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[IAS 5940] Topics - International Studies - 491

Robert Andrew

Course Description

Topics in International Studies: U.S.-Russia Relations 


Russia remains the only country in the world that can destroy much of the U.S. in just a few hours with a nuclear attack.


Let that sink in for a moment if you were unaware of this or had never really thought about it.  If nothing else, that is the ultimate reason why the U.S. and Russia need or are forced to deal with each other despite often severe complications in the relationship. 


But isn’t this talk of Nuclear Armageddon so “Cold War-ish”?  Didn’t the Cold War end 30 years ago as the “Winds of Change” swept across Europe and we watched as it became, in President George H.W. Bush’s words, “whole and free”?  Shouldn’t we be friends or at least not enemies now?  While most Americans believe, rightfully so, that the Cold War essentially ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 followed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself two years later, the legacy of post-World War II antagonistic perceptions and policies continue to dominate the U.S.-Russia relationship a generation later.  Even before WWII came to its conclusion, the seeds for distrust and potential confrontation were firmly planted, even though agreements such as Yalta in February 1945 were designed to avoid these potentially existential challenges.  Current tensions over Ukraine exacerbate the relationship.


The relationship is indeed complicated and has seen highs, such as during WWII when we allied against common enemies; and lows, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis which nearly led to nuclear annihilation.  Today’s relationship seems to be nearing a new “Cuban Missile Crisis” over Ukraine and Europe.  Or perhaps a Cold War 2.0?  Will the relationship center around, as one of our authors Angela Stent was quoted in January 2022 as saying, a “third reorganization of the Euro-Atlantic security since the 1940s.”


This course is designed to provide an overview of U.S.-Russia relations over the past 200+ years with an in-depth look at Cold War tensions and the contentious relationship since the “re-emergence” of Russia from the post-Soviet morass in the Putin era.  We will look in-depth at various attempts to “reset” the relationship from the end of the Cold War to the Trump Administration and new challenges for the Biden Administration.  Even if Russia no longer dominates American foreign policy as the Soviet Union did, the relationship has once again become a frequent and usually troublesome topic with Russian meddling in the 2016 and 2020 U.S. elections, allegations of improper “collusion” with Russia and the Trump Administration, increased tensions in Europe and around the world, and challenges in arms control. 


With so many irritants in the bilateral relationship (such as NATO enlargement, missile defense, arms control treaties, Ukraine, Georgia, Iran, Syria, the Balkans, spy scandals, etc.), how can this relationship move forward?  Is it possible to improve relations in the short, medium, or long term?  Are there areas in which we should focus our cooperation (such as space, climate change, and humanitarian assistance) to put the relationship on a more positive and productive track?  We will study these questions in this course.

Course Dates

DatesMay 2-June 11, 2022 (6 weeks)
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyApril 3, 2022

Site Director

This is a three-credit hour online course. Please see your local Site Director or email our online site coordinator at

Professor Contact Information

Course ProfessorRobert B. Andrew, Adjunct Instructor
Mailing AddressDept of International & Area Studies, The University of Oklahoma, 729 Elm Ave, Norman, OK 73019
Telephone Number(405)-476-3241 (personal cell)
Professor availabilityThe professor will be available via email to students before and after the course. Office hours are by appointment only via Zoom, starting 30 days before class starts. All students should check their OU email/Canvas regularly 30 days before the course begins for communications from the instructor about the course.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online. 


Materials posted on the OU Canvas learning management system: Access Canvas at, enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon.  You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT. 

The professor may assign further reading; there will be additional materials on Canvas.

For the Soul of Mankind The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
For the Soul of Mankind The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
by Melvyn P. Leffler
Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
ISBN: 9780374531423
The Limits of Partnership - U. S Russiam Relations in the Twenty-First Century
The Limits of Partnership - U. S Russiam Relations in the Twenty-First Century
by Stent, Angela
Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691165868
From Cold War to Hot Peace : An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia
From Cold War to Hot Peace : An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia
by McFaul, Michael
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
ISBN: 9781328624383

OU Email

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address.


