Working to affect change in the Russian political arena may sound bold or even extreme; it is, however, completely consonant with stated US national security goals. The 2006 National Security Strategy argues
We must encourage Russia to respect the values of freedom and democracy at home.In the document’s basic principles it explains that
Because democracies are the most responsible members of the international system, promoting democracy is the most effective long-term measure for strengthening international stability; reducing regional conflicts; countering terrorism and terror-supporting extremism; and extending peace and prosperity.Thus, long-term efforts could be directed at increasing openness and ending the corrupt and conspiratorial ways that plague the Russian government. Then, and only then, can we reasonably talk about working with the Russians to keep their biological and chemical weapons stockpiles out of the hands of terrorists.