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Uncommon Decency

Jan 26, 2022

“When asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing the United States, you said Russia—not Al-Qaeda, Russia. The 1980’s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. The Cold War has been over for twenty years.” The seasoned politicos in our audience might recognize Barack Obama’s quip on former Governor Mitt Romney in a 2012 presidential election debate, back when America hoped to “reset” its relationship with Russia whilst pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific. Two years later, Russia annexed Crimea and sent “little green men” to back Ukrainian separatists, leaving that country in a state of perpetual civil war since. Over the past month, Russia has further escalated tensions, massing troops on its border with Ukraine. The Kremlin demands that the US never allow Ukraine or Georgia into NATO, and that all countries that joined since 1997 be expelled from the alliance. In other words, Vladimir Putin wants a Monroe doctrine of sorts enforced in its immediate vicinity that would leave Ukraine squarely in Russia’s sphere of influence. As the possibility of war in the East becomes a distinct probability, we launch season 4 by taking stock of these tensions with the Atlantic Council’s Vladislav Davidzon and Catholic University’s Michael Kimmage—both returnees to the show.

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