No Russian expansionism - not interested in conquering
Doug Bandow, 1-2-2012; senior fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in foreign policy and civil liberties; Op Ed: NATO and Libya: It’s Time To Retire a Fading Alliance http://feb17.info/editorials/op-ed-nato-and-libya-its-time-to-retire-a-fading-alliance/
The Cold War required an extraordinary defense commitment from the U.S. But no longer. Europe still matters, but it faces no genuine military threat. Whatever happens politically in Moscow, there will be no Red Army pouring armored divisions through Germany’s Fulda Gap. Washington has much to worry about, but Europe is not on the list. Of course, the Europeans still have geopolitical concerns. Civil wars in the Balkans and Libya threatened refugee flows and economic disruption. However, the Europeans are capable of handling such issues. Potentially more dangerous is the situation in Eastern Europe and beyond, most notably Georgia and Ukraine. But not dangerous to America. The U.S. has survived most of its history with these lands successively part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Nor is there any evidence that Russia wants to forcibly reincorporate its “lost” territories into a renewed Soviet empire. Rather, Moscow appears to have retrogressed to a “great power” like Imperial Russia. The new Russia is concerned about international respect and border security. Threaten that, and war might result, as Georgia learned in 2008.
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