Washington Post suddenly had a feat of some sanity when published this yesterday.
The problem, however, is not in the lack of Russia's "experts", the problem is in fact, of which I wrote many times, that US NEVER had serious Russia experts with the exception of such figures as Kennan or Matlock, as an example. In fact, US always had the whole army of Russia's "experts", as it has it today, who, for the most part, were and are nothing more than dissidents who know really well what their masters want to hear. The result of that was and still remain a parallel Russian universe in which American power elites live. It is not surprising when one sees the world through the prism of some post-modern social ideologies and studies not history but the subject called "why the United States is better than everybody else".
It doesn't take reading this D.C. rag WaPo to recognize that there is a huge problem with American perceptions of Russia. When Russian history was solzhenitsified to the point of being unrecognizable--what can one expect? Enough to open CIA's forecast from 2000 in regards to Russia.
Mind you, these are the guys who are charged with US "defense" and even they still can not get anything right. Militant incompetence--that is how the state of the affairs in US Russia's "expert" community is. I write on this issue constantly, US OODA Loop lacks those two "O's" or, as some people succinctly observed, like in the Wheel Of Fortune game, even when all letters are guessed correctly, the player still is not able to read the whole word right. I do not expect any improvement in this field, which is crucial in helping US to avoid stupid and irresponsible steps, such as destabilizing Ukraine. The parade of all those Zlobins, Masha Lipmans, Dmitry Simeses, Pavel Falgenhauers, human rights "activists", dissidents and other presstitudes will continue. No amount of resources will help until US "elites" will take a look in the mirror and will understand that they, not Russia, have a problem, no amount of "experts" will fix.
As hapless former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul noted: “Trying to figure out decision-making in Russia on foreign policy requires a great deal of qualitative depth… and that requires new investment and knowledge. We’re going to disagree with the Kremlin and with the Russians on certain issues over time, but what we can’t have is disagreements based on misperception and bad information.” How strange, to observe a sudden breakout of common sense semblance from the guy who contributed greatly to misperception and bad information about Russia.