Washington’s Decline and the New Opening

Fyodor Lukyanov has a column in the Moscow Times commenting on Dmitry Medvedev’s ambitious vision for a new global security alliance from “Vancouver to Vladivostok.” These views are based in part on Putin’s reiterated perspective of a “new, multilateral world,” which was a euphemism for declaring the premature death of American hegemony. But the Russians aren’t alone in this perspective, as it also seems to be the central thesis of Fareed Zakaria’s new book (though I have not yet read it).

Changing global conditions create new opportunities for the concepts that Medvedev expressed in Berlin. The global situation is dictated by rigid rules, and it increasingly narrows the range of opportunities open to Europe and Russia. The United States’ influence is decreasing, and it still seems unlikely that former dogmas — especially those inherited from the Cold War — will be revived. But what before seemed to be pointless dreams might soon turn out to be vital necessity. Remembering all of the disappointments and failures that we experienced in international relations over the past several years, we should treat Medvedev’s romantic ideal of a “Euro-Atlantic space from Vancouver to Vladivostok” as a serious new model for the new era in global affairs.