Seeing Russia Plain

Why U.S. intelligence has not performed better with respect to the crime and corruption that have helped frustrate Russia's transition to a stable, free-market democracy.

Issue: Spring 1999

Whenever the CIA is accused of spinning its intelligence analysis to
fit policy preferences, it replies tartly that it "tells it like it
is." For the most part, it really does. But in the case of Russia,
telling it like it is, and seeing it like it really is, are both very
difficult. This article explores some of these difficulties.

The saddest disappointment of the post-Cold War era has been the
failure of Russia to find and follow the path of political and
economic democracy. In the long run, this disappointment may also be
the most dangerous: Russia is a country that spans ten time zones and
contains thousands of nuclear weapons and other deadly materials
besides.

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