Why is the US so hostile to Russia? Biil Herschel and PL



"If you watch this in its entirety (using subtitles which you have to turn on at the bottom of the video), you come away with the idea that the entire "treaty", or whatever, which the U.S. said from the very beginning that Russia would not adhere to and was not serious about, is, in fact, being implemented by Russia and ignore and undermined by the U.S. In other words, the entire purpose of the "treaty" was to be able to say that Russia was not adhering to it, when in fact it is the U.S. who is ignoring it while Russia is attempting to implement it. A gigantic, damnable deception intended to influence American public opinion against Vladimir Putin and nothing else. Thus, we can expect going forward nothing but lies and deceit on the part of the U.S. with regard to Syria, the goal always being regime change in Moscow. That's it. Very, very simple. That's our government at work. Unless of course, the Russian MOD presentation is just totally dishonest propaganda, and the U.S. is bending over backwards to implement the cease fire while Russia is sabotaging it. The U.S. and its allies, Al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel. Do we have any more information about the article in the Jerusalem Post about dozens of Russian Generals being killed by a car bomb in Syria? " Bill Herschel


News Flash! – The Soviet Union is long dead and gone.  We won that one but seem unable to move on to a world in which Russia is not necessarily an enemy of the US. 

Senator Corker, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate, Joe Scarborough ("when I ran fer the House…"), General Breedlove (or some kind of …love), SACEUR, Secretary Ashton Carter, SECDEF, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Lindsey Graham (TLOLFSC), etc. are all apparently committed to the notion that world affairs are like a primary schoolyard contest for domination and that the only thing that matters is to rule the playground.  Lying and deception are clearly considered to be fair tactics in this global game of dodge ball. 

How 19th Century!  pl 

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76 Responses to Why is the US so hostile to Russia? Biil Herschel and PL

  1. Mick says:

    Probably the russian generals killed by bomb in Syria were the generals opposing the war with the west.

  2. Barish says:

    I would argue that the 19th century had a lot more class than this.

  3. Castellio says:

    Todays statement from Breedlove, in which he reverses and misrepresents any number of historical facts, can be found here:
    Those misrepresentations aside, here is his “take away” quote:”We must not allow Russian actions in Syria to serve as a strategic distraction that leads the international community to give tacit acceptance to the situation in Ukraine as the “new normal.”

  4. fredko says:

    I’m reminded of “The Devil’s Chessboard” and “Brothers” by David Talbot.
    The USA must dominate by any means necessary. So “we” “won” WWIII (AKA The Cold War). The world became a more dangerous place, IMO.

  5. JJackson says:

    Those Russian briefings are a masterful bit of PR.

  6. cynic says:

    Truth is the first casualty. The stories told to direct the emotions of the populace in the direction desired by their rulers may have very little truth in them.

  7. Brunswick says:

    What Russian Generals?
    It’s an unconfirmed claim by Anhar al Sham, about killing “dozens” of Generals,
    (A source has confirmed that other than M2MM Delegations to Damascus, there are only 4 Russian Generals in Latakia)
    And there isn’t even confirmation or other claims of a car bomb in Latakia on that day.

  8. C Webb says:

    “News Flash! – The Soviet Union is long dead and gone. We won that one but seem unable to move on to a world in which Russia is not necessarily an enemy of the US.”
    Okay, ….round 2.
    Have you read the this guys essays? (Putin’s brain) https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-03-31/putins-brain
    This ones a good read….
    I would be interested to hear your thoughts about this.

  9. Ted B says:

    Seems that there is Zero ‘serious’ news to back-up/clarify the J-Post’s article re “dozens of Russian Generals go boom.” FWIW the story is downsized from generals to officers:
    Must be news off day in Tel Aviv. Punt.

  10. MRW says:

    What does TLOLFSC stand for?

  11. steve says:

    Said Romney: “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. ”

  12. Fred says:

    That’s a very accurate caption photo. I hope those who read naval history remember what happened with gunboat diplomacy in 1905.
    They might want to remind those in the Executive Branch with short term memory problems of this:

  13. turcopolier says:

    “The Little Old Lady From South Carolina” pl

  14. SmoothieX12 says:

    SU-24 can not “jam” AEGIS DDG. Two of them are simply different weight categories in terms of what really matters in ECM (ECCM)–output power. 8.5 Kilotons of displacement of Arleigh Burke-class DDG simply have more power, much more. SU-24 could trick SPY-1D radar but it can not jam it. For that it would require something on the order of Admiral Gorshkov-class Frigate or A-50 AWACS. In fact, it was not SU-24 which spooked USS Donald Cook, it was totally different weapon system.

  15. turcopolier says:

    C Webb
    You may have missed my endless and constantly boringly reiterated loathing of political scientists (except Michael Brenner) and their idle bloviating. “The Land Power?” “The Sea Power?” Oh, come on… I remember a Soviet specialist Foreign Area Officer (FAO) telling me long ago that if the USSR ceased to exist the US and Russia would still e deadly enemies. I asked why. The answer was basically that they are “The Land Power,” and we are “The Sea Power’ or some such BS. And then there is the opinion of a crackpot neo-Bolshevik that war is inevitable and we might as well get it over with. Are you really pushing crap like that? pl

  16. SmoothieX12 says:

    I would say that it was Hans Morgenthau (among many others) who pushed crap like that in 1957 Spruance Lecture at Naval War College. By 1960s USSR was anything but Bolshevik country, by 1980s it was something else altogether. In fact, “never again” mentality was a dominant societal mood, which could be expected from the nation which lost 27 million in war.

