Tuesday, July 3, 2012

US foreign policy calculated cul-de-sac

by Evgeny Khrushchev

The siege mentality that successive teams of US policy-makers have finessed to perfection in the last decade in Pakistan and Afghanistan was inspired by the famous Bush slogan “who is not with us, is against us.”
Spurred by the discovery “we have watches and they have time,” it crept into the paranoia about the global forces of darkness conspiring against Captain America.

Here’s the self-defeating fundamental flaw of US foreign policy that generates anti-American sentiments: the responsibility to protect ‘My way or highway’ is a sacred cow for good and all, but other nations have the inalienable right and solemn duty to embrace unilaterally the values and vital interests of the United States, come hell or high water.­

For America the exceptional, foreign ‘partnership’ is just a euphemistic oxymoron for designated morons eager to be US minions to promote ‘the freedom agenda’ of the unipolar world disorder at the expense of their nations’ sovereignty and dignity.

Most of the time, the Disneyworld Order works just fine, but sometimes, somewhere …things happen and woe betide anyone who gets in the US way!

When Russian and American presidents came from their parleys right into the limelight with TV cameras zooming in, the telltale body language of the close-up said it all: the ‘reset’ in bilateral relations, if it had ever been for real, was definitely out of the picture.

If there’s any tacit agreement between the opposite sides, this is it: the American/Russian strategic ‘partnership’ has reached an impasse. As far as why, opinions differ.

Andrew S. Weiss, who won his spurs at NSC, DOD and the State Department, is no stranger to Beltway bandits and pundits, and therefore, is perfectly qualified to illuminate Washington’s groupthink vis-à-vis Moscow’s stance.

As director of the RAND Center for Russia and Eurasia, he’s also supposed to reflect the intellectual rigor and integrity of the most prominent US think-tank and demonstrate the virtues of an unbiased Kremlinologist with total immersion in Russian realities.

He titled his subtle invective “Putin’s Waiting Game”, implying that the Russian president is playing games with gentle naïve Obama and is just biding his time for the next occupant of the White House to keep the log rolling.

It is hardly coincidental that his insinuation was parroted on June 26 by a NYT editorial: “We’re not sure what kind of cynical game Russia is playing.”

Well, from the outset, the Kremlin-astrologists got it wrong twice:

Firstly, as the former CIA chieftain Leon Panetta used to say, ‘there’s only one game in town’ – in this case, the US Global Blame Game, aka Information Support Operation for R2P and ‘humanitarian’ interventions.
Secondly, you don’t have to be a KGB colonel to figure out that a White House figurehead is whimsical dependent variable; in the meantime US foreign policy towards Russia is a real constant, bolstered by non-negotiable bipartisan ideological dogma since the days of yore.

If there’s anything for the Russian president to wait for, it has nothing to do with the US November elections: American presidents don’t formulate Russian policy; they are just allowed to execute it.

Well, despite all his credentials, the maven has badly failed to meet the expectations: his take was to tank rather than to think the imponderables.

What could have been unvarnished analysis of the undercurrents, intricacies and complications in American/Russian entanglement, has been relegated to a thinly veiled character assassination leaflet against the Russian president.

However it’s tempting to engage the author in a verbal skirmish, if you put emotions aside and take a broad look, you might suddenly realize that, given Andrew S. Weiss and the FP magazine bona fides, this ‘unofficial’ viewpoint says what the ‘official’ Washington thinks about its relations with Moscow but, due to political correctness, is too gun-shy to articulate it openly.

However, don’t blame the messenger – sure, his message is ugly, but it betrays the true color of the White House attitude towards the Kremlin.

The sheer enormity of the challenge to ‘wait out’ the change of Washington attitude towards Moscow, is this – yes, Congress does rein in US Foreign Policy, but the American electorate, which is supposed to control the legislative branch, hasn’t expressed in unequivocal terms a long overdue need for change in Russian policy – yet.

Until that paradigm shift happens, our bilateral relations will remain hostage to the almighty ghosts of cold war which hold sway over Beltway.

Evgeny Khrushchev, navy brat & army lifer, is a military analyst. Contrary to the family tradition, he didn’t apply to Vladivostok Navy Academy to join the Pacific Fleet but enrolled in the Red Banner Institute special faculty Persian Team. His dream to become a military attaché in Tehran has yet to materialize – the first foreign mission started in Afghanistan as a psyops officer of the 56th Airborne Assault Brigade in Gardez, Paktia, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the last one was as the First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author (s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statement / s contained in this post.


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