Assessments

The U.S. and Russia Plan for Conflict

May 25, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
U.S. and Russian military build-ups
Washington and Moscow are hoping to settle their differences peacefully, but that will not stop them from building up their military capabilities anyway. Defense programs will center on key security areas, including deployments in Eastern Europe, missile defense and the strategic nuclear balance.
(MAXIM AVDEYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That is the mantra the United States and Russia are abiding by as they plan for a tense few years ahead. In critical areas, including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and arms control negotiations, both countries would genuinely like to negotiate viable solutions. Nevertheless, the mistrust between the two runs deep, and vast differences of opinion and outright conflict of interest will continue to undermine efforts to reach a comprehensive deal. With little hope of a positive outcome, the strategic decision-makers in Washington and Moscow are cementing their security positions against each other during this period of significant hostility....

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