Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Discreet Charm Of The American Academe

I stated many times (in fact, this was one of the main reasons I started this blog) that most of what passes in US as Russian Studies field has to be either 90% cleansed of those, mostly self-proclaimed, "Russia experts" or this field has to be completely closed for good. The reason for that drastic measure being, to put it straight, inability of most (with some few exceptions) US "academe" to have even remotely objective and knowledgeable view on the subject of their "expertise"--Russia. Enter John Mearsheimer, whose academic credentials are indisputable and who is well known in the US and abroad, to some audiences, as an author on mostly foreign relations and big power politics and, of course, as an author of The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy. Mearsheimer is a former US Air Force officer, a graduate of the West Point. Now that we cleared this, let's get to the point(s). 

1) There is no such thing as political "science"--it is a figment of imagination of humanities "educated" bureaucrats for growing their own field and providing more and more tenures (or sinecures) for people who have difficulties with differential equations and salvo model. The so called "political science" is nothing more than a collection of some postulates and theories all of which separately are wrong because they can not be right for reasons of a stochastic nature of human life. In the last 30+ only one (single) theory on foreign relations and geopolitics came more or less relatively close, and even then with some major mistakes, to describing our complex world's reality, it was Samuel Huntington's magnum opus "The Clash Of Civilizations And The Remaking Of World Order". The rest produced in this field is basically nothing more than a collection of pretentious pseud-academic crap which was debunked already by overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary: be it Fukyama's The End Of History or Brzezinski's  take on geopolitics--all of those "theories" turned out to be a complete crap, all of this crap is produced mostly by Ivy League "educated" political "scientists" such as... Mearsheimer. Ideologies? Well, that is another game and that is the only field where "political science" has any meaning since it is good only for justification of one or another delirious political idea. Or, in layman's lingo--good for bullshitting people.

2. There is also no such science as "history", it never existed and today, in the unfolding new technological paradigm it ceased to exists as we know it. Why? Because for history to become a "science" it has to have its causalities right. Well, getting causalities right sometimes is difficult even in precise sciences (which, incidentally, require an intellectual effort on several orders of magnitude larger than in "humanities" field) and in order to be serious modern historian one has to have a wide range of competences ranging from military history to economics, languages to serious technological expertise. One especially has to get military history right. All this is required to get more or less objective picture of the world and here is the catch: 

Mearsheimer's mantra is the "decline of Russia".  Not for once did I note his this, supposedly very "academic", assessment of Russia and I did ask not for once myself a question: is it a lapse of judgement by otherwise well recognized academician or is there something more sinister in all of that? Well, I have got my answer yesterday. 

“This (Russia) is a declining great power. The only reason we have problems with it is because we have pursued liberal hegemony which called for running our alliance structure right up to their border. A self-created problem.” 

While Mearsheimer  is absolutely correct in identifying some of the reasons of the US "problems" with Russia he completely misses the issue--great or super powerdom IS NOT defined the way it is defined by the combined West. And here we must recall what late Samuel Huntington predicted in 1996, a decline of the West relative to other emerging powers. So let me not procrastinate and get to the point: Mearsheimer gets it totally wrong since it is the US, not Russia, who is declining power and in fact, last three years saw a great acceleration of this decline. Russia, meanwhile, is in ascension mode, re-emerging from her forcefully induced slumber. And here comes this state of mind of US true elites, people with consciousness, common sense, integrity and real patriotism, such as deeply respected by me Philip Giraldi who in his yesterday's piece in The American Conservative makes the same mistake as Mearsheimer.  

"The reality is that Russia, apart from its nuclear arsenal, is a bit of a mouse that roared. Its struggling economy generates a GNP that is on par with that of Italy, and it spends one-seventh as much as the U.S. on the military. It has one aircraft carrier versus 10 in the American arsenal, one-sixth as many helicopters, one-third the number of fighter aircraft, and less than half as many active-duty military personnel. It has no effective military allies, while the U.S. has nearly all of Eastern and Western Europe in NATO."

As I pointed many times in this blog--it doesn't matter what Russia spends or how many aircraft carriers she has, what matters and this is the only metric which matters is what bang Russia is getting for her buck while spending much less than US. In the end, what matters is the ability to win wars, not the number of aircraft carriers. Russia is not going to fight US Navy's CBGs on the high seas for a dubious and operationally and strategically meaningless victory (or defeat) there. Far from it, Russia would "invite" if push comes to shove those CBGs closer to Russian shores where, as I already delved into here, she will be able to deploy an overwhelming force of aircraft, ASMs, Air Defense, ECM and ECCM that will make any number of CBGs fat targets for a sequence of salvos from the air, land and on and underwater. It doesn't matter how many helicopters or aircraft USAF has, not all of them will be deployed and those which will be in the case of conventional war (I underscore--conventional) will face a collection of threats USAF encountered.... never. Nothing like it experienced in its history. Hence is this hysteria from yet another US general

People are missing the most important point: Russia's GDP, which is incidentally much larger than that of Italy or France, is large enough and structured in such a way that it is totally capable (not without delays and setbacks, but who doesn't have those) to produce for a fraction of costs of NATO nations state of the art weapons and operational concepts which will force the enemies to fight the war by Russian, not their, rules. Like with the moving Soviet heavy industry during Great Patriotic War to Urals, beyond the reach of Luftwaffe--the feat without comparison in human history (1500 machine building plant were transferred in several months)--the speed with which Russian Armed Forces rearmed into the state-of-the-art modern fighting force should have served as a warning and a hint that something is missing with all this Russia's expert analysis, but it didn't. But if definition of the superpowerdom in the US rests on this proverbial power projection one has to ask a question, can this US power projection work against Russia? Well, it can't and what is most important neither US, not combine NATO force (what kind of force is that--is a separate story altogether) not only cannot "defeat" Russia in her vicinity but will sustain losses and damages on the scale it never even planned for and, eventually, will be utterly defeated.  If the best soldiers in history--those of the top form Wehrmacht and SS formations circa 1942-43 found themselves signing the capitulation act in Berlin in 1945, I think the conclusion is inevitable. But other, inevitable and highly warranted conclusion has to be made--if self-proclaimed military hyper-power can not win a single war and is doomed to sustain a catastrophic defeat should it try to conventionally attack this eternally declining Russia, what is the conclusion? What does it say about this hyper-power? I guess we all know the answer and no amount of BS or mantras will change anything. We just need to hope that some rogue "exceptional" element in Pentagon will not lose his nerve and will not do a stupid thing which will cost all of us dear. After all, some people do believe fairy tales of their own making but it is time to face the hard cold facts.   

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