23 March under the heading "Opinion" newspaper "New York Times" An article by M. McFaul “Opposition of Putin's Russia” was published. The Crimean decision of V. Putin, the ex-ambassador in it, called the decision "to annex the Crimea." This very decision, Mr. McFaul is sure, ended the era that came after the end of the Cold War (under Gorbachev and Reagan). Those former times are known for the fact that between Russia and the West there were disputes and “zigzags” in cooperation, but the main vector was clear: Russia was gradually integrated into the international order. But this is no more, the author believes.
According to McFaul, the West did not seek confrontation. The new era has crept up on us imperceptibly, the former ambassador writes. The fact is that the United States did not fully win the cold war. Yes, communism has disappeared, the Soviet Union has disappeared, the power of the Russians in the world has decreased. But the collapse of the Soviet system, McFaul believes, did not lead either to a smooth transition to democracy and the market within Russia, nor to the integration of Russia into the West.
The trouble is that the introduction of democracy coexisted with the economic depression and longing of the Russian people for imperial times. The Russians were unhappy with the end of the cold war.
When Mr. Putin became president again in 2012, the ex-ambassador further notes, he was “especially angry” at those “young, educated and wealthy” protesters in Moscow who did not appreciate the fact that he (like himself believes) "made them rich." Thus, Putin turned back, deciding to impose restrictions, such as those practiced in Soviet times. He took up attacks on independent media and the arrest of demonstrators.
It took Putin, who wanted to strengthen his legitimacy, and an external enemy. On this role came the United States. Putin's propagandists are closely involved in "American imperialism", criticizing "immoral methods" and analyzing "alleged plans to overthrow the Putin government." McFaul himself, being an ambassador in Moscow, was often the main character in these “works of art”.
After the “annexation by Putin of Crimea”, anti-Americanism in Russia has already reached fanaticism. Putin made it clear, McFaul writes, that he favors a confrontation with the West. Putin no longer feels that he is being held back by international laws and norms, and is not afraid to apply Russian power with the goal of revising the international order.
Mr Putin made a "strategic turn". What should America do? She should draw conclusions from recent lessons from the conflict with Moscow. The United States must adhere to a policy of selective deterrence and cooperation.
According to the former ambassador, the new era was not started by Russia, but Putin himself began it - “autocratic revisionist leader.” It is not by chance that he significantly weakened Russia's democratic institutions during the last two years before the invasion of the Crimea, and then, just during the “Ukrainian seizure”, closed down independent media.
Along with this, just like in the last century, the ideological struggle between autocracy and democracy returned to Europe. According to the author, democratic institutions have never fully taken root in Russia. But now the democratic community must recognize that Putin is a real autocrat autocrat, and begin an intellectual and regulatory struggle against his system. McFaul further notes that the Kremlin has “both intentions and the ability to loosen governments and states ...” The Kremlin can use the army, money, the media, its secret police and the whole power of power to achieve these goals.
What to do with Ukraine? In this matter, Mr. McFaul advises to take "certain political steps." According to him, Ukraine should succeed as a democratic country with a market economy. At the same time, McFaul recommends that Moldova and Georgia be “urgently strengthened”. Ways to strengthen the following: a wider placement of military equipment there, more training, more integration of forces. In parallel, new efforts should be made to reduce the dependence of NATO countries on Russian energy resources.
And most importantly: "the current regime must be isolated." This is McFaul talking about Russia. There is no membership of Russia in G8, there is no negotiation on Euro missile defense. Instead of all this, sanctions, including against relevant individuals and organizations (propagandists, state-owned enterprises, the Kremlin and associated bankers). But citizens and companies not affiliated with the government should, on the contrary, be supported. Including should be supported and those who seek to take out capital from Russia or emigrate, writes Mr. McFaul.
As for cooperation with Putin, it is - just like during the Second World War and the Cold War - permissible when “our vital interests overlap”. It is about transactions, and not at all about the means to return Russia to international norms and values.
McFaul further states that in Russia “the brave leaders of civil society continue to challenge the autocracy, war, and nationalist fervor”; these people "managed to mobilize tens of thousands against Putin's intervention ..." Every day, McFaul, in his words, met "these silent skeptics" - among the state, business and society.
Putin’s nationalism, according to the ex-ambassador, is fueled mainly by oil and neo-Soviet anti-Americanism. However, Putin’s Russia has no real allies, McFaul says. And this state of affairs, in his opinion, should be preserved. In what way? And this is how: China should be kept at a distance from revisionist Russia, and at the same time contribute to the formation of independent states in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
At the same time, McFaul notes that Russia's military power is only a “shadow of Soviet power”. A new global conflict, he writes, is unlikely. But the Russian military can still threaten border states. Therefore, Europeans should strengthen their defenses, and Western governments and companies should stop promoting Russian military modernization.
McFaul found that today weakens the United States.
First, the United States does not have the moral authority as in the past century. “As an ambassador, it was difficult for me to defend our commitment to sovereignty and international law, responding to the Russians' question:“ What about Iraq? ”Some modern practices of American democracy, McFaul notes, also“ do not inspire observers abroad. ” To win this new conflict, we must restore the United States as a role model, advises McFaul.
Secondly, the US is retreating on the world stage, and Russia is moving forward. Leaders in Congress and the White House should work together. Their task is to “lead the free world in this new struggle.”
Well, a little futurology from McFaul. “The United States - along with the Russians, who want to live in a prosperous and democratic Russia - will win this new conflict in Europe. Over the past century, democracies consolidated at a remarkable pace, while autocracies continued to crumble. ” In an educated, rich urban society like Russian democracy will “eventually take root”. Then democratic Russia will become a more stable partner for other democracies.
Amazing this forecast McFaul, add on my own. After all, the current American democracy is no good for samples, and Congress does not find a common language with the president. And yet, on behalf of the United States, McFaul acts as a kind of ecumenical teacher who has the right (maybe even “international”) not only to reveal the truth and falsehood in Russians, but also to give strategic advice to his skinny government, according to which "In Russia and some neighboring states, democracy.
And this McFaul is still surprised at “anti-Americanism”! This kind Stanford uncle advises to fill Moldova and Georgia with military equipment and send instructors there. And in parallel to deal with Central Asia and promote the formation of independent states in the Caucasus! It's time for the Kremlin to declare Texas freedom or, say, Alaska.
"Regime" in Russia, according to McFaul, should be isolated. EuroPRO will be built without negotiations. And still it is necessary to enter sanctions against people of the Kremlin. To support, it is necessary to understand, McFaul advises the "marsh". In addition to them, America can become a true friend for those who seek to take out capital from Russia or emigrate.
This is an obvious strategy to destroy the country! Apparently, McFaul was angry with Russia after he worked in Moscow as ambassador. Everything was taken into account in his scenario: the “fifth column”, the financial component, the withdrawal of Russian capital abroad, and well-known elements of the Cold War such as Russia's isolation and the arms race.
Things are easy: the US Congress needs to get on with Obama (which will not happen), and the United States to earn a new “moral authority” in the world (which cannot happen in the near future). Until then, everything will go according to the McFaul formula: "The United States is retreating on the world stage, and Russia is moving ahead."
In conclusion, we will give very simple advice to Mr. Former Ambassador. Dear Michael! Read one of the reader's comments on your article. Its author is someone Uziel from Florianópolis.
Fellow Uziel calls Michael McFaul's essay "well thought out" and "academic." However, the main message of the essay (“we did not seek this confrontation”), the reader believes, is misleading and at least insincere. The movement of NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia certainly does not declare peace and love.
McFaul's call to arms in the face of the “new red threat”, the commentator writes, it goes well with the creation of military-industrial intelligence: it is always looking for new or old enemies.
The real political issues in the world are different. Western European allies, led by assertive Germany, have their own interests. Today, Berlin is more worried about solving the problems of the debt crisis in the eurozone, rather than thinking about the development of the Crimea by Putin, the reader writes. The financial sanctions of the West against Russia may hit the same Germany ...
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru