When Americans find their domestic politics the target of foreign interference, "they become deeply committed to the principle of self-determination." Not surprisingly, writes leading American international relations scholar John Mearsheimer, "so do the Russians."
William Burns’ new book describes his warnings to the Bush administration that pushing for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine would spur Moscow to use armed force in the former and to meddle in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
In 2008, Moscow demonstrated the will and ability to actively contest the U.S. vision for European security, veto NATO expansion in its neighborhood and challenge Washington’s design for a normative international order where small states can determine their own affairs independent of the interests of great powers.
Examining Putin’s three military interventions abroad, the author sees a pattern in which two conditions must be present for Russia to intervene with force: a threat to its vital interests and a reasonable chance of success.