16 June 2010

Not so enigmatic Russia

One of Winston Churchill's much quoted aphorisms is: 'I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.' But then he went on to add: 'but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interests.' 

Indeed it is. The UK Defence Forum has posted (pdf here) an admirably succinct analysis of how Russia perceives its national interest. It underlines that Western triumphalism after the collapse of the Soviet Union was a truly horrendous geostrategic error.  

Or was it? I can foresee a not-too-distant time when historians will judge that the Russian perception of US diplomacy after 1992 is correct: it is perfectly legitimate to perceive it as a global drive to extend the boundaries of the US informal empire, the 'New World Order' prematurely announced by President George Bush Sr.

The question for us is whether the European remoras should remain attached to the US shark. Maybe not.

1 comment:

  1. The Bush family are and were oil men and their international perspectives, amplified by the triumphalism of Beltway bilgers like Cheyney and his old mentor Rumsfeld, would inevitably focus on safeguarding America's sources of cheap petrol abroad - thereby guaranteeing the continuation of a huge debtor state in which the great fortunes of the few are built upon the continuing consumerhood of the many.

    American aid for the Orange Revolution along with our offering of a ballistics shield to Poland and the Baltic states can only be regarded as surpassingly offensive to Russia. Our two Rumanian air bases are arguably necessary ( like our Okinawan one), but a base in Georgia? However small,this had to be seen as pushing the envelope. Small wonder that Putin is jerking the European natural gas lease and building pipelines to Turkey underneath the Black Sea.