Alexey Sinitsyn, chief expert of the US-Azerbaijan Fund promote progress:
- It is naive to believe that the report of the Director of US National Intelligence is the fruit of many days of work by professional analysts from numerous American intelligence services. As a rule, such a report is worked on by experts outside the structures of the vast American intelligence community, and it is addressed to “the city and the world,” and is not at all intended to educate senators. In other words, James Clapper's speech cannot be taken out of the context of President Obama's foreign policy strategy, but can be viewed as a system of signals sent by the American administration to its allies and opponents. Well, let's try to decipher some of them.
And please, the first important signal. “There is no doubt that Iranian leaders take into account the security, prestige and influence of their country, as well as the international situation when making decisions about their nuclear program. They want to develop their capabilities in the nuclear industry and avoid serious consequences, such as bombing and sanctions that threaten the existing regime, ”said J. Clapper. The struggle for influence and the military nuclear program, the existence of which the head of National Intelligence is far from certain, are completely ambiguous political phenomena. And the unforgivable doubts for the "king of intelligence" regarding the enemy's military potential - whether the Iranians are creating a bomb or not - testify only to one thing: the war with Iran is rapidly losing its relevance. And this means that there will be no open reformatting of the Eurasian arc "east of Suez", which, of course, will reduce the degree of political tension in the entire Caspian basin. The American intelligence routinely sees a potential threat to the security of this region in the long-standing Karabakh conflict, but only on condition that the "miscalculations" of both sides - Armenia and Azerbaijan - "can lead to an escalation of the situation practically without warning." However, it is the Karabakh issue that is, perhaps, the only point of coincidence of the views of Moscow and Washington, which led to the development of the so-called. "Madrid principles" for the settlement of the conflict. Both Baku and Yerevan do not hide their disappointment with this document, but the main players - the US and Russia - are quite satisfied with the "principles" they have defined.
Further more interesting. For the first time, the head of the American intelligence community did not mention the threat emanating from Afghanistan, which in the recent past seemed to be the main one for post-Soviet Central Asia. Now, in his opinion, the main risks and challenges are being produced within the Central Asian space itself. James Clapper states: “The Central Asian states have not built constructive relationships with each other; personal rivalries and long-standing disputes over borders, water and energy resources contribute to the emergence of bilateral friction between neighbors and potential hotbeds of conflict. "
In fact, when you get acquainted with the analysis of potential threats to the former Soviet Central Asia, the thought suddenly arises - someone should take over the patronage of this troubled and politically immature region. Therefore, you involuntarily return to another position outlined in the report: “Moscow is likely to focus its foreign policy on strengthening its influence in the countries of the former USSR,” creating new integration ties through the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan or the Eurasian Union. True, "bilateral relations with the United States will remain important for Russia."
Let's add to this a somewhat melancholic mention of reforms and modernization of the Russian armed forces. They, according to J. Clapper, “will improve the situation so much as to allow the Russian military to defeat their small neighbors faster than before and to remain the dominant military power in the post-Soviet space. But they cannot and are not created to allow Moscow to conduct serious offensive operations against NATO as a whole. " The senators were reassured about the military power of the Alliance, but the actions of Russia, which was clearly striving to restore its leadership in the former Soviet Union, did not see the US national security as a threat.
What is this if not a complete disavowal of the last statement of Hillary Clinton, who, leaving the State Department, loudly slammed the door, promising that the United States would not allow "the re-creation of the Soviet Union in a new version under the guise of economic integration"? So they will still be admitted? And does not the American analytical forecast of our joint unclear future mean some hidden signal, a veiled proposal to Moscow on the division of spheres of influence? If it exists, and even more so if it is adopted, a platform will emerge on which complex problems of Russian-American relations will be resolved - the fate of the missile defense system, the future of Afghanistan, the position on Syria, the growing power of China, etc., etc.
If these arguments have any grounds, then the principles of such a section are interesting. Russia - the former USSR, USA - the rest of the world? Or are there other options?
National intelligence signals?
- Alexey Sinitsyn