Why the West needs Russia
Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in 1928, is one of the most odious figures of the American foreign policy elite. His writings attract with their meaningfulness of foreign policy reality, and at the same time they cause a feeling of discomfort with the necessary consequences of the implementation of this foreign policy reality. Since Brzezinski personally actively participated in the process of the Cold War, and besides, is still closely connected with the current political elite of the United States, which is why his books are not only historical documents, but also at the same time political documents that allow the reader to become better acquainted with a deep understanding of American foreign policy. And so, Brzezinski again brought his next book to the court of readers. This book is called “Strategic Vision” (“Strategic Vision“, 2012), it is highly curious in the sense that Brzezinski describes in it a radical political reversal of the United States with far-reaching consequences. In his new book, Brzezinski advocates a large-scale revision of the entire previous US foreign policy taken at the beginning of the Cold War. The central thesis of his book - the United States is now in the same situation that the Soviet Union was in the 1980s.
If in his most famous book, The Big Chessboard (1997), it was also said that the United States should take Central Asia under political control, and then in another place he wrote in 2008 that the United States still has a "second The chance of "building a unipolar world, now, 4 a year later, in his new book, Brzezinski states the decrease in US political influence in the world and the establishment of a multipolar world as an objectively accomplished reality. Based on this, Brzezinski comes to the need for a complete rethinking of the future strategy of the United States. Most surprising in his analysis of geopolitical reality is the fact that he completely revises his traditionally negative attitude towards Russia. Moreover: Brzezinski believes that the survival of the West in a multipolar world depends entirely on whether Russia can be integrated into the system of the West.
From Carter to Reagan
The significance of Brzezinski's sudden reincarnation in his new book can be fully imagined if one recalls the whole path of his career. Brzezinski can be compared to the royal adviser in the modern version. It combines the qualities of a political thinker and a realist practitioner with a cold mind. Already in his earliest books you can see Brzezinski's veneration of the institution of power and his pleasure in analyzing this institution of power. Brzezinski considered his main task to strengthen US power, which he then decided in practice under President Jimmy Carter, being his security adviser. Then, between 1977-1981 as an adviser, Brzezinski directly influenced the course of the Cold War. While Kissinger and Nixon were primarily interested in maintaining the US status quo in the Cold War, Brzezinski tirelessly sought ways to exacerbate the confrontation and bring it to a final victory. Its influence in American politics cannot be underestimated because Brzezinski’s geopolitical concepts continued to be used during the next administration of President Reagan. In 1998, Brzezinski opened the French newspaper “Le Nouvel Observateur” in an interview that the United States financially supported Islamic militants even before the USSR entered Afghanistan. As Brzezinski said then, the purpose of this policy of supporting Islamic militants before the USSR entered Afghanistan was to just lure the USSR into Afghanistan and increase this probability. When asked in this interview if he already regrets the US support for Islamic militants at that time, Brzezinski replied: “Why should I regret? This special operation was a great idea. With its help, we lured the USSR into an Afghan trap and after that you I seriously expect that I can regret it. On the day when the Russians officially crossed the Soviet-Afghan border, I wrote to President Carter: now we have the opportunity to arrange his own Vietnam for the USSR. " But when the correspondent in this interview hesitantly hinted to Brzezinski about the connection between today's terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism with US funding of militants in Afghanistan against the USSR, Brzezinski replied: “What is more important for world history? [...] A couple of fanatical Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War ? " (Xnumx)
Brzezinski: "Hobbies, harm Russia"
American economist James K. Galbright once wrote in his article that "for Brzezinski, this is a hobby, to harm Russia." (2) With this, he hinted that Brzezinski, even after the collapse of the USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall, did not change his extremely negative attitude towards Russia. Of course, you can understand Brzezinski - he, being one of the main strategists in the Cold War and who devoted his entire conscious life to this fight, probably wanted to enjoy the fruits of victory in this war after 1991.
However, Brzezinski’s political strategy, which was soon introduced in 1997 in his most popular book, The Big Chessboard, ultimately meant more than just enjoying the fruits of the US victory in the Cold War. A more detailed analysis of this book shows that Brzezinski indirectly speaks in it for the hidden continuation of the Cold War, only by other methods.
