News Release

Dangers with Russia


9780231110594ROBERT DAVID ENGLISH, renglish [at]

English is on the faculty of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California and served as the School’s director from 2013-2016. He recently wrote the piece “Russia, Trump, and a New Détente” for Foreign Affairs.

He said today: “The intensity of Washington’s fury over Russia’s misdeeds is matched only by its confusion over what those misdeeds are, and its exaggeration of Moscow’s supposed threats to divide Europe, to dominate the Middle East, and to undermine the United States. Threat inflation has reached levels not seen since the early Cold War, cutting off rational debate over Russian policy and fueling perilous levels of confrontation. This new Russophobia threatens to derail any chance of the détente that a new U.S. administration pragmatically outlined during the election campaign, and that both Washington and Moscow sorely need.”

English writes in his recent piece in Foreign Affairs: “These ordinary Russians are the forgotten people — the hard-working teachers, doctors, and mechanics whose savings, careers, even health were destroyed by the catastrophe of the 1990s. They are the fledgling voters who saw their new democracy bought and sold by Yeltsin and his cronies, and the onetime admirers of the United States who longed for a leader to restore their pride in Russia after a decade of humiliation. Under Clinton, the United States treated Russia like a defeated enemy and capitalized on its weakness to expand NATO. Claims that this was merely a defensive expansion were belied by NATO’s bombing of Serbia, a Russian ally, in 1999. Under President George W. Bush, the United States further intimidated Russia by abrogating the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, imposing punitive tariffs, launching a reckless invasion of Iraq, continuing to expand NATO, and further encircling Russia by cozying up to Georgia and Ukraine.”

English’s books include Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War (Columbia University Press).