Thank goodness for Mary Dejevsky! She can always be relied upon for a commonsense approach to dealing with Russia, something that is clearly essential in these days of "nuclear sabre-rattling" (Putin`s Russia is a danger, but a new cold war is not the answer,23/06/15). Whereas the US commander in charge of most of America`s nuclear weapons ridiculously claims that never has there "been so much power put in one person in Russia", revealing complete ignorance of over three hundred years of Romanov Tsarist rule, and indeed of Stalin`s despotism, Dejevsky sensibly asserts that current western "policies do not, and will not, work" (I don`t think we`ve ever seen so much power given to one person in Russia,23/06/15).
Americans comparing Putin`s Russia to Hitler`s Germany are simply aggravating an admittedly difficult situation by ignoring the need to respect, in Dejevsky`s words, both "Russian national pride and national security". Sadly, the historical lessons of "squeezing until the pips squeak" have not been learned, as is made obvious with the approval by EU foreign ministers of "the extension of existing sanctions for another six months". How can compromise solutions be made over, not only the future of Ukraine, but also the expansion of Nato, when economic uncertainty in Russia is being purposely exacerbated by the west? At a time when diplomatic talks are urgently needed, and when there are opportunities for east-west deals over energy provision, what can be achieved by the permanent exclusion of Russia from the G7?
If Dejevsky is right about the west`s recognition that Putin will be "duty bound to defend what he sees as national interest", American action like storing nuclear weapons in Poland is bound to heighten tension, as will remarks by Defence secretary, Ashton Carter, about Russia attempting to "re-establish a Soviet-era sphere of influence". Two things, however, are clear: American military chiefs need to be taught some unbiased history, and politicians worldwide require lessons in diplomacy.