Obama’s Ambassador to Russia Wants to Threaten It “on Its Vulnerable Southern Flank”

When the best a former top diplomat can come up with is an aggressive military buildup you may have an imagination problem

Editor’s note: When you have a former top State Department diplomat draw a “containment strategy” that as its cornerstone number one features a military buildup you may have a militarism problem. In the Empire as a whole and specifically in the State Department which is one of its most bloodthirsty institutions, far more so in fact than the Pentagon, albeit nicely packaged in a bleeding-heart wrap. Remember their rebellion / hissy fit when Obama didn’t bomb Syria to make them feel good about themselves. And imagine Russia’s great Sergey Lavrov, a giant by comparison to Western imps, laying out a strategy and starting with “let’s surround them with tons of military”.

War, said the great Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz, is an “interaction.” It is “not the action of a living force upon a lifeless mass, but always the collision of two living forces.” One might say the same thing about international politics. Whatever you do always involves others, who have a will of their own and who act in ways which impede the fulfilment of your plans.

The good strategist doesn’t assume that others will simply comply with his demands. Rather he considers their likely response, and if it is probable that they will respond in a way that harms his own interests, he jettisons his plan and looks for another.

Joe Biden’s victory against Donald Trump in the recent US presidential election has led to a slew of articles suggesting the policies that the new administration should pursue towards Russia. All too often, instead of considering how Russia will respond, they treat it as a “lifeless mass” which can pushed in the desired direction by pressing the correct buttons. Experience, however, suggests that this is not the case, and the Russian reaction to the proposed policies is not likely to be what the United States desires.

An example is an article by the former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, published this week in the magazine Foreign Affairs. Full of suggestions for ramping up the pressure on Russia, it fails to take into consideration how Moscow is likely to respond to such pressure. Consequently, it ends up proposing a line that if put into practice would probably be entirely counterproductive.

McFaul accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of leading an “assault on democracy, liberalism, and multilateral institutions,” with the objective of “the destruction” of the international order. From this McFaul concludes that the United States “must deter and contain Putin’s Russia for the long haul.” He then makes several suggestions as to what this policy should involve.

First, he suggests that NATO build up its armed forces on Russia’s border, “especially on its vulnerable southern flank”. Why precisely this is “vulnerable” McFaul doesn’t say, but he does tell us that NATO “needs new weapons systems, including frigates with antisubmarine technologies, nuclear and conventionally powered submarines, and patrol aircraft.”

Second, he argues that America must increase its support to Ukraine. “A successful, democratic Ukraine will inspire new democratic possibilities in Russia,” he says, as if a “successful, democratic Ukraine” is something that can simply be wished into existence. But McFaul wants to do more than just help Ukraine; he also wants to punish Russia. “As long as Putin continues to occupy Ukrainian territory, sanctions should continue to ratchet up,” he says.

Third, McFaul wants the US to get more deeply involved in other countries on Russia’s borders. “Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan all deserve diplomatic upgrades,” he suggests. He also recommends that Joe Biden, “should meet with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya”.

Fourth, McFaul wishes to venture into the world of censorship. America and other Western democracies, “should develop a common set of laws and protocols for regulating Russian government controlled-media,” he says. To this end, he argues that Biden should get social media to “downgrade the information Russia distributes through its propaganda channels.” If a search engine produces a link to RT, “a BBC story should pop up next to it,” he says.

Finally, McFaul says that the United States should bypass the Russian government to forge contacts with the Russian people, so as to “undermine Putin’s anti-American propaganda.” The USA should also train Russian journalists as part of an effort to “support independent journalism and anticorruption efforts in Russia.”

Strategy, as Clausewitz, pointed out, is about using tactics to achieve the political aim. But it is almost impossible to see how the tactics McFaul proposes could help the United States achieve any useful objective. The simple reason is that Russia is hardly likely to react to them in a positive fashion.

Let us look at them from a Russian point of view. How will the Russian government see them?

Sanctions are to “ratchet up” in perpetuity (as they must if they are connected to Russia’s possession of Crimea, which no Russian government will ever surrender); NATO will deploy more and more forces on Russia’s frontier; America will interfere ever more in Russian internal affairs, building up what will undoubtedly be considered a “fifth column” of US-trained journalists and opposition activists; the USA will intensify efforts to detach Russia from its allies and build up a ring up of hostile states around it; and finally, America will launch an all-out information warfare to bend the international media to its will.

What does McFaul imagine Russia will do when it sees all this? Put up its hands and surrender? If he does, then it’s clear that in a lifetime studying Russia, he’s managed to learn nothing.

In reality, the response would probably be not at all to his liking. The growing sense of external and internal threat would lead to an increase in repressive measures at home, undermining the very democracy and liberty McFaul claims to be supporting. In addition, we would most probably see Russia increasing its own military forces on its national frontiers; doubling down on its support for the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in Eastern Ukraine; and pressing further with its own activities in the information domain.

In short, the Russian response would involve Russia doing all the things that McFaul dislikes, but even more so. It is hard to see how his strategy could be deemed to be a sensible one.

If it was just McFaul, it would probably not matter too much. But he is far from the only person saying these things. The general theme among supporters of the new Biden administration is that Trump was too soft on Russia, and that America needs to take a more robust line. This does not bode well for the next few years.

“Know your enemy and know yourself,” said another great strategist, Sun Tzu. Unfortunately, Americans seem to have forgotten this advice. They would do well to heed it.

Source: Irrussianality

  1. Sally Snyder says

    In sharp contrast, here is an article that looks at how Russia is handling the new global reality:


    It’s long past time when nations around the world use what the West and the United States in particular thinks as a yardstick measuring their behaviours.

  2. ken says

    Seems the US has caught the Israeli contagion of cannot stand to see someone living in peace and not under their thumb.

    DC will have to be reduced to smoldering ruins before they’ll even consider peace.

    1. Alberticus says

      The SenateHORES are borrowing an extra $38BILLION from Communist China to GIVE to Socialist Israel —- even as American children go to bed cold, hungry, and sick …….. even as $25Billion is TOO MUCH for America to pay for a wall to protect YOUR family.
      Chunks of that money will be quietly given to your SenateHORES as BRIBES ,,,,
      “Israeli intervention in US elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies – what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015,” he added.
      https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/07/31/…esidential-election   Where is the investigation of ISRAELI “collusion in American elections”?!  
      How many of YOUR/America’s $4+BILLION in WELFARE given to Israel every year comes back to America in the form of BRIBES to “american” politicians? Traitors voting to give Israel MORE, so they can get bigger BRIBES 
      NOTE: Congress NEVER visits Palestinian areas because they get NO BRIBES.

      1. TRue True says

        A wall? you imperialist plebs keep crying for a wall when you can’t stay in your own (stolen) borders LOL the world should have the right to cross back and forth when ever the f they want; after the world is to purchase your worthless debt and funds your living standard. so STFU

  3. yuri says

    “amerikans live in a thicket of illusions: amerikans demand illusions about themselves” Daniel Boorstin

  4. Mr Reynard says

    LOL !! With today’s gay/homo army Mc Faul want to invade Russia ?? What does he smoke ??
    Napoleon Grande Armée didn’t succeed , Hitler 3,000,000 men, not gay/homos got defeated like Napoleon’s 150 years before …
    So again, on what recreational medication is Mc Faul on ??

    1. Eddy says

      What people need to understand, is that America does not seek to use it’s own people to wage discontent and war/invasions against Russia. That’s what the gullible NATO idiots are for. It is they who will die and fertilise the ground again, just as it was in WW 1 and WW 2. Of course the U.S. will provide the MONEY/MATERIALE and propoganda as well as the clandestine undermining of the authorities within Russia and their media, all done by willing puppets whilst their masters are sitting safely and comfortable in the U.S. counting their dollars profit. Are the Europeans and Eastern nations in Europe, really that silly, they cannot see they are being used ?

      1. Mr Reynard says

        ZATO ?? Do you think that today German in ZATO are as combat ready as the Wehrmacht was in 1941 ?? & Eddy being a Frenchman I don’t see many volunteers among Frenchmen going to the Russian Front ?? The Veteran from Division Charlemagne are long time gone ..
        The only one, who could be that stupid , is the Polish Army & even that, I have my doubts ?
        So what’s left is ISIS & the Tzahal maybe …………

  5. Hoyeru says

    the Americans are speaking like that because Putin is always backing down, and appears indecisive and scared. The only way to fight a bully is stop step up and make it clear to the bully that its bullying will not be accepted. Putin is doing exactly the opposite of that so Americans think they are free to push Russia around.

    1. yuri says

      u r confused—amerikans can’t push North Korea “around”

    2. Mychal says

      Scared? Really how so? Like in Syria ya really scared? Backing down where and when pray tell? Russia is a super power that bows to no one! Remember who has the Hypersonic missiles and nukes. He is just prudent and thoughtful and weighs all options before striking and strike he will when the time is right. Remember I said this ussa is toast and just do not know it, yet!

  6. Jim Richardson says

    These maniacs in the Biden Administration have set this country on the path to World War III. Russia and China are not the pushovers these brain dead half wits think they are. We will all be lucky if we’re not incinerated in the next few years. The days when America could boss the World around are over and neither Russia nor China really fears a country that is nearly thirty trillion dollars in debt with no way to pay it off. This administration had better be careful who it goes picking a fight with.

    1. Eddy says

      The brain dead half wits your talking about, fear no repercussions for their actions. They have all reserved their places in the underground bolt holes where they will all seek refuge for the exceptional people they believe themselves to be, whilst the rabble can all suffer the consequences of radiation fall out. Achieving another goal of the heirarchy, reduction of World population. When the dust settles, they crawl out of their bolt holes and re-establish their Global Order and run the planet to their agenda. L.O.L. Of course the survivors, (and there will be survivors) will welcome them with open arms, so they think. I’d guess the second they show their heads above ground, they’d be more than likely, to have said head removed instantly.

  7. reinaldo ramos says

    What a waste of time and words! McFaul is an idiot and everybody knows it, I guess even the Deep State does.

  8. AlberticusThe Russia hate is another manifestation says

    Another JEW – Michael McFaul

  9. Alberticus says

    Another treasonous JEW – McFaul:
    The Russia hate is another manifestation of Jewish control of America. The Jews HATE Putin & Russia because Putin stopped their looting of Russian assets under the drunk Yeltsin. 
    Just as they did during the Wiemar hyper inflation in Germany the Jews had money shipped in from overseas and were buying up assets at pennies on the dollar. 
    That led to huge resentment of Jews in Germany and again in Russia.  
    From Netanyahu’s infamous “Fink’s Bar diatribe” of 1990
    “If we get caught they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So it does not matter what you do, America is a golden calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world’s biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the will of God and America is big enough to take the hit so we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves.”

  10. Jerry Hood says

    The more Westward you go, the more fags,degenerates,psychopats and afflicted weirdos you encounter..Look at Fashington,District of Crimminals, Jew Yoke City and Satan Francisco!

  11. Mark says

    The United States fancies itself a master global manipulator, and it might have been once upon a time, but in modern times it sucks at it, and is only getting worse. As Paul has suggested, American policy for intervention is formulated on the assumption the target will not be able to do anything about it, and will flail helplessly as America molds and shapes it against the will of its government.

    Particularly in the case of Russia, these efforts stand no chance at all of succeeding now that all the western political NGO’s have been evicted, while the continued efforts to meddle make Russians – other than the squishy liberals and the impressionable children – intensely anti-American and contemptuous of its vaunted values.

    It didn’t have to be this way, and for the record Putin was never – that’s not ever – anti-western; he was perfectly willing to entertain any reasonable partnership of equals, and would have welcomed mutually-beneficial trade and gradual westernization of Russia so long as the Russian government remained in control and comfortable with the progress of the arrangement. Russia went to considerable lengths, and stayed silent through quite a few gratuitous insults, in an attempt to maintain a peaceful and open relationship with the west, but Washington was having none of it. Uncle Sam recognizes no equals anywhere on the planet, and countries wishing to pursue good relations with America must acknowledge their subordinate status. Putin was exactly right when he said America wants vassals, not partners. The current woeful state of relations between the west and Russia is completely and entirely the fault of the west, chiefly the USA and UK for their truculent aggression and inflammatory provocations, and the remainder for their gutless acquiescence.

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