Project Syndicate: Last July, you and Heather Ashby argued that Russia is pursuing a global grand strategy, which requires a counter-strategy that “addresses the full range of Russia’s disruptive tactics” and includes a model for a more inclusive international system. Amid rising tensions on Ukraine’s border, and in the wake of a Russian-led intervention in Kazakhstan, how would you change or augment your proposed strategy?
Anne-Marie Slaughter: In our piece, Heather and I pointed to aspects of Russia’s global strategy that we believed were not getting enough attention from the United States or Europe. These include support for the Central African Republic’s government and for Libyan rebels, and arms sales to countries across Southeast Asia.
More recently, however, Russia has reverted to its most characteristic policy approach: asserting itself in what it considers its “near abroad.” What Russia’s threats demand from US President Joe Biden is, first, to do more to make clear that the United States does not object to Russia maintaining influence in either Kazakhstan or Ukraine; after all, the US has plenty of influence in its own “near abroad,” including Canada, Mexico, and many Caribbean states. What cannot stand is the use of force to overthrow or coerce another country’s government. This is not a matter of East-West competition, but of international law.
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