  17. turcopolier says:

    That is what Fulk says as well. pl

  18. Fred says:

    “totally different weapon system.”
    Yes, which they possess and negates our electronic advantage. Kind of like the Russian vs. Japanese navies at Toshima.

  19. SmoothieX12 says:

    It has nothing to do with negating. It has everything to do with Bastion (and related systems) to track, lock and develop firing solution. No ship in the world wants to face Mach=3 anti-shipping missile with the elements of artificial intellect. Especially if it is a salvo of those.
    The range of these missiles is anywhere (take a wild guess) from 300 to 500 kilometers. If I would be you, I would be looking and Turkish Navy’s situation. But again, Russia does not want to use these systems. This is not NFL game, people die when this happens. Let’s put it this way, there is, currently, no NATO AD system which can intercept those.
    P.S. Those missiles have a separate ECM (ECCM) suite.

  20. robt willmann says:

    The idea of dominance as a policy means that other countries are supposed to say, “Yes, Master.” This does not mean that the only issue is whether the other countries are strong enough militarily to cause the U.S. to pause and think about whether invading the other country would be successful. That is a factor for those who would like to dominate and be king of the world, and is the basis of the [Paul] Wolfowitz doctrine (remember him?). As Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, his Defense Planning Guidance for 1994-1999 was leaked to the New York Times newspaper in 1992. The idea was to prevent the emergence of a new “rival”, and the article is here–
    The main issue in the idea of dominance is not the military strength of the other country, but whether it will indeed go along with what the U.S. wants it to do. This is why Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran are on the list to dominate. Iran is the only one left that has not been hit with massive destruction of property, injury, and death, as well as the tearing up of its social fabric and the destruction (except for Syria to date) of its governmental structure.
    But while the Bush jr. and Obama administrations were smashing their way down the list, Russia and China were increasing their economic and military capabilities. Now they are on the list, too, but the regime change would be approached in a different way, primarily by trying to cause economic problems and social unrest within them. This is how the pot got to be boiling in Ukraine and Syria, followed by the quick creation and encouragement of violence. But it will be somewhat tougher to create enough unrest to topple the governments of Russia and China. Russia saw the handwriting on the wall and is slowing the train down in Syria. And besides, on the technique of causing social unrest, Russia and China might return the favor over here, given the fragile economy of the U.S.

  21. Degringolade says:

    I am a little crushed by your loathing of political scientists. My first degree on GI bill following my brief forays into SE Asia was in political science. I chose the field because it seemed (and I proved) that it was possible to get a BS from a major university with one’s blood alcohol level constantly above 0.10 for the two year required to finish the upper division coursework.
    Of course, once one sobers up and discovers just how scarce jobs are, one goes back and completes a chemistry degree to get a job.

  22. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Before Hans Morgenthau was a Bernard Baruch – went to Marshall and asked him about US starting a war with USSR – must have been 1948.
    Marshall replied: “It is a very bad idea.”

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You wrote:
    “Iran is the only one left that has not been hit with…the tearing up of its social fabric…”
    It was not because of lack of effort. NATO states tried just that for 5 years.
    To your broader point – about dominance – I think it is generally resented – at the individual and at the group level. I think some countries like to be dominated and told what to do – just like some people – but there also those whom attempts at dominance only enrages them.
    I know this first hand and also from my interactions with people from other countries.

  24. C Webb says:

    As I see it, people tell stories to make sense of the world. I don’t necessarily agree with all the stories, but I listen to them. Some aspects are closer to the truth and some are bull crap.
    The story about the land power and the sea power is an old story.

  25. oofda says:

    Checked in Russian and other media- nothing. All stories on this go back to the Jerusalem Post and an Arabic-language source, Anhar al-Sham. Some stories report fifteen killed of which four were officers. Questionable if there were even four Russian generals in Syria in one place.
    And where the heck did Breedlove come from? Is his call-sign “Jack D Ripper”?

  26. Old Microbiologist says:

    I laughed so much I couldn’t breathe. I actually just watched the movie again last night on Netflix (now that it is available nearly everywhere except Crimea and North Korea) but in many ways you are correct in the similarities. Life copies art.

  27. LondonBob says:

    The MacKinder heartland thesis, I thought it was nonsense when I was taught it at university and I certainly don’t hold it in any higher regard now.
    I remember going around the HQ of a Chinese supermarket conglomerate outside Peking whose parent owner was essentially the PLA. Their big presentation, that was also very popular with visiting PLA dignitaries, was regarding resource scarcity. For Europe and the West to be actively involved in alienating the one nation in Europe that has abundance of resources the rest lack is absolutely daft.
    I expect the Russians are counting down till the next President now anyway. I see Robert Kagan has endorsed HRC.

  28. Old Microbiologist says:

    Nice and succinctly put. I have believed since the early days of Wolfawitz and later the alliance with Kagan that the goals remain the same and more or less on track. It was by their design that they have orchestrated all the turmoil we have seen since at least 1992 and certainly since 2001. It doesn’t appear to matter what administration is in power which I always find baffling. It seems to me that we have either two distinctly different governments which operate independently, or the concept of the Shadow Government is actually real which I find terrifying.
    I mind play with what would have happened should Putin have just accepted American hegemony rather than resist. The costs have been extremely high and perhaps in the end Russia would have been far better off without defying the Empire. I also wonder what the world would actually be like should that have happened or if the US actually wins this long drawn out war for world dominance.

  29. turcopolier says:

    “or the concept of the Shadow Government is actually real which I find terrifying” I suppose I will be thought a member of the aluminum foil hat brigade, but I noticed many, many years ago that the neocons had systematically infiltrated both parties so that they are always well represented in each department of government as well as in the congress. This process reached its logical conclusion in the first Bush 43 term when a dimwitted and lazy president let them take over completely. Now the sane fight rear-guard battles and blog. pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    I remember hearing the Mackinder thingy discussed by a couple of undergraduates when I was about 20 and, like you, thought it was nonsense. pl

  31. David Habakkuk says:

    C. Webb,
    On the question of the influence – or rather lack of it – of Dugin on Putin you might care to read a piece entitled ‘Putin Myths and Putin Ideology’ published by Dr Gordon M. Hahn in January last year.
    (See http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/2015/01/putin-myths-and-putin-ideology.html .)
    The piece also provides valuable correctives to the highly tendentious readings provided by many Western ‘experts’ of the three writers on Putin’s ‘reading list’ for regional governors – Nikolai Berdyaev, Vladimir Solovyov, and Ivan Ilyin.
    As Hahn notes, the suggestion that these ‘romanticize the necessity of obedience to a strong ruler’ is somewhat oversimplified. In fact, Berdyaev was one of the contributors to the 1909 ‘Vekhi’ symposium, which reflected a realisation in sections of the Russian intelligentsia that, in Russian conditions, simply getting rid of a ‘strong ruler’ would create anarchy.
    In 1917, Berdyaev would write a short piece, entitled ‘The Ruin of Russian Illusions’, in which he started by pointing out that the fears of the ‘Vekhi’ writers had been vindicated. Perhaps had Obama, Cameron, Hollande and their advisors studied it, they might have grasped that the likely result of getting rid of a ‘strong ruler’ in today’s Iraq and Syria was no more likely to be liberal democracy than it was in Russia a century ago.
    (See http://www.berdyaev.com/berdiaev/berd_lib/1917_280.html .)
    On Ivan Ilyin and related matters, a good source is the blog of the Ottawa University academic and former British Army Intelligence officer Paul Robinson.
    (See https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/tag/ivan-ilyin/ .)
    As to land power and sea power. Some momentous developments have been under way. On these, ‘SmoothieX12’ may have more to say, but I would recommend a discussion just posted on a new blog set up by the former long-serving Canadian government analyst of Soviet and then Russian affairs, Dr Patrick Armstrong.
    Given the importance of the developments, the opening of the most recent of the series of ‘Sitreps’ he has produced at intervals for many years seems worth quoting at length:
    ‘FIRST GUARDS TANK ARMY. I attended many meetings with the Russian military. Always – always – we were told that the Russian army was being re-structured into brigade group formations: all-arms formations of 5-6 thousand men. Such formations are suitable for fighting in places like Chechnya and, indeed, the first two were formed about 20 years ago in the south. At the same time there were no serious forces deployed along the tradition western invasion route. The old Soviet divisions – pretty well empty of soldiers at this time – were gradually eliminated. It was clear then – the 1990s and early 2000s – that Moscow was not expecting an attack from the west and neither did it expect to attack west: it was planning for smaller operations, mostly counter-terrorist. The old Soviet structure of divisions-armies-fronts which was applicable to really big wars against first-class enemies was no longer necessary; the smaller, nimbler brigade group structure was more appropriate. But, at the same time they warned that NATO’s relentless expansion, ever closer, was a danger(опасность), although they stopped short of calling it, as they did terrorism, a threat (угроза); ”dangers” require attention; ”threats” a response. NATO of course didn’t listen, arrogantly assuming NATO expansion was doing Russia a favour and was an entitlement of the ”exceptional nation” and its allies. Well, we have reached another stage on the road. The 1st Guards Tank Army is being re-created. It will likely have two or three tank divisions, plus some motorised rifle divisions, plus enormous artillery and engineering support, plus helicopters and all else. This is a formation to fight a really big war against a first class enemy; designed to deliver the decisive counter-attack (see Stalingrad, Kursk). It will be stationed in the Western Military District to defend Russia against NATO (yes defend! otherwise why didn’t they have it all along?).’
    (See http://patrickarmstrong.ca/2016/02/25/russian-federation-sitrep-25-february-2016/ .)
    The symbolism is important, as well as the concrete military power. The 1st Tank Army was raised within the Stalingrad Front in July 1942, and shortly afterwards encircled and partially destroyed. Reformed at the start of the following year, it defended the southern shoulder of the Kursk salient, and was awarded the ‘Guards’ title in April 1944.
    The St. George’s Ribbon was incidentally, a Tsarist decoration revived during the Second World War for units awarded the ‘Guards’ designation, and then used as the victory medal awarded to all, civilian or military, who aided the war effort. It is striped red and black.
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribbon_of_Saint_George .)
    Anyone who thinks that Putin needed Alexander Dugin to cause him to support the secession of Crimea, in my view, lacks a ‘brain’. I tried to explain to Nicholas Gvosdev, now a Professor at the Naval War College, that attempting to incorporate Ukraine in NATO would split the country back in July 2008.
    (See http://washingtonrealist.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/musings-for-merkel-and-searching-for.html .)
    It was to no avail. One might have thought that someone with some grasp of naval strategy could have seen that there was absolutely no way in which any Russian government would willingly take the risk of Sevastopol becoming a NATO naval base – but apparently not.
    Again, however, emotion and symbolism are important. In the March 2014 address when he submitted the legal documents for the reincorporation of Crimea in Russia, Putin said, among other things, that for Russians it was ‘Balaklava and Kerch, Malakhov Kurgan and Sapun Ridge.
    (See http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/20603 .)
    Of these Sapun Ridge was the last defensive line held by the Soviet forces defending Sevastopol, which fell after a fortnight of desperate fighting in June 1942, heralding the end of a seven-months defence of the city which had, however, tied up Erich von Manstein and his Eleventh Army for seven crucial months. It was retaken by the Red Army on 7 May 1944.
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Sapun .)
    On 24 June 1941 – two days after the German attack on the Soviet Union – Senator Harry S. Truman was quoted in the ‘New York Times’ remarking that:
    ‘If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances.’
    (See https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman .)
    I am not a Russianist – don’t speak the language, have never lived there. But I think it is not entirely unfair to say that in the Soviet period this quotation was rather, one might put it, rammed down people’s throats.
    And I also think it may be fair to say that a great deal of goodwill towards Americans deriving from the ‘Grand Alliance’, and in particular the way that Roosevelt conducted things, survived.
    On 2 May 2014, as anti-Maidan protestors were burned alive in the Trade Union building in Odessa, the symbolism of the ‘St. George’s Ribbon’ took centre stage. To quote a ‘New York Times’ report from two days later:
    ‘The conflict is hardening hearts on both sides. As the building burned, Ukrainian activists sang the Ukrainian national anthem, witnesses on both sides said. They also hurled a new taunt: ”Colorado” for the Colorado potato beetle, striped red and black like the pro-Russian ribbons. Those outside chanted ”burn Colorado, burn,” witnesses said. Swastikalike symbols were spray painted on the building, along with graffiti reading ”Galician SS,” though it was unclear when it had appeared, or who had painted it.
    (See http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/05/world/europe/kievs-reins-weaken-as-chaos-spreads.html .)
    You might also look at the Wikipedia entry on the ‘Azov Batallion’ which is described as a ‘National Guard of Ukraine regiment’. Unfortunately, there is a good deal of woffle in the entry, intended to mute the impact of the fact that its logo contains light transformations of the ‘Wolfsangel’, the symbol of the Waffen-SS Division, ‘Das Reich’, and the ‘Black Sun’ symbol.
    This was set into the floor of the Obergruppenführer hall” in the castle of Wewelsburg, which, to quote the relevant Wikipedia entry, became the ‘representative and the ideological center of the order of the SS.’
    Shortly before the invasion of the Soviet Union, Himmler told high-ranking SS officers gathered there that its purpose was – according to a 2010 Bloomberg report entitled ‘Himmler’s Eerie Castle Explores Warped SS Ideology, Nazi Crimes’ – to ‘decimate the Slavic race by 30 million.’
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sun_(occult_symbol) ; http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-04-13/himmler-s-eerie-castle-explores-warped-ss-ideology-nazi-crimes. )
    As you say, people ‘tell stories to make sense of the world’. A common story in Russia at the end of the Cold War, when the bankruptcy of Marxism-Leninism was all too apparent, was that of the conflict as a kind of gratuitous ‘own goal’, when a West, and in particular a United States, which could have been friendly were gratuitously alienated.
    It seems that we have been doing our level best to persuade Russians that, however many lies Soviet propagandists told, on the question of the true intentions of the West, they told the truth.

