On Russian power, a few sentences from “Putin, Putinism, and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy." mitpressjournals.org/doi/full/10.11… THREAD/ 1.
"Regarding military power, Russia has substantially greater capabilities in 2020 compared to 1992 with its modernizing nuclear arsenal, new missile defense and space capabilities, and a vastly expanded conventional military budget." 2/
"Russian conventional military power in the European theater is particularly threatening. As one of two nuclear superpowers, Russia far outpaces China, France, and the United Kingdom. Russian military doctrine also has modernized." 3/
During the last two decades, its intelligence and cyber capabilities have grown immensely, positioning Russia as one of the world’s top three countries in these domains. 4/
"Despite trailing well behind the United States and China, Russia is currently the world’s eleventh largest economy, and ranked sixth if using Purchasing Power Party (PPP) numbers." [Russia's GDP per capita is higher than China's] 5/
The state’s role in the economy has grown considerably over the last two decades, giving Putin greater control over these resources compared to his Western counterparts…. These economic capabilities... are sufficient to enable the pursuit of ambitious foreign policy objectives.6
"Russia has reemerged as an influential ideational actor. Putin’s orthodox illiberalism appeals to millions around the world, including heads of states, political parties, religious organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals." 7/
"The Kremlin has devoted extensive resources to improving access to government-owned or government-friendly television networks, radio, and media in the Russian-speaking world, particularly in countries that gained independence after the Soviet Union’s collapse." 8/
"With an annual budget of more than $300 million, RT claims to be the most-watched news channel on YouTube. In 2014, Putin merged the radio broadcasting service Voice of Russia and the news agency Ria Novosti to create Sputnik International .. to provide “alternative news” 9/
to Western sources. The Russian state and its proxies have created numerous organizations and fake personages, including most famously the Internet Research Agency (IRA)." 10/
"The Kremlin also has created numerous parastatal organizations ... as well as cultivated direct contacts with NGOs, religious groups, and political parties around the world through scholarships, conferences, and sometimes direct financial assistance." 11/
"Putin has courted like-minded leaders, including Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in the Czech Republic, Nigel Farage in the United Kingdom, Marine Le Pen in France, Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary, Matteo Salvini in Italy, and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands." 12/
In addition, Putin brazenly uses Russian power against U.S. interests to a greater degree than any other world leader -- annexation, intervention in ME civil wars, violating US sovereignty to influence elections, assassinations abroad, and now this latest cyber attack. 13/
After climate change and China, Russia should rank 3rd on the Biden's team list of national security challenges. In some ways, containing (and at times engaging) Putin's Russia is an even more immediate threat. (Read the whole article for more!) 14/ END THREAD.

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More from @McFaul

19 Dec
Saddened to read this story about Trump's decision to close our consulates in Ekaterinburg and Vladivostok. THREAD 1/ apnews.com/article/politi…
The U.S. should be seeking ways to engage more directly with Russian society. These consulates help. Some of my best trips in Russia as U.S. Ambassador were to Ekaterinburg and Vladivostok. 3/
In Ekaterinburg, the press followed me everywhere. They were eager for interaction. 4/ Image
Read 6 tweets
18 Dec
Since the parlor game of naming ambassadors has begun, here are a few my unsolicited recommendations. First, some principles, We need experience qualified people -- career or political -- in the top jobs. I explain why here. THREAD 1/ americanpurpose.com/articles/dress…
Diplomacy with our rivals is most important. For China, Ambassador William Burns would be great. For Russia, Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch would be great. 2/
Next, we need strong ambassadors in the countries that help us contain (and engage) China and Russia. In Europe, that's Germany. Karen Donfried would be ideal there. In Asia, that's Japan. Kurt Campbell would be a strong ambassador there. 3/
Read 5 tweets
17 Dec
An article today posted by @JusticeTristan claims that “some Democratic elites who engaged in the conspiracy are outright whitewashing their earlier claims.” He claims that "Michael McFaul… is no exception.” This claim is false. LONG THREAD 1/
I engaged in no “conspiracy” to “whitewash” anything. In fact, my actual words and video clips in this piece demonstrate as much. Go look at them and judge for yourself. (Not posting the piece deliberately because I do not want to amplify, but easy to find.) 2/
To reaffirm (for the last time), the Trump administration – not me – stated repeatedly & unambiguously that the Russian government was propagating disinformation about the Bidens to influence he 2020 campaign. It was not a "hoax." 3/
Read 25 tweets
9 Dec
After climate change, competing with China is the next most important security challenge for the United States in the 21st century. The Trump team has framed this struggle as Cold War 2.0. Some parts of this analogy are right. Others very wrong. THREAD 1/
Those invoking the Cold War analogy like it because we "won" the Cold War. If we won Cold War 1.0, we can win Cold War 2.0 2/
In fact, Russian democrats, together with Polish, Hungarian, Baltic, Ukrainian, Georgian anti-communists forces were the ones really responsible for "winning" the Cold War. We played a marginal role in the end game. (But that's a longer story for another day) 3/
Read 8 tweets
8 Dec
When I was in government, I remember Ambassador Bill Burns saying many a time in meetings that we were doing a great job "admiring the problem." But we were not solving the problem. That comment reminds me of Trump & team's China policy. THREAD 1/
I applaud the Trump administration diagnosis of the China challenge. The 2017 National Security Strategy rightly focused on great power competition -- China and Russia -- as needing more attention. 2/
This summer and in a very long Policy Planning paper, Trump (or is it really presidential candidate Pompeo?) then overshot the mark. See my take here: Xi Jinping Is Not Stalin foreignaffairs.com/articles/unite… via @ForeignAffairs 3/
Read 9 tweets
5 Dec
Here's my @JoeBiden foreign policy "to do" list in the first year.

Day One: rejoin the Paris climate agreement. THREAD.
2. Extend the New START Treaty for five years.
3. Reenter the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). Once done, devise and implement a new comprehensive strategy for containing Iranian influence in the region and promoting democracy inside Iran.
Read 8 tweets

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