Thesis Title

Reassessing the Russian-American Relationship: How Russia Continues to Undermine American Strategy

Date of Graduation

Summer 2006


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Despite the post-Cold war tendency of the United States to view its relationship with Russia with excessive optimism, the past number of years have exposed a Russia that has become increasingly adversarial to the United States in regards to some of its most important strategic issues. Although Moscow declares itself to be a partner in the war on Terrorism, it has stood in the way of the United States’ efforts to take action in Iraq. It has also been opposed to American efforts to create a ballistic missile defense system, and has even offered to lend aid to the terrorist-sponsored government of Hamas. Meanwhile, Moscow has besmirched the noble intent of the war to justify its own brutal efforts against Chechen separatists. Russia has also interfered with the United States’ efforts to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon. It has a continuing tradition of proliferation to the dangerously ambitious government in Tehran and stands opposed to American-led efforts to impose sanctions. Russia is also in the ongoing process of developing a working-relationship, albeit a tenuous one, with China. Both nations are benefiting economically and militarily from their mutual transactions and are using the profits in their respective attempts to emerge as global superpowers capable of challenging the United States. While every nation has the right to pursue its own interests, when those interests greatly conflict with another’s it is time to reevaluate the relationship between those two nations. Upon reexamining the Russian-American relationship, one must come to the conclusion that Russia is not the ally that the United States had once hoped it would be.


Russia, war on terrorism, Iraq, Iran, China, Putin

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Mark A. Klassen