Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Keith Gessen, George T. Delacorte Assistant Professor of Magazine Journalism, essay on "The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio" is featured in the New York Times Magazine (May 8, 2018). Gessen poses the question: Can Washington’s ‘Russia hands’ help explain why the post-Cold War relationship has gone off the rails?
The abiding mystery of American policy toward Russia over the past 25 years can be put this way: Each administration has come into office with a stated commitment to improving relations with its former Cold War adversary, and each has failed in remarkably similar ways. The Bill Clinton years ended with a near-catastrophic standoff over Kosovo, the George W. Bush years with the Russian bombing of Georgia and the Obama years with the Russian annexation of Crimea and the hacking operation to influence the American election.
Some Russia observers argue that this pattern of failure is a result of Russian intransigence and revisionism. But others believe that the intransigent and unchanging one in the relationship is the United States — that the country has never gotten past the idea that it “won” the Cold War and therefore needs to spread, at all costs, the American way of life.