Politico few days ago published a piece on Russia. This piece, written by a host of US foreign policy "luminaries" who pass in the US for Russia "experts", because they once visited Moscow and ate pelmeni in the neighborhood Russian restaurant, just think that they have a capacity to offer anything on the subject of destroyed Russian-American relations. They start with classic US globalist tropes:
U.S.-Russia relations are at a dangerous dead end that threatens the U.S. national interest. The risk of a military confrontation that could go nuclear is again real. We are drifting toward a fraught nuclear arms race, with our foreign-policy arsenal reduced mainly to reactions, sanctions, public shaming and congressional resolutions. The global Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting serious worldwide economic decline, rather than fostering cooperation, have only reinforced the current downward trajectory. Meanwhile, the great challenges to peace and our well-being that demand U.S.-Russia cooperation, including the existential threats of nuclear war and climate change, go unattended. Because the stakes are so high, both in the dangers they entail and the costs they contain, we believe that a careful, dispassionate analysis and change of our current course are imperative.
The first question which arises here is what do authors of this piece mean when they propose "cooperation" on such issues as "climate change" and Covid-19? I can understand the "nuclear arms race" item which worries authors, but by now everyone knows how the US approaches any negotiations on this matter with Russia, who somehow is supposed to give up her advanced military arsenal which the US would never do, should the United States had the same advantage Russia currently has over the US in terms of new generation warfare. START, anyone? But climate change? How does this group of authors imagine this "cooperation"? How can it possibly look like? I can tell you how--by throwing a noose around Russia's industrial neck. I am sure these Russia "experts" know that the only reason Russia takes part in the international voodoo dances around the grossly overstated anthropogenic (read attentively again--anthropogenic, that is caused by human) climate change is because for now, at least, EU is Russia's major market. EU is run by ignorant imbeciles who are impressed with Greta Thunberg credentials and follow all kinds of suicidal environmental fundamentalist cults. That is why Russia signs all kinds of "agreements" with them and continues to do her own thing. Putin is on record that climate change is not man-made.
The only valuable thought in this paragraph is surprisingly correct assessment of the US "foreign policy arsenal" and, what is not mentioned here, people who use it--most of them, as I am on record for years about that, in normal country would have difficulties applying for a job as pizza delivery drivers. In fact, the proof is in the pudding, after all, as authors themselves admit, somebody developed and continues to use this so called "arsenal". It is an arsenal of losers with a hugely inflated and sensitive ego and with rather mediocre talents and capabilities and authors openly admit that. Russians are not impressed, neither is the most of the rest of the world. But authors wouldn't be American foreign policy "establishment" authors if they wouldn't have relapsed into good ol' behavioral pattern of self-righteousness:
We go into this open-eyed. Russia complicates, even thwarts, our actions, especially along its extended periphery in Europe and Asia. It has seized territory in Ukraine and Georgia. It challenges our role as a global leader and the world order we helped build. It interferes in our domestic politics to exacerbate divisions and tarnish our democratic reputation. At best, our relations will remain a mix of competition and cooperation. The policy challenge will be to strike the most beneficial and safest balance between the two. To this end, we offer six broad prescriptions for U.S. policy.
Authors, obviously, do not understand that the world order they "helped build" is rather a shitty one with non-ending wars, sanctions, support of terrorism and other benefits of what became known as Pax Americana, which is in the state of implosion as I write this. Yes, Russia helped to dismantle this "world order", she will do even more towards this end, but the authors of this piece better take a look at themselves in the mirror to see people who are solely responsible for a reaction to this "world order", which for some reason evolved, and rather quickly at that, into global chaos. As they said, you had your chance, you blew it. The faster you understand this, the better it will be for the rest of the world. And, of course, the United States cannot do the "policy change" because it doesn't know how. The next paragraph immediately exposes why US cannot do "policy change" and why Russia doesn't want to deal with obviously delusional people:
We must first find a way to deal effectively with Russian interference in U.S. elections and, most important, block any effort to corrupt the voting process. Hardening our electoral infrastructure, sanctioning Russians who weaponize stolen information and countering Russia’s capacity to hack our systems are all necessary measures. So is exposing Russian disinformation. We must, however, also engage Russia through negotiations out of the public glare, focused on each side’s capabilities to do great damage to the other side’s critical infrastructure.
Ahem, this paragraph alone speak volumes about Russia's, correct I may say, posture towards the United States and this posture was succinctly expressed by Putin himself who not for once stated to the effect that Russia is ready to deal with the United States when the United States is ready. Current US elites, including the authors of this "opinion" piece are not ready and they will never be, because they exhibit all traits of the American foreign policy class, which is overwhelmingly ignorant, incompetent and badly educated. Russia has NOBODY to talk to in the US, plus, and that is a well-known, in Russia, fact--any "agreement" with the US is not worth the paper it is written on. US is not a credible and agreement-capable state.
After that, the authors go into all kinds of generalities about how wonderful it would have been to have some sort of predictable relations with Russia, such a in the good ol' Cold War 1.0 times. Bloviation on other issues, such as Ukraine, follow and they are really tiresome, same ol, same ol', well, read yourself:
On salient issues where U.S. and Russian interests are in genuine conflict, such as Ukraine and Syria, the U.S. should remain firm on principles shared with our allies and critical to a fair outcome.
US "principles" in Syria are support for Jihadists, including Al Qaeda elements against Syria's legitimate government and Russia. US is on record on that!
James Jeffrey, the US special envoy for Syria and defeating the Islamic State, has made quite a frank confession of how he sees his job and that of US troops there: to create a new Vietnam or Afghanistan for Moscow. "Our military presence, while small, is important for overall calculations. So we urge the Congress, the American people, the president to keep these forces on, but again this isn’t Afghanistan, this isn’t Vietnam, this isn’t a quagmire," Jeffrey said on Tuesday, during a video event hosted by the Hudson Institute.
Unless the authors of this "piece" spent last twenty years or so under some stone in the middle of nowhere, they should have enough awareness for grasping a simple fact that Russians know all that and they do not really negotiate with people like that. As per Ukraine, I and others wrote so much on this issue that, I think, there is very little to add here at this time. US (and EU's) bloody coup in Ukraine is a major reason for the United States finding itself in the position and state it is in.
While laboring through this exhibit A of the American delusional strategic thinking, or rather lack thereof, and incompetent arrogance, we finally arrive to a key point in this piece:
The success of U.S.-China policy will in no small measure depend on whether the state of U.S.-Russia relations permits three-way cooperation on critical issues. Our current policies reinforce Russia’s readiness to align with the least constructive aspects of China’s U.S. policy. Moving the needle in the opposite direction will not be easy, but should be our objective.
Ah, that is warmer. I have some news for these "giants" of American foreign policy and "academe". Let me explain:
1. The United States has already lost economic "war" to China. Even considering the fraud which US economic numbers are, China's economy dwarfs that of the US, not least because of the fact that the actual size of US economy is much much smaller than the US likes to pretend.
2. Russia has zero reasons to view the United States as a viable negotiating partner. US share in Russia's trade is minuscule and Russia shed most of her US Treasuries. In other words, the US has very little or no value economically for Russia. The only way the United States is making herself noticeable for Russia is through bullying and blackmailing nations which have serious economic relations with Russia.
3. China is a huge market for Russia's hydrocarbons, high value added petrochemical products, weapons, food, and potentially huge aerospace market. Russia is keenly interested in having a stable, prosperous and friendly China next to her. This contradicts dramatically with the US objectives and that explains a natural, organic emerging alliance between Russia and China. Plus, for the authors of the piece, it is 2020, boys and girls, not 1970s.
4. US has nothing to offer Russia. Zilch, nada, zero. As I write for years, the US doesn't have enough geopolitical currency "to buy" Russia. Russia could have been a friend and ally for the United States and vice-versa, but as Pat Buchanan noted more than 4 years ago:
Reading this piece in Politco one can totally see why Russia has no desire to deal with the United States and its delusional elites who don't grasp their own predicament and exercise in geopolitical Oblomovschina and day-dreaming. They are not ready to deal with reality and Russia knows it. That is why she aids China in building Chinese version of Missile Attack Early Warning System and provides domestic versions of her advanced weapons, among many other things. As O.Henry's immortal piece The Roads We Take ends with:
There is a reason this phrase became a proverb in USSR and Russia. Nothing personal ladies and gentlemen who wrote this Politco piece, just business. Bolivar cannot carry double because there are consequences for the actions and somebody kept the ledger.