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The West Has No Idea What to Do with the East

But they had better put on their thinking caps.  From Ronald D. Asmus of the German Marshall Fund in the Moscow Times:

And what is Western policy? In reality, the West today no longer has a grand strategy toward the East. The moral and strategic vision of the 1990s has exhausted itself and come to a grinding halt after the shock of the Russia-Georgia war and the recent Ukrainian election. As welcome as Clinton’s recent words were on the need to defend the right of countries to decide their own fate, you don’t have to go very far in Europe to hear whispers that some kind of new “Finlandization” might be a reasonable compromise for countries like Ukraine and Georgia.

It is time for the West to openly debate what its strategy is — and what it is not. Two decades ago, the West rejected “spheres of influence” because Europe’s bloody history taught us that compelling nations to align themselves with others against their will was wrong and a recipe for future conflict.

If we still believe that today, we need an updated moral and strategic vision for such countries and to back it up with a real strategy. We need to be clear that Moscow has a right to security, but that it does not have the right to interfere in the affairs of its neighbors, to topple their governments or to deny them their own foreign policy aspirations.