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Letter from the Publisher

Matthew Brooks Winter 2014

Whatever Russia is in the 21st Century, it is not boring. The Winter 2014 issue of inFOCUS is devoted to a fascinating country central to American national security interests, but often misunderstood as a mirror image of American thinking.

In the heady days of the collapse of communism and the liberation of what were called “the captive nations” of Central Europe, the U.S. and its allies generally treated Russia as if it had been one of the victims of communism, like Poland or Estonia, rather than the colonial occupier of the others. Communism was, in fact, the 20th Century iteration of Russian empire. Today, rather than becoming more like us, Russia is becoming more like itself, moving back toward traditional Russian norms.

Helping to recalibrate American thinking, Prof. Stephen Blank writes on the regression of Russia. Joshua Sinai, Ph.D. and Ambassador David Smith cover domestic Russian counter terrorism policy and cyber security issues, respectively. American national security interests are the purview of Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan, USA, J. Michael Waller, and Prof. William Martel. Prof. Mark Katz and Karen Saunders consider the implications of Russian policy in the Middle East and Africa. And, since no issue devoted to Russia would be complete without a novel-like, sweeping view of the historical forces that make Russia so compelling and so dangerous, we are pleased to offer Ilya Levkov’s sweeping “Russian Civil Society.”

Don’t miss the review of Ilan Berman’s Implosion: The End of Russia and What it Means for America, and our interview with former Senator Jon Kyl, one of America’s foremost experts on missile defense and strategic security in a dangerous world.

If you appreciate our work, please consider making a generous donation to the JPC. As always, you may do so securely at www.jewishpolicycenter.org/contribute.php


Matthew Brooks, Executive Director