/ Published November 17, 2010
Reviving Greater Russia? The Future of Russia’s Borders with Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine by Herman Pirchner Jr. American Foreign Policy Council, 2004, 64 pp.
This is an eye-opening manuscript on the history of the countries that vacillate between Mother Russia’s ownership and independence. The author provides demographic and some historic details of Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine. He discusses what each was like under Russian domination and then delves into the pros and cons each faces as an independent nation. Pirchner also speculates on each country’s future—whether it will continue as an independent state or if it will become a Russian territory again—if not entirely, then as a member of a specialized Russian committee, such as the Single Economic Space (SES). This Russian concept calls for a common foreign trade, tax structure, credit rules, and jointly forged financial policies, with the eventual possibility of a common currency. Russia has also developed the Russian Federation to entice the other countries to dovetail into its authority.
Pirchner speculates that the trend is for most countries to want to make a go of it on their own and not rely on Russia as they did in the past. This of course is not what Russia desires, as it relishes the idea of annexation. Pirchner conducted exhaustive work in Russia and has been noted as an expert on Russian foreign policy. Indeed, foreign policy is his forte; he founded the American Foreign Policy Council and has made a name for himself in Washington, DC, by providing useful foreign-policy information used by policy makers and members of Congress. As noted by former undersecretary of state, the Honorable William Schneider Jr., Reviving Greater Russia “is obligatory reading for all those who seek to understand Russia’s policies in its ‘near abroad’.” The book would be beneficial to better understanding the countries around Russia. This could be helpful for foreign-policy makers trying to decide where to focus their efforts to mitigate further terrorist infiltration or when working on a foreign trade agreement. Reviving Greater Russia is a quick read and one that provokes thought on the future of Russia and the countries surrounding it.
Maj Deborah K. Dusek, USAF
314th Communications Squadron
"The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the US government or the Department of Defense."