Russo-American Relations

Like Rodney Dangerfield, Russia need sa little more respect.
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TRANSCRIPT

Dov Zakheim: I believe basically the Russians are pursuing the Czarist foreign policy. And the United States was able to get along with the Czars. I mean we had our differences. But, you know, Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize negotiating the Czars and the Japanese after the Russo-Japanese War. Part of what Russia wants is, you know, sort of they feel a little like Rodney Dangerfield. They need a little more respect. You know, they’ve gone from being a super power to being Rodney Dangerfield, and they don’t like it. Rodney Dangerfield didn’t like it either. They want more respect. They want to be a player. They’re feeling their oats economically, and their frustrated. They’re frustrated with us because we . . . If we can ignore them, we do ignore them. So therefore they’re doing the kinds of things to make sure that we don’t ignore them. And those kinds of things are not good. They could be a tremendous problem for us if we let them. And I worry that we might let them. And you know, being excessively hostile is just as bad as being phony. I mean it just doesn’t work. We have to treat them in a business-like way. I think that’s a major issue for us.

Recorded on: 7/2/07