Two exceptional new books add powerful insight into Russia’s worldview and the challenges surmounting the West in forging an actionable collective security agreement for Europe and the US.

Chatham House’s John Lough has weighed in with a critical analysis in Germany’s Russia Problem that examines the complex relationship between Germany and Russia. Johns Hopkins Cold War historian Mary Sarotte has provided her brilliant Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Stalemate, an intricately researched and splendidly written, detailed history of engagements among US administrations, former Warsaw Pact nations that now hold NATO membership, and Russian leadership. Lough has written a long book, over 500 pages, and so rich in detail that, despite the fluid writing, reading and digesting it requires focused attention.

Each book offers a parallel theme. The old saw ‘timing is everything’2 comes a little into play in reading Lough’s fine work but does not undercut the book’s importance or analysis of Germany’s disposition towards Russia before the invasion of Ukraine. His book details and critiques Germany’s ambivalent posture towards Russia and its faint-hearted response to the threats that Russia poses to Germany through its extensive influence in civil society and on security policies. The invasion turned matters upside down and opened German eyes, exposing a ruthless dictatorship that exploited German sensibilities to advance Russia and weakened German security.

Keywords - post-Cold War, Russia, America, Germany, NATO, expansion, enlargement, Partnership for Peace, strategic communications, strategic communication

About the Author: An Associate Fellow of the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications, King’s College London, and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, James Farwell has advised the US Department of Defense and COCOM. He is the author of Persuasion & Power (Washington: Georgetown, 2012), Information Warfare (Quantico: Marine Corps University Press, 2020), and The Corporate Warrior (Rothstein Publishing, 2022).