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Poland’s Anti-Russian War Game Failure Proves That A Paradigm Change Is Needed

26 FEBRUARY 2021

Poland

Poland’s reported failure in last month’s anti-Russian war games proves that the country cannot defeat the Eurasian Great Power in a conventional conflict, which should thus inspire a paradigm change of thought about the future of Warsaw’s present policy towards its neighbor.

Poland’s Unsurprisingly Disastrous Anti-Russian War Games

Media reports streamed in earlier this week claiming that Poland disastrously lost its latest anti-Russian war games last month, so much so that the exercise allegedly ended with Moscow’s military forces on the banks of the Vistula fighting for control of Warsaw after just five days of virtual hostilities. This isn’t so-called “Russian propaganda” like some might instinctively claim as they usually do in response to any “politically inconvenient” development that happens in Europe nowadays, but was even reported on by The Center for the National Interest, a prominent US think tank. RT’s Scott Ritter and the Strategic Culture Foundation’s Patrick Armstrong also wrote insightful commentary about those reports, arguing that they could become a self-fulfilling prophecy and that Poland is being exploited as an American lab rat, respectively. These are thought-provoking observations, but what’s needed in order to have a more complete picture of the situation is a credible action plan for Poland to follow in the future, ergo the purpose of this analysis.

A Long-Overdue Lesson

The long-overdue lesson that must be learned from Poland’s reported failure last month is that the country cannot defeat Russia in a conventional conflict, not even with state-of-the-art American arms like the exercise incorporated into the scenario despite them not even having been delivered yet. While it might comfort the sensitive Polish national psyche to know that they have such weapons in their possession, they’ve thus far proven to be incapable of serving their intended purpose, which is to deter so-called “Russian aggression” in the extremely unlikely event that it ever happens. About that, while it’s understandable why Poles historically distrust Russia and most folks across the world are familiar with the quip that “history rhymes”, there’s no credible chance that the Eurasian Great Power will invade the Central European country nowadays. It arguably has the military capabilities to do so, but the intent is lacking, both due to the fact that attacking a NATO member would likely trigger World War III and also because Russia doesn’t have any reason to do so anyhow.

Debunking The “Russian Invasion” Myth

Even those who are casually familiar with the complicated history of Russian-Polish relations know that Poles will never accept being militarily occupied by their regional rival. Russian strategists also know this as well, hence why they’d pragmatically regard the fearmongered scenario of annexing Polish territory as unsustainable, thereby making it an impossibility. It wouldn’t accomplish anything for their country. Russia has no need for additional territory just for the sake of it, nor is there any reason to forcefully incorporate foreign citizens into one’s nation who don’t want to be a part of it. It’s a lose-lose for Russia regardless of whichever way one looks at it. The only semi-plausible scenario that some might speculate about is that Russia would launch a preemptive strike against Poland if it was convinced that Warsaw was about to imminently attack its forces in Kaliningrad in coordination with Washington’s and the rest of NATO’s. Even then, however, the attacking forces could be adequately dealt with without Russian troops entering Polish territory, let alone marching on Warsaw.

The Dangerous Russian-Polish Security Dilemma

The problem at play here is that Russia and Poland are trapped in a dangerous security dilemma that’s largely provoked by historical distrust and the pernicious influence of the US. Both sides fear, whether rightly or wrongly, that the other might launch a preemptive strike against them. Russia’s concerns are more legitimate than Poland’s considering NATO’s recent regional military buildup and the occasional publication of provocative so-called “reports” and “studies” about the possibility of seizing Kaliningrad. As for Poland, its fears are based mostly on historical experience and its leadership’s consequent predisposition towards expecting the worst of Russian intentions no matter what. The American angle is relevant insofar as the US provokes Poland’s paranoia for the purpose of exploiting its territory as a springboard for strengthening its offensive military positioning vis-a-vis Russia in advance preparation of any worst-case conflict scenario. Poland willingly goes along with this because it believes that it’s in its best interests, once again, whether rightly or wrongly.

Is America A Reliable Ally?

The most objective conclusion that one can make from the recent reports about Poland’s disastrous showing in last month’s war games is that the country’s policy of bolstering its conventional military capabilities has failed to achieve its purpose in defending against so-called “Russian aggression”. This “politically inconvenient” reality should inspire a paradigm change of thought about the future of Poland’s policy towards Russia. It’s needlessly expensive to continue along the present trajectory when the latest war games prove that this military-driven policy probably won’t ever succeed in delivering its expected results. In fact, one should ask why this policy is even being pursued in the first place if Poland truly has faith in the US’ commitment to Article 5 of the NATO Charter mandating all members to rush to each other’s aid upon request. Considering the capriciousness of some American Presidents, it might be the case that Poland doesn’t feel comfortable putting its entire security in the US’ hands, instead hoping to hold out in the event of a war long enough to pressure its ally to finally act.

Something For Poles To Ponder

That would explain the focus on improving its conventional military capabilities instead of relying solely on NATO’s nuclear umbrella as the ultimate deterrent against so-called “Russian aggression”. This observation is certainly provocative and will probably be angrily contested in public by most Poles, but upon pondering it, there definitely seems to be some truth within it that’s worth considering even if Poles don’t publicly admit it. Be that as it may, it’s important to return to the point that the only realistic chance of war between Russia and Poland would relate to their security dilemma dangerously spiraling out of control. With that in mind and remembering that Russia lacks any reason to invade Polish territory or strike it first unless it feared an imminent attack, the onus arguably falls on Poland to take the first step towards lessening this dilemma, perhaps by not so actively courting US and NATO troops into the country. This is especially the case when it comes to their presence in close proximity to Kaliningrad and Russia’s CSTO mutual defense ally Belarus.

Hybrid Competition In The Post-Soviet Borderlands

That’s not to say that Russia and Poland should — or ever can — “trust” each other, but just that it’s of the highest importance that no war is sparked by miscalculation from either side, which in the most likely case could result from Moscow’s legitimate misunderstandings about the purpose of foreign troops on Polish soil so close to it and its Belarusian ally’s borders. In reality, Russia and Poland will likely remain locked in a hybrid competition with one another for the indefinite future over the countries within their overlapping envisioned “spheres of influence”, Belarus and Ukraine. These two states sit in between Moscow’s Eurasian Union & CSTO (with Minsk being part of both while Kiev’s post-coup pro-Western government is in neither) and Warsaw’s “Three Seas Initiative”, thus making them the geopolitical fault lines of the New Cold War‘s European front. Neither Russia nor Poland is likely to back down from pressing their respective claims of influence which they both regard as inextricable components of their national security strategies.

Keeping The Russian-Polish Hybrid Competition Non-Kinetic

Even so, this predictably prolonged hybrid competition doesn’t have to go kinetic, let alone in a conventional military way like Poland fears that it might. Its ongoing military modernization program should be completed since the budget has already been allocated and the country’s long-term planning is predicated on this eventual outcome, but in the run-up to that milestone being met, Poland should consider a paradigm change of thought regarding its relations with Russia. Those two states are already in a state of unconventional conflict with one another through hybrid means in the Belarusian and Ukrainian “borderlands” between them which doesn’t require any further conventional military involvement on either side beyond their present posturing in this respect. It’s veritably in both of their interests to manage the dangerously spiraling security dilemma between them in order to offset the mutually disastrous scenario of a war by miscalculation, hence the need for Poland to consider how it could take the first step to bring this positive outcome about.

