In Feature Articles, Russia

Opinion article by Stephen Kinzer, in Boston Globe, April 28, 2016

One morning earlier this month, an American guided missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, set sail from Poland on a NATO exercise. It slowed down less than 50 miles from a Russian military base and began a series of maneuvers, including landings by Polish helicopters and the deployment of an antisubmarine device. Alarmed Russian commanders responded by sending fighter jets to buzz the ship. They reportedly swooped to within 30 feet of the deck [feature photo].

It was a scary confrontation. The US Navy called Russia’s action “unsafe and unprofessional.” Russia’s ambassador to NATO replied that the NATO exercise “wasn’t military activity proper, but rather an attempt to exert pressure on Russia.” Both were right. So was Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev when he said, “We have slid into a new time of Cold War.”

Tension between Russia and the United States has suddenly become more intense than at any time in the last quarter-century…

Our trouble with Russia may be traced in good measure to President Bill Clinton’s decision in 1993 to expand NATO into Eastern Europe. With the single exception of our decision to invade Iraq in 2003, this may now be seen as America’s worst foreign policy choice of the post-Cold War era. The division of Europe had barely ended when we helped divide it again…

Read the full article at the Boston Globe weblink above.


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