Kevin Ryan on the Elbe Group

Restoring the Spirit of the Elbe Meeting
Moscow Times
May 1, 2012
Op-ed by: Kevin Ryan, Belfer Center executive director for research and member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors
Topic: The Elbe Group

“On the eve of the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21, it seems that the rhetoric from both the United States and Russia has returned to a more combative past. Deep-seated disagreements over missile defense and so-called frozen conflicts in Georgia have renewed suspicions and battered trust between the countries. This corrosive situation is only amplified by the fact that both countries are in an election year when moderation is viewed as a weakness and hyperbole is the norm

So it is surprising that a low-profile group of retired general officers from the United States and Russian military and intelligence services should be a voice of reason. Their recommendation is to shift competition away from the military sphere and to seek trust and strategic stability in our relations. The Elbe Group, which is named after the place where U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on April 25, 1945, at the end of World War II, has been formed to achieve this goal.” 

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