James Poulos who also attended the TNI on Thursday argues that China poses more of a long-term threat to U.S. interests than Russia:

To wit, the US and China have a much closer and more important economic relationship than the US and Russia, but in the short, medium, and long term, the rise of China poses a far bigger set of problems and ‘threats’ to American interests than does the recuperation of Russia. On the other hand, Europe and Russia have a much closer and more important economic relationship than Europe and China, but the recuperation of Russia poses far more problems and threats for Europe than the rise of China.

He also suggests that the instead of expanding NATO, the U.S. should work with the EU to help integrate Russsia into Europe. Europe, in turn could help the U.S. to counterbalance China:

And in the case of the former, as I’ll continue to urge, the US needs to focus its military energies in Europe away from NATO expansion into former SSRs and toward the recuperation of Europe itself as a political entity that can take its own side in an argument and live to tell the tale. Such a Europe will be of even greater value in balancing the complexities of the US-China relationship. It’s exactly the sort of win-win situation that should underpin the Western alliance for the next twenty-five years.

Interestingly enough, a few analysts had promoted the idea of European-Russian-American cooperation in the aftermath of the Cold War and before 9/11 and the war on terrorism as a way of forming a powerful geo-strategic bloc that could deal with the challenges — I don’t like the term “threats” — that were posed by China, India and political Islam.

Serge Trifkovic, for example, continues to advance the idea of forming what he calls a Northern Alliance between Europe, Russia and the U.S. And I discussed this proposal in my book, Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East, arguing that the long-term goal should be the establishment of a Congress of Vienna-like system that will eventually include also China and India.

In any case, the reason that the Northern Alliance remains only an idea has to do with U.S. policies, starting with Bush the First and through Clinton the First to Bush the Second: We’ve been expanding NATO into the borders of Russia because Washington doesn’t accept the principle of multipolarity under which Russia has its own sphere of influence. And insetad of exploiting differences between the other powers, we end-up antagoizing all of them — the Russians, the Chinese and the Europeans. It’s the worst of all possible policies.