News Release

Motives of the “Cold-War Hysteria” in U.S. Establishment

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STEPHEN COHEN, sfc1 [at] nyu.edu
Available for a very limited number of interviews, Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his books include Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War.

He recently wrote the piece “Cold War Hysteria vs. U.S. National Security” (with associated interview), which states: “Thus far, no actual facts or other evidence have been made publicly to support allegations that the hacking was carried out on the orders of the Russian leadership, that Russian hackers then gave the damaging materials to WikiLeaks, or that the revelations affected the electoral outcome. Nor are Russian President Putin’s alleged motives credible. Why would a leader whose mission has been to rebuild Russia with economic and other partnerships with the West seek to undermine the political systems of those countries, not only in America but also in Europe, as is charged? Judging by the public debate among Russian policy intellectuals close to the Kremlin, nor is it clear that the Kremlin so favored the largely unknown and unpredictable Trump. But even if Putin was presented with such a possibility, he certainly would have understood that such Russian interference in the U.S. election would become known and thus work in favor of Clinton, not Trump. (Indeed, a major tactic of the Clinton campaign was to allege that Trump was a ‘Putin puppet,’ which seems not to have helped her campaign with voters.)

“Still worse, since the election these allegations have inspired a growing Cold War hysteria in the American bipartisan political-media establishment, still without any actual evidence to support them. … A kind of witch hunt may be unfolding, not only of the kind the Washington Post tried to instigate with its bogus ‘report’ of scores of American websites said to be fronts for Russian propaganda …

“Several motives seem to be behind this bipartisan American campaign against the President-elect, who is being equated with Russian misdeeds. One is to reverse the Electoral College vote. Another is to exonerate the Clinton campaign from its electoral defeat by blaming that instead on Putin and thereby maintaining the Clinton wing’s grip on the Democratic Party. Yet another is to delegitimate Trump even before he is inaugurated. And certainly no less important, to prevent the détente with Russia that Trump seems to seek.”