Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 – 2014, said in a recent interview with American media that Washington should be prepared for a “sustained confrontation” with Moscow.
Now that President Vladimir Putin has won reelection, becoming — at 24 years — the longest-serving Russian head of state since Joseph Stalin — McFaul said he expects that will further embolden him in the coming years after receiving is largest-ever election mandate.
“This is his largest vote ever,” McFaul said. “It means the Russian people support what he’s doing if you look at opinion polls, especially on foreign policy. So, I think it’s highly unlikely he’ll pivot his course after this election.”
He noted that Putin’s aggressive actions — in Georgia in 2008, annexing Crimea in 2014, and in eastern Ukraine — should convince U.S. leaders that “we are in a sustained confrontation” with Russia, and that “our foreign policy ought to reflect that.”
Are U.S. officials leading us to war with Russia? Each week, Jon Dougherty, our Strategic Threats Analyst, produces a situation report on the potential for war with Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. He monitors foreign media outlets for information not being reported in the U.S., and then delivers updates on the risk of war in each of the four flashpoint regions. If you want to get a head start in understanding what a war with these countries is looking like, then you can get access to his Strategic Intelligence service with a monthly or annual subscription.