Friday, July 17, 2015

The Evolution of Russia's Strategic Importance for the US

Anthony Rinna,

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After what seems to have been a general trend of relegating Russia to a relatively unimportant factor in US foreign policy (much to the chagrin of Russia’s leaders and their bid to make Russia an important actor in the international arena), Russia has once again begun to emerge as a central theme in US foreign policy discourse. This extends especially into the realm of defence and security, fields in which the United States has focused heavily on the Middle East as well as the changing strategic environment in East Asia. ...
Public diplomacy seems to have been one area of US foreign policy that had not relegated Russia to a low level of importance. Public diplomacy and exchange programs such as FLEX and Open World targeted Russia and the former Soviet Union with the hopes of increasing mutual respect and understanding between the American people and those of the various former Soviet republics. Nevertheless, even this has recently faced challenges of its own (FLEX has been recently cancelled due to a scandal involving a homosexual participant). .... 
The general consensus among elite policy circles is that the 2009 attempt at a “reset” between Russia and the United States has been a failure. How, the Russia-US relationship seems to have developed to a new level, one at which Russia now holds prime of place in US foreign policy. How this will develop, however, remains to be seen over the coming years.

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