Robert Gates has just completed his first and perhaps his last trip to Russia as secretary of defense under President Barack Obama. Although the two-day visit produced little of substance, some of Gates' public reflections help us understand how much the Russian-U.S. military relationship has improved during the last few years.
As expected, much of the media coverage concerned Russia's response to the military intervention in Libya led by the U.S., Britain and France. The apparent split between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who denounced the intervention as a "crusade," and President Dmitry Medvedev, who mildly rebuked his erstwhile boss, attracted the most attention. Still, the rhetorical flare-up should not be exaggerated, since neither leader has taken any concrete steps to either actively oppose or support the intervention. In his meeting with Gates, Medvedev did offer to mediate the conflict, but nothing came of that initiative. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Global Insights: Managing Partnerships, not Enlargement, Is NATO’s Real Challenge
- The Realist Prism: Despite Hope of Minsk Summit, Damage Done to Russia-West Relations
- Diplomatic Fallout: Why the International System Is Still Worth Fighting For
- Ukraine Crisis Torpedoes Russia-Japan Rapprochement
- The Realist Prism: Time for the U.S. to Make Hard Choices on Russia, Middle East