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National Insecurity by David Rothkopf

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7. Eyeball to Eyeball Again

Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. . . . And avoid contempt, both of others and yourself. . . . And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie.

—FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV

If the focus on China during both the Bush and the Obama administrations was on dealing with its ascent and the consequences of that ascent, the situation was roughly the opposite with Russia. As part of the former Soviet Union (FSU), Russia had been in precipitous decline even prior to the end of the Cold War, a victim of its own failed system. That decline had accelerated as the FSU broke up and many of its satellites spun into more Western orbits. The decline was exacerbated within ...

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