More military spending
The author categorically disagrees with the theses extremely prevalent in our country that in 90 Russia “knelt” and “crawled” before the West. First, the leadership of the Russian Federation received from the predecessors of the departed USSR such an economic catastrophe that the country's foreign policy opportunities were close to zero (especially in conjunction with extremely low oil prices and the collapse of the general armed forces of the USSR), which is now for some reason forgotten. In fact, under Yeltsin, Moscow behaved much more independently in the international arena than its possibilities at that time objectively allowed. Secondly, both the country's leadership and a very large part of its population at that time were in a state of, in the language of lawyers, “conscientious delusion”. There was a sincere conviction that by dropping the power of the CPSU, we became part of the “civilized world,” by which only the West was meant. It was believed that now he will receive us with open arms, after which Russia will become either the “vice-president of the world” under the “president of the USA”, or the third pillar of the “Greater West” along with the USA and the EU.
Europe is a relic of the past
Already in the second half of 90, illusions about this were largely passed away, even under Yeltsin, we managed to quarrel very strongly with the West (primarily on the soil of Yugoslavia and Chechnya). After a quarter of a century after the collapse of the USSR, it is abundantly clear that the West will not accept us "in itself" under any conditions, even on its own and in parts. Friendship with the United States on an equal basis is absolutely impossible, because for Washington, with its military and economic power and fanatical messianic ideology, there are no equal in principle (maybe this situation will change once, but not during our lifetimes). As for Europe, the recent Brexit confirmed the obvious: striving now in the EU is about the same as applying for membership in the CPSU 15 August 1991 of the year. Why this trouble happened to Europe is a separate issue, but only complete and absolute outsiders like Moldova, Albania and Ukraine can break there now. Therefore, by the way, Moscow’s efforts to tear Europe away from the United States are quite meaningless. First, the more we push it, the more it clings to Washington, for that is ours, and Moscow is a stranger. Secondly, the current Europe is completely safe as an adversary, but also as useless as an ally.
The “turn to the East” repeatedly proclaimed by Moscow would be a very correct vector if the declarations corresponded to real aspirations. Until now, unfortunately, all these “turns”, including the current one, were carried out exclusively in the context of quarrels with the West and in fact were a call for that “to come to their senses”. He, as mentioned above, is not going to "think again". Turning to the East is necessary not because we quarreled with the West, but because the first is the future, and the second (especially Europe) is a “leaving nature”. Alas, there are big doubts that the Kremlin is aware of this.
The turn to the East, which is no less important, should in no way imply a surrender to China. The last two years have fully confirmed that the objective observer was perfectly well understood before: “strategic partnership” and “unprecedentedly good relations” of Moscow and Beijing are nothing more than propaganda rhetoric. Neither in politics (in particular - in the Crimea, Ukraine and Syria), nor in the economy, Moscow received any support from Beijing, since this does not correspond to the interests of the PRC. They coincide with ours only on a very narrow circle of issues, and the further, the more it will be. Global powers, now it is the United States, China and the Russian Federation, can be friends only situationally on individual issues, in general, their relations are by definition competitive and good, if not hostile. It is necessary to get rid of Chinese illusions no less decisively than Western ones.
The relationship between Washington and Beijing is, of course, very different from the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Today, America and China are very strongly connected economically (trade between the USA and the USSR was almost zero), while there is no ideological confrontation between them. Chinese "communism" is an absolute fiction, real capitalism in the PRC is much tougher than in any European country. However, the global political, economic and military competition between these countries in any case will only increase, simply because this is the essence of the relations of global powers. That is what Moscow should use.
At the same time, it is necessary to completely and permanently abandon the idea of being friends with the USA / China against China / USA, for such a friendship will inevitably and rather soon result in a US / China war against China / USA until the last Russian. We need to become a “third force”, aware that in terms of economic power, at least for a very long time we will not be able to compare with either the United States or China, but in military terms we are not inferior to either one or the other now. Accordingly, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and our military-industrial complex are the main competitive advantages of the country in the current situation. They need to be further strengthened and used as actively as possible in a variety of ways. Military power and the willingness to use it, as well as the production of modern weapons for themselves and potential allies should be the basis of Russian foreign policy. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, especially given the fact that the most high-tech and science-intensive products are precisely weapons and military equipment. Yes, and from a purely economic point of view, there is not a single example of how happiness came from a reduction in military spending to any country. This, in particular, shows the experience of Russia itself, as well as neighboring Ukraine. Moreover, the reduction of military expenditures deals a very strong blow to the social sphere, since tens of millions of people are associated with the Armed Forces and the defense industry. Therefore, any proposals that we have about the need for such sequesters are either complete incompetence, or frank insanity, or conscious work against the country. Military spending is the last thing to save. And the first (in our case) is corruption and mega-projects like FM-2018.
