Author: Dr Stephen J Blank
These three chapters originated in an SSI conference in January 2010 and go to the heart of a question of vital significance for both Asia and Russia, namely what are Russia’s prospects in Asia. The three chapters outline the challenges Russia faces in Asia, the nature of the dynamic and complex Asian security environment, and the extent to which Russia is or is not meeting those challenges. These chapters represent both Russian and U.S. views and clearly do not agree in their conclusions or analyses. For this reason, they are all the more interesting. These chapters should provoke debate, reflection, and greater awareness as to the complexities of the current international scene in Asia and of Russia’s success or lack thereof in participating in that environment. In view of the extraordinary dynamism that now characterizes Asia and the fact that it is the center of the world economy, the analysis provided here goes beyond obvious issues to address questions that we believe are unjustly neglected, e.g., Russia’s prospects as an Asian power and as an independent great power player in Asia. The answers to these questions are urgent for Russians, but very consequential for the U.S. because getting Asia right will be among the most critical challenges to U.S. policymakers in the coming years.