Is Russia A Threat To America's National Security?
By G. Asgar Mitha
21 August, 2015
“When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt (mentioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 43rd Munich Conference).
At the end of this article, I’ve referenced web links for readers as notes 1 to 6.
The past five years have seen a chorus of American neo-cons levelling charges that Russia poses a national security threat. But exactly how and why remains an enigma. Is the threat military, geo-political, economic (including energy) or social or a combination? It is certainly strange that Russia should be a threat when it has been America that has an undisputed record of being national security threats to just about every country on this planet.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on 26 March, 2012, Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate had stated “I'm saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world's worst actors," but “…Of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and a nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough. But when these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them ... who is it that always stands up with the world's worst actors? It's always Russia, typically with China alongside. And so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that's on the Security Council that has the heft of it, and is of course a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe." (Note 1)
On 11 July, 2015, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, nominated by Obama to replace Gen. Martin Dempsey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called Russia "the greatest threat to our national security" (Note 2).
On 12 August, 2015 the outgoing Army chief of staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno said that Russia posed the "most dangerous" threat facing the United States today, thanks to its "sophisticated" operations in Ukraine. Gen. Odierno further stated that he worries that Russia could next intervene in NATO allies like Latvia or Estonia and they have shown some significant capability.. so, for me, I think we should pay a lot of attention." (Note 3)
Americans or for the matter Europeans never indulged in such rhetoric while Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin or Dmitry Medvedev were in Kremlin but since Putin has been at the helm, Russia has become a threat. America had plans in place to grab the Eurasian prize but Putin is different. He is cold, calculating, tough and intelligent and has thwarted the American plans.
Perestroika (economic reforms) and glasnost (openness) under Gorbachev have been considered as the undoing of the Soviet Union. Perestroika provided foreigner ownership and control. By 1990, the Russian government had lost significant control over the economy.
America won the cold war by 1991 and had defeated the mighty Soviet empire of Russia but it was not going to end with the defeat; it was going to be humbled and humiliated till Russia was to become a vassal state of America. What better way than to economically subjugate the nation by controlling its vast natural resources?
Marin Katusa in his book “The Colder War” (I strongly suggest reading it) narrates how America had a plan to buy Russia but Putin was then not part of the equation. There were far more important figures in Russia who were part of the plan, notable names like Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Yukos), Boris Berezovsky (ORT-TV), Vasily Aleksanyn (worked for the US law firm Cleary, Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton) and Roman Abramovich (Sibneft) among the few oligarchs who were going to milk Russia out of its energy resources and hand them over to America. Once completed, America would be more powerful and Russia would be impoverished, denuclearized, demilitarized and its citizens enslaved. After Russia, it’d be China till there would be no players on the global chessboard.
Why would these Russian oligarchs sell out Russia? What I did not know but learnt from Katusa’s book was that several Russian oligarchs including Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky were Jewish. For example, Berezovsky held Israeli citizenship (by virtue of a passport) which was illegal. Those got punished but other oligarchs, some Jewish, such as Mikhail Friedman, got Putin’s message.
Putin’s underlying Russian foreign policy has been the rejection of a unipolar model – one dominated by the USA. At the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy on 12 February, 2007, Putin stated “that the model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today's world. And this is not only because if there was individual leadership in today's - and precisely in today's - world, then the military, political and economic resources would not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation.” (Full text note 4)
Mike Whitney wrote in his article “How Putin Blocked the US Pivot in Asia” on counterpunch on 6 March, 2015 (Note 5) that the speech in Munich merely underscored what many US hawks and Cold Warriors had been saying from the beginning, that Putin would not relinquish Russian sovereignty without a fight. Vladimir Putin is not the proverbial ant that America could quash under its heels; he has the ability to get into the elephant’s ears.
In relation to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Putin stated “that it was created to examine all aspects of security: military, political, economic, and humanitarian and, especially, the relations between these spheres. What do we see happening today? We see that this balance is clearly destroyed. People are trying to transform the OSCE into a vulgar instrument designed to promote the foreign policy interests of one or a group of countries.”
In order to counter the foreign policy interests of those countries that are destroying the balance, Putin is aligning with the Asian countries. He has a grand vision for Russia, not one that is going to be humbled and humiliated. He has managed to strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with China to counter NATO expansion into Eurasia. In an article in the May 2007 Journal of International Affairs titled The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Iran: A Power-Full Union Matthew Brummer wrote "the SCO is poised to emerge as an intergovernmental coalition to rival all others.” Regional expert Professor David Wall puts it quite succinctly that “it would be an OPEC with nuclear bombs" (Note 6). The SCO has successfully managed to bloc western expansion into Eurasia with new members Pakistan and India.
On the issue of (national security) threat, no one could’ve said it better than Ron Paul (former US Congressman) that the real “threat to the American people are the U.S. government’s hyper-interventionist foreign and destructive economic policies and policies that inhibit the development of America’s energy resources.”- not Russia.
G. Asgar Mitha recently retired from working with a large oil company in Canada as a Technical Safety Engineer
Note 6: https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-163199300/the-shanghai-cooperation-organization-and-iran-a (click on show more)
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