While America is preoccupied with threats from the Middle East and China, Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council argues that a monumental transformation is underway in the most massive nation on earth – nuclear-armed Russia. He posits that Russia’s first crisis will be a social one: a demographic collapse of the Slavic population, gutted by alcoholism, early death, and abortions that historically have outnumbered live births. Filling the void is a rising Muslim population, including radical Islamists who seek to subvert the nature of the Russian state. In the background is an emerging strategic rivalry with neighboring China, which has growing designs on Russia’s resource-rich east. But that’s just the beginning, according to Berman. He paints a troubling picture of Russia’s precarious future, how the former superpower might unravel, and how a collapsing Russian state will impact America and the world.
Ilan Berman is Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council, a columnist for Forbes.com, and the Editor of The Journal of International Security Affairs. He is also a regular columnist for the Washington Times and a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, and other leading publications. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense and provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices. Berman is also a member of the Associated Faculty at Missouri State University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies. He has authored or edited four previous books: Winning the Long War (2009), Taking on Tehran (2007), Dismantling Tyranny (2005), and Tehran Rising (2005).
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