Mark Adomanis and I have written a short article on what U.S. Russia policy should be in Obama’s next term. Here’s an excerpt:

The U.S. will only drive away potential partners if it demands that Russia’s neighbors face a binary choice between Washington and Moscow. Because their own economic and political interests are bound up in good ties with Moscow, primarily due to unalterable geographic considerations, many of Russia’s neighbors will actually lean towards Russia if the US demands that they choose one or the other. Gallup surveys of public opinion in ex-Soviet republics found that there were large constituencies in favor of good relations with both the U.S. and Russia, but that pluralities or majorities tended to prefer good relations with Russia even if these good relations came at the expense of ties with America. The best way for the U.S. to alienate many post Soviet states, therefore, is to require them to “pick a side.”