Daniel W. Drezner

Today’s blog post is outsourced to Julia Ioffe

Your humble blogger knows when someone else has written something better than he’ll come up with in the AM.  So, rather than me trying to gin up my own take on the Obama’s decision to not attend a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, I’ll just outsource it to former FP correspondent and current ...

Your humble blogger knows when someone else has written something better than he’ll come up with in the AM.  So, rather than me trying to gin up my own take on the Obama’s decision to not attend a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, I’ll just outsource it to former FP correspondent and current The New Republic editor Julia Ioffe, who wrote about it here and here.  From her first essay: 

[T]he Russians aren’t mad, really. They know, as the Americans know, that they’ve reached a dead end of sorts, a cul-de-sac. The question now is, how do they get out of it? And, then where do they go, and how? Given that both governments have other priorities at the moment, and that both have realized that they don’t really need each other, it seems the answers to those questions won’t become apparent for a while.

This sounds about right.  I’d go a bit further.  Essentially, each government got what they wanted from the other — arms control, WTO accession, Afghanistan — a few years ago.  Besides counter-terrorism, there ain’t much left on the table where there is any kind of bargaining core — and neither country matters all that much to other for core issues.  The question going forward is whether the lack of agreement about future issues will compromise existing cooperation.  My hunch is that it won’t, and that the tit-for-tat ends here.

One last thing.  In Ioffe’s follow-up post, she takes Lawrence O’Donnell to the woodshed and oh, it is glorious makes a shrewd point about Putin’s Russia:

Vladimir Putin is not omnipotent. He does not control everything that happens in the Russian Federation, a vast and often inhospitable landmass that spans 10 time zones.

Yep.

 Twitter: @dandrezner

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