Commentator, World Affairs
Stephen Blank, Ph.D.
Research Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Army War College
Katrina Swett, Ph.D.
President, Lantos Foundation
As President Obama seeks successes abroad in his second term, he needs to address deteriorating U.S. relations with Russia. The highly-touted “reset” has failed – both President Vladimir Putin and American diplomats have publicly admitted that. Russia continues to run diplomatic interference for Iran and Syria, preventing impactful action on either issue. The Russian military is modernizing its nuclear and conventional forces to the tune of $700 billion, while threatening retaliatory action against the NATO missile defense system. Vladimir Putin’s third term as president has reaffirmed his grip on power. As Russia is constructing the Eurasian Union in the former Soviet space, the Obama Administration is neglecting the vast territory, including Georgia and Ukraine. Last December Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, a strong bipartisan signal against Russian corruption and human rights violations. In response, however, the Duma banned Americans from adopting Russian children in a move, which only harms scores of Russian youths. Such tit-for-tat punitive diplomacy cannot continue. Join us as our experts discuss the critical issues facing U.S.-Russian relations and hear their policy recommendations for the path forward.