Misperception and Reality

The foolishness of U.S. Russia policy

November 16, 2015
What makes the foolishness of US Russia policy so mind boggling is that there have been so many serious warnings. US policy took its Russophobic turn despite powerful warnings from many of our most respected experts. Said George Kennan, architect of the doctrine of containment of the Soviet Union, in a 1998 interview, "I think it is the beginning of a new cold war ... I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. .... It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/02/opinion/foreign-affairs-now-a-word-from-x.html
Former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, and the last U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, warned in no uncertain terms that NATO expansion would be a serious mistake. In an open letter to President Bill Clinton at the end of June 1997, fifty former US senators, cabinet secretaries and ambassadors, as well as US arms control and foreign policy specialists, stated their belief that “the current US-led effort to expand NATO … is a policy error of historic importance.” https://www.rt.com/usa/312964-kissinger-breaking-russia-ukraine/ http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/21/425670/Kissinger-Russia-great-power-  http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/2015/150212_mattlock.htmlhttp://www.bu.edu/globalbeat/nato/postpone062697.html
In 2006 and 2007, two of our leading experts on Russian foreign policy published articles in FOREIGN AFFAIRS chronicling the history of US insensitivity and blundering in its Russia policy, and warning of serious future consequences (Dmitri Trenin, Russia Leaves the West https://www.foreignaffairs.com/arti...) and Dmitri Simes ("Losing Russia https://www.foreignaffairs.com/arti...). More recently, John Mearsheimer’s article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS: "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin." https://www.foreignaffairs.com/arti... Mearsheimer's lecture, " The West Blew It Big Time and Irreversibly Endangered European Security https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKwKW7gDdeg and Stephen F. Cohen's lecture, "This is the worst international crises since the Cuban missiles crisis," panel discussion "West versus Russia" Ray McGovern, Gilbert Doctorow, Nicolai Petro /en/blogs/fred-eidlin/?id_4=2170&a_4=e 


Since FOREIGN AFFAIRS is the flagship journal of the US foreign policy establishment, many of those who shape our Russia policy must have seen these articles. (or, maybe they don't read). How can the sustained foolishness of US Russia policy be explained?
Maybe the late Director of the (Russian) Institute of the USA and Canada, Georgi Arbatov hit the nail on the head in an interview he gave in the late 1980s. At a time when Americans were still very skeptical that Gorbachev was for real, Arbatov said in an interview: "We are going to do a terrible thing to you. We are going to deprive you of an enemy." It appears that the need for an enemy was too strong to give up.
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  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
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