PUTIN’S WORLD Russia Against the West and With the Rest By Angela E. Stent
Russia has always been important to American diplomats, but rarely has it troubled civilians as much as it does now. The precise extent of the Kremlin’s intervention in the 2016 presidential election remains disputed, but few would deny that its foreign policy has more influence on domestic American affairs than ever before, or that understanding that policy is an urgent priority.
Angela E. Stent has written “Putin’s World” to meet that need. Stent is a director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and a professor at Georgetown University, and she has sought to put President Vladimir Putin’s difficulties with Western countries into perspective. Her subtitle — “Russia Against the West and With the Rest” — reflects the fact that many nations do not share the Americans’ distaste for Russia’s approach.
The book is divided into sections analyzing Russia’s relations with its major partners and adversaries — Germany, NATO, the former Soviet countries, China, Japan, the various Middle East regimes and the United States — all within a broader framing that examines Russian foreign policy from imperial times up to now. Stent’s key concept is that Russian policy has been consistent for centuries.
There is a very interesting discussion to be had about the differences between the United States’ and Russian approaches to foreign policy in various parts of the world, particularly insofar as they highlight the shortcomings of each. As Stent points out, there are surprisingly few stakeholders in the bilateral relationship, since trade between the two nuclear superpowers is low. This means that the personal ties between the rulers of the Kremlin and the officials in the White House are unusually significant, for good or ill. President Barack Obama sent an outspoken supporter of democratic transformation to Moscow as ambassador, something it’s hard to imagine any president doing with China or Saudi Arabia. Similarly, Putin regularly taunts Washington in a way he doesn’t with more economically significant partners.
The story Stent relates about the contrast between the American and Russian approaches to the Middle East is particularly telling. Washington has been consistently hampered by the contradictions between its values and its interests — to the great confusion of Egypt, Syria, Libya and almost everywhere else — whereas Putin’s Russia has been able to maintain friendships from Israel to Iran.
Sadly, however, the book’s usefulness is marred by maddening small errors. It is forgivable, perhaps, to claim that Vladimir the Great converted Russia to Christianity in 988, although Russia didn’t exist then and he was the ruler of Kiev. It is also acceptable, if annoying, to refer to Britain and England as if they are interchangeable. But it is simply wrong to state that the Brexit referendum took place in 2015 or that all of Gazprom’s gas exports passed to Europe through Ukraine. She says that the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych had a golden toilet (and cites an online photo gallery to support the claim), but I have never seen such a toilet during my own visits to his palace, nor does the photo gallery support the claim that there is one. Although the sections about China and the Middle East break fresh ground, at least for this reader, such inaccuracies make it hard to know how much faith to place in these less familiar sections.
Still, that is not the primary problem with Stent’s book. The picture she draws of the Kremlin’s foreign policy is consistent, but she never delves into the domestic motivations behind it. We have much description of what Putin is doing — propping up the Syrian regime, targeting former spies in Britain, interfering in elections, giving an island to China but not to Japan — but scant insight as to why.
According to Putin, his guiding priority has always been the restoration of Russian national pride, and a surprising number of people take him at his word. Stent broadly views this restoration as a bad thing, but does not challenge the premise that it is happening. This is odd, because the maintenance of the wealth of his friends and allies, rather than the well-being of his nation, has always been at the heart of what Putin has done, whether that involves bailing out their businesses, handing them fat contracts or silencing journalists who threatened to expose their secrets.
The murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, for example, appears to have been ordered to eliminate someone who knew too much about Kremlin business dealings. Interventions in foreign elections have been aimed to undermine politicians who urged action against Russia’s richest citizens.
Foreign law enforcement decisions are a pressing personal concern if they are taking place in a country where you keep your house, family, art collection and yacht. Influencing that country’s politics therefore is a matter not so much of force projection as of asset protection. Russia is the world’s most unequal major country, and more than half of its household wealth is stashed offshore. It is unsurprising that the Russian president, whose closest friends have become billionaires during his time in office, views foreign policy through the prism of how it might affect that wealth.
This is not a new observation — many of the State Department cables released by WikiLeaks examined the business interests of the Kremlin elite; one even referred to Russia as a “mafia state” — and no serious analysis of modern Russia can be complete without it. Yet Stent barely mentions money at all. It’s as if she’d written a book about a car without commenting on the engine, or a book about American politics without a section on campaign finance.
This oversight appears to derive from her sources. Her four-page bibliography is full of Western writers but contains barely a dozen works by Russians, and she completely ignores the researchers who have most deeply explored the Kremlin’s business interests. Alexei Navalny and Boris Nemtsov are mentioned only once each in the whole book, neither time in the context of their work on corruption. The late Karen Dawisha’s masterpiece, “Putin’s Kleptocracy,” features in the bibliography, but it does not appear to have informed Stent’s analysis.
Instead, she falls back on the supposed deep roots of the Kremlin’s authoritarianism, as if Russia were Europe’s only country with a nondemocratic past. “It became clear to much of the world that a main reason for Russians’ rejections of Western-style economic and political programs was because they are Russians,” she writes, in a phrase that kills further inquiry. Russians act like Russians because they are Russians.
The idea that Russian policymakers are rational actors seeking to defend their interests in an uncertain world, and that they perceive those interests differently from observers in the United States and its allies, is one that Stent gives no attention to. There is a pressing need for greater understanding of the nature of those interests, and the assumptions underpinning Kremlin policy. This book is sadly not the one to provide it.
2017年彩色跑狗图【主】【城】【中】，【妖】【帝】【九】【天】【坐】【在】【床】【边】，【看】【着】【两】【人】【的】【反】【应】【尤】【为】【好】【笑】。 “【怎】【么】？【本】【座】【的】【床】【为】【什】【么】【不】【能】【那】【么】【大】？” 【白】【穆】【讪】【笑】【道】：“【容】【易】【让】【人】【误】【会】。” “【误】【会】？【怎】【么】【个】【误】【会】【法】？” “【咳】【咳】，【你】【也】【知】【道】，【有】【人】【喜】【欢】【后】【宫】……” “【嗯】？”【九】【天】【眼】【神】【一】【凛】，【将】【小】【白】【接】【下】【来】【的】【话】【吓】【了】【回】【去】。 【白】【穆】【装】【傻】【道】：“……【爱】【美】【之】【心】
【为】【什】【么】【会】【有】【这】【样】【的】【感】【觉】？ 【这】【是】【心】【中】【升】【起】【的】【第】【二】【个】【念】【头】，【因】【为】【他】【有】【一】【种】【自】【己】【似】【乎】【能】【预】【感】【未】【来】【的】【事】【情】【的】【能】【力】，【虽】【然】【无】【法】【得】【到】【具】【体】【的】【答】【案】，【但】【是】【在】【某】【种】【情】【况】【下】【他】【也】【是】【能】【得】【到】【一】【些】【特】【殊】【的】【感】【官】【的】。 【就】【比】【如】【现】【在】【的】【他】【会】【感】【受】【到】【这】【种】【环】【境】【下】【的】【异】【样】。 【虽】【然】【其】【中】【大】【都】【应】【该】【是】【这】【轮】【回】【剑】【宗】【的】【入】【门】【考】【核】【有】【些】【奇】【怪】【的】【原】【因】。 【毕】
【糖】【儿】，【我】【爱】【你】。 【你】【说】【要】【嫁】【给】【我】【的】，【我】【赚】【了】【钱】【回】【来】，【你】【可】【不】【能】【反】【悔】。 …… 【姜】【糖】【躺】【在】【床】【上】，【想】【起】【白】【天】【秦】【灏】【情】【绪】【激】【动】【的】【与】【她】【说】【这】【话】。 【明】【明】【应】【该】【情】【绪】【大】【动】，【脸】【红】【心】【跳】【的】，【可】【她】【为】【什】【么】【没】【太】【大】【感】【觉】【呢】？ 【喜】【欢】【秦】【灏】【吗】？ 【从】【小】【到】【大】，【直】【到】【懂】【了】【男】【女】【之】【情】，【好】【似】【就】【没】【想】【过】【秦】【灏】【以】【外】【的】【人】。 【即】【便】【是】【现】【在】，【说】【要】
【唐】【易】【修】【根】【本】【不】【记】【得】【怎】【么】【回】【事】，【突】【然】【听】【到】【蓝】【老】【爷】【子】【的】【话】，【不】【解】【的】【看】【着】【夏】【暖】【心】，“【这】【是】【怎】【么】【回】【事】？” 【夏】【暖】【心】【说】，“【这】【是】【你】【有】【记】【忆】【的】【时】【候】【欠】【的】【情】【债】。” 【情】【债】？ 【他】【爱】【过】【别】【的】【女】【人】【吗】？ 【蓝】【夫】【人】【解】【释】【说】，“【其】【实】【不】【管】【三】【少】【的】【事】，【都】【是】【菲】【儿】【自】【作】【多】【情】，【而】【且】【还】【做】【了】【那】【么】【多】【伤】【害】【三】【少】【三】【少】【奶】【奶】【的】【事】，【所】【以】，【三】【少】【奶】【奶】【不】【必】2017年彩色跑狗图【费】【小】【瑶】【呆】【呆】【的】【看】【着】【他】，【愣】【住】【了】。 【她】【看】【了】【看】【四】【周】【的】【人】【们】，【有】【男】【人】，【也】【有】【女】【人】。 【她】【盯】【着】【杨】【少】【言】，【愣】【住】【了】：“【你】，【你】【不】【怕】【女】【人】【了】？” 【杨】【少】【言】【点】【头】，【他】【垂】【着】【眸】，【淡】【淡】【开】【口】【道】：“【以】【前】【怕】【女】【人】，【从】【未】【有】【过】【想】【要】【解】【决】【这】【个】【问】【题】【的】【心】【理】。【觉】【得】【自】【己】【一】【个】【人】【过】，【就】【可】【以】【了】，【没】【必】【要】【去】【改】【变】【什】【么】。” 【费】【小】【瑶】【的】【心】【砰】【砰】【乱】【跳】：
【滋】【滋】【的】【烤】【羊】【腿】【已】【经】【焦】【香】【四】【溢】，【撒】【上】【各】【种】【佐】【料】，【味】【道】【更】【是】【诱】【人】。 【雪】【莱】【咽】【了】【口】【唾】【沫】，【不】【得】【不】【感】【叹】【空】【间】【项】【链】【是】【真】【的】【好】【用】。 【即】【使】【是】【普】【通】【人】【也】【能】【轻】【松】【掌】【握】，【只】【要】【手】【指】【往】【里】【面】【一】【伸】，【其】【上】【设】【下】【的】【空】【间】【魔】【法】【便】【会】【启】【动】，【项】【链】【中】【的】【空】【间】【就】【像】【一】【个】【个】【排】【列】【好】【的】【格】【子】，【想】【拿】【什】【么】【就】【直】【接】【拿】【出】【来】【就】【好】【了】。 【羊】【腿】【烤】【好】，【架】【在】【一】【边】【的】【架】【子】
【在】【冥】【河】【还】【没】【开】【始】【游】【历】【洪】【荒】【的】【时】【候】，【就】【在】【血】【海】【四】【处】【游】【荡】，【他】【最】【终】【发】【现】【了】【盘】【古】【殿】【与】【血】【海】【的】【关】【联】【点】，【通】【过】【那】【个】【关】【联】【点】，【冥】【河】【踏】【入】【了】【盘】【古】【殿】【之】【中】。 【这】【样】【就】【被】【十】【二】【祖】【巫】【集】【火】【打】【跑】。【而】【且】【十】【二】【祖】【巫】【也】【同】【样】【通】【过】【那】【个】【关】【联】【点】，【杀】【戮】【到】【了】【血】【海】【那】【边】【了】。 【双】【方】【彼】【此】【因】【为】【打】【斗】【而】【互】【有】【往】【来】，【大】【家】【彼】【此】【都】【比】【较】【熟】【悉】【了】。 【所】【以】，【冥】【河】【在】
【大】【门】【刹】【时】【化】【为】【粉】【末】。【木】【质】【的】【纤】【薄】【墙】【壁】【迅】【速】【爬】【上】【了】【网】【页】【般】【的】【蛛】【网】【纹】，****【的】【破】【裂】【开】【来】。 【仅】【仅】【只】【是】【一】【拳】。【却】【引】【发】【了】【堪】【比】【地】【动】【的】【毁】【坏】【力】。 【大】【门】、【墙】【壁】、【天】【花】【板】、【地】【板】——【在】【夏】【流】【的】【魔】【力】【冲】【刷】【之】【下】，【这】【些】【东】【西】【一】【个】【又】【一】【个】【地】【崩】【坏】、【化】【为】【粉】【末】，【直】【到】【全】【部】【都】【化】【为】【黑】【暗】，【夏】【流】【好】【像】【站】【立】【在】【无】【星】【无】【月】【的】【黑】【夜】【之】【中】【一】【样】。