No matter how many times we are told that America is the only superpower, no matter how many times we ourselves repeat this, in our hearts we don’t believe that.
We persistently consider ourselves to be equal. We would like to be friends with America, but only on equal terms. But friendship is still not a matter of principle. We are ready to clash with America as much as necessary, and the prospect of outright hostility does not terrify us. But equality is psychologically absolutely necessary for us.
And the interesting question remains, what do we mean by equality. It must be expressed primarily in the military-strategic plan. The point is not that this is the only sphere available to us where we persistently maintain parity. It's not just that.
This is the way the national mentality works, that equality with another superpower is very important for it, and we are ready to expend super efforts on maintaining it. When the desired success flows away from the hands, myths are born.
The same is true for America. For her, military superiority over us is a kind of religion. And when they obviously cannot reach it, myths also arise.
Myths can arise at any mention of a subject of interest. When Russian peasants very much wanted to colonize the spaces acquired by the Russian empire, any decree where the word "colonization" sounded, even if it was extremely restrictive or even prohibitive, was perceived by the people as the king's call, calling "Russian people" to settle the new royal lands.
Something similar happened here after the talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the new US Secretary of State John Kerry. From them, even the most serious analysts were waiting for a breakthrough in the question of the American missile defense system.
On the reason that prompted these conversations, we will say separately. And there were several real reasons.
It was known that the issue of missile defense in the negotiations will be touched upon (along with a whole list of other topics, yes it doesn’t matter!), And it is also known that Kerry is well-tuned in relation to Russia (which, if the truth is, has yet to be checked), and Obama last March seems to have promised Dmitry Medvedev that, he says, he will become more flexible during his second term.
It all overlapped one another, and a myth arose. He was voiced by a very respectable newspaper “Kommersant”, and behind it other media. It is interesting that the material was submitted as supported by the most accurate evidence that a mass print publication is capable of, such as references to the most competent sources, and from both our and the American side. That in turn gave rise to the snowball: quite competent experts began to voice the new myth.
Secondly, the myth was presented as an absolutely new and joyful message, although, if you look at it, there was nothing fundamentally new, much less joyful, in it. In fact, the news was even sad, because, if it were true, it would turn out that our authorities handed over us with giblets. It is not by chance that Sergey Lavrov disowned this myth with indignation. “I read these messages and talked to the authors of these messages. I do not know where the author’s sources come from, but there is no reason for this kind of reporting, ”he said.
What was the myth, launched by Kommersant? In the article "PRO put on the presidential guarantee" (missile put on the presidential guarantee) from 26 February 2013, the publication issued the following information:
“Russia and the United States seem to have found a way out of the impasse on missile defense. As it became known to Kommersant, a breakthrough can provide exchange between the presidents of the two countries with political declarations, the meaning of which is to fix the desire of the Russian Federation and the United States to cooperate in the field of missile defense and not use their potentials against each other. Discussion of such documents by Kommersant was confirmed by diplomatic sources from both sides ... Today’s meeting in Berlin of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with the new US Secretary of State John Kerry, which will last about two hours, according to Kommersant’s information, could be a breakthrough for Russian deadlocked -American missile defense talks. The parties have not been able to compromise on this issue for more than two years, which is poisoning relations between Moscow and Washington in all spheres ... In the current situation, an exit from the impasse, according to Kommersant’s data, can be an exchange of political declarations at the highest level on the principles of cooperation Missile defense To sign such a document to President Barack Obama does not necessarily require the consent of the Congress. In the US, there is a form of international agreement that does not require ratification by lawmakers. These are the so-called presidential executive agreements: in 1937, the US Supreme Court ruled that they had the same force as international treaties approved by the Senate. In this case, Russian President Vladimir Putin will only need to sign a memorandum of understanding similar in content to the American text. It is assumed that in both documents we will discuss the desire of the parties to cooperate in the field of missile defense and not use their potentials against each other. They can also contain specific confidence-building measures: mechanisms for mutual notification and information exchange, joint exercises and threat assessments. The fact that the parties began to discuss the possibility of developing such documents, "Kommersant" confirmed diplomatic sources from both sides ".
