Tue, 11 March 2014
The relationship between the United States and Russia has long been an unstable one. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush sought inroads with Russia and staked much on their personal ties to Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin -- only to leave office with relations at a low point -- and Barack Obama managed to restore ties only temporarily. The Obama administration fostered a positive relationship with former President Dmitry Medvedev, but that 'reset' fell apart after Vladimir Putin's return to the post. While cooperation continues in certain areas, most recently with Syria, broader collaboration is lacking. Professor Stent argues that the same contentious issues -- terrorism, missile defense, Iran, nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan, the former Soviet space, the greater Middle East -- have faced every US president, Democrat and Republican alike, since the collapse of the USSR. What are the prospects for improving relations in the future? Is the effort doomed to fail again and again?