Today the World Politics Watch blog has a post summarizing the most interesting recent articles about Russian foreign policy. The tone of these pieces is geopolitical and "realist", and this tradition from Thucydides all the way to the present has emphasized rivalries and the balance of power between nations. Some of these articles portray U.S.-Russia relations as a kind of zero sum game where the balance of power is allegedly see-sawing back towards Moscow, while the best of the bunch, from Australian scholar Paul Dibb (writing in The American Interest magazine) takes a long view of Russian history. Prof. Dibbs' essay reiterates something we have repeated here since we started Russia Blog: Russia is never quite as weak or as strong as it appears. Although Russian society in absolute numbers is declining, Russia still has many wellsprings of revival, and too many proud, educated people to go gently into the night. Dibb adds that while America may find Russia more prideful for years to come, in the long run Russian elites want to build relationships with several great powers as insurance against being swamped by the new/old superpower next door.