Hope for Russia?

A liberal think-tank whose board is chaired by Dmitry Medvedev has made some radical proposals, including getting rid of the successor to the KGB.

When Vladimir Putin installed Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s figurehead President so that Putin (constitutionally ineligible for re-election until he had taken a term off) could run the country as Prime Minister, the enemies of tyranny could only hope that Medvedev would decide to go for the brass ring himself.  Since Putin has the hard-liners and the surviving oligarchs firmly behind him, Medvedev’s play, should he make one, would have to be an appeal to the more democratic and reformist elements of the Russian polity.

Still, that seemed to be mere wishful thinking.  But now there’s a gleam of hope:  a think tank whose board Medvedev chairs has called for, among other things, NATO membership, and end to censorship, and the abolition of whatever the KGB is currently calling itself.

Good news from Russia is about as likely as good weather in a Moscow February.  But at least for a moment there might be a reasonable alternative to despair.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Hope for Russia?”

  1. Items 2 and 3 would be good, but item 1 is just silly: Nato is a military alliance against Russia, and it's not as though Russia has changed so much as for it to make any sense at all for them to become part of a defensive alliance against themselves. When it has, we might assess whether NATO has outlived it's purpose, rather than inducting them into it.

  2. I was just joking before (a little) about your departure from reality, but now it seems you really have drank the kool-aid.

  3. OMG. I agree with BB. But someone needs to answer the question: If Russia wants to join NATO, isn't it time for NATO to go the way of the Holy Roman Empire?

  4. NATO membership for Russia reminds me of Tom Clancy's novel The Bear & The Dragon. The rationale provided in that novel was as a means to come to Russia's defense against Chinese coveting of Siberian natural resources. Not sure that would apply here, lol.

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