Since the end of The Cold War, relations between America and Russia have been complicated and despite a friendly public face, the political tension is still palpable. This became particularly prevalent in the last ten years with Russia being strongly opposed to America’s invasion or Iraq and indeed, the US’s reaction and increased interest in foreign policy following the events of September 11th have led to relations becoming more strained between the two nations. A prime example of this is that in 2007, Russia became involved with helping Iran to develop nuclear power to which former President George W. Bush said “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon” (Bush, 2007) when questioned about his opinions of Iran having nuclear weapons and this was generally interpreted as being a message to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Following this in 2008, Russia responded badly to reports that a US anti-missile shield was to be deployed near to the Russian border by saying “If a US strategic anti-missile shield starts to be deployed near our borders, we will be forced to react not in a diplomatic fashion but with military-technical means” (BBC News, 2008). And so it is clear that whilst the US and Russia are broadly considered to be on friendly terms, their relationship remains strained and it is fair to suggest that there is not a significant degree of trust between them.
In the past twenty years, it is clear that America has altered its behaviours and attitudes towards its treatment of other countries and that as it once stood as the world’s biggest superpower, it is now relatively lower in rank as its economic output has decreased in recent years, by comparison with more up and coming countries such as China and India whose economy and stability are quickly enabling them as superpowers in their own right. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, America became more focused than ever on improving its belief in freedom and independence and so a lot of its foreign policy has become linked to this in terms of actively preventing terrorism – a goal which the world’s superpowers (America, China, Russia, India, Brazil and the EU) are all united in achieving (Gvosdev, 2008). Arguably, 9/11 dramatically altered America’s outlook on foreign policy as the shock of the attacks drew attention to the idea that America is not as ‘untouchable’ as it perhaps previously believed and as such, its foreign relations are driven in creating stronger links with countries such as Britain and even, to some extent, with Russia – although significantly less so with the latter for historical reasons. America must continue to strengthen its links around the world in the name of peace and in readiness for the ever-deepening problems in the Middle East.
BBC News. (2008). Russia warns over US-Czech shield. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7496399.stm
Bush, G.W. (2003). President Discusses Beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Retrieved from http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030322.html
Bush, G.W. (2007). Press Conference by the President. Retrieved from http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/10/20071017.html
Gvosdev, N.K. (2008). FDR’s Children. Retrieved from http://nationalinterest.org/bookreview/fdrs-children-1931