Wednesday, December 24, 2008


clipped from: October 2007

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is growing more authoritarian at home and increasingly aggressive abroad.
China’s global clout seems to expand by the day.
And in the Middle East, a possible conflict with Iran looms on the horizon.


Should the West fear Putin, and how should the United States deal with him going forward?

He’s basically a Russian autocrat at a time of considerable transition in Russia’s position geopolitically and in Russia’s national self-identity. The West should be clear regarding its own interests and promote them firmly. It should oppose any attempts at Russian imperial restoration, and whenever possible, it should cooperate with the Russians regarding issues of joint interest.


There have been many dire warnings about EU member states’ reliance on Russian energy. Do you believe this is a threat

It’s a potential long-range threat. It’s important to the West to see access to the Caspian Sea energy resources and beyond the Caspian to Central Asia.
the West should promote such projects at the Nabucco pipeline through southeastern Europe to central Europe.


If the United States manages to get out of Iraq soon, should it take a hands-off approach to dealing with the Middle East

one has to look at the Middle East in terms of a very diversified geopolitical terrain and fashion a policy accordingly.


Do you think any progress can be made?

if the United States forthcomingly leads
no right of return,
the genuine sharing of Jerusalem,
lines with reciprocal accommodations, and a
demilitarized Palestinian state.


Was it worth it to support a movement that led to the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda?

Afghanistan was destroyed by the Soviets, and that is what has bred the Taliban years after. We would be in a terrible mess if we hadn’t supported the Afghans.


You and many other critics of the Bush administration’s policy toward Iran argue that the United States needs to engage Iran.

simply calling them names or threatening to change the regime certainly is not going to be very productive. And a war with Iran would be a historical disaster


do the United States and its allies need to find ways to counter the Chinese?

I don’t think all Asians want to be subject to Chinese hegemony, but the United States has an obvious interest in accommodating China and not seeking to exclude it from a prominent place in the global hierarchy. China has to be integrated into the system. That means it also has the right to enjoy a proper place in it.

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