Poland’s Peacemaking Prerogative

There’s no shame in Poland doing so either since it should actually be regarded as a matter of national pride if the country took the initiative to pragmatically manage its military relations with Russia, especially considering the grand strategic importance of such a move with respect to global security, to say nothing of its more immediate effect on Europe. Poland aspires for leadership status within Europe, but won’t ever obtain this so long as it continues reacting to others, in this case its perception of the supposedly imminent threat of so-called “Russian aggression” and pressure upon it by its American ally to respond through a more robust conventional military buildup that only serves to exacerbate its dangerous security dilemma with Moscow (which itself should in theory be moot due to NATO’s nuclear umbrella). By proactively taking the initiative to peacefully manage its security dilemma with Russia, Poland would prove its political maturity, strategic independence, and continental leadership capabilities.

Concluding Thoughts

The paradigm change of thought that Poland must commence in response to its reported failure during last month’s anti-Russian war games is to seriously reconsider the wisdom of doubling down on its conventional military “deterrence” capabilities since these are inadvertently provoking an increasingly dangerous security dilemma with Moscow. It would be one thing if the recent war games predicted a Polish military victory in the event of a conflict between the two, but since it actually resulted in the exact opposite, this shows that Poland’s present policy hasn’t succeeded with its intended purpose. Both countries will likely remain locked in a hybrid competition with one another for the indefinite future over Belarus and Ukraine, but this dynamic could continue without the need for worsening their conventional security dilemma. Seeing as how Poland aspires for regional leadership status, it should consider taking the first step to manage its mutually disadvantageous security dilemma with Russia in the interests of global peace and security.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Poland, Russia, US, Belarus, Ukraine, NATO, Kaliningrad.


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Biden Says That America Is Back, But That Might Be A Bad Thing

25 FEBRUARY 2021

Biden Says That America Is Back, But That Might Be A Bad Thing

The world shouldn’t celebrate President Biden’s declaration that “America is back” but should tremble in fear. He doesn’t mean that it’s returning to the international community as an equal member, but that it’s doubling down on its bad habits.

US President Joe Biden thundered that “America is back” while addressing the Munich Security Conference last week via video, but his understanding of what this means might be a bad thing for the rest of the world. There were high hopes that he’d pragmatically re-engage with the international community in order to right his predecessor’s many foreign policy wrongs, but it seems from the rest of the words that he shared during his speech that he has other motivations in mind. The problem is that President Biden revealed how ideological his envisioned foreign policy is, which will inevitably contribute to further international instability in the future.

According to the American leader, the world is presently at an inflection point between democracy and what he described as “autocracy”. He said that his country’s “galvanizing mission” must therefore be to “demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world” since he’s convinced that “it’s the single best way to revitalize the promise of our future.” In and of itself, that wouldn’t be an issue so long as the US focused solely on improving the state of its democracy at home, but regrettably, he wants to impose its interpretation of this governing system onto the rest of the world in a paradoxically undemocratic way.

Democracy is supposed to be about respecting differences, yet President Biden proclaimed that America will “speak out to defend [its values] around the world”, which differ from other countries’. Every state should have the right to practice their own form of democracy at home in line with their national traditions and culture without coming under pressure from abroad for this choice. Just like every person in a democracy should be able to do whatever they’d like as long as it’s peaceful, responsible, and doesn’t infringe on others’ rights, so too should every member of the international community be able to do this as well.

Unfortunately, President Biden’s ideologically driven foreign policy denies this right to China, which discredits America’s pro-democratic approach to International Relations. He proposed that “the United States, Europe, and Asia work together to secure the peace and defend our shared values and advance our prosperity across the Pacific” due to what he described as their “long-term strategic competition with China”. He also said that “We have to push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system. Everyone — everyone — must play by the same rules.”

That statement is extremely hypocritical since it doesn’t align with reality. It’s the US that carries out economic abuses and pursues a policy of coercion against others which confirms it’s unwillingness to play by the same rules as everyone else. This is proven by its trade war against China and reliance on illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool. China, by contrast, has always complied with international law and the rules of the World Trade Organization. Beijing doesn’t believe that there should be any double standards in this respect. It’s consistently advocated for America to return back to respecting international rules and norms instead of violating them.

President Biden’s messianic belief in America’s mission to impose its national interpretation of democracy onto others seems to have made him think that it’s acceptable to apply double standards towards this end. That’s the only explanation for why he’d so shamelessly lie to the rest of the world by claiming that China carries out a policy of economic abuses and coercion when that’s actually what his own country has a proven track record of doing. This observation strongly implies that the fundamental fallacy of his foreign policy is the mistaken assumption that America’s model of democracy is universal and that this thus makes the country exceptional.

That’s not true, though. America isn’t better than anyone else like the country’s conservatives claim, nor is it “the first among equals” like its liberals seem to believe. It’s simply just another member of the international community, albeit the one which is arguably the most responsible for destabilizing the world because of its dangerous belief in its own messianic mission and exceptionalism. Considering this, the world shouldn’t celebrate President Biden’s declaration that “America is back” but should tremble in fear. He doesn’t mean that it’s returning to the international community as an equal member, but that it’s doubling down on its bad habits.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Biden, China, American Exceptionalism.


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Russia Should Discuss Global Issues Without The West

24 FEBRUARY 2021

Russia Should Discuss Global Issues Without The West

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed puzzlement over the West recently discussing global issues without her country during last week’s Munich Security Conference, though Russia should do the same without the West through the SCO in order to pioneer alternative means for addressing these collective concerns even though it would obviously be better if the whole world worked together.

Russia’s Response To Munich

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made some excellent points when criticizing last week’s Munich Security Conference. As reported by TASS, her relevant statement on the topic is as follows:

Considering that the announced agenda had such global items as ‘Priorities for Global Action,’ ‘Fighting the Pandemic’ and ‘Tackling the Climate Crisis,’ the list of participants is at the very least puzzling. Essentially, the problems faced by the whole humanity are planned to be discussed in a very narrowed format. The organizers invited the US and EU leadership as well as the UN secretary general and the WHO director general to join the discussion. There was no mention of inviting other countries, including Russia and China. On the contrary, they were viewed by the discussions as threats and opponents who need to be countered. We once again are forced to note the trend of the past few years when our Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle and advance decisions that they are comfortable with, which will later be imposed on other members of the international community through the prism of the ‘rule-based world order’”.

Everything that she said deserves to be seriously reflected upon, but it’s about time that Russia finally fights fire with fire if it’s serious about containing the US like Deputy Foreign Ministry Ryabkov recently suggested.

The Global Relevance Of RIC

Russia should discuss global issues without the West if the latter doesn’t want to cooperate with it to address these collective concerns. Moscow mustn’t be left out of constructive global processes just because it wasn’t invited by its rivals to offer its insight on solving them. The SCO is the perfect platform for Russia to work together with its closest partners to this end, particularly China and India through the RIC format. No matter what rhetoric Western representatives might spout, their strategists would be forced to take notice if these three Great Powers reached agreements on globally relevant topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Even if they tried to ignore this potentially game-changing outcome for as long as possible, the rest of the international community that’s mostly comprised of Global South nations would likely ignore them instead should the RIC countries present viable solutions for addressing these issues.

Perfect Timing

This month’s surprise synchronized disengagement agreement between China and India along the vast Line of Actual Control (LAC) between them will greatly reduce bilateral tensions, thus enabling them to work towards restoring their previously strategic relations, perhaps also with tacit Russian backing. Moreover, Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla’s successful visit to Moscow last week patched up their unexpected disagreements over the past few months after many Indians overreacted to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s criticisms of the US’ growing anti-Chinese influence over their country in December. The stage is now set for a revival of RIC, and while some sensitive issues between them might remain unaddressed such as India’s refusal to participate in China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), these three Great Powers could restore the trilateral goodwill between them by pioneering creative solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change as a first step.

Reversing The Strategic Dynamics

At present, the strategic dynamics are such that Russia feels compelled to respond to the West whenever it’s left out of what should ideally be all-inclusive processes such as the Munich Security Conference’s discussions about global issues. Russia must reverse these dynamics at all costs. Instead of Russia responding to the West, the West must be compelled to respond to Russia, but his can only happen if Moscow is successful at reviving RIC in a manner which imbues it with global significance such as if this format proposes creative solutions to the same global issues that the West wants to resolve without any of those three Great Powers. At the end of the day, East and West will have to work together in order to guarantee that these pressing concerns are adequately dealt with, but the only way for that to happen is if the West stops trying to isolate the East. That won’t change until the RIC-led East collectively takes the lead and compels the West follow them instead.

Concluding Thoughts

Mrs. Zakharova’s criticisms about last week’s Munich Security Conference were spot-on, but it’s about time that Russia moves beyond rhetoric and towards tangible responses in reaction to the West’s countless snubs. The Eurasian Great Power has the diplomatic capabilities to revive the RIC format considering the positive developments that have recently taken place within this triangle, and it must see to it that these three countries take the lead in guiding the rest of the Global South. At the moment, the West believes that it can compel the East to react to its proposals, but this strategic dynamic must be reversed otherwise there can never truly be equal cooperation between all. Without that outcome, these pressing global issues will never be adequately addressed, which in turn works out to everyone’s collective detriment. Since the West won’t change its ways on its own, it’s incumbent on the RIC-led East to encourage them to do so by taking the lead instead.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, India, China, RIC, SCO, US, EU, Global South.


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Here’s What The US’ New China Task Force Must Do To Succeed

23 FEBRUARY 2021

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The simple solution to “winning the competition of the future” with China is for the US to stop perceiving relations in a zero-sum manner and instead embrace the paradigm shift of regarding them in a win-win cooperative manner.

US President Joe Biden revealed earlier this month during his speech at the Pentagon that the Defense Department has assembled a new task force on China. According to the American leader, recommendations will be made within the next few months “on key priorities and decision points so that we can chart a strong path forward on China-related matters.” He then added, “That’s how we’ll meet the China challenge and ensure the American people win the competition of the future.” In order for this task to succeed, however, it must arrive at a very important conclusion that’ll influence all of its forthcoming policy decisions.

The simple solution to “winning the competition of the future” with China is for the US to stop perceiving relations in a zero-sum manner and instead embrace the paradigm shift of regarding them in a win-win cooperative manner. China and the US aren’t destined to compete. Their current tensions are the result of self-interested unilateral actions undertaken by former President Trump in order to distract from domestic problems and out of desperation to cling to America’s fading unipolar hegemony. The past four years have proven that the competitive mindset is destined to fail and that a paradigm change in thought is urgently needed for everyone’s best interests.

This isn’t rhetoric either but could take tangible form in the following manner. Upon reconsidering the wisdom of the unquestionably failed paradigm of competition, the Defense Department might be inspired to realize that America’s national interests are best served through cooperation. The first example of this in practice would be respecting China’s red lines by declining to interfere in its internal affairs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang. China doesn’t carry out any analogous actions against America so the US’ existing policy is purely one-sided and therefore aggressive. It’s time to reverse this negative trend in order to get relations back on track, which can only happen if the US corrects its false perception of China as a competitor and sees it as a partner.

Extrapolating on this thought exercise with the well-intended purpose of showing the way forward, the US could build upon the proposed policy by eschewing its former divide-and-rule strategy in Asia. America failed to turn India against China as proven by the recent synchronized disengagement agreement along the vast Line of Actual Control (LAC) between their two countries. So too has America failed to turn Southeast Asian nations against China through its meddling in the South China Sea. If the US still wants to “compete” with China, it can do so through economic means but only so long as this is on a fair playing field without sanctions, tariffs, and other restrictive measures. That form of competition would be to everyone’s benefit.

Along that line of thought, the US should de-securitize its understanding of technology. It’s counterproductive to perceive of technological developments in a paranoid fashion by imagining that China’s cutting-edge advances are part of a secret plot to steal information and destabilize the world. This makes its restrictions on Huawei and other Chinese tech companies ridiculous. While some nefarious actors could indeed abuse technology just like they can abuse anything else as long as they have the negative intent to do so, China as a state has no such motivations. American companies should freely compete with their Chinese counterparts in order to encourage one another to continue making rapid technological developments in humanity’s interests.

With an eye on technological and trade cooperation instead of military competition and fearmongering, the US might then decide to redeploy some of its troops from the Asia-Pacific back to the American homeland, perhaps to help with their new government’s campaign against domestic extremism. They could also be put to better use contributing to UN peacekeeping operations instead of raising regional tensions in the South China Sea. The American military might also decide to focus more on training for disaster responses, including those that are worsened by climate change, as well as responding to COVID-19 and future pandemics. With the proper paradigm change of thought, a whole new range of opportunities emerges for US and its military.

Of course, this analysis is admittedly optimistic and it’s taken for granted that not all of the proposals will be implemented, if any, but now’s the time to think outside of the box as the US officially reviews the whole gamut of its China strategy. The world of 2021 isn’t anything like it was 12 months ago, let alone four years ago when former President Trump first entered office. Everything has changed so drastically, so it follows that the US’ military strategy towards China should aso change accordingly with the circumstances. Now’s the perfect moment for the US to correct its prior mistakes and make up for lost time. The onus is entirely on President Biden, and history will judge him just like it did his predecessor depending on the fateful choices that he makes.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, China, Biden, Xi.


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Latvia’s Anti-Russian Hybrid War Exposes The Reality Of European Exceptionalism

22 FEBRUARY 2021

Latvia

Latvia is at the forefront of an intense Hybrid War between the West and Russia, but not as the victim of Moscow that it’s deceitfully misportrayed as by the Mainstream Media, but as the villain that aggressively wages anti-Russian information warfare against the Eurasian Great Power and continues to discriminate against its own Russian minority with impunity.

The Manipulative Western Media Narrative About Latvia

The average Westerner that casually follows contemporary geopolitics probably has a lot of sympathy for Latvia after being told by the Mainstream Media that it’s the victim of an unprovoked Russian Hybrid War. This weaponized narrative alleges that President Putin is salivating at the thought of restoring the Soviet Union, in pursuit of which he’s pulled out all the stops to bring Baltic countries like Latvia to heel in creative ways designed to avoid sparking World War III. Western governments have portrayed Latvia as the vanguard of their civilization, bravely withstanding a never-ending onslaught of Russian asymmetrical attacks yet somehow miraculously still standing as a modern-day David that refuses to fall to Goliath. Latvia’s example is intended to inspire other countries to continue funding supposedly “defensive” operations aimed at protecting their people from these threats. The reality, however, is altogether different as will now be explained.

The UK-Latvian Anti-Russian Information Warfare Nexus

Latvia isn’t the victim of the intense Hybrid War being fought between the West and Russia, but one of its villains. The small country aggressively wages anti-Russian information warfare against the Eurasian Great Power, including by hosting the Russian-language Meduza outlet that RT’s Kit Klarenberg recently revealed is backed by the mysterious UK government-funded “Zinc Network” according to leaked documents that were shared with the world by the Anonymous hacktivist collective. His report details the shadowy connection between foreign governments and some self-professed “independent media” that are literally being advised by an organization that described itself as being concerned with “weakening the Russian state”. Latvia therefore isn’t the innocent victim that it portrays itself as, but is actively fighting on the front lines of the information war against Russia through Meduza.

Latvia’s Anti-Humanitarian Crusade Against Its Russian Minority

That’s not all though since Latvia recently banned 16 Russian-language programs and even dramatically declared that those who are caught listening to them will be fined. It goes without saying that Western governments would react with moral outrage if Russia dared to do anything of the sort, yet they’re strangely silent in the face of Latvia embodying everything that those states claim to be against when it comes to what they’ve fearmongered for years that Moscow itself might one day do. Even worse, Latvia actively discriminates against its Russian minority. Not only are they mistreated as second-class citizens, but their identity is under threat after recent so-called “reforms” aimed at phasing the Russian language out of the educational sphere despite it being spoken by around one-third of Latvians. The EU almost always supports minorities anywhere in the world, but this time they tacitly approve of Latvia’s anti-humanitarian crusade against Russians.

The Nazi SS Origins Of Latvia’s Anti-Russian Hatred

This state-sponsored campaign went even further after Riga arrested seven journalists last December who worked with two Russia-linked outlets. Moscow condemned this as a “flagrant attack on democracy”, and one of the persecuted activists shared his view that the “Latvian authorities are trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia, to be able to slap a criminal case against any person who has professional contacts with Russia.” This appears frighteningly accurate in hindsight considering the fact that Latvians who listen to any of the now-banned Russian programs will be fined, prior to which they might even be jailed if they’re unable to pay up or even refuse to do so as a matter of principle. The worst part about all of this is that it eerily resembles the run-up to Nazi-era crimes against humanity. About those, Defense Minister Artis Pabrikis praised Latvian SS-Waffen legionnaire veterans as “heroes” and “the pride of the Latvian nation and state” just a year and a half ago.

President Putin’s Official Response To Recent Events In Latvia

President Putin was so disgusted with this recent turn of events in Latvia that he told State Duma party leaders last week that “They have clamped down on 16 of our media outlets, but the only reaction to this is silence. Why have the Western truth seekers not provided any assessments of what is happening to freedom of expression there, in Europe? No, there are no evaluations, as if this is how it should be, because they are allegedly fighting propaganda. As if what they are doing is not propaganda. What is it then? This is an instrument of attaining their geopolitical goals, in this particular instance, with regard to our country.” In other words, he’s implying that Latvia is protected from Western criticism for its undemocratic actions due to what can objectively be described as European Exceptionalism, or the belief that European nations should be held to different moral and other standards because of what they regard as their civilizational superiority over others.

The Perfect Embodiment Of European Exceptionalism

Latvia is the perfect example of European Exceptionalism in action. It blocks foreign media, fines its citizens for listening to these newly banned programs, arrests those who cooperate with some of those outlets, hosts UK-backed anti-Russian infowar sites, mistreats Russian speakers as second-class citizens, is gradually attempting to erase their identity, and proudly praises Nazi veterans as “heroes” and “the pride of the Latvian nation and state”. Not only would Russia never do any of these terrible things, but pretending that it did even one of them just for conversation’s sake (especially the rehabilitation of Nazis SS fighters), it would be mercilessly criticized and the entire world rightly made aware of its severe moral transgressions. The very fact that none of this has happened with Latvia despite it literally doing everything that was described above proves that European Exceptionalism is the bloc’s unofficial ideology and that principles take second place to geopolitics.

Concluding Thoughts

Far from being an innocent lamb facing imminent Hybrid War slaughter by the Russian bear, like the Western Mainstream Media deceitfully misportrays it as, Latvia is actually a ruthless practitioner of Hybrid Warfare against both its Russian neighbor and its own Russian population alike. Riga gets a free pass for everything that it does because it’s a member of both the EU and NATO. Its European Exceptionalism is on full display to the point where even the rehabilitation of SS Nazis is accepted by its partners due to the mistaken belief that this reprehensible historical revisionism will somehow enable them to make geopolitical gains at Russia’s expense. The Western masses are gaslighted into thinking that Russia’s overreacting to Latvia due to their conventional power asymmetries, but the David and Goliath optics are deliberately misleading and mask the dark truth that even tiny states like Latvia can be formidable Hybrid War threats to much larger ones such as Russia.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Latvia, EU, Russia, Hybrid War, Regime Change, Infowars, World War II.


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Biden’s Envisioned ‘Extreme Competition’ With China Is Very Bad

12 FEBRUARY 2021

Biden

If Biden really knew President Xi as well as he thought, then he wouldn’t have taken their countries’ “extreme competition” for granted. In fact, one doesn’t even have to know the Chinese leader personally to be aware that this is the wrong conclusion to make.

US President Joe Biden told CBS New during his first TV interview since the inauguration that he envisions an “extreme competition” with China but doesn’t believe that that this will evolve into an actual conflict. He also shared a mixture of praise and insults about Chinese President Xi. Biden claims that he’s spent more time with his Chinese counterpart than any other world leader, which is why he regards President Xi as “very bright” and “very tough”, but also said that “he doesn’t have a democratic bone in his body”. Biden then continued by saying that President Xi is sending him unspecified “signals”, which is why the American leader won’t treat China the way that former President Trump did but will instead try to “focus on international rules of the road”.

The 46th President’s remarks are very bad and don’t inspire confidence about the future of Chinese-US relations. There were earlier high hopes that he’d change the hostile course of his predecessor in order to enter into a meaningful rapprochement with China. Those expectations were gradually dashed as his officials continued the trend of bashing China and reaffirming the US’ government’s threat assessment of it as their top strategic competitor. Nevertheless, their perceived competition could still be regulated so long as the US has the political will to do so, yet it doesn’t appear as though the Biden Administration does. After all, it already takes it for granted that the two countries will remain locked in what he described as an “extreme competition”.

This very strongly suggests that the only changes to its grand strategic approach will be cosmetic. Biden hinted as much during last week’s foreign policy speech at the State Department, which represented his desire to disguise American aggression behind the rhetoric of alliances, democracy, and values. He seems to have referenced them with his quip about the “international rules of the road”, which looks like a euphemism for attempting to manipulate those three for the purpose of strengthening the US’ strategic position against China. Biden thinks that the extensive time that he spent with President Xi as Vice President means that he knows him better than anyone else, but he’s terribly mistaken based on the assessment that he made about China.

If Biden really knew President Xi as well as he thought, then he wouldn’t have taken their countries’ “extreme competition” for granted. In fact, one doesn’t even have to know the Chinese leader personally to be aware that this is the wrong conclusion to make. President Xi and the Chinese government that he represents have repeatedly called for the US to deescalate tensions and always reminded their counterparts of their will to immediate reciprocate any goodwill gestures to this end. While it’s welcome that Biden doesn’t want to treat China the same way that Trump did, this doesn’t mean that he’s going to change the substance of America’s aggressive strategy towards the People’s Republic, but only its style.

There is as yet nothing to suggest that Biden is serious about resolving the many problems that he inherited between the US and China. To the contrary, his administration only seems interested in exacerbating them, albeit under the pretext of alliances, democracy, and values (collectively referred to by euphemism as “international rules of the road”). This explains why his government has continued former Trump’s policy of meddling in China’s internal affairs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the South China Sea. Instead of being as direct as the former president was about what the US is doing and why, Biden appears to be taking a page from his boss former President Obama’s book by disguising his hostile intentions behind high-sounding rhetoric.

Sometimes dishonestly posing as a friend like Biden is trying to do by relying on his extensive experience of private meetings with President Xi to justify the completely mistaken conclusions that he shared about China is worse than proudly embracing the role of an adversary like former President Trump had done. If there was any silver lining to Trump’s presidency, it’s that his unpredictability was itself predictable, which led to accurate predictions that he’d isolate the US through his aggressive unilateral actions aimed at containing China. Biden, however, is trying to sweet-talk the international community with alliances, democracy, and values to get them to support the US against China, which is a much more pernicious policy that must be urgently exposed.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, China, Biden, Xi.


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Balancing Regional Interests In Syria Is The Only Way Reach A Compromise Solution

8 FEBRUARY 2021

Balancing Regional Interests In Syria Is The Only Way Reach A Compromise Solution

Politically resolving the Hybrid War of Terror on Syria will involve difficult compromises on all sides, but this is only possible if each party acknowledges their counterparts’ regional interests and Russian diplomats are able to successfully devise a creative solution for “balancing” between them as best as possible.

The Impossibility Of A Military Solution

The Hybrid War of Terror on Syria cannot be resolved militarily by any of the participating parties. The US and its fellow anti-Syrian allies, which importantly include “Israel” and Turkey to differing but not necessarily always coordinated degrees, are unable to forcefully overthrow the country’s democratically elected and legitimate government. In fact, one can argue that they don’t even pursue that goal all that seriously anymore after having informally accepted President Assad’s continued leadership of Syria, who they’ve learned to imperfectly live with after all these years. At the same time, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is unable to unilaterally liberate all of its territory from the occupying American and Turkish forces. This is especially the case after Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov reaffirmed late last month that Russia “cannot expel it, and we will not clash with US forces” in Syria, hence why he reminded everyone of his country’s “so-called deconfliction” talks with it. It’s for this reason why the war has largely remained frozen on the military front over the past few years.

The Long Path Towards A Political Solution

The only solution is therefore a political one, but this is only possible if each party acknowledges their counterparts’ regional interests and Russian’ diplomats are able to successfully devise a creative solution for “balancing” between them as best as possible. This might sound like wishful thinking to many at the moment, but it’s the only realistic way out of the present impasse, no matter how difficult some of the compromises might be. Of course, any potential solution must involve the means to verify each party’s compliance and ensure enforcement against all violators without discrimination. It might still be a long way off before anything like that is agreed to, but that noble goal must be the basis for beginning talks to that end at the soonest possible moment. To facilitate these efforts, it’s worthwhile remembering each party’s regional interests, after which a discussion can commence for exploring the most realistic extent to which each one of them might compromise on reaching a final Russian-brokered agreement to end the war.

Respective Interests

Syria:

* Sustain Anti-Terrorist Gains

* Liberate The Rest Of The Occupied Territories

* Retain The Centralized State Structure

* Remove The Crippling Sanctions Regime

* Reconstruct The Country

Russia:

* Sustain Anti-Terrorist Gains

* Maintain A Long-Term Military Presence In Syria

Avoid A Larger War Erupting In Syria Between Iran & “Israel”

* Leverage Diplomatic Leadership To “Balance” The Region

* Maximize Post-War Economic Dividends

Iran:

* Sustain Anti-Terrorist Gains

* Prove To Damascus That It’s More Of An All-Around Reliable Ally Than Russia

* Receive An Eventual Economic “Return On Investment” For Saving Syria

* Entrench Military Presence In Syria As Long-Term Strategic Leverage Against “Israel”

* Strengthen The Axis Of Resistance

Turkey:

* Prevent The Emergence Of A PKK-Pioneered Terror Corridor In Northern Syria

* Ensure That Turkish-Backed “Rebels” Have A Political Role In Post-War Syria

* Demonstrate To Regional Allies That It’s A Reliable Partner

* Strengthen Strategic Relations With Russia And Iran Through The Astana Process

* Establish Global Respect As A Rising Great Power

US/”Israel”

* Maintain Pressure On Damascus Through Unconventional (“Rebel”/Terrorist/Sanctions) Means

* Permanently Neutralize The Anti-”Israeli” Capabilities Of The SAA

* Expel Iranian Military Forces From Syria

* Retain “Freedom Of Action” To Conduct “Surgical Strikes”

* “Decentralize” Syria To Redistribute Damascus’ Power To Allied Proxies

Assessing Strategic Successes And The Lack Thereof

With the above-mentioned strategic goals of all relevant players in mind, it’s now time to assess their successes and lack thereof. What follows is a simplified bullet point list of the present state of affairs:

* ISIS’ “Caliphate” Has Been Dismantled But Terror Threats Persist Along Syria’s Periphery

* Foreign Forces Continue To Support “Rebel”/Terrorist Groups

* Political Progress Towards Peace Is Practically Non-Existent Because Of A Refusal By All To Compromise

* Turkey Is The Only Party Continuing To Resist The Syrian Kurds’ Participation In The Peace Process

* US-Enforced Sanctions Will Remain Until Damascus Irreversibly Compromises On Political Issues

* Russia Sat Back While “Israel” Reportedly Hit 50 Targets In Syria Last Year Alone

* Russia Has Yet To Allow Syria To Operate The S-300s To Defend Itself From “Israeli” Strikes

* Russia’s Reshaping Syria’s ‘Deep State’ In Its Own Image” To Reduce Iranian Influence

* Russia’s Regional Diplomatic Role Continues To Rise As A Result Of Its “Balancing” Act

Zero-Sum Interests

Building off of these observations, the following zero-sum interests are presently obstructing a solution:

* Syria Won’t Consider Political Compromises Until Its Territory Is Liberated And Sanctions Removed; The US And Turkey Won’t Withdraw And Remove Their Sanctions Until Syria Makes Political Compromises

* Turkey Won’t Fully Support The Political Process In Syria If The Kurds Are Involved; All Other Players Believe That The Political Process Can’t Succeed Without The Kurds’ Involvement

* “Israel” Will Continue Bombing Iran In Syria Until The Latter Fully Withdraws; Iran Won’t Seriously Consider Withdrawing From Syria Until “Israel” No Longer Poses A Direct Threat To It And Its Syrian Ally’s Forces

* The US & “Israel” Will Continue Pressuring Damascus Through Unconventional Means Until It Politically Compromises And Expels Iran; Damascus Won’t Consider Either Until Those Two Stop Pressuring It

* Russia Is The Best Suited Of Syria’s Allies For Promoting Damascus’ Interests Among Relevant Hostile Players; Syrian Interests Will Always Be Subservient To Russia’s Own With Respect To Its “Balancing” Act

Summarized Insight

Considering everything, a Russian-brokered compromise solution would have to do the seemingly impossible by resolving the contradictions between each relevant players’ zero-sum interests. This would naturally involve painful compromises by each party except for itself since none of the others have the political will to cross its red lines by either militarily targeting its forces (relevant for Iran/Turkey/US/”Israel”) or expelling it from the country (such as if Syria ever became fed up with Russia’s “balancing” act being carried out as its “perceived expense”). The three most controversial issues in the grand scheme of things are the refusal of any domestic party to compromise on the peace process and thus lead to promised sanctions relief, the continued US and Turkish military occupations of Syria (“Israel’s” Golan one is taken for granted), and Iran’s continued military presence in Syria which is exploited by “Israel” to “justify” its regular attacks. Quite clearly, these three bones of connection must somehow be creatively addressed by any speculative Russian-brokered compromise solution.

Speculating On A Russian-Brokered Compromise Solution

As the most realistic starting point, Russia can “lean on” Syria to promise constitutionally enshrined decentralization in the currently occupied territories allowing for a greater degree of local political and cultural autonomy for groups opposed to Damascus’ centralization policies there while preventing them from conducting their own military and diplomatic relations with foreign powers. If agreed with all relevant players ahead of time, this could satisfy some of the US and Turkey’s political demands while also ensuring Syria’s national security interests. Should progress be made on this front, then Syria could request Iran’s dignified but phased withdrawal from the country in parallel with symmetrical US and Turkish steps culminating with the gradual lessening of sanctions in order to facilitate much-needed reconstruction. As a guarantee against continued “Israeli” aggression afterwards, Russia could then transfer control of the S-300s to the SAA and even consider exporting state-of-the-art S-400s to it too upon all foreign forces’ ultimate withdrawal from Syria.

Concluding Thoughts

The proposed Russian-brokered compromise solution for politically ending the Hybrid War of Terror on Syria is admittedly imperfect and might even be unrealistic so long as even one of the relevant parties lacks the political will to compromise on their zero-sum interests. The key to success lies in Russia leveraging its “balancing” act to foster indirect trust between hostile players through their shared belief in the sincerity of Moscow’s efforts to achieve tangible gains in these respects, after which they could all work on agreeing to timelines for each phase of the suggested peace plan. Nevertheless, partisan disagreements within each relevant party’s government could ultimately derail any progress that might be made if even one of them unilaterally reverses its previously (whether publicly or secretly) agreed commitments to each step, such as if their opponents provocatively presented their compromises as being a “loss of face”. It’ll therefore be very difficult to pull this off, but a political solution is the only possible one since a military solution is impossible.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Syria, US, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Kurds, ISIS, Balancing.


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There’s No Secret Chinese Hand In Myanmar’s State Of Emergency

4 FEBRUARY 2021

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The People’s Republic isn’t involved in the Tatmadaw’s state of emergency, but falsely claiming otherwise is yet another attempt by self-interested forces to pressure Biden into continuing Trump’s anti-Chinese policies.

American media has gone wild speculating about a secret Chinese hand in Myanmar’s recent decision to announce a year-long state of emergency. The country’s military, known as the Tatmadaw, detained members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) on Monday in response to what it claimed was their refusal to seriously consider its concerns about November’s contested elections. The Tatmadaw legally justifies its actions as being in alignment with Chapter XI of the 2008 Constitution enabling it to take control during a state of emergency. The US has yet to officially condemn events as a coup, though it’s reportedly considering doing so.

President Joe Biden already released a statement, however, announcing that the US will review its prior decision to reverse sanctions against the country which was originally made in response to its governance reforms over the past decade in the direction of implementing a system more closely resembling a Western democratic one. He also promised that the US and its regional allies will “hold accountable those responsible for overturning Burma’s democratic transition.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in response to a question about whether this is directed against China that it’s directed at all countries in the region.

This fueled media speculation that Myanmar might become the scene of a political proxy battle between the US and China. The most prominent examples of this include Bloomberg running stories sensationally titled “Myanmar’s Army Chief Challenges Biden, Bets Big on China” and “Myanmar Crisis Sets Stage for Biden-Xi Duel”. Politico, meanwhile, headlined one of its stories “An inconvenient insurrection tests Biden on China, democracy support”, and Foreign Policy published a piece provocatively asking “Is Beijing Backing the Myanmar Coup?

The new information warfare narrative very strongly implies that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Myanmar last month somehow signaled Beijing’s tacit approval for the Tatmadaw’s forthcoming decision to implement a state of emergency. Other variants claim that even if this wasn’t the case, that China will gleefully exploit the expected rift between Naypyidaw and Washington in order to boost its influence in Myanmar at the US’ expense. For these supposed reasons, the American media is encouraging Biden to keep China in mind when deliberating on his administration’s response to the Tatmadaw.

It would be an epic mistake if they fall for this media manipulation. There’s no better time than now for China and the US to patch up their prior disagreements and chart a new future of cooperation perfectly suited for the complex times in which humanity is presently living in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing the former Trump Administration’s trend of seeing a secret Chinese hand in everything that happens across the world which is regarded in one way or another (whether objectively so or not) as being detrimental to American interests could ruin the historic chance of a rapprochement between these two leading countries.

The fact is that China has nothing to do with Myanmar’s internal political developments. The neighboring countries closely cooperate on a range of issues, most importantly the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) and two oil and gas pipelines which run parallel to that project. Beijing’s response to its partner’s state of emergency was to express its sincere desire “that all sides in Myanmar can appropriately handle their differences under the constitution and legal framework and safeguard political and social stability.” Unlike the US and some other countries, it isn’t supporting one side over the other, which is the right position to take.

Regardless of whatever the US decides to do for whatever its reasons may be, it must see its decision as being completely separate from its larger strategy towards China. The People’s Republic isn’t involved in the Tatmadaw’s state of emergency, but falsely claiming otherwise is yet another attempt by self-interested forces to pressure Biden into continuing Trump’s anti-Chinese policies. America’s paranoia about a secret Chinese hand in everything across the world must stop as soon as possible. Reacting based on that delusion is a surefire way to ensure the failure of whatever policy the US ends up promulgating.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Myanmar, Tatmadaw, China, US, Biden, Infowars.


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The Strategic Consequences Of Myanmar’s State Of Emergency: The Quad vs. China & Russia?

The Strategic Consequences Of Myanmar’s State Of Emergency: The Quad vs. China & Russia?

1 FEBRUARY 2021

The Strategic Consequences Of Myanmar

The Tatmadaw’s decision to impose a year-long state of emergency in response to the formerly ruling National League for Democracy’s refusal to seriously investigate the military’s accusations of fraud stemming from last November’s contested elections will temporarily revert Myanmar back to its prior regional pariah status, one which will be exposed to multidimensional pressure from the US-backed Quad while China and Russia seek to stabilize the country in support of its political transition towards new elections in twelve months’ time.

Executive Summary

Myanmar entered into a year-long state of emergency after the Tatmadaw detained leaders of the formerly ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) following their refusal to seriously investigate the military’s accusations of fraud stemming from last November’s contested elections. Popularly described as a “coup” by the international media despite technically being in legal alignment with Article 417 of the 2008 Constitution, it’s already drawn widespread condemnation from the US and its allies, including those in the Quad such as neighboring India. This sets the stage for temporarily reverting Myanmar back to its prior regional pariah status, during which time it’s expected that the Southeast Asian state will come to depend more heavily on China and Russia. Those two Great Powers will seek to stabilize the country in support of its political transition towards new elections in twelve months’ time while the former coalition of American-backed states will attempt to undermine it.


Political Context

Myanmar began its political transition towards a national model of Western-inspired democracy a decade ago when it began implementing reforms in 2011. Western democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD won elections in 2015, after which she was made “State Counsellor” as a workaround to entering some sort of office since the Constitution barred her from holding a seat due to members of her immediate family holding dual citizenship. Contrary to expectations, she generally continued the military-led government’s strategic partnerships with China and Russia while nevertheless expanding ties with new partners such as the US, India, and others. She also supported the Tatmadaw’s security operation in the restive northwestern Rakhine State against the self-professed “Rohingya” Muslim minority. Even so, the military never truly trusted her and accused the NLD of rigging November’s elections despite the Election Commission rejecting this claim as recently as late last week.

Military Context

All the while, Myanmar continued to experience what’s regarded as the world’s longest-running civil war which has been in effect on and off with varying intensity since shortly after the end of World War II. In short, many of the country’s peripheral minorities (especially those in natural resource-rich areas) are at odds with the ethnic majority Bamar’s centralizing tendencies. This led to various stages of Old Cold War proxy struggles being fought on its territory. Suu Kyi attempted to revive the spirit of the former Panglong Conference first pioneered by her father which federalized the then-Burma, but this provoked even more suspicions from the military since some feared that she was planning to institutionalize the de facto internal partition of the country despite them having previously agreed to peace talks with the country’s many rebels. That could in turn transform Myanmar into a checkerboard of proxy statelets to be divided and ruled in the New Cold War.

Strategic Context

It deserves premier mention that Myanmar serves an ultra-significant role in China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) by virtue of hosting the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), an ASEAN analogue of BRI’s flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which also crucially enables the People’s Republic to connect to the Afro-Asian (“Indian”) Ocean without having to pass through the tense South China Sea and Strait of Malacca. Over time, CMEC and CPEC could greatly enhance China’s connectivity with its fellow Global South partners in Africa, thus enabling the People’s Republic to more tangibly actualize former Chairman Mao’s “Third World Theory” of prioritizing South-South cooperation through its current international development policy. The externally provoked exacerbation of Myanmar’s preexisting identity fault lines (Hybrid War) during its ongoing state of emergency could therefore deal an enormous setback to China’s grand strategy in the worst-case scenario.


Political Risks

The NLD has already called on its supporters to protest throughout the country against the “coup”, which could lead to Color Revolution unrest if it’s not promptly brought under control by the Tatmadaw. Given their history of effectively implementing “Democratic Security” (counter-Hybrid War, including -Color Revolution, tactics and strategies), there’s little doubt that the military will succeed in this respect, but this might in turn prompt the US, the Quad (including India), and their allies into imposing sanctions (whether personal, sectoral, etc.) in response. They might also provide an uncertain degree of political support to the protesters, which could dangerously evolve into military aid to certain rebel groups, including “Rohingya” insurgents who are regarded by the Tatmadaw as terrorists. Depending on the phased transition of this indirect adaptive approach to regime change, a new Hybrid War might break out in Myanmar.

Military Risks

I explored the most likely Hybrid War scenarios for Myanmar in a highly detailed four-part analytical series in fall 2016 (I, IIIIIIV) that should at least be skimmed by those who are interested in learning more about the complex dynamics of the world’s longest-running civil war. Basically, the “Rohingya”-inhabited areas of Rakhine State just north of CMEC’s terminal port of Kyaukpyu, the long-restive Kachin State bordering both China and India, and the battle-hardened Shan State abutting China and Thailand might end up as the scenes that see the most action. The worst-case scenario would be if India became the US’ “Lead From Behind” vanguard state for waging the Quad’s Hybrid War on Myanmar, which might dangerously draw it and China into a proxy struggle as Beijing would likely double down on its backing of Naypyidaw. Despite publicly declaring its support for “democracy” in Myanmar, India doesn’t seem to have any interest in this role, though it can’t be fully ruled out. Even in the absence of that worst-case scenario, a new Hybrid War on Myanmar could still be pretty intense.

Strategic Risks

Myanmar’s reversion back to its prior pariah state status would risk repeating the scenario of disproportionate “dependence” on China that ultimately led to the Tatmadaw’s desire to restore “balance” to this relationship by “diversifying” its range of partnerships through its brief experiment with “democracy”. In other words, Myanmar might be entering the second iteration of this cycle which could be destined to ultimately conclude in the same way, even if the process accelerates and is compressed within the timeframe of just one year as officially expected or perhaps a couple if the next elections are delayed for unforeseen reasons instead of two decades. The point being made is that Myanmar’s expected near-immediate return to its prior “dependence” on China could eventually be exploited once more for anti-Chinese aims depending on the outcome of the next elections even though the NLD had hitherto been unexpectedly pragmatic towards the People’s Republic.


Political Solutions

Every solution to Myanmar’s most immediate problems rests with China, but it would be wise if Naypyidaw and Beijing expanded their predictably strengthened bilateral cooperation into a trilateral format involving Moscow. The Eurasian Great Power has plenty of experience dealing with cutting-edge “Democratic Security” threats, both within its own borders and also those of its BelarusianCentral African RepublicKyrgyz, and Syrian allies. This makes its contribution to politically stabilizing Myanmar invaluable and of immense use to its Southeast Asian partner and China, who could collectively learn more about the most effective ways for thwarting Hybrid War threats through their trilateral cooperation. Just as importantly, Russia also has the political will to scale up its support to Myanmar, which no other Great Power of significance other than China has. This makes them perfect partners and could greatly advance the Asian dimension of Russia’s “balancing” act.

Military Solutions

Myanmar will require reliable support from its premier Chinese and Russian military partners, hence one of the reasons why it was suggested above for Moscow to expand its cooperation with Naypyidaw into the political dimension as well. Both Great Powers are Myanmar’s long-standing arms partners, but Moscow has recently re-engaged Naypyidaw in order to take their military ties to a qualitatively new level. Defense Minister Shoigu was just there last month, during which time they “agreed that Russia will supply Myanmar with Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems, Orlan-10E surveillance drones, and radar equipment.” Such supplies will prove crucial in securing Myanmar’s defensive capabilities in the future even though they’re not expected to be delivered right away of course. This speaks to the long-term vision that both countries have, which complements China’s own there while also helping Myanmar “diversify” from its erstwhile “dependence” on Beijing in a “friendly” way.

Strategic Solutions

Keeping with proposed trend of Russia comprehensively improving its presence in Myanmar during the country’s ongoing state of emergency, it follows that Moscow should be invited to invest in part of CMEC or other related connectivity ventures within this geostategically positioned state. Doing so could easily make Russia a key stakeholder in one of Asia’s fastest growing and most promising economies despite the significant risks involved related to its stability. Russia’s “Democratic Security” assistance, true to the pattern that was pioneered in Syria and more recently in the Central African Republic, could result in tacit quid pro quos whereby Moscow obtains valuable stakes in strategic projects in exchange for helping to defend its partner from Hybrid War threats. If successful, then Russia could diversify from its present regional strategic dependence on India and Vietnam in the South-Southeast Asian space along the South Eurasian Rimland.


Concluding Thoughts

Myanmar is poised to experience another round of intense international pressure after Monday’s imposition of its year-long state of emergency, though unlike during the 1990s and 2000s, the country is better positioned to deal with this because of its much stronger and balanced strategic partnerships with China and Russia. Moscow in particular is expected to play a larger role in supporting Naypyidaw than before, both because of its restored status as a Great Power and also due to its partner’s desire to lessen its “dependence” on Beijing in a “friendly” way during this sensitive time. It’ll of course remain to be seen whether the Quad-led pressure campaign will evolve into a sustained Hybrid War or not, but that scenario doesn’t seem too likely at the moment since India doesn’t appear to have the appetite for leading it on the US’ behalf, at least not at the moment. That being the case, Myanmar probably won’t be destabilized all that much and will likely survive this pressure campaign.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Myanmar, Tatmadaw, Suu Kyi, Regime Change, Color Revolution, Hybrid War, US, India, Russia, China, Quad, Democratic Security.


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The Atlantic Council’s Anti-Chinese Containment Strategy Will Fail

The Atlantic Council’s Anti-Chinese Containment Strategy Will Fail

1 FEBRUARY 2021

The Atlantic Council

What the Atlantic Council doesn’t realize is that its unnamed author’s visceral hatred for the Chinese President is actually a powerful endorsement of his leadership successes.

The Atlantic Council, one of the US’ most powerful think tanks, published an extremely provocative anti-Chinese containment strategy proposal titled “The Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategy”. The title is purposely meant to evoke historical comparisons to George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” which set the stage for the US’ decades-long containment strategy against the former Soviet Union. Its author remains anonymous per their request, but their highly detailed document has already generated significant attention across America’s leading policy circles. The problem, however, is that it’s doomed to fail if implemented.

The strategy’s primary theses are several-fold: the US must retain self-belief in its global supremacy in all respects; America must assemble a global coalition to contain China; China must be forced to incur significant costs for refusing to abide by Washington’s envisioned liberal international order; and the consequences of these aggressive actions must be exploited for the purpose of dividing and ruling the Communist Party of China (CPC) so that they replace President Xi Jinping and transition to a collective leadership model that the Atlantic Council believes will agree to submit to America’s will. That final goal is nothing but a political delusion.

Some of the proposals to these ends are equally unrealistic. One of the organizing principles states that the US must rebalance its relations with Russia in order to divide it from China and provoke a security crisis along their shared border. A ridiculous red line is also suggested to make China responsible for any attack that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) might launch against its neighbors. On the topic of major national concerns, the US is encouraged to support India should its economic and/or military relations with China worsen. In other words, the Atlantic Council wants to revive the era of proxy warfare.

With that in mind, the mysterious author of “The Longer Telegram” implores his country to clinch mega trade pacts with the Asia-Pacific and EU in order to compete with China in a clear allusion to Beijing’s recently agreed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) respectively. They also propose scaling investment into the World Bank and regional development banks as a means of countering Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). In addition, there’s a strong appeal to double down on information warfare activities against China in what’s described as “the global battle for ideas”.

Most ominously, however, is the innuendo that a physical battle between China and the US might soon be in the cards, perhaps over the renegade island province of Taiwan, the South China Sea, or the Diaoyu Islands. The Atlantic Council speculates that China might not achieve a conclusive victory if the US militarily intervenes in any of these scenarios, which they claim would in turn diminish President Xi’s legitimacy. It’s not directly stated in the text, but the author strongly hints that a limited hot war between the two without any clear victory on China’s part could trigger the CPC intra-party coup against President Xi that they’re hoping for.

None of these proposals are all that novel, but the difference between this comprehensive set of them and others is the focus on trying to provoke regime change within the CPC against President Xi. The unnamed author even absurdly suggests that this might happen during next year’s Twentieth Party Congress. In order to improve the US’ odds of more effectively manipulating elite party officials to that end, the Atlantic Council proposes that “the public language and operational focus must be ‘Xi’s Communist Party’”, not the CPC in general. This is because the entire strategy is basically all about demonizing the Chinese leader himself.

What the Atlantic Council doesn’t realize is that its unnamed author’s visceral hatred for the Chinese President is actually a powerful endorsement of his leadership successes. He’s personally credited with defending China’s interests in all respects, which is of course portrayed in a highly negative way from the American grand strategic perspective. That said, while President Xi is at the core of the CPC, there are still approximately 91 million other people in the party who represent the over 1.3the longer billion citizens of China. The country’s recent ascent as one of the planet’s most influential forces in history is due to their collective efforts, not just one single man’s.

This makes the Atlantic Council’s strategy document inherently flawed since it strangely presupposes that President Xi’s countless successes aren’t popular at home, whether among average Chinese or the CPC elite. It also imagines that the US is still seen as the “city upon a hill” by the international community, not realizing that the majority of people actually perceive it as a spooky castle inhabited by the ghosts of imperialism’s past than any sort of inspiration to follow. In the dangerous event that elements of this policy are implemented, they’re doomed to fail and accelerate the US’ global decline, but it might temporarily unite its fractured political class.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, China, Xi, Atlantic Council, Color Revolution, Regime Change, Hybrid War, Coup, Infowars.


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