  32. SmoothieX12 says:

    SU-24 was just Russian media fairy tale. There was no “shutting down” Donald Cook’s radar. Russia does have a very impressive ECM (ECCM) capabilities but that wasn’t the case with Cook.

  33. SmoothieX12 says:

    Russia is the only nation (with China emerging only in 1990s) which can resist militarily US (and NATO). This fact remains in the foundation of continuous and, sometimes, virulent Russophobia of US “elites’.

  34. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Yes! That’s a good book, well worth the time to read it. Se also “The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World,” by Stephen Kinzer, the same guy who wrote the op ed in the Boston Globe a few days back that generated quite a few comments in a thread here. He exposes the tag team approach they used to wrestle control of foreign and national security policy from others in the Eisenhower administration and impose their Manichean views, which set the stage for much of what has happened since.

  35. SmoothieX12 says:

    “Nobody — no country, no party, no person — “won” the cold war. It was a long and costly political rivalry, fueled on both sides by unreal and exaggerated estimates of the intentions and strength of the other party. It greatly overstrained the economic resources of both countries, leaving both, by the end of the 1980’s, confronted with heavy financial, social and, in the case of the Russians, political problems that neither had anticipated and for which neither was fully prepared.”(c)
    George F.Kennan “The G.O.P. Won the Cold War? Ridiculous.”

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think US & NATO won the Cold War since the other side, USSR and Warsaw pact, no longer exist.

  37. johnf says:

    I think the Russians won the Cold War because when they “lost” it in 1990 they then had to sit down and fundamentally rethink their society and their governance and their place in the world, whereas The West, having “won” it, hasn’t reformed one damned thing, is lazy and complacent in its thought and its solutions, and is rapidly falling to pieces.
    And I was saying that in the early 90’s.

  38. Laguerre says:

    “I think US & NATO won the Cold War since the other side, USSR and Warsaw pact, no longer exist.”
    That’s not really the point. The Soviet Union was a colonial empire which decolonialised voluntarily, though a bit brutally, much as the British Empire did. The departure of the British empire was not called a defeat.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are quibbling.
    In the ancient day, when too armies fought, the one which was still standing on the field of battle at sundown claimed victory. I am just using that ancient criterion.
    USSR was not a colonial empire, the central planners poured vast sums of money into Central Asia from the productive parts of the Soviet Union – those areas inhabited by the vastly more productive Slavic people – in order to upgrade, in all respect, that regions.
    The central planners, I have heard, artificially raised the standard of living in the 3 Baltic states as well to purchase political stability – in effect, appeasing the Balts.
    British Empire was a colonial empire, it was a money extraction regime, I agree with that.

  40. SmoothieX12 says:

    As a man who not only lived but participated in the whole process of Soviet Union’s collapse, I tend to agree with George F. Kennan’s definition. This position is also shared by esteemed Ambassador Matlock, who is a living legend of US diplomacy, the art long ago forgotten. USSR collapsed under the weight of own problems which were accumulating for a long time. Arms race was only part of those problems and, in fact, not even the most important one. I know a thing or two about the state of the Soviet Armed Forces in 1970s and 1980s first hand and can testify that USSR, certainly, didn’t lose the arms race, despite obvious necessity to reform armed forces largely in terms of size of the ground forces, which were top heavy. So, the only time I saw US Army marching on the Red Square was on 9 May 2010 as a dear guests and allies at the 65th Victory Anniversary. The history of Cold War (a real one) is not written yet, it only now begins to be viewed through more or less objective lens. In the end, Marxism-Leninism simply ran its life-cycle and was discarded by none other than Russian (Soviet) people themselves, without any influences from the outside. But, evidently, giving Russians any agency in their own fate is not very fashionable thing in the West.

  41. Seamus Padraig says:

    “It seems that we have been doing our level best to persuade Russians that, however many lies Soviet propagandists told, on the question of the true intentions of the West, they told the truth.”
    You done spoke a parable there!

  42. Seamus Padraig says:

    “It was not because of lack of effort. NATO states tried just that for 5 years.”
    More like 35. It began with Iraq’s invasion of Iran in 1980. The US quietly backed Iraq then, even if it also occasionally (and illegally) sold the Iranians some surplus equipment. (See: Iran-Contra.)

  43. Babak Makkinejad,
    Without specifying what it means to ‘win’, arguments about whether or not the West ‘won’ the Cold War are contentless, and are liable to be circular.
    What is the case is a large body of what became ‘neoconservative’ opinion, which failed to anticipate the changes introduced by Gorbachev, and pretended that they were a strategy of deception when they patently were nothing of the kind, then managed to incorporate these changes into the intellectual frameworks that had failed to predict them.
    As a result, ‘neoconservatives’ were able to persuade themselves and others that the retreat and collapse of Soviet power was essentially due to the demonstration of ‘strength’ and ‘will’ embodied in the Reagan-era military buildup.
    In consequence, they have gone on applying the same nostrums to all kinds of different situations, alike in the Middle East and the post-Soviet space.
    I have no wish to resurrect the ‘war guilt’ clause of the Treaty of Versailles. But I think the extraordinary successes alike of Bismarck’s diplomacy, and Prussian armies, in 1864-71, did generate a ‘hubris’ in the Second Reich that proved self-destructive. While Bismarck had a keen sense of limits, his successors lacked it.

  44. mbrenner says:

    Thanks. I haven’t attended an APSA Convention since 1981 – a year after my last appointment as a faculty member in a Political Science Department

  45. Fred says:

    “Russia does not want to use these systems. ”
    They are the ones being provoked by US/NATO/Turkey’s actions. They would rather not have NATO on their border and an anti-Russian NGO system destabilizing their government combined with a jihadist state in Syria to serve as a safe harbor for war against their people.

  46. Fred says:

    “the regime was becoming dangerously remote from the concerns and hopes of the Russian people.”
    This can be said for the US and is the major reason for Trump’s appeal to those people whose opinions are not printed in the NYT.

  47. LondonBob,
    “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world.”
    It has to be one of the less prescient predictions in modern history.
    Part of the problem is that Mackinder seems not to have realised that, just at the time he was writing, the rise of nationalism was making it increasingly difficult to sustain large multi-national empires.
    The possibility of a ‘Mackinderite consolidation’ of Eurasia was however not inconceivable in the inter-war years. The kind of Russo-German alliance which Mackinder had seen as a possibility was the political project of the German Ambassador to Moscow in the period leading up to Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union, Friedrich Werner, Count von der Schulenberg.
    If you adjust the Anti-Comintern Pact by including in it the power against which it was directed – the Soviet Union – you have an alliance of four states, each based upon a reasonably cohesive ethnic core, spanning Eurasia. The problems of managing minority nationalities then might become much easier. As the system can be to a substantial extent autarkic, the maritime powers can, as it were, jump in the lake.
    Something close to a ‘Mackinderite consolidation’ is now again possible, if the Chinese have the sense to follow Schulenberg’s approach. But that is largely the result of people in the West trying to play ‘geopolitical’ games without much grasp.

  48. turcopolier says:

    Seamus Padraig
    As I have endlessly tried to tell you, US support for Iraq did not amount to much until the last year of the war and that did not include materiel. pl

  49. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I was thinking of the recent economic war which ended in stalemate, with an agreement that could have been signed 9 years earlier.

  50. Patrick armstrong says:

    Theargument that, as it has turned out, it was teh West that “lost” the Cold War. http://russia-insider.com/en/surprise-west-lost-cold-war/ri3020

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    As I explained above: Win means that one finds oneself standing at the end of the day.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    No doubt, USSR had very many internal problems that contributed to her demise. But she is no more and US is still around. So, at the end of the day, US won.
    I think admitting that US won does not necessarily mean one is approving of her methods or what followed after 1991.

  53. Laguerre says:

    “USSR was not a colonial empire”
    Of course the USSR was a colonial empire. Are Uzbeks or Kazakhs Russian? No of course not. Nor did they agree to being conquered. The USSR just pretended that it was not colonial. The only unusual aspect was that those countries bordered Russia, rather than being on the other side of the world.
    So the Soviets raised the standard of living in the Baltic States, did they? Well the British said that about India too.

  54. MRW says:

    Oh. Yeah…forgot about that beaute. Love it. Make me laugh every time.

  55. Rd. says:

    SmoothieX12 said in reply to Babak Makkinejad…
    “In the end, Marxism-Leninism simply ran its life-cycle and was discarded by none other than Russian (Soviet) people themselves, without any influences from the outside “
    Atleast the Russians/Soviets saw the reality of their own time and space. Who in the west/US can see thru the reality/limitations of this robber baron run oligarchy and its full spectrum dominance dogma? One may suspect, the later may be far more painful and damaging, if not self corrected soon enough.

  56. Babak Makkinejad says:

    My understanding of the word colonialism has been that it entails the practice of acquiring political control over another an area, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.
    While the first condition applies to USSR – and indeed the Russian Empire – the second and third one’s do not apply.
    USSR lost money on Central Asia, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova and possibly the Baltics as well.
    Some Colonial Empire…
    And here is what that old revolutionary, Carlos Marx, wrote about India:
    “Now, sickening as it must be to human feeling to witness those myriads of industrious patriarchal and inoffensive social organizations disorganized and dissolved into their units, thrown into a sea of woes, and their individual members losing at the same time their ancient form of civilization, and their hereditary means of subsistence, we must not forget that these idyllic village-communities, inoffensive though they may appear, had always been the solid foundation of Oriental despotism, that they restrained the human mind within the smallest possible compass, making it the unresisting tool of superstition, enslaving it beneath traditional rules, depriving it of all grandeur and historical energies. We must not forget the barbarian egotism which, concentrating on some miserable patch of land, had quietly witnessed the ruin of empires, the perpetration of unspeakable cruelties, the massacre of the population of large towns, with no other consideration bestowed upon them than on natural events, itself the helpless prey of any aggressor who deigned to notice it at all. We must not forget that this undignified, stagnatory, and vegetative life, that this passive sort of existence evoked on the other part, in contradistinction, wild, aimless, unbounded forces of destruction and rendered murder itself a religious rite in Hindostan. We must not forget that these little communities were contaminated by distinctions of caste and by slavery, that they subjugated man to external circumstances instead of elevating man the sovereign of circumstances, that they transformed a self-developing social state into never changing natural destiny, and thus brought about a brutalizing worship of nature, exhibiting its degradation in the fact that man, the sovereign of nature, fell down on his knees in adoration of Kanuman, the monkey, and Sabbala, the cow.”

  57. Laguerre says:

    “Theargument that, as it has turned out, it was teh West that “lost” the Cold War.”
    There will always be some who claim that, as a result of the West’s subsequent follies. Not me though. The West made a mistake in thinking that that it had “won”. You don’t win a war, you gain a temporary political advantage, which you have to convert politically into what you want. If you demand the impossible, the war advantage will evaporate. That is what happened with the US.

  58. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I think the West “won” the Cold War as much as the Entente Powers “won” World War I, except even less so.
    At the end of World War I, Germany was “defeated,” but not really. The Entente Powers had no means of forcibly imposing its will on Germany because the German power was not really broken–it just collapsed under its own weight. Britain and France did not really have the will or ability to go all the way and “break” Germany by themselves and did not trust United States to cooperate with their designs. So they could only compromise with the Germans, except fraudulently–by treating Germany as “defeated” without actually having defeated her themselves.
    Somewhat the same problem with Russia after the collapse of USSR. USSR laid down its arms, in a sense, much the way Kaiser’s army did. They were not beaten, certainly not by Americans. USSR was falling apart in a manner perhaps not unlike German in 1918 and continued state of “semi-hostility” was not possible. The situation was even stranger than World War I since, despite the rivalry and hostility, there was no real “war” as there was between the Entente and the Germans. So the same fraudulent relationship: treating Russia as if a defeated country, without having actually defeated Russia–at least not directly with the application of American power.
    If there was going to be a reset, that had to be done in late 1980s or, at latest, 1991. The whole idea of Cold War and the question of who won or lost had to be wiped out in its entirety and the relationship reestablished on basis of complete equality. But I don’t think United States has treated other countries as equals for decades, let alone a seemingly “defeated” power. All of what transpired, in retrospect, could only have been avoided only with superhuman determination and perspicacity which most humans lack.

  59. Laguerre says:

    “My understanding of the word colonialism has been that it entails the practice of acquiring political control over another an area, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”
    Your definition sounds about right, though the settlers may not be important, as in many British colonies. If the occupation didn’t succeed economically, so what? It is not less a colony. It is not an argument for colonialism, that you have improved the lives of the colonised.
    The breakup of the USSR was indeed the breakup of a colonial empire, only it was done too fast, based upon the “autonomous” regions. Belorus should have remained with Russia, as probably also Ukraine. However nobody could seriously dispute the independence of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

  60. SmoothieX12 says:

    Win (victory) means attaining political objectives of the war. If you read attentively the history of the period you will easily notice how Bush Sr. Administration was against the dissolution of the USSR–the document today are in the open. If to assume the political objective being elimination of the main geopolitical rival in the Eurasian Mass–this objective was not achieved. Even immediately after the collapse of USSR Russia remained fully capable of annihilating the US. There were 10-12 years of complete confusion and realignment of Russian political elites, but once 1999 and Yugoslavia happened–that was it, the tectonic shift have occurred. I communicated with some of US pretty famous (well-published in MSM) diplomats and the question was: was Putin inevitable? My answer was–we all got lucky that we have Putin, the providence really. Instead of him much more strict nationalist (and neo-“communist”) could have come and Russian people would have supported him. The best this whole situation was described by Vladimir Solovyov, an immensely popular TV personality, and I quote: “They thought that we were on our knees, but we merely were strapping our combat boots”. The only thing which saw a massive outpouring of Russian sympathy for the US was 911. Sadly, this was not used on the US side and by 2003 the picture couldn’t get any clearer. After Iraq it was just the matter of time (and dynamics) of Russia reasserting herself. After Ukraine–it is a different game altogether and I mean it. It is a new paradigm and there is no safe “we are against communism but not Russian people” fig leaf anymore. As I already stated, the only factor which prevents all this so called Russian “liberal opposition” and most oligarchs from hanging from lamp post is Putin.

  61. SmoothieX12 says:

    Excellent comments, David. As per Brigade structure. Roger Mcdermott of the Foreign Military Studies Office wrote 5 years ago an interesting piece: “Russian Perspective on Network-Centric Warfare: The Key Aim of Serdyukov’s Reform”, in which he (incorrectly) identified the goal of reforms (which were devastating in a sense of организационно-штатные мероприятия, that is “cadre-structure”) as mere copying of the Brigade structure as a road to Net Centric capabilities from US Brigades. Reality, however, turned out to be way more complex than that. Russian ground forces are bound to be in a division order of battle as in the famous Soviet anecdote when the guy assembles the crib, produced as a consumer good on one of the plants of military-industrial complex (Soviet MIC plants produced variety of consumer goods) and each time he does it–he gets AK-47. I believe it was this Russian Armed Forces’, so called, “expert” Mark Galeotti who called the return to division structure a “symbolic step”. Indeed, after Chief Of General Staff Makarov even Galeotti sounds as a professional.

  62. SmoothieX12 says:

    I have to agree with your statement. Russians just want to be left alone and trade. Russia has no designs on Europe other than some shopping malls and resorts and, of course, be part of UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues. Russians also like good beer, whiskey and sausages.

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I was only making a comment of an empirical nature.

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan would have been better off being colonies of USSR – as you insist on calling it.
    They were really parasites on the Slavic republics – as much as Georgia and Armenia were. Russians are much better off without those bottomless pits of money.
    Even today, Tajikistan’s largest export is the unskilled labor of its men – to Russia!
    But I do not expect facts to alter your doctrinaire beliefs.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Why is that calling a “spade” a “spade” so difficult?

  66. SmoothieX12 says:

    Empirical nature, as stated by our dear Carl Von Clausewitz in Vom Kriege, is that: “In war the result is never final. Lately, even the ultimate outcome of a war is not always to be regarded as final”. Guess where he’s got these ideas. Let me put it this way, Leo Tolstoy in War And Peace mentions him. It is excellently described in Prince Andrei’s monologue (to Pierre Bezukhov) on the eve of Borodino Battle.

  67. SmoothieX12 says:

    Germany won the Cold War, until they got this dumb-ass Merkel who completed annihilation of once great nation.

  68. GoraKoska says:

    Agreed, the Western ‘victory’ in the cold war was nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory – the price of which is slowly unfolding and will be – from a long-term historical perspective – enormous (particularly to the little guy). Some time from now, perhaps we’d be able to acknowledge that Sov. Union, through its peaceful demise, accomplished something very rare – dissolution of a vast power with no bloodshed. (To say that it was similar to the demise of UK reveals a stunning ignorance of history…. can you spell WWI, WWII, millions dead in India partition, violence in Africa, etc.)

