Brandon Valeriano and Ryan C. Maness believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a weak and discredited “Paper Tiger” and not a long-term threat to the West. Economist Sergey Aleksashenko warns against too easily discounting Russia as weak. Pavel Baev counters that Aleksashenko misunderstands the sources of Russian strength.
This debate is about more than just an obsession with labels. If Russia is a weak, declining country (a cornered rat, in Putin’s own formulation), it will soon decay on its own. Pressuring Russia with more sanctions will only provoke a hasty reaction, born of fear, as demonstrated last year in …read more