Email Account and Canvas: Students are expected to check their OU email accounts and the course site on Canvas daily for updates from the instructor


Course Objectives

Upon conclusion of this course students will have gained an improved understanding and appreciation for the following:

  • Attain general proficiency/overview of Russian/Soviet history.
  • Basic understanding of U.S.-Russia Relations from its earliest beginnings to the present era.
  • Understand why it has been so difficult to develop a productive and more predictable post-Cold War U.S.-Russian partnership.
  • Understand why American and Russian priorities are so often misaligned.
  • Be able to describe what areas of this relationship have worked best and which areas have been the most problematic.

Course Outline

Pre-course assignments, beginning no later than April 4, 2022:

  • Read Chapters 1-2, pages 1-119 of Russia, A Country Study, book is free and available on Canvas by beginning of course (and in preparation of pre-course quiz!)
  • Read entire book of For the Soul of Mankind by Melvyn P. Leffler by beginning of course.
  • Read entire book of The Limits of Partnership by Angela Stent by beginning of course.
  • Scan/familiarize yourself with entire book From Cold War to Hot Peace by Michael McFaul by beginning of course.


Week of:


Class Activity

Assignment(s) Due


May 02


A Brief History of Russia from early history to 1991.


Please read:

-Chapters 1-2 (pages 1-119) of Russia, A Country Study (free book found in Canvas)

-Week 1 lecture slides


Discussion Question Response (due May 08)




May 09

U.S.-Russia Relations from 19th Century through World War II

Please read:




-Genesis of U.S.-Soviet Relations in World War II (See PDF in Canvas)

- The Spirit of Torgau (in Canvas).

-Week 2 lecture slides

-Discuss Course Written Assignment

Discussion Question Response (due May 15)


Course Written Assignment is due at end of the course/Week 6, June 11 by 11:59 p.m.


May 16

U.S.-Russia Relations during Cold War from 1945-1970

Please read:

- (United States Relations with Russia: The Cold War)-read from 1945-1969.

- From For The Soul of Mankind book: read the Introduction and Chapters 1-3, pages 3-233;

- Chapter 10 of Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances, pages 359-417;

- “The Long Telegram” by George Kennan (found in Canvas)

-Week 3 lecture slides

-Please watch movie: “The Coldest Game” on Netflix


Discussion Question Response (due May 22)




May 23

U.S.-Russia Relations during Cold War 1970s, 1980s, and to early 1990s/End of Cold War

Please read:

- (United States Relations with Russia: The Cold War)-read from 1970-1989.

- From The Soul of Mankind: The United States, The Soviet Union, and The Cold War: read Chapter 4-5 and the Conclusion, pages 234-467

- From Washington to Moscow, Chapter 19 from PDF doc in Canvas

-Week 4 lecture slides

-Quiz #1 this week

Discussion Question Response (due May 29)


Quiz #1 on Canvas due NLT 11:59 p.m. May 29; Available from May 23-29, two hours to complete once started



May 30

U.S.-Russia Relations: The First Three “Resets” from the Stent book


Also, instructor’s personal experiences in Russia

Please read:

- (United States Relations with Russia: After the Cold War).

- From The Limits of Partnership, Introduction and Prologue, pages vii to 12 and Chapters 1-7, pages 13 to 176.

- From the From the Cold War to Hot Peace, Prologue and Chapters 1-4, pages vii to 75.

- From The Back Channel by William Burns, Chapter 6, pages 200-242 (this chapter will be on a PDF file in Canvas).

-Week 5 lecture slides

-Re-Discuss Course Written Assignment


Discussion Question Response (due June 05)


(Reminder: Course Written Assignment due to Canvas by 11:59 p.m. on June 11.)




June 06

U.S.-Russia Relations: The Fourth “Reset”; Ukraine; Trump, Putin, Biden; Nuclear Diplomacy and Arms Control

Please read:

- From The Limits of Partnership, Chapters 9-12, pages 211-306.

- From the From the Cold War to Hot Peace, Chapters 5-24, pages 76-428 and Epilogue, pages 429-460.



