Center Vice President George Beebe Discusses America’s Shadow War with Russia


On February 6th, George Beebe, the Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for the National Interest, held a presentation at the Institute of International and European Affairs discussing the core tenants of his recent book entitled The Russia Trap: How our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral Into Nuclear Catastrophe (and How to Stop it). In his presentation, he argues that Russia and the United States are dangerously close to a cyber-war that could potentially result in nuclear catastrophe. He contends that US-Russian relations are in a state of “crisis instability” – a marked departure from the stable competition the USSR and US endured during the Cold War due to the omnipresent deterrence of mutually assured destruction. Instead, a strategy of persistent engagement coupled with new game-changing technologies, disappearing rules of the game, and distorted perceptions are causing an escalatory spiral of inadvertent provocations. Beebe cites the need for greater confidence and security building measures through active communication in order to avoid a catastrophic situation. The event was moderated by Pádraig Murphy, chair of the Institute’s Foreign Policy Group, and was attended by several of the Institute’s experts and European academics.

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