Mistakes wear many disguises. Some mask their fangs entirely, leading even the perceptive to ruin. While rare few display their dire results openly with a guileless grin–tempting the haughty to a dance with the devil. And what malevolence could the U.S. government ever eschew?
As a beautiful example of embracing undisguised disaster, America has antagonized Russia from a demographically natural European orbit, into an alliance with China. It would be a sound bet to wager that the arrogantly pointless alienation of Russia will come to be recognized (by the very few interested in recognition) as one of the most idiotic unforced errors in the history of American statecraft. To studiously cultivate a large nuclear enemy where none previously existed–all absent a President McCain–is simply amazing to behold.
Though I suppose we have ample cause to poke Putin in the eye. After all, he seems undisposed to allowing US controlled puppet states on his border or missile batteries aimed at Moscow to be deployed in St. Petersburg. Furthermore, despite being no ethnic nationalist, he nevertheless chafes at the pulverization of Russians in Eastern Ukraine. It’s all really quite intolerable. I mean the U.S. didn’t say a word about missles in Cuba back in the 60s. And if China deployed a large bomber base in Vancouver, what’s it any of our business? So we simply had to reignite another Cold War and drive Russia into military and economic formation with an increasingly muscular China. It was a necessity. And it’s why we hoi polloi rely on Ivy League elites to chart our most prompt course toward the exchange of nuclear MIRVs.
According to Russian officials and security analysts, Moscow’s worst stand-off with the west since the end of the cold war has convinced Mr Putin’s government that it must moor its security interests to China because the Euro-Atlantic security architecture is broken beyond repair.
“Cooperation between Russia and China is extremely important to keep the peace in the framework of international law, making it more stable,” Mr Putin told his Chinese counterpart, just two weeks after he accused the US of destabilising the world by frequently violating international law.
Russia’s updated military doctrine is expected to target Nato and the US more clearly as the Ukraine crisis has frayed Moscow’s relations with the western alliance. The current doctrine only lists Nato expansion, foreign troop deployments in neighbouring states, destabilisation in certain countries and deployment of missile defence systems as “external military dangers”. People familiar with the document said Nato and the US would be openly designated as threats or adversaries in the document’s new version, due to be published next month.
Russian diplomats and analysts also said Moscow hoped to build the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, founded by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan in 1996, into a more meaningful security alliance.
Another longstanding piece of the European security architecture is the Nato Russia Act, in which Nato pledged not to create permanent bases on Russia’s borders. But the tension over the Ukraine crisis has fuelled Russian fears that this promise is being undermined. In addition, even though Nato has little intention of welcoming Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance, member countries see it as politically impossible to openly rule out their membership in order to keep them as buffers between the western alliance and Russia. Mr Putin is under no illusion that things will get any easier. The next US president is almost certain to be more hawkish towards Russia than Barack Obama, who entered the White House seeking a hopeful reset of relations.
“This forces Russia to head in a different direction – towards China and Iran, out of the western international system,” says Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group risk consultancy. “That is not in the west’s interest. They are becoming what you could call a floater state – something like an angry version of India.”
In the meantime, Mr Putin is trying to strengthen rival structures with the help of China, as he did this week. India, Pakistan and Mongolia are set to formally join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at a summit in Russia next year. “That will make it a significant new force in the international security system,” said Mr Lukyanov.
So a nuclear armed Russia is pushed into alliance with China and India away from Europe and America for what exactly? Crimea? Donetsk? Futile posturing over two small areas thousands of miles away that are both populated by Russians amenable to Putin? We create a formidable enemy out of the ether for the mere opportunity to hypocritically preen on the global stage? Who’s up for another massive white fratricide? (I see your hands raised…other than John and Barack?) Yes there is no doubt, few possess sufficient cognitive nuance to craft this strategy.
Though it’s not as if our own potent corps of diplomats have been merely spectating. They’ve busily forged our own accords with China, almost certainly to the howls of her Russian suitor. You see arms and oil are the rattles of infants. Adults discuss greenhouse gasses.
President Obama said the U.S. would cut its emissions much faster than previously planned, reducing greenhouse gases by anywhere from 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Those are deeper cuts than were planned through 2020, and most of the action would be required after Mr. Obama leaves office in 2017.
In return, Chinese President Xi Jinping didn’t commit to cut emissions by a specific amount. He said China, which is still building coal-burning plants, would set a target of capping its greenhouse gas emissions by around 2030.
So if I understand this correctly, and I’ll grant the possibility otherwise, Obama is committing his successor to draconian energy reductions with hard targets by 2025. In exchange, he obtained China’s unwavering commitment to give the whole issue a second thought five years later in 2030.
This is why I sleep at night like a swaddled babe. Because Obama for America is what I have got, and the Russians…they do not.