Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cold War II?

In this narrative, a generous United States "spared" post-Soviet Russia the humiliation of total defeat and graciously allowed Moscow to continue to play the role of a major power even as its economy contracted and its military deteriorated. Brought into the Group of Seven, offered a substantive partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an ungrateful Russia tried to resurrect a sphere of influence in the post-Soviet space and presumed to place limits on the freedom of action of the United States to spread peace and freedom throughout the world.

In the Russian version of this tale, the Cold War came to an end because Moscow voluntarily renounced its bloc (the famous "Sinatra Doctrine") and because the Russian Federation - the largest constituent of the USSR - took the initiative in managing the "velvet divorce" of the Soviet Union. Instead of prolonging the Cold War to the bitter end, Russia's decision enabled the United States to slash its defense budget and laid the basis for the longest peacetime expansion of the American economy in its history.

Originally posted:

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