- The Shoals of Ukraine article from Foreign Affairs magazine Jan/Feb 2020-in Canvas as PDF




-Week 6 lecture slides

-Finish Course Written Assignment

-Quiz #2 this week


(No discussion question)


Quiz #2 on Canvas due NLT 11:59 p.m. on June 11; available to take from June 06 to June 11, two hours to complete once started


Course Written Assignment Due by 11:59 p.m. June 11 to Canvas

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

The following required books are available on Canvas or through the OU Libraries (for free):


Glenn E. Curtis, Editor, Russia A Country Study (Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1996).  (This book is provided in PDF format in Canvas)


Frank Costigliola, Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2012).  (This book is provided in PDF format in Canvas.)


Louis Sell, From Washington to Moscow: U.S.-Soviet Relations and the collapse of the USSR (Duke University Press, 2016).  (This book is provided in PDF format in Canvas).


Materials posted on the OU Canvas learning management system: Access Canvas at, enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon.  You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT. 

The professor may assign further reading; there will be additional materials on Canvas.


There are three graded components to the course:


  1. Class preparation/participation measured by online discussion topics. The instructor will post a discussion question in the Canvas Discussion section no later than each Monday (May 02 to May 30) corresponding with the reading content for the upcoming week.  Students should analyze the question and write a thoughtful response to the question no later than the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.  You are only required to answer 3 of 5 questions presented during the course.  The objective of this assignment is to prompt you to engage the reading and provide your own independent analysis of the issue.  Please use and cite the texts and/or article readings to support your answer to the discussion question.  Discussion question responses should be approximately 200-400 words in length.  To facilitate a constructive dialog among your fellow students, respond to three student posts with comments for each question you answer. 
  2. Two quizzes done in Canvas (see box below for dates).
  3. Course written assignment submitted to Canvas due by Saturday, June 11 before midnight Central/Oklahoma time. This Course Written Assignment will be an analytical essay of approximately 2500 words (approximately 8-10 double-spaced pages, not including the cover page and citations), using Microsoft Times New Roman 12 with one-inch margins. There will be a choice of topics to write on that the instructor will go over in greater detail during the course/will be on Canvas.  Grading criteria for this Course Written Assignment: Writing Quality such as format, organization, grammar, spelling, mechanics of writing (20%), Content/Facts such as accuracy and use of facts to support arguments (20%), Analytic Quality such as depth of understanding and breadth of thought (40%), and Sources such as quality/sufficiency of academic sources (20%).  Worth 30% of your overall grade.


Preparation and class participation as measured by online discussion questions will count for 30% of the course grade.  Contributions to class discussions throughout the week—measured in terms of quality, not simply quantity, and especially thoughtful consideration of the assigned readings—are critical.  The first quiz is worth 20% and the second quiz is worth 20% of the course grade for a total of 40%.  The Course written assignment is worth 30% of the course grade. 


Critical thinking and following instructions:


One of the most important lessons that you can learn from this course is to think about the issues that are being presented.  Critical thinking and questioning of how things work in the diplomatic world are crucial to success, not only in this course, but in the real world of practical diplomacy.  In addition, it is very important that you follow class instructions!  Failure to follow instructions could result in lower grades.



This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F.

Assignment Due Date Percent of Grade
Class participation/preparation measured by Online Discussion Topics in Canvas Every Sunday during the course (May 8-June 05), 11:59 p.m. Central Time Complete responses for 3 of 5 possible discussion questions presented during the semester.  Provide your response in the Canvas Discussion Section 30%
Two quizzes Sunday May 29 and Saturday June 11 40% (20% & 20%)
Course written assignment Saturday June 11 30%

Policy on Late Assignments

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.

Technical Support Information

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357).


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access the material.


Procedures for Completion of Course Evaluation: 

Upon completion of the course students should go to the Advanced Programs Online Learning Information webpage and click on the applicable semester link under “Online Course Evaluation” which will direct them to the evaluation.  The evaluation will take approximately five minutes to complete.  Completion of the online evaluation is an important tool allowing Advanced Programs to gain information and student feedback for improvement of courses.

