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In Uncertain TimesAmerican Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11$
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Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449093

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449093.001.0001

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A Crisis of Opportunity

A Crisis of Opportunity

The Clinton Administration and Russia

(p.78) 5 A Crisis of Opportunity
In Uncertain Times

Walter B. Slocombe

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the challenges faced by the United States in making policy toward Russia. It first describes President Bill Clinton's strategic vision for U.S. foreign policy founded on the belief that he and his advisers had an opportunity to help shape the “new world order” proclaimed by George W. Bush. It then considers the Clinton administration's Russia effort as an example of the government's challenge of facing unfamiliar events and circumstances that present opportunities rather than threats. It also discusses how Clinton implemented his Russia strategy and evaluates the outcomes of his foreign policy. It argues that Clinton failed to achieve his goals because they were overly ambitious and constrained by conflicting imperatives, political controversy, lack of resources, and the unreliability of Boris Yeltsin.

Keywords:   foreign policy, United States, Russia, Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin

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