In “The inevitable decline of Putin’s Russia,” an article in U.S. News & World Report, Melvyn Levitsky describes the risks of escalating military responses to Vladimir Putin’s land grabs, military incursions, and aggressive rhetoric.
“I just don’t think [Putin’s] going to say, ‘We can’t afford to build up our military,’” Levistky said, anticipating Russia’s militaristic reaction to an increased show of force.
“If your main question is, ‘Can we bring them to their knees one way or the other?’ I think that’s doubtful. Yes, we could go ahead and punish them more. But is there a point at which they say, ‘We give up’? Doubtful,” said Levitsky.
“[Putin] wants to bring back Russia to a point where they’re such a major superpower that they’re consulted on everything.”
Melvyn Levitsky is a professor of international policy and practice at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a retired career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service. Among his many leadership roles in the Foreign Service, he served as ambassador to Brazil and Bulgaria and as officer-in-charge of U.S.-Soviet Bilateral Relations.