The strategic plan that Brzezinski presented in this book in 1997 year envisaged the promotion of the United States and its European partners on the Eurasian continent to Central Asia itself. Brzezinski hoped in this way to build some kind of new silk route to China itself, namely, by expanding the European Union to the east, admitting Georgia and Ukraine as members of NATO, and laying oil and gas pipelines through the allied states to the Caspian Sea. Crucial to the West of this new Silk Road lay in the eyes of Brzezinski in that the West in this case will expand its influence to the very center of the most important continent of the planet - Eurasia. If it were possible to establish a geopolitical order in Eurasia advantageous for the West, this would automatically affect the distribution of forces on all other continents of the planet, i.e. would mean the control of the West over the whole world. Simultaneously with this advance of the West to the center of Eurasia, according to Brzezinski’s plan in the 1997 book of the year, Russia — the largest Eurasian power in territory — would be surrounded from the southern flanks and gradually degrade in a third world world in the West.
A loser country Russia and the US superpower
Brzezinski considered Russia in 1997 a year as a bankrupt in all respects country, which was to plunge into chaos, poverty, and continuous ethnic conflicts in the coming years. Brzezinski described Russia at that time as a “black hole”, which no longer had any “geopolitical choice” in its life, “because in essence it is only about physical survival in its purest form.” (3)
Brzezinski even thought out loud in 1997’s book of the year of dividing Russia into parts: “Russia would then consist of a loose confederation of European Russia, the Siberian Republic and the Far Eastern Republic, which would have made it much easier to establish close economic relations with Europe, the new Central Asian states and with the East. "(4) However, Brzezinski rejected any integration of Russia into the expanded world order of the West categorically:" Russia was too backward a country economically communicated IOM to poverty, and therefore more or less appropriate democratic partner for the US, it has become unable to. "(5)
Just as France, at the end of World War I, advocated long-term measures to weaken the German Reich in the Versailles Treaty, Brzezinski also advocated a new world order in 1990-s, in which Russia, a defeated geopolitical competitor, would take the place of a weak, backward, problem and surrounded on all sides of the country, which would have been denied the role of any respected geopolitical player.
The same inability of Brzezinski to withdraw from thinking in the categories of the Cold War was reflected in the book 1997 of the year regarding the exaggeration of the future role of the United States. In 1997, he proceeded from the fact that the USA is at least one more generation - i.e. before 2027 or even longer, it will be able to maintain the status of the only world superpower. This time would be enough for the United States, thought Brzezinski, to equip the Trans-Eurasian corridor - along the new silk road to China - in terms of the geopolitical security architecture. This space, which would consist of military bases, oil and gas pipelines, trade routes, countries with pro-Western governments, economic and financial branches of the West - all of this geographical space would have to connect vast areas of Asia with the enlarged European Union and NATO. And in the end, China was also supposed to integrate into this pro-Western Eurasian structure. Because, says Brzezinski, "already even a network of multinational concerns and various international organizations forms a kind of informal world system." And this informal system, supported by the growing globalization of the planet, "would have on itself a clear imprint of the current ruler of the world", which would lead to the fact that the US political system and their culture would extend to the transnational world system and change it to its own image: " And the geostrategic success of such goal-setting would be a legacy that America - being the first, only and last superpower on Earth - would leave the future world of the future to come. "(6)
But now Brzezinski sees the world and its future differently. He recognized the ever-increasing tendency of the Western community to weaken. If the West fails to conclude a long-term strategic alliance with Russia and Turkey, then this may turn into global isolation for it. This is all the more important given the current rapprochement between China and Russia. Brzezinski even scares his readers that the US may lose its influence in Mexico. Brzezinski concludes: the time of the omnipotent player for America has passed, now the United States cannot, as before, confidently present itself in a haughty pose to Russia, China, India, Brazil, Iran or Pakistan.
Also curious is Brzezinski’s new position with respect to the Middle East in general and Iran in particular. According to Brzezinki, the political awakening in the region of Arab countries and the rest of the world, characteristic of recent times, allows many people to recognize how the United States projects its power throughout the world. If the US or NATO starts a new war in the Middle East, this will lead to growing anti-Americanism, which will cause the loss of Western influence in this region of the Earth. And because of this growing political awareness of people around the world, wars are becoming undesirable.
Break with the Neocons
In fact, the new book "Strategic Insight" Brzezinski finally breaks his connection with the neo-cons. And you have to admit, his attitude towards the neoconservatives of the USA has always been ambivalent. From the outset, Brzezinski has advocated US expansion in the world. However, unlike the neoconservatives who wanted to achieve the same, but only by hard, military, direct methods, Brzezinski saw the expansion of America in line with the general trend of globalization, so to speak, within the framework of the natural laws of the nature of culture and values. As director of the Trilateral Commission, Brzezinski viewed the US as an informal world empire that imperceptibly, gradually, behind closed doors, defined and regulated international relations between the rest of the world, while the neo-cons sought openly, defying the might of the US empire in front of the world, using wars and strength to strengthen the empire.
