Dynamic Russia. The essential feature of this outcome would be a Russian "economic miracle," perhaps analogous to that which occurred in West German, Italy, and Japan in the 1950s and 60s, or such has occured in the emerging markets of East Asia in recent years. With a stable political system, free markets, and abundant natural and human resources, Russia might begin an economic "takeoff" in the course of the next several years, and sustain 8-10 percent per annum GDP growth for a decade or more. A dynamic Russia might not have overtly hegemonic aspirations toward the countries on its periphery. Indeed, a focus on improved living standards, consumption and investment by individuals and firms could direct attention away from international aspirations and could facilitate the normalization of Russia as a nation-state, much the way Japan, France, Turkey and other countries redefined themselves in the period after empire. Nonetheless, a dynamic Russia inevitably would exercise a high degree of influence on its neighbors through trde and investment, particularly if some of these countries lagged Russia in economic performance. (p.289)In other words, a "dynamic Russia" is in America's interest. This is something that I am sure President Putin would agree with, and provides a better blueprint for American policy at the G-8 summit than anything I've seen coming out of the Bush administration nowadays (at least anything that has been published the Washington Post).
Sunday, February 26, 2006
In Sources of Conflict in the 21st Century: Regional Futures and US Strategy, a 1998 publication from the RAND Corporation's "Project Air Force" co-edited by Zalmay Khalilzad--currently American viceroy in Iraq--one paragraph jumps out as something Dick Cheney might want to pay attention to before he plans anything rash at the upcoming G-8 summit meeting in St. Petersburg: