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Structural Realism after the Cold War. Inetrnational Security, Vol. Business Insider. Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence. Russia is a huge country with many resources. It would be nice if it had a government that had fewer pretensions on the world stage and paid more attention to internal development.
OK, the Russians vs us? Hmmmm - it's better than us vs nuts in the ME. Russians are civilized, able to produce their own technology and well, chess players. If there has to be a top player to oppose us, who's better? We have more in common with the Russians and they with us, then either of us has with AlQaeda - etc What you have described is a classic balance of power situation, like what we had - Great if it works, very bad if not, especially just after the point of failure.
Obviously Putin's patterns of conduct over the past few years are bad for the U. Instead of allying with us against the Islamist threat, he is doing the opposite, encouraging Iran, Syria, and others to make trouble. The question is, whether Putin's adventurism and expansionism, and what is clearly a dream of creating a new Soviet Union, is in the interests of Russia. I think not. The basic threat to Russia is from China longer range and only potential and Islam direct and actual. Added to that is the demographic factor. Russia is committing demographic suicide, which can only end in the same way as it is likely to end in Europe--with the Muslims moving in.
The first thing Russia needs to do is to put its house in order. They need a solid economy, solid and productive jobs for the people, a return to family values, and a reduction in mafia-style corruption. A rebirth of Christianity in the Orthodox Church and perhaps reasonable tolerance of other Christian churches would be most helpful, because Christianity provides a moral basis for people to behave themselves, instead of having to rely on the police to make them behave. Obviously Russia wants to keep the US out of its neighborhood, and to exert some degree of control over its neighbors, but that would best be done through trade and friendship, not through force and subversion.
If Europe collapses into Eurabia, Russia will not be in a good position, and will certainly find the U. RE: We have more in common with the Russians and they with us, then either of us has with AlQaeda - etc It's easy to conclude that. Most Russians are Caucasian, and based on their appearance, can easily be mentally lumped in with Western European peoples and those of that origin elsewhere.
Culturally is where things get a bit more interesting. Although the initial Muscovy and Kievan Rus were certainly offshoots of Nordic tribes, much intervening history has resulted in a quite different cultural outlook than one would find in the West. Whereas, at the margins of the West there were battles with and minor loss of territory to Mongols and Muslims during the period - , Russia became a de facto vassal state of the Mongol Empire. This is an issue most Russians do not care to confront.
Furthermore, cultural interchanges with the Persian Empire, and the later Islamic Caliphate, had an undeniable cultural influence.
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From samovars filled with tea, to onion domed churches, Russians assimilated oriental cultural elements. There is a contention, which some might actual consider constructive contention, within the Russian psyche, between oriental and western elements. What else would we expect from the only country besides Turkey to straddle the boundary between Europe and Asia?
By the way, I've got a family tree that is extremely pertinent to this discussion. I technically have more in common, genetically, with RusIvan than I do with most of my fellow Americans ;. America's power, relative to Russia's, must decline to achieve balance. OR Russia's power must increase relative to America's. There is nothing to say that once balance is achieved, that the direction of fall, or rise, of either country, will stop.
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As a matter of fact, real-politic demands that it doesn't. No one understands the US or even the world economy. Economic historians argue about the 's economic depression. So, what chance does someone have of entering into large, long term structures and contracts with the most dishonest of world governments? But hey, it's something to do and it keeps people, whom are otherwise unproductive, busy.