Brzezinski had a goal to retain the status of the US superpower for at least one more generation. Beyond this period, Brzezinski represented America, which would be dissolved in the international interweaving of powerful transnational corporations and organizations that continue the traditions and values of American politics and culture on a global scale. The neoconservatives wanted to see the 21 century as the “New American Century”, justifying this with the election and uniqueness of the American nation.
Contrary to these disagreements, Brzezinski had common views with the neocons. Both Brzezinski and the neocons attributed to the United States the main role of the architect of the future world order. They also agreed that the foundation of this future world order of the United States should be laid in the Middle East. They also had a common strategy of preventing Russia's alliance with Europe, preventing Russia's influence on Europe and the strategy of gradual military weakening of Russia through the expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia, building a space military component against Russia, surrounding it with military bases and anti-missile defense stations. And Brzezinski and the neocons shared in common that they categorically rejected building partnerships with post-Soviet Russia, although it belonged to a common Christian-European cultural world.
In his penultimate book Second Chance 2007 of the Year, Brzezinski harshly criticizes the neocon policy under the leadership of Bush the Younger. He wrote that the imperialist ambitions of the neocons exposed to the public openly impede and even nullify the possibility of the United States lining up a new world order in the 21 century. According to Brzezinski, the neocon war against terrorism was perceived in the Islamic world as a war against Islam as a religion, and therefore it weakened the authority and respect for the United States in this region. In addition, Brzezinski in this book accused the neocons of having done too little against the growing union of Russia and China.
And in general, Brzezinski writes, the Bush administration was too gentle with Russia, "because the Russians do not like the weak," Brzezinski said in an interview in 2008 year. (7) And yet, despite all these neocon blunders, Brzezinski still saw in 2007 the “second chance” for America to realize the plans of a unipolar world he formulated in 1997 in his book “The Great Chessboard”. In 2007's Second Chance book, Brzezinski wrote: “A more successful use of a second chance after 2008 will be decisive for America than it used its first chance. Because there is no third chance for the United States.” (8)
Results of Obama's reign: Great failure
At the moment, Obama’s presidential term is coming to an end, and following Brzezinski’s argument in his new book, Strategic Insight, 2012, the United States did not use this “second chance”: “In the future, America will have to pursue a more responsible and sophisticated policy than before. Worldwide the dominance of one single power in the world is no longer possible, regardless of how strong or weak it is. This is especially true when new regional powers have entered the world arena. " (9)
And this means more than just the entry of the United States into a new multipolar world. In his numerous interviews on the new book Strategic Insight, Brzezinski points out that with the establishment of a multipolar world, the entire 500-year epoch of global domination of the Atlantic maritime powers is coming to an end. When asked in an interview about the consequences of such a development, Brzezinski replied: "Basically, this means that we can no longer dictate our will. We can no longer be an awesome global player who regulates international affairs in the world." (10)
This does not mean, says Brzezinski, that the world order, which is now gradually being established, will be determined by China. If only because of the fact that the regional powers bordering on China, Russia and India will not allow him to do so. The new world means, including the fact that the countries bordering on regional powers - Georgia, Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Israel and parts of the Middle East - will lose their attachment to the US and will be involved in the power sphere of influence of these new powers. According to Brzezinski in his new book, the West can still avoid the plight of global isolation and international relegation to second roles. But for this you need to breathe new, life-giving forces into it and develop a new strategy and plan of action. For the West, this New Strategy, Brzezinski writes in his book Strategic Insight, should be able to integrate Russia and Turkey into the international system of the West. Turkey has focused on the West and its political system and culture for a century, and according to Brzezinski, Turkey should further deepen this interaction with the West, including its entry into the European Union. But decisive for the future international status of the West and for its strengthening will be the involvement of Russia in the expanded community of Western countries.
Such a union — which would be based on a universal system of political culture and values, and would extend from Vancouver to Vladivostok — such a union would have considerable political weight in the world, Brzezinski writes. Moreover, in his opinion, Western-style civil society is already gradually crystallizing in Russia. In a report for the organization Center of Strategic and International Studies, Brzezinski said that Russia today is much more democratic than the American media show: "If you live in Russia today, then you can freely read in newspapers direct criticism of Putin - a fact worthy of praise that you don’t hear often in America. " (11) According to Brzezinski, this trend of democratization in Russia will continue and intensify, and Russia's involvement in the system of the West can be implemented in several steps and in several variants.
