Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#19 - JRL 8507 - JRL Home
From: "Albert L. Weeks" <AWeeks11@comcast.net>
Subject: Comment on Dmitri Trenin's point/ 8506 [re: U.S.-Russian Relations; Security Strategy; Preemptive War]
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004

I would like to make a comment on Dmitri Trenin's following aside made at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace seminar (JRL 8506).

"There was a glimmer of hope that Putin was moving in the right direction after 9/11, and I think that that hope was, at that point, was substantiated. But the strategic decision was not backed up by strategy. U.S.-Russian relations did not really prosper and that is not only Russia's fault. 2002 was essentially wasted as a year when we could have made a difference to our relationship and by the time the Iraq war came I think the window of opportunity had closed."

This statement is misleading for two reasons,

First, Putin, unfurled his own preemptive "NSS 2002" in Russia in autumn 2003 titled, <<Aktualniye zadachi razvitiya vooruzhennikh sil Rossiiskoi Federatsii (Timely Tasks for the Development of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation), known as the "Ivanov Doctrine." This "pro-active" Russian doctrine, even more boldly than our NSS2002, proposes outright a preemptive strategy for Russia's armed forces. That such a strategy might be applied one day against a hostile State that putatively harbored or abetted terrorism became clear when Putin praised Bush for his war against Saddam Hussein while endorsing Bush's reelection, both before Nov. 3, 2004, and after. Russian cooperation in the U.S.-led war against Afghanistan in 2002 was also noteworthy.

Thus, it seems, the "window" is still open.