Bruce Allen’s Essay on Dealing with Russians and Unintended Nuclear War

The Program on Negotiation's Senior Fellow Bruce Allen says we need to put ourselves in the Russians' shoes and find mutually agreeable steps to improve the relationship in this critical time.

By — on / International Negotiation

An article was published today about how to negotiate with the Russians, a product of the Harvard Negotiation Project on “Negotiating with Putin,”  featured in the July/August 2017 print version of The National Interest under the headline “Russian to Judgment.”  

It was also released today as the lead essay in the online edition at  (The accompanying Partisan Perception Chart will be published separately on Monday) as To Deal with the Russians, America Must Think Like the Russians.

In the article, the Program on Negotiation’s Senior Fellow Bruce Allen says, “both U.S. and Russian experts now agree that once again there is a heightened risk of unintended nuclear war—much higher than in the early 1980s—but this danger is not as widely perceived as it was back then.”

He writes, “The risk of nuclear miscalculation is now higher than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, due to increasingly lethal technology and the breakdown in almost all official mechanisms of bilateral communication since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.”

“It is a platitude and yet profound that we are all human beings,” writes Allen. “We are all mortal, as JFK underlined in his 1963 speech. We all need a healthy biosphere to live. Yet it has been great transformational leaders who have found the strength to inspire others to experience the profundity of this truth rather than dismiss it as a meaningless cliché.”

To continue reading this comprehensive essay, please visit To Deal with the Russians, America Must Think Like the Russians, on

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