  69. GoraKoska says:

    As someone who lived not in one, but two socialist countries, including USSR, I can tell you that your comment is mostly wrong. The west (mainly the US) made it its main point to destroy socialist countries – there was to be no accommodation (just read the presidential directive from 1950 that laid out the cold war to come). We experienced sanctions, embargoes, refusal to trade and share technology, arms race (which diverted precious resources), proxy wars, sponsoring of dissidents, etc. One could write books on that… Absent the deliberate and horrendous pressure, my sense is that the socialist countries would have reformed… gradually. Many of the W. European countries had much more socialist economies after the war than is commonly acknowledged… but they were with the US (never mind clandestine US efforts to thwart any communist or socialist sympathies by the populace). Maybe one day the truth will come out

  70. GoraKoska says:

    You are correct in many parts of the entry (e.g., if Putin had not taken over Crimea, he’d probably be overthrown himself). Unfortunately, like most westerners – in calling ML bankrupt – you fundamentally misunderstand what happened in the Sov. Union and totally disregard the vast resources US devoted to destroying the socialist block. If one did not live there, refuses to look at available (even official) sources, and just laps up the prevailing ideology – one will never understand. Sov. Union is a country that – in a span of 75 years, which is a blink of an eye in history – lived through WWI, revolution, a civil war, intervention wars (lets not forget that western armies, incl. US, attacked the nascent state in 1918-19), WWII, cold war, and war in Afghanistan (stoked, as we now know, by the US). Nevertheless, the country is still standing today. (That is not to say that the Bolsheviks did not have many daft ideas, but evil is not what I’d ascribe to them. Ignorance, yes – but they were not alone in that.)

  71. Jack says:

    “the central planners poured vast sums of money..” – Babak
    “In the end, Marxism-Leninism simply ran its life-cycle and was discarded…” -Smoothie.
    Yes, central planners always pour vast sums of money into boondoggles because its not theirs. Hapless taxpayers and future generations are handed the tab. The idea that unbridled government spending is an unalloyed good is ludicrous on the face of it. But there are many academics and theorists who use the crutch of Keynes or some other snakeoil exposition to claim that sovereign spending is a free lunch.
    I recall a train ride next to a Czech emigre in Europe. He fled the communist regime with just the shirt on his back. He related a story of how a central planner determined the number of blue shirts to produce and the comic situation of how one only got blue shirts for some time since too many were produced.
    We are heading in the same failed direction, as central planning and interventions in our economy keep growing, primarily to protect oligarchic interests like the banking and healthcare cartels. When a key metric of finance, interest rates are centrally administered to enable asset booms that benefit the elites and when these speculative bubbles burst, the central planners promptly socialize the losses. In the land where Adam Smith and Bastiat found a receptive audience, where enterprise and competition lead to innovation and rising living standards, we now have the worst fear of Tocqueville. The loss of the republic.

  72. SmoothieX12 says:

    You basically repeated the standard “set” of so called “arguments” on the Soviet Union’s collapse. 300 + million people lived in USSR, it doesn’t mean that all of them were scholars. I have a very good handle on what was happening in the Caucasus in 1980s, maybe because I also was a party to knowing situation from operative briefings;-) not just news papers, and it wasn’t the arms race or “sanctions” which lead to the implosion of the USSR. Also, as a graduate of the only other Red Banner naval academy with degree in naval engineering (specialist in gyro-inertial navigational complexes of the naval strategic missile systems, mainly projects 667 B and BD, NATO Delta-I and II), I can tell you that your knowledge of intricacies of the arms race are not exactly stellar. I’ll give you a hint–most what you are observing today in Russia’s arsenal, from GLONASS and ECM (ECCM) to C4ISR and SU-35s, all of it has its genesis in the Soviet military industrial complex of 1980s.

  73. C Webb says:

    Thanks for the post. Many good aspects to consider.
    Based on what I have read of Dugan’s ideology; It seems to have been formulated as a counter to the ideology of the west.
    I would agree with Hahn. Certainly Putin is not following Dugan or anything like that. IMHO Dugan’s writings represents one aspect of broader strategy. Part which is involved in building up national identity. This is seen in the resurgence in support for the Russian orthodox church.
    Some of the US media analysis is very silly.
    Bizarre stuff
    Vladislav Surkov is a significant orchestrator of events.

  74. rjj says:

    From my random walks through history and recent publications it looks as if there has been a metaphor [passed off as a paradigm] shift from Mackinder’s to Pilsudski’s. The following jumps off the history pages and off the maps. Was trying to come up with a word for it when I discovered it had already been given a name about the same time as MacKinder was writing his Democratic Myths and Realities.
    Intermarium and Prometheism (ver. 2.0)
    [from the intermarium link above]
    The Polish name Międzymorze, which means “Intersea” or “Between-seas,” was rendered into Latin as “Intermarium.” [9]
    The proposed federation was meant to emulate the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, that, from the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th, had united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
    Intermarium complemented Piłsudski’s other geopolitical vision—Prometheism, whose goal was the dismemberment of the Russian Empire and that Empire’s divestment of its territorial conquests.[10][11][12][13]

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