And the U.S. is headed for the crapper under Obama.
Russia’s demographics are tanking, its Muslim minority is radicalizing and increasingly restive, and the seeds have been sown for real strategic competition with neighboring China, which covets Russia’s eastern regions both politically and economically.
The End of Russia
OCTOBER 7, 2013 4:00 AM
In spite of, and partly because of, Putin’s machinations, Russia is falling apart.
In his new book, Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America, Ilan Berman analyzes the serious problems Russia faces, despite the recent leadership maneuvering of Vladimir Putin on the world stage. Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, talks with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about Russia’s future and what U.S. foreign-policy makers should be mindful of.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: You say that Russia is “crumbling under the weight of its own internal contradictions.” What are the contradictions?
ILAN BERMAN: On the surface, Russia today projects an image of strength, thanks largely to the machinations of Vladimir Putin. But this foreign-policy activism masks real problems at home. Russia’s demographics are tanking, its Muslim minority is radicalizing and increasingly restive, and the seeds have been sown for real strategic competition with neighboring China, which covets Russia’s eastern regions both politically and economically.
LOPEZ: What are the consequences of a Russian downfall for the rest of the world? Should we worry about Russia losing its ability to monitor the chemical-weapons situation in Syria?
BERMAN: We certainly shouldn’t worry for that reason. I’m hardly the only one who doubts the Kremlin’s motivations in offering to rid us of our pesky Syrian situation. But we shouldn’t be sanguine about Russia’s internal problems because they have the power to unleash a tremendous amount of political and economic instability — the reverberations from which will affect us and our allies. A collapsing Russia, for example, is likely to act more aggressively toward countries in its immediate periphery, resulting in growing tensions with Europe and NATO.