The first public showings of post-Soviet Russian-made aircraft were held last week at Russia’s recently completed International Aviation & Space Salon exhibition, known as MAKS-2011 and held at Zhukovsky airfield outside Moscow. More than 400,000 visitors attended the five-day biennial aviation event, at which hundreds of aerospace firms were represented, including many foreign ones. The exhibition shed considerable light on the revival of Russian military aviation as it attempts to break free from lingering Soviet-era constraints. Until a few years ago, Russian aerospace companies struggled to keep Soviet-era weapons platforms operational through upgrades. The Russian military-industrial complex rarely produced any […]
In recent weeks, pundits, diplomats and assorted foreign policy wonks have started raising the alarm on U.S.-Russia relations, with the Obama administration’s much-trumpeted “reset” seeming to be increasingly under threat. A recent travel ban by the U.S. State Department on certain Russian officials believed to be involved in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky elicited an angry response from Moscow threatening cooperation in areas ranging from Afghanistan to North Korea. Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has started grousing about U.S. missile defense plans again. And all of this comes against a backdrop of increasing criticism from Prime Minister Vladimir […]
In thinking about how to support the twin goals of deterrence and assurance, the Obama administration has been struggling with how best to integrate U.S. nuclear weapons, conventional forces and missile defenses into a coherent strategic posture. Now budgetary pressures are making the trade-offs involved in striking the necessary balance for such an initiative even sharper. These three military tools interact in complex ways. Nuclear forces are very powerful but for the most part unusable due to their destructiveness and the taboo associated with their use. Their main value is therefore to deter adversaries and reassure allies, thereby helping to […]
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, I was completing my doctoral dissertation on Warsaw Pact-Third World relations. I immediately understood that my time in Soviet studies was done. Why? Because I knew that Russia was full of brilliant political scientists who, once free to pursue their craft free of ideological constraints, would do a better job explaining things there than outsiders could. The generation of Russian scholars that emerged in the post-Soviet era proved me right, and none has consistently impressed more than Dmitri Trenin, who heads up the Moscow office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Trenin, […]
Three years after war broke out between Georgia and Russia on August 8, 2008, both countries still glare angrily at each other.
Allegations of Russian involvement in a bombing targeting the U.S. embassy compound in Tbilisi, Georgia, have sent diplomatic shockwaves through international policy circles and threaten the Obama administration’s carefully calibrated “reset” program with Moscow. While the details of the incident underscore the Caucasus’ still-smoldering volatility, they are consistent with Russia’s longtime activities in the region. The reactions were quick and vigorous following Eli Lake’s July 22 report in the Washington Times, in which official Georgian sources accused Russian agents of complicity in a September 2010 explosion near the American Embassy in Tbilisi. According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, an Abkhazia-based […]