The implementation of these plans will remove a key irritant in relations between Moscow and Washington - at least during the presidency of Barack Obama.
“The president’s executive agreements, however, have one drawback,” Kommersant clarifies. - Not being ratified by the Senate, they, in fact, reflect only the will of the president who signed them. “If Republicans come to power after Obama, they can continue to fulfill the terms of such an agreement, and they can even terminate it,” Yevgeny Buzhinsky, Senior Vice President of the PIR Center, told Kommersant ... Meanwhile However, according to experts, at least as a temporary measure, the option of a presidential "executive agreement" can suit both parties. “The Russian Federation and the United States have come to understand that it’s unlikely to completely overcome fundamental differences now,” Viktor Kremenyuk told Kommersant. “But you can reach a temporary compromise for which the presidents’ political declarations are quite suitable. ”
Viktor Kremenyuk, Deputy Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is quite confident in the perspective described by the Kommersant, as if he knows well what he is talking about
“Such an agreement is necessary for both us and the Americans ... Americans understand that if they create their missile defense system without our approval, we will find ways to harm them, creating conditions under which their system can be largely depreciated. On our side, too, there is an understanding that a compromise is needed. ”
The expert of the German Science and Policy Foundation, Dr. Margarete Klein, in an interview with Golos Rossii to develop the statements made by Kommersant, stressed the importance of signing such a document: it will allow Obama to circumvent the need for the document to be approved by Congress. Another advantage of this approach, supposedly already achieved, is that “this confirms the desire of both parties to cooperate, and also reinforces the specific principles of such cooperation and transparency mechanisms”.
Golos Rossii, as well as a number of Internet publications retelling it, seem to be well known from diplomatic sources that negotiations on the possibility of developing such documents have already begun. And although there is a risk that with a possible future change in the administration of the White House, the current agreements may be canceled, the main thing, according to experts, is “to create an incentive and reach a mutual compromise.” Here, the publication quotes Dmitry Danilov, head of the European Security Department of the Institute of Europe, who is convinced that “any step in the direction of some agreements means trying to unblock a process that basically moves in a circle. And any political declaration in this regard will undoubtedly allow the process to get off the ground. In addition, such things are good because they do not just move things off dead center, but also activate practical policies. More active expert discussions, party discussions, and practical work around these initiatives begin. And it gives direction to further movement. ”
Sergei Lavrov responded to all these conjectures with great irritation: “We made enough declarations, both in the framework of the OSCE and in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council. At the highest level, it was declared that we will all ensure the indivisibility of security, then none of us will ensure our security at the expense of the security of others. ” In any case, the EuroMD system “will create a problem for our security, therefore declarations are not enough here.”
If we cannot agree on a joint missile defense system, “as Russia has repeatedly offered since 2007, then, of course, we need to talk not about regular declarations, but about guarantees that will be verifiable on objective military-technical criteria, guarantees of non-directionality of this system against the Russian nuclear potential, ”stressed the Foreign Minister.
Despite the convincing arguments of Lavrov, for many analysts the biggest disappointment from the meeting in Berlin of Lavrov and Kerry was that the dreams already accepted as reality did not come true. And many Russian experts, contrary to common sense and the position clearly expressed by the Americans, believe that they have every reason to expect "serious negotiations" with Washington on the issue of missile defense. So, at least, believes the publication POLITKOM.RU.
Yes, but where does the smoke come from, because there is no fire without it? It turns out that the reason for the expectations was a leak of information, organized by one of the Republican senators of the US Congress. On January 30, Senator Mike Rogers sent a message to Vice President Joe Biden with a request to confirm his promise about the need to coordinate all decisions relating to national security with the Senate.
The rest was thought by experts.
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But we should not assume that we surpass the Americans with our baseless hopes. Yes, we are afraid of losing to America in a military-strategic competition and building illusions, which we take very seriously.
But aren't the Americans doing the same? The last years there is an arms race, albeit asymmetric. The Americans are improving their missile defense, and we are improving our missiles so that they can easily overcome the American missile defense.
The Russian command has acknowledged that in response to the creation of an American missile defense system, Russia is preparing to deploy new heavy-duty intercontinental ballistic missiles that will replace the PC-20 and PC-18 missiles, since modern solid-fuel missiles are less adapted to overcome missile defense.
Russia is creating new intercontinental missiles, focusing on the characteristics of the American missile defense system. The starting mass of the new rocket, according to the BBC, will be up to 100 tons. To overcome the missile defense missile weight must be more than 4 tons. The arms race is not going on quantitatively, but in a qualitative direction, said Viktor Esin, the former chief of the General Staff of the Strategic Missile Forces, in an interview with the BBC, adding that “if a space flight of the American missile defense system appears,” Russia will move to a quantitative increase. strategic nuclear forces.
According to many analysts, the US missile defense system in the form in which it is now conceived cannot become an effective “shield” against Russian missiles, but Moscow is striving to stop the improvement of relevant technologies for the future. There is a desperate competition of intelligence. And the Americans also desperately believe that they will succeed in deceiving Russia and seducing it with attractive peace initiatives. And they believe in this holy and show enviable perseverance.
* * *
It began when US Vice President Joe Biden discussed with Sergey Lavrov during a meeting on the margins of the February 2 Security Conference in Munich, the topic of further reducing nuclear warheads to 1000 units from each side. (Recall that START-3 provides for reducing the number of nuclear warheads to 1550 units, and carriers - to 700 units from each side.) But I received a “very cool” answer - in fact, a firm “no”.
Then the Deputy Secretary of State for Arms Control Rose Goethemuller is going to Moscow as a matter of urgency, with a four-day visit. It carries new proposals for the mutual reduction of nuclear weapons, the implementation of which would allow the parties to save about $ 8 billion each year. But “the Kremlin has clearly demonstrated a negative opinion on this issue,” writes Austrian Der Standard. “The Kremlin is cold with disarmament.”
Before talking about further reductions, the START Treaty must be fully implemented, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. And he continued by listing a number of "factors affecting strategic stability," which cause serious discontent of Russia precisely because of the position of the Americans. These are plans to deploy a global missile defense system, and the US refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and the reluctance to refuse to deploy weapons in space. Der Standard, referring to Moscow’s diplomatic and military circles, notes that Russia could imagine another round of nuclear disarmament talks if the United States refused to deploy a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
Rose Goethemuller leaves with nothing.
But in fact, everything was even more interesting.
* * *
After the annual Obama message to Congress, the White House website posted a transcript of the speech and questions with answers on the main points. It stated that the president welcomed the 50-percent reduction in nuclear weapons. Further curious notes in the transcript follow. February 12 Rose Rose Goethemuller arrives in Moscow, and the very next day the information about the 50-percent reduction in arsenals disappears from the site.
Obviously, the reduction talks were unsuccessful. And it is quite natural.
START-3 was beneficial for Russia, because most of the missiles that fell under reduction would still have to be disposed of. Disarmament below the level of 800 warheads (and Obama proposes to reduce their number to 750) is unacceptable because it is fraught with the preventive destruction of the entire nuclear potential of Russia.
And then Obama makes a new move.
If Moscow refuses to negotiate new cuts in nuclear arsenals, Washington may consider unilateral disarmament, Kommersant reports, citing an anonymous source close to the administration of Barack Obama. "If Moscow refuses to consider this proposal, the White House may try to enlist the support of two-thirds of senators and begin arms reductions unilaterally," the source said. According to the New York Times, Barack Obama was ready to announce a reduction of nuclear weapons by a third already on February 12, but Russia never received any official information about this. Meanwhile (myths spread), on the Internet portal Newrus.com a third of the nuclear warheads somehow imperceptibly turned into half.
* * *
Many experts say that the dialogue on the reduction of nuclear weapons has reached an impasse, but there are many optimists among the supporters of the Global Zero project. President-elect Barack Obama, and the new head of the Pentagon, Chuck Hagel, elected for a second term, are members of the Global Zero project.
By the way, 8 in November 2012 was held in Moscow at the conference “Nuclear Weapons and International Security in the XXI Century”. The participants of the Global Zero project, which aims to completely abandon nuclear weapons in the world, took an active part in it.
