Accession Number : ADA323242

Title :   Russia's Democratic Moment? Defining US Policy to Promote Democratic Opportunities in Russia. Air War College Studies in National Security Number 2.

Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s) : Martel, William C. ; Hailes, Theodore C.

PDF Url : ADA323242

Report Date : MAY 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 338

Abstract : The discourse in the United States about the end of the Soviet Union and the emergence of Russia from the ashes of totalitarianism is awash in metaphors. We commonly hear it said that the democratic experiment in Russia is the greatest strategic opportunity in the history of the twentieth century to build a stable and prosperous international order. While these may be compelling symbols for the momentous nature of revolutionary change in Russia, these ideas do not offer much guidance to the United States as we shape our policies toward Russia. What, then, is the problem with the relatively simple notion that the United States has an interest in assisting Russia with its democratic transformation? To put matters simply, the problem is that the United States is struggling to find an approach for influencing democratic and economic reform in Russia. For the American people, the result is a debate that swings between extremes and thus confuses those individuals who, in principle, support the idea of assisting Russia in its time of trouble. While we might charge that the fault lies with those responsible for crafting US policy to help shape the democratic transformation of Russia, there is a larger responsibility for those who aspire to influence the public debate in the United States about the proper conduct of our policy toward Russia. We believe that there is a fundamental obligation to articulate a strategy which relates what can be done to what should be done. We believe that the United States has not met either of these objectives. The broad problem is that the notion of democratic and free market economic reform remains clouded in confusion, as several propositions highlight.

Descriptors :   *FOREIGN POLICY, *RUSSIA, *DEMOCRACY, STABILITY, UNITED STATES, ECONOMICS, INTERNATIONAL, CIVILIAN POPULATION, TRANSFORMATIONS.

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE