US-Russia Security Roundtable

41st Strategy for Peace Conference
October 26-28, 2000, Warrenton, Virginia

Conference Description

The range of topics for the Russia-US security relations roundtable is both narrow in its obvious questions and vast in its potential directions. Our discussions will begin with some overarching conceptual questions and move to specific topics and dilemmas. Does Russia have a core set of stable security interests and policy priorities? Has the process of producing a national security concept, military doctrine, and foreign policy concept in 1999-2000 given us any clues as to what Russian interests and policies will be in the next decade? Do we know enough about Russian domestic political coalitions and interests to make sense of policy over anything more than the short term? What are likely issues on the Russia-US bilateral agenda for the next couple of years? How will the agenda be similar or different from that in the 1990s? Are the problems of NATO enlargement, conflict in the Balkans, Russian influence in the former Soviet states, and dissent on Iraq behind us or likely to appear in a new, if different, form?

Do traditional security issues (defense, arms control, geopolitics) matter anymore? If so, what forms will these issues take in Russia-US relations? Are calls to transcend the Cold War agenda and framework correct? Do we risk neglecting issues or perspectives that will not disappear from the security agenda? Is Russia capable of coping with and cooperating on the nontraditional security agenda of nonproliferation, terrorism, crisis prevention, peacekeeping, and peace-building? Does, can, and should Russia play a role in America's global security policy, or are Russia-US bilateral relations better managed on a region-by-region basis? Which regions matter for the bilateral relationship? In which regions is Russia a partner or a competitor? Our hope is that discussions that begin with these topics will provide a productive basis for outlining practical policy ideas for the next administration.