America, the West and the rest of the world
But for this expansion and enlargement of the West to come true, Brzezinski believes, the very concept of the attitude of the West towards the rest of the world must be reformed. Because for the first time since the French Revolution, almost the entire population of the globe today has begun to think in political categories, has acquired a political identity. And this global political awakening, Brzezinski writes, is accompanied by anti-Western sentiments in many parts of the world. Tried injustice during colonialism, US military interventions in different countries after 1945, unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine, recent US wars in the Middle East: all these factors, writes Brzezinski, now penetrate into the consciousness of the world population and this leads and even has already led to a significant loss of the legitimacy of Western policies in the eyes of the rest of the world. This may even lead to the fact that many parts of the world can fundamentally revise their attitude towards the West not in its favor, which in turn other powers, such as China, can use to their advantage. Therefore, taking into account the current situation, Brzezinski writes in Strategic Insight, the West can only survive if it fundamentally revises the concept of its attitude to the rest of the world.
Brzezinski unequivocally makes it clear that the fate of the entire Western community depends on whether the West succeeds in this update. In an interview, he says: “From our experience, we need to know that the use of military force has unforeseen consequences and, moreover, is very, very costly. [...] We can no longer be a global policeman, because this will lead us to bankruptcy , will cause an internal social explosion and foreign policy will lead to a loss of US legitimacy. " (12) In another interview, Brzezinski says: "America can experience the same systemic paralysis that was 1980's in the Soviet Union." (13) In the preface to the book "Strategic Insight", Brzezinski cites 6 parallels between today's US and Soviet Union 1980s:
1. The political system, frozen, stuck and incapable of reform
2. Financial bankrupt due to military adventures and bloated military budget and military industry
3. Falling living standards of the US population
4. The presence of a political class that is insensitive to growing social inequality, and who thinks only about their own enrichment
5. Attempts to reduce the legitimacy of power within the United States to compensate for the enemy’s foreign policy pictures
6. US foreign policy leading to self-isolation in the world
Paralysis of the United States of America
Further, Brzezinski says in his new book that this all-round paralysis of the United States can only be overcome if the United States conducts large-scale domestic and foreign policy reforms. Domestically, such reforms should be expressed in reducing thirst for profit and corruption in Western economies, as well as in increasing the opportunities of social elevators in Western societies. And although, according to Brzezinski, the West is today the only culture in the world that can offer a modern model of civilization, but still with high infant mortality, high unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and low possibility of social elevators, both in the US and in the West in general, such a society cannot be an attractive model for others. Only if Western societies become attractive role models again, only then can they spread democracy to other regions of the world.
Foreign policy paralysis, as the USSR experienced in 1980, the United States can overcome only if the indifference with which the Western public today refers to other countries is eliminated. According to Brzezinski, today's, however like yesterday, Americans practically do not know anything about other nations. In the book "Strategic Insight," Brzezinski cites statistics that show that 75% of Americans do not know where Iran is on a geographical map, and 88% cannot find Afghanistan. (15) And American politicians, Brzezinski says, consciously and purposefully use this indifference of Americans to gain their trust. This led to the fact that the public discussion of foreign policy issues on TV and in the media in Western countries is "more and more primitive, one-sided and historically regressive." (16) In a conversation with a journalist Jeffrey Brown, Brzezinski called the perception of foreign policy processes by the Western public "infinite ignorance." (17) And, accordingly, the American public gleefully welcomed the war with Iraq, even though it turned out to be a top-level strategic mistake - says Brzezinski in Strategic Insight. And this, in his opinion, should not be repeated on the threshold of a possible war with Iran, which Brzezinski considers to be strategically meaningless, he writes: "I think the whole world will laugh at us if we go to war with Iran." (17)
"Democracy" without charisma
In The Strategic Insight, Brzezinski writes that, to date, voices in the Western media are almost exclusively supporters of the war, moderate opinions are suppressed. In his opinion, this concerns not only the United States, but the media of all Western countries. And in Europe, too, public discussions in the media are more and more aimed at creating an image of the enemy, while the opposite foreign policy position of countries in the European media is distorted or even completely concealed. And such a systematic lowering of the adequate state of affairs by the hands of the Western press seriously threatens national security for many reasons, Brzezinski writes. First, partly because of this, wrong strategic decisions are being made. Secondly, one-sided coverage of events by the Western press is very well noticed and recorded in other countries. Thus, according to Brzezinski, the Western media destroy the attractiveness and charismatic impact of Western democracy on other countries, which leads to even greater strengthening of the already existing isolation of the West in the world.
