Ukraine, Syria and the Downfall of U.S.-Russia Relations
Russia’s assertive foreign policy in Ukraine and Syria certainly has our attention. Using “hard power”, Russia has been successful in Ukraine: absorbing Crimea, occupying Eastern Ukraine and making Estonia and other proximate states and NATO very nervous. Now, in Syria, using “hard power”, Russia has seized the initiative, probably saved the Assad regime, bonded with Iran enhancing the positions of both, increased its own prestige, and is establishing itself as a major force in the Middle East. The military rooted actions in Ukraine and Syria parallel Russia’s economic and political steps to bring former Soviet Republics and Mongolia into the Eurasian Union.
Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy has indeed severely damaged U.S.-Russia relations, but perhaps more fundamentally it may be increasing Russia’s regional influence and global prestige while attempting to restore the grandeur of the Soviet empire. As we ponder the unfolding of Mr. Putin’s grand strategy and its consequences for the arrangements of power in the Middle East and American stature and influence, we will be joined by one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Russian foreign policy, Professor James Goldgeier of American University.
Professor Goldgeier holds an A.B. degree from Harvard University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkley. He has taught at Cornell University and was a professor of international affairs at George Washington University before assuming his position at American University as Professor and Dean of the School of International Service.
He also has been Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council staff, and held fellowships, chairs, or appointments at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Library of Congress, the Hoover Institution, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for International Security and Cooperation.
He is the author of innumerable articles and author or co-author of several books including:America Between Wars: from 11/9 to 9/11 (2008); Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (2003), and Not Whether But When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO (1999).
It is a great pleasure again to welcome Professor James Goldgeier to the Council.