chapter  20
18 Pages

Russian security policy towards the United States 1

WithKathryn E. Stoner, Michael A. McFaul

This chapter focuses on the converse claim—that the United States (US) was too soft on Russia during the ‘reset’, which in turn invited Russian aggression. It explains the negative turn in United States-Russia relations: Russian domestic politics. The 1990s was a tough decade for Russians. The economy contracted by nearly 50 per cent, and then collapsed in August 1998. Regional and national elections took place on a regular basis, and society certainly liberalised, but democracy did not consolidate. US foreign policy most certainly influenced the course of Russian internal reforms in the 1990s, but did not determine it. Cybersecurity for the computers and networks which count votes in the United States and Europe must be enhanced. The current US and European policy of selective containment and selective engagement also will take time to yield intended outcomes. Vladimir Putin has locked Russia in to his current confrontational course, especially given the domestic political and economic environment that he has created.