AT THE CENTER

Is a Collision With Russia Over Ukraine Inevitable?

Talks last week between U.S., European, and Russian diplomats helped to clarify the wide gap between Russian and Western positions over Ukraine, NATO, and the broader European security architecture. But they made little progress toward bridging this gap. Russia is openly threatening to use “military-technical” or even outright military means if no diplomatic resolution can

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“The most important summits between leaders in Washington and Moscow—during the Nixon and Reagan administrations—took place precisely when the two governments recognized the dangers of inveterate mutual hostility and sought to limit them.”

-Paul J. Saunders

“The threat to the liberal order comes not from political shifts within democratic societies from liberal to conservative parties; that’s the normal cycle of democratic politics. It comes from resurgent autocrats in Russia, China, North Korea and Iran who do not tolerate such political shifts. Authoritarianism, not nationalism, poses the real threat to the liberal order.”

-Jacob Heilbrunn

“Resolution of the Korean issues and North Korea’s threat is important, but it must be addressed in the context of the greater situation. North Korea is not the most important thing. Our interests and the security of our allies and friends are the most important.”

-Wallace C. Gregson

“We must recognize that world affairs are rarely black and white, that alliances should serve as instruments of U.S. policy rather than as ends in themselves, and that—like it or not—history as we always knew it has returned. Those who resist accepting this essential fact risk finding themselves on the wrong side of history.”

-Dimitri K. Simes

“Asia’s greatest challenge today is not a nuclear Pyongyang armed with missiles that can hit most parts of the planet, but something far more complex: a People’s Republic of China that is out of space to grow economically, and has in fact peaked. The ramifications of this fact could be profound, and indeed reorder our thinking of global politics not just in the Asia-Pacific, but on a global scale.”

-Harry J. Kazianis

“One of the core challenges for U.S.-China relations going forward will be finding the right balance between competition and cooperation. The former is inevitable but the latter will ultimately be essential.”

-Paul Heer

“Basing U.S. foreign policy on a transformational agenda has done little to advance vital American interests, but it has proved to be a good recipe for getting stuck in a perpetual cycle of elevated hopes and dashed expectations. It has entangled us in factional infighting in foreign political cultures that we do not adequately understand, and it has made us ripe for manipulation by cynical foreign political operators.”

-George Beebe

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Is a Collision With Russia Over Ukraine Inevitable?

Talks last week between U.S., European, and Russian diplomats helped to clarify the wide gap between Russian and Western positions over Ukraine, NATO, and the broader European security architecture. But they made little progress toward bridging this gap. Russia is openly threatening to use “military-technical” or even outright military means if no diplomatic resolution can

Watch Video