Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Does United States Have Enough Currency?

No, I am not talking about good ole' greenback, which could be printed by US FRS and Mint (coins) thus flooding the world with papers and inflation. Hey, beats dealing with it domestically and why, when inflation could be exported to some other locality. I am talking about real hard currency which exists beyond the virtual world of Wall Street indices and blown out of proportions, grossly exaggerated US GDP figures. I am talking about the hard currency of the real military and economic weight--a geopolitical hard currency. It is this currency, which rules the world, always did, always will. Donald Trump's victory changed geopolitical calculus dramatically and underscored a titanic scale of changes world is coming through now. For starters, it became (as was anticipated with Trump) OK to ally with Russia to fight this ISIS filth. These are great news but let's slow down a bit and look at even larger picture. Even before President Trump's Inauguration a bunch of the US foreign policy "experts" started to float the idea that now, that Trump is a winner, United States might do a "trick" on Russia, or, go full Nixon-Kissinger in order to regain Russia as an ally in US struggle with China. There are three problems with this plan, though, especially as seen from Russia and by that I do not mean the only source of US "knowledge" about Russia--a collection of US sycophants from Moscow's uber-liberal Parnassus--but from people who deal with facts:

1. It is simply inconceivable for any foreign policy realist to consider Nixon-Kissinger "opening of China" (understandably, as a counterweight to the Soviet Union at that time) any sort of a success. Speaking frankly, it was this very policy through which United States initiated and then accelerated the growth of her own economic and, to a degree, geopolitical competitor. Now, with China's nominal GDP being larger than that of the US, not to mention the actual GDP which is in manufacturing--here, the gap is huge and continues to grow--how can one in his own mind consider this any kind of success or a viable geopolitical concept? We all know the results of this "success", which, in large part, is responsible for deindustrialization of the United States--the very factor which, among very few others, defines nation's geopolitical weight. Russia's professional analysts know the real situation in the US economy. And that is why Russia's leadership, at least at this point, is not convinced at all that this game should be played. Let's face it, China as an economic entity is worth for Russia not simply more, but on the order of magnitude more than the United States.

2. For some reason, many people in the US who offer this bizarre triangulation with using Russia as an ally for the US in her struggle against China, still reside in late 1980s-ealry 1990s thinking that Russia is simply still enamored with the US, her standard of living and culture. This simply has no bases in reality anymore. Russians, unlike it was in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, are simply not interested in US anymore. Other than Russian traditional fear (justified completely) that some nut-job in US will start a war with Russia, the appeals of US "democracy" and liberalism faded dramatically and overwhelming majority of Russians merely go about their daily business and live their lives. The US in Russia today are viewed mostly from the point of view of a threat--a dramatic departure from 25 years ago when United States were viewed as an ally and a friend, those sentiments disappeared pretty fast. Russians' "going about their daily business" involves a lot of bread and butter issues and here United States are not even in the first ten of Russia's main trading partners but, as you may have guessed it already, China, sure as hell, is. Thus the irresistible and highly warranted question arises: what's in it for Russia? What can possibly United States offer Russia economically, when economic dynamics in Eurasia offers Russia a host of incredible economic opportunities?  

3. The reason this blog was started. It is a huge one, a defining one--Obama's Administration and its cabal of neocon war criminals is responsible for what even during Cold War seemed inconceivable. United States, her paid for, encouraged and supported proxies, Ukrainian neo-nazi junta, spilled the blood of Russian and Russo-phone civilians in Ukraine. I stress it, not military--military is expected to face death, but civilians. Russians do not forget easily these things and it was here where a huge obstacle exists culturally--US political class as a whole simply has no grasp of what a spilled blood means in international relations. This factor is tectonic and can not simply be dismissed. That is what behind statements by many high ranking Russian officials when they admit that repairing Russian-American relations will be a long and arduous process. Truth is, today Russians simply do not trust the United States, period.

Both Russia and the United States need to repair their relations and a lot of good will come out of it, but considering Russia as a possible Nixonesque "counterweight" to China? I don't think that the United States has enough geopolitical (and financial) currency to "buy" Russia. Yes, the discussion on new geopolitical structure involving US, China, Russia and, eventually, strong regional players must start today and this is possible with new Administration, but Russia is not for sale in any, even the most sophisticated,  geopolitical game as a "counterweight" or as a mercenary. The game has changed and so did Russia, China, United States and so did the world at large. We either start to negotiate with each-other or we will perish all under the ruins of the old world.  

UPDATE on a long way to normalization of relations.

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