stooge,’ and blaming Russia for just about everything. Now, after calling Russian leader Vladimir Putin a ‘killer,” and escalating tensions dramatically, Team Biden is facing a much more dangerous Russia situation.

Putin, facing growing domestic unrest, now has amassed upwards of 100,000 troops on the border of Ukraine. Meanwhile, he has signaled increasing willingness to cooperate militarily with China.

None of this enhances U.S. national security.

So, is it time for yet another new Russia ‘Reset?’ Doubtful. But can the U.S. and Russia at least ‘just get along?’

One expert says this is still possible. Daniel R. DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities and a foreign affairs columnist at Newsweek believes that despite the dangerous brinkmanship and tension, it is still possible and necessary for the U.S. to find some common ground with Russia.

In Defense One he notes, that despite Putin’s personality, Russian strategic goals have remained extremely consistent since the fall of the USSR. To wit:

In Washington today, it’s easy to conflate Russia’s entire foreign policy with Putin’s personal priorities. Go after Putin personally, the logic goes, and Russian foreign policy will eventually change for the better. Unfortunately, geopolitics aren’t that simple.

While the authoritarian Putin brings a certain nationalist flair to the Kremlin, core Russian national interests have remained fairly consistent over the last quarter-century. Moscow remains strongly opposed to the further expansion of NATO, is highly skeptical of Western intentions, and remains extremely sensitive to the slightest hint of Western interference (real or imagined) in its own neighborhood.

Even Boris Yeltsin, generically described as a pro-Western Russian politician, was often just as disgusted about U.S. foreign policy as Putin is today. The big difference was that Yeltsin was a wobbly president in charge of a wobbly country ransacked by economic malaise and criminality. 

Russia’s power in the Putin era may still be undermined by a suite of socioeconomic problems, but nobody can seriously argue that the Russian state itself is on the brink of collapse or that the Russian army today is as incompetent or demoralized as it was in the mid-1990s.

DePetris adds that just because Russia and the U.S. don’t see eye to eye on everything, that doesn’t mean we can’t develop a respectful business-like relationship. Especially, since the current hostile approach clearly isn’t working:

Policymakers in Washington have often believed they can entice or pressure Moscow into fundamentally changing its foreign policy. Yet despite sanctioning hundreds of Russian entities for a wide range of misdeeds, expelling Russian diplomats, closing Russian consulates on U.S. soil and closing ranks with its allies in Europe, Russian foreign policy remains as frustrating to Western sensibilities as it was five or ten years ago. The notion that the West can convince Moscow to see the world the same way is about as constructive as pushing on a locked door.

DePetris concludes that:

While it’s indisputable that friendship won’t be blossoming in the near or medium-term, a business-like relationship on issues of mutual interest is not totally foreclosed…If Biden and Putin are looking for a comprehensive reset of the U.S.-Russia relationship, they will set themselves up for failure. Conflict management and selective cooperation is good enough—and just as important, better than the alternative.

ADN

Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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terry
terry
3 months ago

