The progressive inclusion of Russia in the expanding transatlantic community is the necessary component of any long-term U.S. strategy to consolidate stability on the Eurasian mega-continent. The pursuit of that goal will require patience and strategic persistence. There are no shortcuts on the way. Geostrategic conditions must be created that convince the Russians that it is in Russia's own best interest to become a truly democratic and European post-imperial nation-state-a state closely engaged to the transatlantic community.
Of the major Eurasian entities (the European Union, Russia, China and Japan), only Europe and Japan can be said to recognize fully their fundamental stake in international stability. The case is somewhat more ambiguous with respect to China and Russia, which still favor more or less drastic alterations in the distribution of global power. But both are also cognizant of their limitations and aware of their interest in cooperating with the West. China is so inclined largely because it is an ongoing economic success; Russia because it is not. China thrives on foreign investment; Russia fears potential threats from its immediate south and east, and senses the diminished utility of its nuclear forces. China is self-confident; Russia is self-conscious.
Hence, both Russia and China may be susceptible to a strategy aimed at their inclusion in cooperative international structures. To that end, two Eurasian power triangles must be steadily managed and, over time, more directly connected: one involving the United States, the European Union and Russia; and the other involving the United States, Japan and China. For that linkage to be effective, the constructive engagement of Russia is essential.