The events in Ukraine have marked a red line, the intersection of which for the Russian leadership means an unacceptable intrusion into the immediate sphere of interests of Russia with the appropriate response measures. Nervous, on the verge of a foul, the reaction of the Western community to the Ukrainian events with a clear lack of real pressure on Moscow’s NATO leaders confirms, despite their assurances, that the strategy of moving the bloc to the east - to the states of the former socialist community and the post-Soviet space it’s the turn to limit Russian influence there in any form: political, economic, and especially military.
The strengthening of Russia in the Crimea and, most importantly, the completion of the extrusion of its military fleet from Sevastopol not only strengthen Moscow’s position in the Black Sea by an order of magnitude, but also signal to the world community the era of a unipolar world, in which the United States, relying both on its closest allies and on temporary coalitions formed in the framework of the “advancement to democracy” of that or another country or region, implemented their own interests, completed. Whether a new period in the development of international relations will become a multipolar or non-polar world, time will tell.
Moscow, in spite of the propaganda stamps of the information war being waged against it, does not claim to return to superpower status with all the drawbacks of this situation, including the enormous costs of maintaining an army fighting outside its own country, numerous military bases abroad and maintaining satellites around the world.
The power of the United States is unlimited
Positioning of this kind is typical for the United States and is likely to remain their exclusive prerogative for a long time. The possibility of delivering a crushing blow to any probable opponent is in this case an undoubted advantage. Although, as it turned out from the 2000 military campaigns in the Middle East, America cannot successfully wage two wars simultaneously, despite its entire economic potential, physically. Accordingly, even the repeatedly announced strike on Iran, due to its nuclear program, is not being implemented and, most likely, will not be implemented in the future by the administration of President Barack Obama. The current American leadership is busy curtailing the presence of the US Army in the Middle East, limiting the preservation of military bases.
Note that the active lobbying of Saudi Arabia and Israel did not change the White House’s position on the Islamic Republic of Iran and did not reduce Washington’s interest in establishing contacts with the Iranian leadership in parallel with maintaining (or trying to maintain) influence on the old allies. This once again put them before the fact: America acts solely in its own interests, neglecting the safety of its partners and its own obligations, when its leadership believes that it is beneficial to him personally or, which does not always coincide, to the country as a whole.
This, despite assurances from the public of politicians and diplomats on both sides, led to a serious cooling of Washington’s relations with Jerusalem, particularly noticeable against the background of an even more significant cooling in relations with Riyadh.
The catastrophic failure of Secretary of State Kerry’s peacekeeping mission in Israel and the unsuccessful visit of President Obama to Saudi Arabia are superimposed on the development of the situation in Egypt in the opposite direction of the US efforts and the victory in Turkey in the local elections of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The latter happened, despite the high conflict potential of Turkish society and all efforts to weaken the position of the AKP through mass incriminating infringement against its top leadership, as well as the use of the “fifth column” in the person of the members of the Gulenat Jemaat in the police, prosecutor’s office and judicial bodies of the country.
According to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle, the attack was directed against him personally and directed directly by Barack Obama to thwart Erdogan’s plans to transform Turkey into a presidential republic under his leadership, which does not strengthen his sympathies for Washington. In the same way, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi is unlikely to forgive the US President for his active attempts to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from being removed from power and blatant pressure on what is happening in Egypt after the detention of his predecessor Mohammed Mursi and the ban on activities in the country. Brothers. This also applies to the suspension of US military aid in the midst of the counter-terrorist war in Sinai.
Saudoskeptics at the Pentagon and the CIA may still appeal to the support of the General Intelligence Directorate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of Al Qaeda and its numerous clones in Africa and in the BSV, including the Jabhat al-Nusra troops fighting in Syria against Bashar Assad . But this, however, does not force and, according to our estimates, the Saudi leadership will not force them to rely on Salafi groups operating by terrorist methods. As is known, in the case of local successes, as was the case in Chechnya and continues in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Syria and other countries, their participants practice genocide against ethnic and religious minorities and atrocities such as publicly cutting off their heads and then posting them on the Internet. - and video materials. It is not clear, however, what distinguishes Qatar in this respect from the Saudis, supporting a number of terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is fighting in Syria with the militants of Jabhat al-Nusra using exactly the same medieval methods.
The US bet on the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar supporting them against the background of self-withdrawal from direct military and logistical participation in the pro-Saud Salafi groupings means nothing more than correcting the strategic course for more than three decades to try to use radical Sunni Islam to their advantage , launched in the 80-ies with the beginning of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. Neither the mega-terrorist 9 / 11, nor all subsequent events, including the Boston terrorist attack, changed the American leadership’s readiness to use the Islamists to weaken both real opponents and those whom it considers opponents (in particular Russia) and unduly independent allies.
