The US-led invasion of Iraq called into question the efficacy of today's international system. While the US will probably not achieve all of its goals in Iraq, the war has clearly confirmed and strengthened its global supremacy. How should Russia respond? Where do its interests lie, and what kinds of policy should its leaders pursue? In particular, how should Russia position itself vis-à-vis the incipient rivalry between Europe and the United States?
The Iraqi crisis revealed deep differences between the US and Western Europe in matters of political culture, ethics, approaches to international politics, and the role of military force. These differences will hardly break the basic trans-Atlantic alliance built on the foundation of common values and interests. But they will necessarily heighten elements of competition, including competition for Russia.