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Time for the U.S. to Make Hard Choices on Russia, Middle East

Nikolas Gvosdev Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

It is the misfortune of the Obama administration to preside over the unraveling of several long-term U.S. strategies in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The tactics used by previous administrations to delay making hard choices in the hope that problems would resolve themselves over time without Washington being required to make sacrifices are no longer available, as the crises in both regions make abundantly clear.

For the past 20 years, successive U.S. administrations have held open the door for Ukraine's full integration into the Euro-Atlantic world, with the expectation that either Russia would at long last accept the move as inevitable, or that Russia itself would cease to be a great power in its own right and thus be reduced to raging impotently as the last of its empire slipped from its grasp. The U.S. assumed it was free to pursue partnership with Moscow in areas that mattered to the U.S. while promising to Ukrainians a future alignment with the West. ...

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