The latter is quite natural, since the State Department’s attempts to put on the “secular liberal opposition” in Egypt or the “secular armed formations” in Syria have failed. The degradation of the Syrian Free Army after the injury of its creator Riyadh Assad, who lost control mechanisms for its troops, despite active support from the Turkish intelligence MIT and the Western military intelligence community, showed that other effective armed forces that can be used to sway the situation in the BSV, except jihadists, there is no. The very logic of warfare forces the United States to act as they currently do, including in Syria.
With a high degree of probability, the latter, after the completion of the process of liquidating the stocks of the Syrian chemical weapons will be attacked aviation NATO, primarily American. The task of overthrowing the damask regime for all the initiators and sponsors of the civil war in Syria still remains: neither Ankara, nor Riyadh, nor Doha have abandoned it. The confrontation within the Salafi tandem in this case is not significant: the agreements of Qatar with Iran on joint actions against the KSA in Syria and Lebanon only mean that the contradictions between the ruling houses of the Arabian Peninsula, adhering to the Wahhabi version of orthodox Sunni Islam, have reached a maximum level.
The same is evidenced by the isolation of Qatar in the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC) with the threat of its exclusion if it continues to support the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, aimed at shaking the monarchies of the region. The arrests of the Brothers in the Gulf countries, the official ultimatum to Qatar and the recall of the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates from Doha demonstrated the seriousness of their intentions, which, however, Qatar completely ignored.
On the other hand, the forced attempts of Saudi Arabia to integrate Bahrain and form with it a single state space, resembling a Russian-Belarusian union, caused a similarly keen reaction to all other members of the GCC. The formation of such an alliance within this union is considered by the majority of its members as the actual Anschluss of Bahrain by the Saudis and threatens the very existence of the Cooperation Council.
Additionally, the contradictions in the GCC, which the Western bloc will have to deal with one way or another, given the importance of the Arab monarchies of the Gulf for the economies of the EU and the US, besides the expansionist plans of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are aggravated by the Iranian problem. Traditionally kept in the region by the Sultanate of Oman and conflicting with its neighbors, the Emirate of Qatar maintains a much stronger relationship with Tehran than Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, not to mention Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, who consider strengthening the influence of Iran among the Shiite majority in the Eastern Province of KSA and Bahrain is the main threat to its security.
The same applies to Iraq, which, under the leadership of Shiite Nouri al-Maliki, is one of the most consistent critics of the “Arab Spring” in general and the policies of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in Syria in particular, speaking in this direction in fact as a partner of Iran. Replacing it with Alaoui, who is loyal to Washington, but has never managed to form a cabinet, despite the success of its bloc in the last parliamentary elections, can become for the States not less significant a problem than maintaining the appearance of stability in Afghanistan after the main American military contingent. Although the Afghan drug traffic and the inevitable return to power in most of the territory of this country, the Taliban clearly cares little about the US leadership.
Instrument of anti-Russian policy
The lack of unity in the ranks of the Arab allies of Washington is taken into account by the US leadership and is used to the extent possible by them, although it provides many opportunities for Russia. The contradictions between the stated goals of politics, liberal rhetoric and the practice of Islamist death squads in the West do not embarrass anyone and, under conditions of escalation of hysteria in the spirit of the new cold war, they are unlikely to be confused. Moreover, the Islamists, as the situation with the coup d'état in Ukraine and its consequences in the Crimea showed, remain the only effective tool of anti-Russian policy.
This is convincingly proved by the practice of the deceased Doku Umarov, regardless of whether, at one time or another, he relied on the support of Saudi Arabia (at the time of the Arab “commissars”, including the last of them, Moganneda), Mikhail Saakashvili’s inner circle terrorist attacks on the Moscow-St. Petersburg railway and at the Domodedovo airport) or Qatar, which finances the website of the Emirate of the Caucasus.
The predictable activation in the future of the terrorist underground in Dagestan and the new leader of the “Emirate of the Caucasus” - the ethnic Avar Aliaskhab Kebekov, relying on Saudi customers and sponsors, as well as inflating the confrontation of Islamists with the authorities in the Russian province, including the Volga region, the Urals and Siberia, fits perfectly into this strategy. Although the use of Islamist radicals against Russia in the Crimean Tatar community has so far failed, it is possible because of the special position of Turkey that is influential in its leadership.
The latter, as a member of NATO, in contrast to the defiantly evading support for Israel’s Western position (and also 92 countries), voted in the UN General Assembly against Russia. However, unlike Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Turkey has significant interests in the Russian economy, positive experience of cooperation with Moscow in a number of strategically important areas for Ankara, a huge amount of mutual trade, including in the field of energy. In addition, and most importantly, this country takes a position that is largely different from the United States in terms of the vision of the world order and its place in it.
Among other things, this means the willingness of Turkish companies to participate in the modernization of the infrastructure of the Crimea and its economy as a whole. Fortunately, cooperation with Russia in Crimea opens up new perspectives for those already present in its market and for new players, and the future of Ukraine, despite the assurances of its own leadership, IMF experts and politicians from Washington and Brussels, does not promise any prospects. The coincidence characteristic of the current situation to the aggravation of Russian relations with the West over Ukraine’s Israeli, Turkish and Arab business and political circles (Iran’s reaction on the one hand, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the other was predictable) means that even Washington’s closest partners saw for themselves in the current scenario, great opportunities.
Benevolent neutrality regarding the actions of a country that defiantly refused to obey the rules of the game established at the beginning of 90, in which all US coups, revolutions and border changes could only be initiated and supported by the United States, shows how fragile the system of American interests dominates with all the others and how easily many of the American allies will refuse it, provided that it does not threaten them with anything.
"The end stories"Not yet come
The same Israel, which for decades was the "whipping boy" of the world community, was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Now Obama will not be able to achieve his nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the Golan Heights and from the Jordan Valley, and most likely from the settled lands of Judea and Samaria under any kind of American or international security guarantees. Of course, the situation is affected by personal dislike between the American and Israeli leaders, as well as the latter’s strong personal relations with the Russian leadership. However, the same applies to Turkey, Egypt and a number of influential international players who saw in the failure of the US-European policy in Ukraine (and it de facto failed) the possibilities for realizing their national interests.
The latter does not make the world safer, but it looks much more preferable than the accumulation of contradictions until the moment of their explosion with unpredictable consequences. Conservation of problems under pressure from the US, the EU, and the “peacekeepers” controlled by them, who are building artificial constructions that are not based on anything other than theoretical constructions, bribing, intrigues and worthless guarantees, is dangerous in itself. Given the natural egoism of the great powers and the military-political practice demonstrated by them, it is much worse than the balance of relations based on the real balance of the forces of competitors.
The reappraisal of the forces and capabilities of the Western bloc in the style of Fukuyama with its theory of the “end of history” is largely the cause of the current changes in relations between Moscow, Washington and Brussels. A full partnership between them, based on trust, as it was understood in Russia at the beginning of the 90s, did not work out and, as is clear today, could not take shape. Submission to the rules of absolute dominance on the part of the leading player, in the role of which the United States acted, was unacceptable for Russia. Which automatically led to a conflict, which was much softer for its direct participants than in 2008, when Saakashvili's troops attacked the positions of Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, but judging by the sanctions rhetoric, which is much more painful for the Western community.
The era of preserving the appearance of the unity of the “club of leading powers” on various issues of world politics is over. The alignment of Russian priorities and mechanisms for their protection, taking into account the experience of Soviet times, when the country was overstretched by leadership and, trying to act in all directions at the same time, ultimately disintegrated, still ahead. It is significant that the domestic financial system currently has large reserves than during Soviet times, and can take full advantage of private property and a market economy.
International relations based on real interests, rather than on the “socialist orientation” of clients and satellites, as well as Russia's large-scale integration into the world economy system, make it possible to react to sanctions of any level much more flexibly than in the past. The country's weak points are the raw materials orientation of the domestic economy, the high level of corruption, the low efficiency of the administrative apparatus and its attempts to restore the archaic social and ideological structures characteristic of the late Russian empire or the USSR, relying on which at one time brought down both of these states. Overcoming these problems, however, in the conditions of the current foreign political crisis is much more likely than without it.
Be that as it may, war with the United States and other NATO countries is not Russia's task. Successful opposition to the attempts of the bloc to consolidate its periphery, displacing Moscow from there, even if at the cost of cooperation with extreme radicals or, as in Ukraine, by the fascists, in Crimea was demonstrated bloodlessly and quickly. A return to the situation that existed in the region before the overthrow of the government of Yanukovych is unrealistic - and all the leaders of the Western bloc understand this.
And the main problem at the moment is not in Moscow with sanctions. And not even the West with its image. The question is, does any of Russia's former G-8 partners understand that relations with the only country in the world that can destroy the United States, even if at the cost of its own existence, are completely spoiled by the Western bloc? And this, we repeat, is absolutely not a Russian problem.