India is our helmsman
It has already been said that in the post-Soviet space only CSTO members (“mistaken horse”) can be our allies, and problems may arise with some of them. As for foreign countries, if we want to become a “third force”, we need to create a real strategic alliance with the “fourth force”, that is, with India, the closest candidate for the role of another global power (there are no more such countries in the world now). To do this, there is almost everything ("In a healthy Delhi - a healthy mind"). It is only necessary to stop imposing on India friendship with China, and clearly designate relations with it as completely independent and absolutely exclusive, without any senseless "triangles" and similar BRICS. Another peacefully important strategic ally of Russia could be a united Korea, liberated from American and Chinese influence. Moscow should work most actively to ensure that such a country emerges, seeking the final exit of Pyongyang from the influence of Beijing and the pursuit of a more moderate foreign policy, while explaining to Seoul the benefits of the parity option of unification. Alas, Moscow not only does not take advantage of its good relations with both Koreas (“Democratic Pyongyang versus totalitarian Seoul”), but makes a grave mistake by playing along with the American-Chinese plot against Pyongyang and voting in the UN Security Council for sanctions against the DPRK.
In the most complicated region of the Near and Middle East, our closest ally is, of course, Syria. Only in its present position, it is not an ally, but a client, while, unfortunately, it is still not fully aware that its very existence depends on Moscow. Proceeding from the objective long-term interests and goals of Russia and the countries of the region, it is first of all necessary to be friends with Iran and Israel. Oddly enough, so far it is possible, despite the fact that Tehran and Jerusalem ferociously hate each other. Unfortunately, this irrational Iranian-Israeli hatred harms these countries themselves and interferes with Russia. But the interests and goals of Turkey and the majority of the Arabian monarchies (especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar) are diametrically opposed to the Russian, and there is no reason to expect changes. Therefore, any flirting with Ankara, Riyadh and Doha is at best useless, at worst - extremely dangerous. Of course, the current moral capitulation of Ankara to Moscow can make someone feel a sense of national pride, but this fundamental divergence of interests has not disappeared, and we will receive another “knife in the back” from the Turks. Moreover, the more humiliating the temporary capitulation of Erdogan, due to his internal political and economic problems, the harder he will answer us later, when he feels that the situation has been corrected for him. This option is absolutely inevitable, you must be aware of this in full. You also need to keep in mind that the command of the Turkish Armed Forces did not allow intervention in Syria, which Erdogan demanded. After the attempted coup, the army command will be completely replaced, after which the Turkish president may want to “tie the army” with blood in the war against Damascus and the Kurds, that is, de facto for the Islamic Caliphate and An-Nusru. The likelihood of such a development is very high. For Russia, the only acceptable option for ending the war in Syria is the full return of the country under Assad’s control with the provision of real autonomy to the Kurds. Any other option will be a defeat for us, in this we also need to be fully aware.
As for Africa and Latin America, the situation on these continents does not directly affect the security of Russia (at least in the medium term), we have almost no interest in the resources of these countries (we have enough), especially there are no technologies we need. At the same time, both of these continents have already become a field of fierce competition between China and the West, and Beijing clearly has the initiative. This is especially noticeable in Africa ("Hegemon on the region").
Clowns will scatter
Russia needs to approach these regions extremely pragmatically. In particular, this means that in no case can you get any clients here. It must be remembered that not so much military spending as a gigantic foreign clientele undermined the economy of the USSR. The current Syria is an obvious exception, its maintenance “afloat” will cost Moscow at least an order of magnitude cheaper than clearing up the consequences of the collapse of Assad and the seizure of the country by radical Islamists. The same applies to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, they are cheaper to maintain than to pass. We still have absolutely no reason to save someone else and keep it up today. Moreover, there is no need, in response to the wretched clowning staged by NATO in Eastern Europe under the slogan “containment of Russia,” to organize a similar show (obviously extremely costly and, most importantly, pointless) in Latin America. The friendship of Moscow with the “Latinos” against the “gringos” (“The guys from the backyard”) brings us almost exclusively moral satisfaction. Fortunately, Moscow has not yet shown any desire to create military bases in Latin America.
On the other hand, “the old friendship does not rust,” but the weapon is very rust, especially in a tropical climate. Russia is simply obliged to use the factor of Soviet ties with the countries of Africa and Latin America, if it can bring today's benefits. In the vast majority of countries of these continents, military equipment is very outdated, a large part of it has completely lost combat effectiveness. For them, even the very large reserves of Soviet weapons that we still have will be very useful, and even modern, manufactured by the national defense industry - just a dream. Some countries in Africa and Latin America have already begun to embody it. A good example is Algeria (“Immunity from the“ spring ”).
In addition, from a certain point, many African countries may stop liking the replacement of old (western) imperialism with a new, Chinese one. The PRC, of course, is not going to legally take over the countries of Africa (and in the future - Latin America), but their resources are pumping out no less predatory than the former Western colonizers, while completely forgetting about the environment and using their own, rather than local labor. After a while, many Asians, Africans and “Latins” will want to see the “third force”. Therefore, we need to become her in deeds, in no way going at the same time to a direct confrontation with either the “first” or the “second” forces, but by no means adjusting to either of them.
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