Therefore, Brzezinski calls in the book for enhanced enlightenment of the Western public in foreign policy topics. According to Brzezinski, Obama gave excellent speeches in Cairo and Prague. But Obama must speak directly with the American people, he must also notify the Americans about the changed position of the United States in the world. At the same time, Brzezinski emphasizes in the book that only Obama, of all the other current presidential candidates, is able to make a change in the foreign policy course that America needs so much today.
From hell to angels?
The miraculous change in attitudes that Brzezinski expressed in his newest book, Strategic Insight, seems to us to be a highly curious phenomenon. As a security adviser under President Jimmy Carter, Brzezinski escalated the confrontation with the Soviet Union and deliberately brought the situation in Afghanistan to an escalation, which caused the war, a million dead, and the emergence of today's Al Qaeda. But even after the collapse of the USSR, Brzezinski continued the fight against Russia - for example, Brzezinski, during the short war between Russia and Georgia, in 2008 spoke in favor of Russia's long-term international isolation. (18) Against the background of all this, the current Brzezinski transformation is simply amazing - he suddenly stands up for rapprochement and even reconciliation with Russia. Also very impressive is his demand that democracy cannot be spread around the world through foreign political pressure, but only with his own examples of the successful implementation of democracy.
It is impossible not to note the ability of Brzezinski, already at a great old age, to change the angle of view and perspective of world events, although it would be even better if Brzezinski earlier, already in 1990, would have called on the Western community to integrate Russia into the West. The fact that such a rapprochement with Russia and its integration into the West at that time of the 1990s, when it would be easy to do it, only beckoning it with a finger, did not take place - Brzezinski himself is largely responsible for this. But maybe this new, unexpected revision of his views on relations with Russia is precisely his recognition that he is guilty and responsible for the past, the negative attitude of the West towards Russia.
It is also necessary to recognize the correctness of Brzezinski’s criticism regarding the primitive and one-sided understanding of foreign policy processes by modern Western society. But also here it is necessary to note that in the process of creating this one-sided media understanding, this information demagogy in the Western media, Brzezinski himself participated to a significant degree. For example, when Brzezinski in the year 2008 compared Putin with Hitler. (18) As a former adviser to the president, Brzezinski must be well aware that modern wars are fought and won in the information space. That is why both the Pentagon and NATO have put their work with the media on a professional basis, spending on this all large sums of money. You can see this with examples of media representations of the Vietnam War, in the Persian Gulf and recently in Libya. And so Brzezinski should perfectly understand that the indifference of the Western public to the foreign policy processes that Brzezinski complains about in his new book - it originated historically, i.e. has a long historical tradition. But for some reason he does not at all mention in his new book about this long tradition of mutual cooperation between the military-industrial complex of the West and the Western media.
Yet, despite all the above remarks and reservations, Brzezinski’s “Strategic Epiphany” gives rise to hope that the alliance of Western states could still be capable of self-rectification, so that we in the West would still be able to avoid the world isolation and ossification, as happened in 1980s with the Soviet Union.
 “How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen”, Interview mit Zbigniew Brzezinski, in: “Le Nouvel Observateur”, 15.1.1998.
 James K. Galbraith, Democracy inaction, in: „Salon”, 30.11.2004.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Die einzige Weltmacht - American Strategie der Vorherrschaft, Berlin 1997, S. 180.
 Ebd., S. 288 f.
 Ebd., S. 153.
 Ebd., S. 307.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Russians don't like weak people, www.day.kiev.ua/154348.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance - Three Presidents of the American Superpower, New York 2007, S. 216.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, New York 2012, S. 131.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conversations, in: „PBS Newshour“, 8.2.2012.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 9.2.2012.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conversations, in: „PBS Newshour“, 8.2.2012.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 9.2.2012.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision - New York 2012, S. 4.
 Ebd., S. 52.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski sounds alarm against Iran, in: “Reuters TV”, 7.3.2012.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conversations, in: „PBS Newshour“, 8.2.2012.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Russlands Vorgehen ähnelt dem von Hitler, in: „Welt Online“, 11.8.2008.
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