While U.S. political leaders were examining worst case scenarios, the military leadership was speaking in more optimistic terms of future cooperation with Russia. Defense Secretary William Perry, just back from NATO talks in Brussels, said June 16 that military cooperation in three key areas would likely continue between Washington and Moscow, regardless of Russia’s election outcome. According to Perry, Russia’s links with NATO and its cooperation with the U.S. on both arms reduction and nuclear technology are all unlikely to be reversed by a change in the Russian political leadership. "They are programs that are clearly in the best interests of both countries and I think they would continue to be seen that way in both countries," Perry said. Both Perry and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General John Shalikashvili also said that they expect to see future cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in the research and development of anti-missile defense systems. (Reuter, June 16) Two days earlier, U.S. undersecretary of defense Walter Slocombe said that the Defense Department continues to support economic aid for Russian reforms and for the destruction of its nuclear warheads. But he said that a turn away from democracy would force a reevaluation of such cooperative policies. (Reuter, June 14)
Moscow and NATO Broaden Cooperation; Stumble over Enlargement.