The threat is not there
Donald Trump asked for $ 700 million to counter the influence of Russia, but received only 290. When the country suffered losses (greater than in world wars), it has no time for external enemies.
However, from stories It is well known that it is common for Americans, even traditional, to fund democracy, especially if it is in its infancy. They even did not hesitate to invest in Britain (from the first years of independence from it).
Soon, the Great French Revolution was helped as best they could. And then the first two Russian revolutions. Through Trotsky, they even venerated the October coup.
Despite all the objections of the isolationists, they got involved in two world wars for democracy. Even here - only business, nothing personal.
Already in the third millennium, the United States did not miss a single color revolution. But at the same time, millions of dollars were spent with enviable regularity just to counter the influence of specific countries.
Russia in the list of such - has always been and remains in one of the first places. Only in recent years has it been seriously supplanted by China. However, the Russians are just tired of proving to the world that they are not any threat to it. They should sort out their problems and support their friends.
Apparently, it is no coincidence that for items such as those addressed to democracy in Russia, the amounts have always been lower. Not least because they must be officially recorded in the budget, and even accountable.
Nevertheless, the funds allocated for the democratization of Russia were about to reach almost a billion. The pandemic prevented. Although President Trump initially demanded an amount of 700 million - already quite close to a billion.
To underestimate - do not overestimate
Scanty 290 million - this is all that the all-powerful State Department will give, already without Trump, for
"Countering Russian influence and its attempts to sow distrust of democratic institutions around the world."
The state budget also contains a ban on financing activities that may contribute to the "strategic goals of the Russian Federation" and threaten the interests of US national security, and the "support for programs for the development of democracies in the Russian Federation" so beloved by our liberals.
And at the same time, the taboo on financing any activity to recognize Russia's sovereignty over Crimea was extended.
Agree, 290 million, even dollars, is modest.
"It will not be enough"
as the hero of the plasticine cartoon said.
However, this amount will not be limited.
It seems that Washington is ready to spend much more generously on not some abstract "democracy", but on quite specific sanctions. Needless to say, during the years of reforms, the Americans invested heavily "in us" not with the goal of "against", but definitely "for".
Plus to minus changed as soon as the "gathering of lands" began, which spun off from the former Soviet republics. Ossetia and Abkhazia, Crimea and Donbass. You can add Transnistria to the list.
Isn't that why with more specific "minuses" overseas everything is much simpler: billions (targeted, mind you) were immediately contributed to the defense budget. And the new 2021 fiscal year, which, in fact, will begin only in October, is no exception in this regard.
State the amount in words
But with the amounts in words in this colossal document, everything is not easy. The defense budget (an eternal feeding trough for corporations loyal to Washington, whether American or transnational, it doesn't matter) has always been made up with gaps.
Nobody wanted to tie their hands. Not recipients of budget billions. Not those who distribute them - congressmen, senators, and after them - arbiters of destinies from the Washington Regional Committee.
Isn't that why the almost uncontrolled sums under the "against" items are written down in the defense budget? And it is there (as a carbon copy with sanctions), as a rule, it is about specific people, companies, banks and organizations.
And in the first place today - not the FSB or some "Rostec" and the S-400 sent to Turkey, but "Gazprom" and "Nord Stream-2". In the latest US budgetary schedule - the NDAA-2021 project, new sanctions only supplement the existing ones.
As a reminder, until now, it was only about deep-water pipe laying and related services, up to insurance and certification.
The new package of restrictions will cover everyone who promotes the “sale, lease or provision of pipe-lay vessels for the construction” of gas pipelines, or provides funds or services for the modernization and installation of equipment on pipe-layers.
However (sorry for repeating) no amount in words that may be required to implement such sanctions is not spelled out in the defense budget. Hands are really untied.
There will still be Mr Trump
The outgoing president received with the defense budget, most likely, the last batch of negativity from the political establishment, including from his fellow Republican party. He harshly criticized him for the lack of important points, which plays into the hands of competitors - China and Russia, by vetoing the project.
However, that did not stop lawmakers surprisingly easily, at the expense of a qualified majority in both houses of Congress, from turning the bill into law. Donald Trump was not only pointed out to his current place, but also made it clear that they would not allow him to leave, not only as a winner, but at least with dignity.
As expected, the American sanctions were criticized not only in Russia (where they were described as a manifestation of unfair competition), but also in Europe. They note that the EU is not going to become dependent on anyone for gas. Be it Russian Gazprom or American LNG producers.
However, neither Russia nor the EU began to focus on how much the United States is ready to spend on ensuring any effective sanctions pressure.
Meanwhile, expenses in this case are almost the main thing.
After all, you need to understand whether they will be justified at the expense of future profits?