Despite continued nuclear threats, all US postwar presidents have failed to reset relations with Russia. Why?
The “New Cold War” between the US and Russia began a decade ago. The elevated tensions in the Korean Peninsula are only a part of the collateral damage around the world.
But what led to the new friction? The simple response is the Wolfowitz Doctrine.
The Wolfowitz Doctrine
In late 1989, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush declared the Cold War. In February 1990, then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany US could make “iron-clad guarantees “that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward”.
As Gorbachev acceded to Germany’s Western alignment on the condition that the US would limit NATO’s expansion, Baker’s own top officials at the Pentagon began to push Eastern Europe in the US orbit.
That’s how the Wolfowitz Doctrine – named by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, later the prophet of George W. Bush’s neoconservatives – was developed amid the end of the Cold War.
The Doctrine deemed the US as the world’s only remaining superpower and proclaimed its main objective to be retaining that status. Its first objective was “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union”.
About the Author
Dr. Dan Steinbock is Guest Fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), see http://en.siis.org.cn/. The commentary is part of his SIIS project “China in the Era of Economic Uncertainty and Geopolitical Risk”. For his global advisory activities and other affiliations in the US and Europe, see http://www.differencegroup.net/