As Vladimir Dvorkin, an expert at the International Security Center of the IMEMO RAN, who spoke at a conference in Moscow, said that in the new conditions “the nuclear deterrence system no longer meets the security interests of either Russia or the United States.” To ensure stability, Dvorkin believes, “it is only possible by establishing full-fledged cooperation between Moscow and Washington, as well as by reducing the level of combat readiness of missiles with nuclear warheads and reducing them even more.” It obviously helps the Americans to promote proposals that “sound a bit strange for Russia because it’s about unilateral reductions in nuclear weapons, that Moscow’s at this level of trust, which, frankly speaking, is small, is more suspicious than enthusiastic” Director of the Institute of Strategic Assessments, Professor of MGIMO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Russia-USA Association, Sergey Oznobishchev According to him, it is counterproductive to engage in unilateral reductions and optimization of its nuclear weapons structures at the current level of trust between countries.
“It is necessary to restore this trust, to establish normal relations. And make it verifiable, realistic steps, “- said Oznobishchev.
Meanwhile, it is the nuclear arsenals, many times greater than the potentials of all the others taken together, and the ability of complete mutual destruction make the relations between Russia and the United States "special." Therefore, the principle of “strategic stability”, inherited from the days of the Cold War, will not go anywhere, just like the topic of missile defense, political scientist Fyodor Lukyanov writes in Ogonyok magazine. With this sober approach, one can only agree.
* * *
However, under the surrealism of the military-strategic relations of Russia and America in recent weeks, it is not so easy to agree with that. Let us return to what we started with, namely, from the article in the Kommersant newspaper, “PRO is put on the presidential guarantee”. She came out early February 26 in the morning, a few hours before the start of the talks between Lavrov and Kerry in Berlin. The newspaper is serious, just because the "duck" will not throw. The article was written in a confident tone, obviously the author - Elena Chernenko - relied on seemingly reliable data.
Let the logical analysis of these data lead to the fact that there is nothing to rejoice at the American proposal, that behind this joy are the features of our subconscious mind, which wants to feel the Russian-American parity. We know that in the negotiations on missile defense the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of the two countries did not move a single step, at best - the topic was postponed. But this does not mean that the Americans did not make such a proposal. Judging from their behavior - from striving to impose us a disastrous reduction in armaments to a desire to reduce our nuclear arsenal unilaterally - one can expect that the proposal to exchange political declarations at the highest level on the principles of cooperation in the field of missile defense was made by Berlin Kerry, and Sergey Lavrov - rejected.
The fault of the journalist is not in distorting the facts, but in interpreting them through the prism of modern Russian political mythology. This mythology encourages a desire to be deceived, to take another base for the recognition of our greatness. This is a typical foreign policy provocation, on the basis of which foreign policy interaction is often built.
And we can create our own greatness only by our own intellect, purposefulness and readiness for a dialogue of provocations, the ability through foreign policy provocation to express our true values, even if they are embedded in our consciousness in a mythologized form.
It seems that psychologically, we are out of the game winners. America is clearly unsure of its missile defense capabilities and frankly afraid that we will reduce its efforts to achieve military-strategic dominance to nothing. Here are some things that make you wonder историяassociated with the Berlin meeting of Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry. But a new round of foreign policy games is still ahead.
Perhaps now, America will turn to another kind of foreign policy provocations. Susan Rice, the democratic hawk, is once again in the arena. According to the Washington Post, she will be offered the post of national security adviser. In the second half of this year, she will replace the "inconspicuous" Thomas Donilon and will be in this post not less bright public figure than Condoleezza Rice. Surely she will speak about the political aspects of the US missile defense. To speak out sharply, smoothly, impartially. So politicians with weak nerves may also regret that they did not accept John Kerry’s proposals at the time.
That's what the game is designed for. Rice will provoke Russia into a sharp reaction in response, drawing into the dialogue not subtle foreign policy provocations, like Badeon, Kerry, or Gethemuller, but rude, frank ones. But it seems that this will only be to our advantage, it will serve as a cold shower, it will give sports anger. This will be the case: Susan Rice will play the drum part, and the main theme will be John Kerry. And here our dialogue of foreign policy provocations will have to line up on the thinnest halftones.
The situation is not trivial, and Russia faces deep internal work.
Military strategic mythology in Russia and America
- Svetlana Lurie