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James M. Goldgeier is a professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University.  He received his B.A. in government from Harvard and his M.A. and Ph.D. in[…]

No, says James Goldgeier, but we need to reanalyze Russia’s role.

Question: A Second Cold War?

James Goldgeier: There's not going to be another Cold War. And in part that's because-- I mean people forget what the Cold War was. The Cold War was this global battle between these two powers that were the two leading ideological powers, military powers, political powers, economic powers. Russia, for awhile, was the number two economy, Soviet Union was the number two economy. And so, it was this global battle among these two global giants. Now Russia today is in a much better place, you know, certainly economically than it was in the late '90s. It doesn't have a lot of political influence, it doesn't have the same kind of military influence the Soviet Union had. You know, it's better off economically but it doesn't challenge the United States so there's not going to be another Cold War, but it is much more assertive than it was in the 1990s. In the 1990s basically the United States policy then was we're going to try to help this newly independent country move away from communism and become a democratic, market oriented state that is integrated into the West. That project's over. You know, Russia is not integrating into the West. I mean, there were even thoughts in the '90s about Russia would someday join NATO or be a member of the European Union and, you know, I mean that's not happening. And the real question is, sort of in working out a relationship with Russia, you know, trying to understand how does Russia see its interests and certainly there are going to be differences in many areas between the United States and Russia, but there are areas--counter terrorism, preventing a nuclear Iran, Iran with nuclear weapons, other issues out there that the United States and Russia should be able to cooperate on and we're going to have to find a way to do that.


Recorded on:07/08/2008