Thursday, February 16, 2012

Barry Rubin: What is Russia Doing in the Middle East?

By Barry Rubin

The transition to democracy and capitalism has not been kind to Russia. It sank from superpower to sideshow internationally. The country is hurting and stagnant; it has no sense of purpose or goals; and Russia is in the hands of a ruthless dictator who knows how to use nationalism and demagoguery to ensure his power.

Of course, Russia’s rulers are weaker, less ambitious, far less well armed, and less anti-American than the old Soviet Union. Still, though, the Russian government has a chip on its shoulder. It believes that the West betrayed it, tricked it into dropping Communism but then didn’t deliver prosperity. So the old traditional rivalry with the West and the United States has lost its Marxist element but gained a new factor.

Another new element is the search for money.
Continue reading What is Russia Doing in the Middle East?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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