I realize many people believe President Biden, is being a puppet on strings, and he is bought and paid for, up to a point; he and Vice-President Harris, her by crime cartels, and he by the marxist nations of China and Russia are bought. But I do not think anyone is pulling his stings as much as many think; Ole ten-percent communist pedophile Joe is a mean b@st@rd, and he has always been a mean b@st@rd! He enjoys hurting people, that is sociopathic phsychoctic coming out in our home-grown mobster. He is pulling mostly, his own strings! Do I believe that the plandemic/scamdemic was a planned operation? Yes I do. Ialso believe that the 2016 was withheld from HRC, pay back is a b!tch! Those involved, allowed the triumph of Trump in 2016, simply by not utilizing the means of the massive voting fraud on a national level! They needed Trump to do as he did, in order to show the CCp/KGB-sovites that they were in charge, not Xi or Putin. Now, with the 2020 cinched, and ‘voter irregularities’ entrenched, it is now a foregone conclusion that they are able, in elections, to manipulate, almost at will, winning elections for the candidates of their choosing! The ‘social democrat party has enough rino’s in the republican party to ensure supreme power; with a packing of the supreme court and lower courts, with ballot measure scams;( HR1, jungle ballots, no-party affiliations, name spelling tricks, curve precinct counts, voting machines hacked, firmware plants, state offices blued or purpled, carved out redistricting, yes means no and no means yes, chip type counts, and many others); all of this along with the potential for defrauding 60 plus million vote counts, ensures the their power base. The Republic of these United States of America is dead. The next phase will be the Spring/Summer/Fall offensives. China will invade Taiwan, some other island states, and possibly the Philippines.North Korea will force or invade South Korea. Russia will invade the Ukraine, the Baltic States, and possibly some other bordering states of the old Soviet Union. Turkey will invade the rest of Cyprus, the Greek Isles, and the Kurdish areas bordering them, possibly some other regions. Pakistan will invade portions of Afghanistan and the Kashmir area, possibly Bangladesh. Iran will invade Iraq, and some other bordering areas., as well as kick off a massive war using their terrorist assets, in Lebanon, pallywood, Syria, and Yemen; they will also in conjunction with crime-cartels, home grown groups of all the right/left extremes in the political spectrum release terror cells on the entire West. ALL of this will commence almost simultaneously, with martial laws, purges, property confiscations and stand down orders by a seemingly humiliated NATO/EU West! The United Nations will endorse the actions. In reality, the rino fools and the marxist idiots will test and inflict tens of thousands of military causalities to make profits, test equipment, round in uniform dissidents, and make a truce peace with all their gains; this will end the Spring and early summer campaign. The rest of the summer will be consolidation of gains with martial laws, purges, property confiscations, and rearming! The Fall campaign will be against left-overs, and a defeat of India, Israel, and any nations that held out, and thus, that which was planned by tycoons, tyrants, and terrorist will be a real dark Winter.

Pgb
Pgb
3 months ago

Beijing Briben will fold like a cheap suit with any real confrontation with Russia or any other nation that would “test” him!

fabian
fabian
3 months ago

The US has to make a decision; does it want to fight China and Russia or China alone? Is a small part of Ukraine, populated in majority by ethnic Russians, worth doubling the effort? Don’t forget that ethnic Russians and ethnic Ukrainians do not really like each other for various historical reasons.

Van Snyder
3 months ago

Khrushchev was Ukrainian. When Stalin died and he became Premier and First Secretary, he gave a slice of Russia to Ukraine. According to Soviet “law,” he had to get approval from the Duma. But he didn’t do that. He just signed the order. Russia now views that transfer as illegal, and wants the territory back. USA and NATO should butt out — but urge Russia and Ukraine to settle the dispute peacefully.

Tony Winters
Tony Winters
3 months ago

You cannot get along with anyone who does not respect you, and neither China nor Russia nor Iran have the least bit of respect for the Biden Socialist Regime in general and Joe Biden in particular. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” They all know Biden has a big mouth and NO Stick. They know that he is weak and feeble, they know that he will do nothing to stop them because he is making far too much money from the holdings of the Biden Crime Family

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
3 months ago

Our coprolitic imbecile is a bully for anyone who allows him to get away with it. One bloody nose and he’ll run back to Delaware — leaving us to hang with his dirty deeds. For example, his illegal alien policy is collapsing like a paper tent and he spends his leisure time between gaffes at home. Not the White House. Probably his ritzy new home in Greene, Delaware.

He’s trying to (ahem) assign that problem to Kacklin’ Kamala. Last I heard, she’s going to Guatemala to solve the problem with hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have no quarters, food, clean clothing, medical attention, adult supervision, et al. Instead of making their home nations responsible, he’s giving them to the Air Force, expensive hotels (at taxpayer expense) and on and on.

Congress should demand that he stand in front of them and their respective media choices to tell the people how he plans to solve this massive catastrophe. No cheat sheets, no circles, no teleprompter, nothing but him and his bobbing head. If he cannot face the music, he should be tossed. Impeachment is not likely but a de facto leader might work under our current conditions.

Scotty
Scotty
3 months ago

We will watch PINO Joe talk tough and give in. His enemies are not Russia and China, his enemies are America and the Constitution!

Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy
3 months ago

The US and Russia were getting along under President Trump. Russia wasn’t our friend, but it respected President Trump and thus we coexisted without any further Russian aggression. Unfortunately, it doesn’t respect fraudulent, weak Screamin’ Joe Biden and is again making waves.


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