Your responses will be kept confidential.  They will be reviewed by the department and only supplied to the professor once grades for the course have been submitted.


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access material. Please contact your local the IT Help desk at 405-325-HELP if you require assistance.  IT is available 24/7

Statement about the MHR Program Planner and Human Relations Website

Students should become familiar with the MHR Program Planner that was sent to each student upon admission into the program.  The planner has a description of the HR program objectives and requirements, suggestions for graduate study, financial assistance, and graduation information. Of particular interest is the information on the comprehensive exams and the internship.  For further information please visit the Department of Human Relations Website at:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities.  Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him or her from fully demonstrating his or her abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities.  Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations in this course.  The Office of Disability Services is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405-325-3852 or TDD only 405-325-4173. For more information please see the Disability Resource Center website


Civility/Inclusivity Statement:

We understand our members represent a rich variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Human Relations Department is committed to providing an atmosphere for learning that respects diversity. While working together to build this community we ask all members to:

  • share their unique experiences, values and beliefs
  • be open to the views of others
  • honor the uniqueness of their colleagues
  • appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from each other in this community
  • value each other’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner
  • keep confidential discussions the community has of a personal (or professional) nature
  • use this opportunity together to discuss ways in which we can create an inclusive environment in this course and across the University of Oklahoma community.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without a penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays, without penalty.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Robert B. Andrew, Adjunct Instructor


  • 2002 Master of Arts in National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 1989 Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, California State University, Chico

Current Position

  • Adjunct Instructor, University of Oklahoma (since October 2019)

Practical/Professional Experience:  Foreign Service Officer with U.S. Department of State 2002-2019

  • Foreign Policy Advisor for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South in Miami, FL (2017-2019)
  • Diplomat in Residence and Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma (2014-2017)
  • Political Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden (2011-2014)
  • Desk Officer for Sweden at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. (2010-2011)
  • Political Affairs/Counter-Narcotics Officer at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica (2007-2010)
  • Political-Military Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia (2005-2007)
  • Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico (2003-2005)

Military Service:  U.S. Army Field Artillery Officer 1989-2002

  • Operations Officer, Foreign Area Officer Training Program in Monterey, CA (2000-2002)
  • Foreign Area Officer in training (1998-2000)
  • Service Battery Commander, 2-82 Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX (1997-1998)
  • Task Force Fire Support Officer 2-7 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX (1996-1997)
  • 1st Cavalry Division Artillery Assistant Fires Officer, Fort Hood, TX (1994-1996)
  • Platoon Leader, B Battery, 5-17 Field Artillery, Fort Sill, OK (1992-1994)
  • Fire Direction Officer, Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (1-2 ACR), Bindlach, Germany (1991-1992)
  • Fire Support Officer, B Troop, 1-2 ACR, Bindlach, Germany and Southeast Asian countries of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield/Storm (1989-1991)

Frequently Taught Courses

  • IAS 3003/5940 The Practice of Diplomacy
  • IAS 3003/5940 S.-Russia Relations
  • IAS 3043/5803 Global Security/Global Security Practicum

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

  • Practice of Diplomacy
  • American Foreign Policy
  • S.-Russia Relations
  • NATO-Russia Relations
  • Latin American Political-Military Issues
  • Arctic & Nordic Security Issues

Honors and Awards

  • President, Norman Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) 2020-2022
  • Vice President, Norman Rotary Club, Norman, OK 2021-2022
  • 2019 Rotarian of the Year, Doral, FL
  • United States Marine Corps Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service, 2019
  • State Department Superior Honor Award for launching multi-million dollar Counter-Narcotics Program in Costa Rica, 2009
  • State Department Meritorious Honor Award for streamlining end-use checks of exported potentially dual-use equipment to Russia to prevent the diversion of U.S. military technology, 2007
  • S. Army Meritorious Service Medal 2002
  • S. Army Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device “V” for Valor 1991
  • Liberation Medal (Kuwait) 1991
  • Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) 1991
  • Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army Airborne School, 1987