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It's been more than 60 years since Russian and American troops joined hands on the Elbe River to symbolically bring an end to Nazi Germany. Now troops from both countries are back again on the same ground training to combat a newer threat - the threat of terrorism.
NATO AND RUSSIA: HEADING FOR ESTRANGEMENT
The changing US view of the role of Europe looks like weakening commitment in the eyes of some Europeans, although it doesn’t look that way to the US, which sees it as tailoring its commitment to the current circumstances. On the other hand, if President Putin’s very clear long-term program for modernizing Russia works, this will have long-term impacts on European security priorities.
NATO and Russia appear to be heading towards a period of estrangement. The importance of one issue on which cooperation has been emphasized—logistic support to NATO operations in Afghanistan—is likely to recede. On issues such as missile defence, where positions are locked and appear mutually incompatible, there is likely to be either an agreement to disagree, or an effort to push the difficult underlying questions further into the background.
Moreover, efforts to address issues in the NATO–Russia forum would probably make matters worse rather than better. President Putin has made such a public issue of missile defence domestically that he would either have to explain to his Russian audience why he didn’t push harder in direct talks with NATO or perform at the NATO summit in a way that would hardly build mutual confidence.