The West Needs to Take a Tougher Line with Putin
By responding more robustly to Russia's interventions, the West could reduce military asymmetries in Ukraine and Syria and improve prospects for negotiated outcomes.
Nov 1, 2015
Russia's interventions in Ukraine and Syria raise serious concerns about Moscow's regional and global ambitions. Both moves have won public support for President Vladimir Putin in Russia, but they also risk becoming quagmires or stretching resources at a time of Russian economic setbacks. Thus far, the United States and Europe are aligned in their dealings with Russia on these crises, but ultimate goals and how they will be achieved remain uncertain. Will the West accept new “frozen conflicts” in Ukraine, and ease some sanctions? Can the West work with Russia to foster a transition in Syria to more stable, broad-based political arrangements? In this Events @ RAND podcast, RAND's William Courtney, a former U.S. ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan, offers insights on these issues.
Adjunct Senior Fellow; Former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan