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Russia’s Unfriendly States List Is Long Overdue

27 APRIL 2021

Russia

Russia’s decision to assemble a list of unfriendly states whose diplomatic missions would be prohibited from hiring locals and perhaps also subject to other restrictions is long overdue and shows that the country is finally taking the New Cold War very seriously approximately seven years after it first started.

President Putin signed a decree on countermeasures against unfriendly states on Friday, which would prohibit their diplomatic missions from hiring locals and perhaps also subject them to other restrictions in the future. The average person might not understand the importance of this move, but it basically means that those countries will have to staff lower-level administrative and other positions with their own highly trained diplomats instead of hiring locals to do the work. In other words, this diminishes those countries’ diplomatic capabilities because overqualified individuals are forced to do basic tasks instead of focus on more important matters. Since every country only has a limited number of diplomats, this might at least in theory make it more difficult for them to destabilize their host state, in this case Russia.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the US will be on that list of unfriendly states, while it remains to be seen which other countries will be designated as such alongside it. In any case, this move is long overdue and shows that Russia is finally taking the New Cold War very seriously approximately seven years after it first started. The prior approach had been to refer to all countries, even obvious opponents, as so-called “partners” in order to retain a degree of “professionalism” in their relations. Russia’s adherence to classic diplomatic norms wasn’t reciprocated by the US, though, which continued to openly declare that Russia was a rival, if not an outright enemy. The diplomatic mood never recovered despite Russia’s best wishes to the contrary.

The last four years of former President Trump’s reign remain a major disappointment in the minds of many in Moscow who hoped that a “New Detente” would have been brokered between them by now. Regrettably, subversive elements of the country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) successfully sabotaged the elected head of state’s foreign policy in this respect, which ruin bilateral relations and set the stage for President Biden to recently make them even worse. It’s therefore appropriate that Russia finally recalibrates its diplomatic stance towards the US and its proxies by bringing it in line with the new norms that the latter have imposed upon it all this time. Although the Mainstream Media will likely spin this move as “unprovoked aggression”, it’s actually a legitimate response against US aggression.

The significance of Russia’s decision to designate certain countries as unfriendly states and subsequently impose various restrictions upon their diplomatic activities suggests that the current state of tension between it and the West will remain the “new normal” for the indefinite future. Neither side is likely to backtrack on its stance towards the either, with each being convinced of the righteousness of their actions, for better (like in Russia’s case) or for worse (like in America’s). The recent expulsion of Russian diplomats in Czechia and several other countries speaks to how serious this “deep state” war between them has become. If there’s any silver lining to this state of affairs, it’s that Russia might finally begin the active containment of America according to the 20-point plan that I suggested in February, which would greatly improve its Hybrid War resilience.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, US, Putin, New Cold War, Hybrid War, Deep State, Diplomacy.


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Provoking A Russian Siege Mentality Is Counterproductive For US Foreign Policy

16 MARCH 2021

Provoking A Russian Siege Mentality Is Counterproductive For US Foreign Policy

Leading Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov warned that the US is pursuing the aim of a “prolonged siege of ‘Putin’s Russia’” through “sanctions from hell”, “push[ing] Ukraine into a new war in the Donbass”, and “building up the armed forces on the borders with Russia and in the Black Sea”, all of which would arguably be counterproductive for US foreign policy since Russia’s resultant siege mentality might only accelerate the steps that the Eurasian Great Power could soon take to contain America in response.

Russian-American relations continue to dangerously deteriorate despite early February’s last-minute salvaging of the New START nuclear pact. RT reported that leading Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov warned that the US is pursuing the aim of a “prolonged siege of ‘Putin’s Russia’” through “sanctions from hell”, “push[ing] Ukraine into a new war in the Donbass”, and “building up the armed forces on the borders with Russia and in the Black Sea”. All of this would arguably be counterproductive for US foreign policy since Russia’s resultant siege mentality might only accelerate the steps that the Eurasian Great Power could soon take to contain America in response. I elaborated on this possible 20-point plan in my analysis last month which was written after Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that his country was seriously countenancing such a scenario if American pressure on Russia doesn’t soon end. I also predicted earlier this week that the US might be responsible for an informal Russian-Chinese-North Korean missile alliance that could created in the face of America’s reported decision to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Japan in the coming future.

History testifies time and again that Russia has stood the test of multiple sieges from some of civilization’s most powerful forces, which include the Mongols, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Swedish Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Napoleon, and Hitler among others. Although each struggle was different in their own way, they all shared the common outcome of the Russian state eventually succeeding in the face of supreme adversity despite the dire consequences that some of the associated conflicts caused for its people. The ongoing New Cold War is no different in this respect. If anything, it’s comparatively less intense than what Russia has confronted before, though the stakes are also a lot higher because of the feared nuclear factor that could be introduced through a war by miscalculation. The Russian people aren’t being slaughtered like they were many times throughout history, nor are they starving. To the contrary, they’re thriving after the country finally emerged from the recent World War C-induced recession and even became the world’s top wheat exporter.

As such, there’s no doubt that Russia will survive this current US-imposed siege against it, but the ultimate question is what lasting geopolitical consequences its inevitable victory will have. Like was argued earlier, the longer that the siege lasts, the more counterproductive it’ll be for the US’ foreign policy. Russia will be pushed by circumstances into comprehensively strengthening its strategic ties with China, an outcome that many American voices have described as nightmarish but which may become a fait accompli unless more pragmatic minds prevail and the US lifts its current siege as soon as possible. The current state of affairs is such that the American-Chinese dimension of the New Cold War might drag on indefinitely so long as Russia isn’t pressed to take ties with the People’s Republic to an even higher level than they presently are, but the latter scenario that might be triggered by the US’ intensified siege would decisively tilt the scales in Beijing’s favor and eventually lead to Washington’s loss. With this in mind, the US’ grand strategic interests are best served by lifting its anti-Russian siege and thus offsetting that scenario.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, US, China, New Cold War.


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Tom Cotton’s Anti-Chinese Containment Strategy Is Really Cunning

4 MARCH 2021

Tom Cotton

The office of Republican Senator Tom Cotton published a comprehensive containment strategy against China last month that cunningly proposes a series of complementary coalitions aimed towards this end, including in the technological and institutional spheres, which essentially amounts to the creation of a modern-day Iron Curtain if successfully implemented.

Biden’s “Deep State” Balancing Act

President Biden’s strategy towards China increasingly appears to be predicated on expanding his predecessor’s containment policy, albeit in a more multilateral fashion than former President Trump’s mostly unilateral one. This is evidenced by his keynote speech at the State Department last month which led to my conclusion that “Alliances, Democracy, And Values Will Disguise American Aggression”. This was entirely foreseeable too since I earlier predicted that “An ‘Alliance Of Democracies’ Might Be America’s Next Grand Strategic Move”. The behind-the-scenes decision-making basis for this is that Biden must “balance” between competing “deep state” factions in his country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies that are split between those who embrace Trump’s “America First” international outlook and the liberal-globalists who are more closely connected to former President Obama. I elaborated on the dynamic between them and their possible compromise with respect to more cleverly “containing” China in exchange for cautiously re-engaging with Iran in my related analysis late last year about “Deep State Wars: Trump vs. Biden on China & Iran”.

Targeted Decoupling And The Long Economic War”

Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a notorious anti-China hawk, published a comprehensive containment strategy against China last month that was written by members of his office. It cunningly proposes a series of complementary coalitions aimed towards this end, including in the technological and institutional spheres, which essentially amounts to the creation of a modern-day Iron Curtain if successfully implemented. This might possibly happen considering that it largely aligns with the Biden Administration’s multilateral plans in this respect. The 84-page document is titled “Beat China: Targeted Decoupling And The Long Economic War”, and a summary of it can be read at Breitbart here. To be sure, it’s not all bad, since many of his proposals about diversifying the US’ economic partners and reshoring its businesses are sound in principle, as are his suggestions for stockpiling rare earth minerals, semiconductor chips, and other materials of national security importance. So too are his ideas about modernizing regulations and the tax code, investing more in research and development, and improving the federal government’s efficiency. They all make logical sense.

Cotton’s Anti-Chinese Containment Coalition

The problem, however, is that he also basically wants to wage a global Hybrid War on China. His rationale is that this is the only possible recourse for America after its prior policy of attempting to influence domestic political changes there through decades of economic engagement failed to achieve any tangible dividends. In his own words, “this generational effort at engagement was an experiment to see whether greater economic integration would generate political change in China”, which he rightly argues has been unsuccessful. Instead of abandoning that consistently failed policy of meddling in China’s internal affairs, he wants to double down on it but in a craftier way through the establishment of semiconductor, 5G, and data-sharing blocs as crucial pillars of the larger “American-led, China-excluded trading order with trusted nations in the Indo-Pacific” that he proposes. In parallel with that, he advises that “The United States should launch a similar effort with respect to the United Kingdom and the European Union, America’s top export market.” The grand strategic outcome is therefore the creation of a massive anti-Chinese containment coalition along the Eurasian Rimland.

Color Revolution Catalysts

This isn’t just for prestige’s sake, but is predicated on his expectation that “Chinese citizens willing to accept an increasingly heavy-handed authoritarian state in exchange for a higher standard of living may think twice if growth slows or stagnates. As a result, the CCP fears that declines in exports, growth, and employment could pose political liabilities.” In other words, the interconnected semiconductor, 5G, and data-sharing blocs that he wants to create within his envisioned anti-Chinese Eurasian Rimland containment coalition are supposed to eventually harm China’s economic growth when paired with a more aggression sanctions and tariff policy, which he hopes will in turn create fertile ground for a series of Color Revolutions there that could ultimately make the infamous Tiananmen Square Color Revolution attempt look like child’s play in hindsight. The proposed containment coalition would also prospectively expand worldwide all across the Global South according to his vision of the US “leveraging development finance and foreign aid”. Ironically, this is exactly what the US accuses China of doing against its own interests, so it’s curious that Cotton is embracing this same strategy.

Economic Warfare

According to him, “Mobilizing these powerful institutions can support a U.S. strategy for targeted decoupling by incentivizing foreign countries to resist Chinese entreaties, such as participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, and supporting American companies in strategic sectors.” These efforts will be made all the more effective if US spy agencies follow his advice to expand operations against the People’s Republic. His report importantly suggests that “the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) should expand its collection efforts relating to China’s economy, including IP theft, the corporate and capital structures of Chinese firms, the shareholders of China’s strategic companies, and technological developments within Chinese companies.” Although he claims that this proposal is being made defensively in order to identify possible targets to sanction in response to alleged intellectual property theft, the insight obtained through these operations could very easily be abused for offensive purposes to undercut China’s economic competitiveness and meddle in its many Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) partnerships.

Institutional Intrigue

The aggressive activities of this global anti-Chinese containment coalition are intended to be upheld by the international institutions that Cotton says that the US should either reclaim or replace if the former isn’t possible. According to his proposal, “America must fight to reverse China’s gains in these institutions and build new, separate organizations of willing and like-minded partners when these organizations cannot be reclaimed. With these organizations out of Beijing’s hands, the United States can ensure that international rules and standards are written to support emerging technologies where America is naturally suited to prevail.” Once again, this is the exact same form of Hybrid Warfare that the US accuses China of waging, making one wonder whether it was ever really guilty as charged or if the US invented those accusations in order to justify itself doing the same thing later. Altogether, Cotton’s grand strategy is one where the US leads a Eurasian Rimland coalition that brings together several China-excluding technology blocs, expands through the strategic leveraging of development finance and foreign aid, and is “legitimized” through reclaimed or replaced international institutions.

Concluding Thoughts

Skeptics might immediately dismiss Cotton’s global anti-Chinese containment proposal as politically unrealistic to implement under Biden’s Democrat presidency, but such a stance ignores the fact that the incumbent president convincingly intends to build upon his predecessor’s policy in this respect, albeit in a much more multilateral manner. This insight very strongly suggests that Cotton’s proposal might actually be well received by the Biden Administration since its multilateral vision of a series of complementary coalitions closely aligns with the ruling party’s stated policy of relying more on international alliances to advance American interests abroad. For this reason, it would be a major mistake for observers to dismiss Cotton’s suggestions out of hand since there’s a real chance that at least some of them might be implemented by the US across the next four years. Everything is already moving in that direction without any credible evidence that this trajectory will seriously change in the future. With this in mind, China would do well to consider the most effective strategies for responding to this scenario, ideally in a multilateral manner after closely consulting with its partners.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, China, Tech Race, New Cold War, Biden, Deep State.


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