Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. Cohen frames recent developments in the context of the now nearly month-long proposal by French President Hollande and Russian President Putin for a US-European-Russian military and political coalition against the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, and possibly Libya.
Even though such an alliance is necessary and might serve also to resolve the Cold War confrontation in Ukraine, Cohen argues, recent US-led or -influenced events suggest that the Obama administration has rejected any such “grand coalition” with Moscow. Each of those events is discussed, including escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and Vice President Biden’s visit to Kiev; the Turkish shooting down of a Russian warplane; NATO’s sudden announcement that it is adding tiny Montenegro to its expansion toward Russia; the IMF’s violation of its own rules in order to give Kiev more billions of dollars; and the establishment media’s continuing vilification of Putin’s leadership, even his six-week air war against ISIS.
The overarching question posed: Is Washington again squandering a historic opportunity for a partnership with post-Soviet Russia, again to the detriment of US national security?