Magazine June 11, 2018, Issue

The Roots of Russian Aggression

Unidentified individuals hold a Russian flag as they block a building in Simferopol, the administrative center of Crimea, on March 1, 2014. (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)
Don’t blame the West

The Cold War didn’t “end” — it was won.
— George H. W. Bush, 1992

As U.S.–Russian relations reach a post–Cold War low, a growing number of observers have concluded that Western behavior, not Russian belligerence, ultimately lies at fault. According to this analysis, the United States and its European allies “humiliated” Russia by enlarging NATO, undertaking military action in the Balkans, extending trade and other forms of soft power to the former Eastern Bloc, and generally not affording Moscow the respect it supposedly deserved as a great (albeit territorially smaller and militarily weaker than it once was) power.

“The West will

James Kirchick — Mr. Kirchick, a visiting fellow at the Center for the United States and Europe and at the Project on International Order and Strategy, both at the Brookings Institution, is the author of The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

Barack Obama signed a contract with Netflix. Now he’ll be working for the media instead of the other way around.

Going Postal

The president is displeased with Amazon, which seems odd; it’s like reading “George H. W. Bush was spitting mad at Sears.”


The Latest