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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 3, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Russia-Ukraine: Don’t trash Cold War containment policy

In her guest column about Russia, professor Glennys Young asserts that the decades-long U.S. policy of containment had nothing to do with winning the Cold War [“Cold War containment is the wrong way to deal with Russia,” Opinion, March 31].

Young’s assertion that American policies played no role in destroying Soviet communism in 1991 — that Soviet leaders sort of decided to try something else — is just bizarre. It’s like suggesting that in World War II, the U.S. and our allies played no role in destroying fascism — that the war ended in 1945 when the leaders of Germany and Japan realized the futility of fighting.

Later in her column, Young argues that a renewal of “containment” now, in an effort to isolate Russia after its invasion of Ukraine and its takeover of Crimea, would be a mistake. That’s a reasonable position to hold, and it kicks open the door for a serious conversation about how best to respond to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. It simply wasn’t necessary to trash our Cold War containment policy to do this.

Herb Meyer, former vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, Friday Harbor

Comments | More in Ukraine | Topics: Cold War, Glennys Young, Herb Meyer

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