Anti-Trump protest march.

Our National Obsession With Russia Is Preventing Sane Debate

January 22, 2018
Eugene Rumer
This is a summary of an article originally published by the Los Angeles Times.  

The author argues that the U.S. has developed a national obsession with Russia, and yet the national conversation about Russia has not evolved. That conversation will become even more difficult as hysteria grows. The majority of what America knows about Russia's interference in the 2016 election has been known for nearly a year; however, the impact of that interference is still unknown. "It’s unclear, then, if Russia is even worth obsessing about in this manner," Rumer writes. It is unknown if U.S. cyberdefenses are any more robust than they were a year ago, nor does public discourse appear to be any less susceptible to fake news. The U.S. needs to understand how it "ended up in a new Cold War with Russia." Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to be reelected in March, but even so, the U.S. should not expect that Putin's successor would be a friend. Russia is not going away, he argues, and sanctions are not a substitute for policy. "A few decades ago, when Russia was weak, it was fashionable to think that Russia did not matter. Clearly, this is no longer the case. That’s what our national conversation should be about.”

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times. 

Author

Eugene Rumer

Eugene Rumer is a senior fellow and director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace