WILLIAM Odom's essay, "Realism About Russia ", in the Fall 2001 issue of The National Interest put forth a stark and controversial view of Russia prospects and of how US. policy should adapt to those prospects. In the interest of generating a conversation over what remains an important and multifaceted relationship between former Cold War antagonists, we asked a group of distinguished scholars and analysts--among them Americans, Russians, and Europeans--to respond to General Odom's presentation. Little did we know at the time that the events of September 11 would alter the context of that relationship and generate what may turn out to be significant changes in it. Not surprisingly, several of the critiques presented here refer to the impact of the terror attacks and their aftermath on the course of U S.-Russian relations. That, in turn, has provided Gen. Odom with an opportunity to respond to his critics and to comment on the post-September 11 environment at the same time. --The Editors
Martin Malia, University of California, Berkeley:
IN THE bogged-down debate about post-Communist Russia 's tribulations, William Odom has the merit of clearly identifying the chief villain of the story: "seven decades of Soviet rule are mostly to blame.. not the West." Among works written as if Yeltsin's "young reformers" had inherited a thriving society from communism, he appropriately calls Stephen F. Cohen's Failed Crusade "egregious." The same must be said of Peter Reedaway's Tragedy of Russia Reforms, which places the blame on "Thatcherite market bolshevism" (sic!).