Monday, April 26, 2021

Some Thoughts From Colonel Macgregor.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor, being a man of a considerable courage, also makes considerable assumptions when writing about Ukraine crisis in The American Conservative. 

President Biden can bring stability to U.S.-Russian relations if he doesn’t make the usual mistakes.

The key word here is "usual"--that's the problem. I don't know, maybe the United States has some local diplomatic successes somewhere in Africa or South America, but when it comes to relations with Russia, royally fvcking things up, for the last quarter of a century, is usual for the United States. Statistically, the United States should have done at least something right by now when it comes to Russia, but I, honestly, can only recall one failure after another and even recent extension of the START by Biden Administration hardly improves the overall picture of one failure after another. 

Macgregor notes, however: 

Putin’s directive to return most of his troops to garrison while leaving their weapon systems and equipment in place along the Ukrainian border should be viewed in Washington as an opportunity to create a measure of stability in U.S.-Russian relations that’s been missing for years. It’s not enough to hurl insults and simply restate what the Biden administration is against. It’s time to explore what kind of alternative to the fragile and dangerous status quo in Ukraine that Washington and Moscow can both support. Washington did a deplorable job of formulating strategic aims in the Middle East and Afghanistan that justified the sacrifice of American blood and treasure. The president cannot seize the strategic initiative now if Washington continues to react impetuously and emotionally to real or imaginary threats to U.S. and allied interests.

I agree, but immediate question is this--WHO formulates those strategic aims by means of doing a "deplorable job" whilst formulating those? Present American foreign policy establishment, apart from being ignorant, is utterly unqualified for such a job, hence it being deplorable, since it is not aware, by means of self-delusion, of already gross limitations of the American power and influence. This delusion grows together with the increasing growth of said limitations. Russia was ready to talk in 2014-15, since then a lot has happened and in 2021 Russia has a massive escalation dominance in Ukraine and Macgregor being a first-rate combat officer cannot fail to know that. 

And Macgregor, being a highly respected military professional, while allowing some of his wisdoms to be taxonomized in 5 points, nevertheless ends with what one expects from a professional of such a level and one of a few brilliant American strategic minds still out there trying to make their voices heard. 

Finally, President Biden must devise a new national strategy that ensures its political goals are congruent with U.S. military capabilities and fiscal realities. Too many hotheads in the Senate and House are ready to commit American military power without first soberly assessing the concrete interests and the costs of such action. President John F. Kennedy thrilled his supporters with his assertion that Americans should “meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” It was great rhetoric, but it put the nation on the road to disaster in Vietnam. The United States does not have the resources or the need to export its political ideas at gunpoint.

I think this sums up Macgregor's sober realism extremely well. But the question remains: who will devise a new national strategy built out of understanding of America's dwindling economic and military resources and thus may address the danger of the global conflict in which the United States has no ways of surviving. Sometimes, to survive one needs to admit own weakness. And even admitting is not enough, internalizing it is what may give some ideas for the survival. Removing neocons could be a good start in formulating such a strategy. 

Here is a visual representation of the US foreign policy nowadays. 

No comments are necessary in this particular case. 

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