Tuesday, February 24, 2015

America’s National Security Schizophrenia: Damning Russia with ‘Partnership’ | New Eastern Outlook

There is no stronger example of the schizophrenic nature of American foreign policy toward Russia than comparing statements written in the formal National Security Strategy (NSS) of President Obama with actual testimony given by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. In 2010 the NSS asserted that the U.S. would endeavor to ‘build a stable, substantive, multidimensional relationship with Russia, based on mutual interests.’ What’s more, the NSS called Russia a 21st century center of influence in the world and a country with whom America should build bilateral cooperation on a host of issues, including forging global nonproliferation; confronting violent extremism; fostering new trade and development arrangements; promoting the rule of law, accountability in government and universal values in Russia; and in cooperating as a partner in Europe and Asia.

Now take into account Director James Clapper while appearing before Congress in 2013 to discuss global threats. He described Russian foreign policy as a nexus of organized crime, state policy, and business interests (let it be noted that all three of these descriptors were said pejoratively. It wasn’t just the organized crime reference that was considered bad). Clapper went on to warn that both China and Russia represented the most persistent intelligence threats to the United States and that Russia could even face social discontent (read: political disorder and revolution) because of a sluggish economy, the constraint of political pluralism, and pervasive corruption.

At first blush these two accounts seem to offer a completely incomprehensible attitude toward Russia. But this is only at first blush. Reading deeper between the lines of the NSS reveals key words that always trigger contempt from Russian actors in the Kremlin. The ideal of promoting rule of law, government accountability and universal values is not an olive branch offering Russia the chance to team up with America to achieve these goals in problem areas around the world. This ideal was written as not needing to happen with Russia but in Russia. To follow that goal up with being a ‘cooperative partner’ in Europe and Asia has always signaled to Russian ears an American skepticism about Russia’s ability to be a ‘non-meddler’. In other words, the NSS comes across not as a mechanism to promote deeper co-equal ties between the two countries but rather as a snobbish slap across the face about how the United States needs to engage Russia to stop it from getting in its own and others’ way.

Clapper’s comments in some ways garner even more derision from Moscow. Not so much the complaints about centralized power and corruption. Russia has been hearing these criticisms since Yeltsin first came down off the tanks after the August coup in 1991. Russia has always been rather indifferent to these arguments. Rather, Clapper’s comments about the possibility of social discontent and unrest, placing that possibility at the feet of the Russian government because of repression and incompetence, always comes off as a red flag to the bull of Russian conspiracy theorists: they are quick to see American interference in any and all things that go wrong in Russia. And even if the more rational voices in Russian political power dismiss conspiracy theories, there is still the obvious interpretation that while America might not try to personally foment unrest, it would welcome instability if it happened.

Complete story at - America’s National Security Schizophrenia: Damning Russia with ‘Partnership’ | New Eastern Outlook

CC Photo Google Image Search Source is EAE0QAAIBAgMDBwULCAcJAAAAAAABAgMRBBIhBTFRBhMiQWFxkTKBobGyByNCUmJyc5KjwdEUFRYzRFNjdCQ0Q4Kz4fElZHWDk6LS4vD  Subject is russian flag

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments subject to moderation.

Recommended Reading via Amazon

If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.

If you don't see pictures above, you likely have an adblocker running.  If so, here are the links.

1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
7. The Divide - American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap - Matt Taibbi

How this works.  Follow one of the links.  Should you decide to buy that item, or any item, I get a small percentage, which helps to maintain this site.  Your cost is the same, whether you buy from my link or not.  But if the item remains in the cart too long, I don't get a thing.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...