Tuesday, February 14, 2017

M.N.: Russia, Trump, many "wrongs", and many "rights", and how to balance and to fix them - Russia and her place in the world.

M.N.: There are many "wrongs" that have to be addressed, corrected, and resolved by the efficient negotiations and by the mutual consent, they cannot be simply overlooked, accepted, and conceded, it will just cover up the problems temporarily, and they will reignite again. 

At the heart of these issues are the continuing competition, rivalry, and hostility between Russia and the West, which have no valid and rational underlying geopolitical causes and reasons, but are to the great degree emotional and traditionally historical. This main conflict has to be resolved first, and it is ripe for the comprehensive, in-depth, and the long-term historical resolution, with the other, including the various local conflicts, to follow. 

The Declaration of Principles of Russia - West relations might be helpful in codifying the new order, with the common institutions (the political, judicial, economic, cultural, and others; the existing and the future ones) serving as the structural foundation and the support systems. It would be blessedly beneficial for the direct participants and for the rest of the world. 

Speaking of Russia in particular, it appears to be the most natural, state-and-life saving course of development for her politically and economically, preserving, defining and enhancing her proper place within the world order and the western culture, the alternative being the inevitable, slow or not so slow decline and the dissolution. Instead of the negative and destructive force, the role which she presently plays in opposing the western world, in her futile hope, attempt, and plan of adjusting this world to herself and exploiting it, in her quest for the individuation and retaining of her imperialist ambitions, Russia could play the positive role jointly with the others as one of the integrators and organizers of the new world order while benefiting from this herself internally. 

The UN (the FDR's favorite brainchild and hope for the world) was envisioned as the main prototype political institution to deal with the wars, peace, conflicts, and their resolutions, but it degenerated somewhat, and veered away from its originally charted course, due to many and various factors. The new organs should include the main parties: the US, the EU, the UK, Russia, Israel, and the "significant others" as the parts and the carriers of the European-Western-Judeo-Christian Civilization and their immediate associates. The G-7, which never really became the G-8, and the G-20 are limited by their informal character with the largely consultative functions. All the mentioned above existing structures should be flexibly incorporated into the new system of what effectively could become the World's consultative government, continuing the lines of development of the UN and the EU, and adding to them the overarching and efficient mechanisms for the maintaining of the international stability and the global security. 

I do not see, anticipating the criticism, anything racist or exclusionary in this envisioned arrangement. It will simply affirm the existing actual state of affairs, coordinate the efforts in the fight against the real ills and the enemies of the Mankind, such as drugs and the international organized crime, will spur the economic growth and development, and will be the most effective instrument in containing and resolving the various regional and local conflicts and disorders with the help of the international police forces and the allied and/or unified military, including the special operations forces, providing the impetus for the building of the adequate civil, political, judicial and other structures and institutions in the underdeveloped parts of the world. 

The similar views were expressed in some of the previous posts. 

The perspective plans for the direct resolutions of the regional conflicts mentioned in this opinion piece below will be addressed later. 

To be continued. 


Why Trump Is Right on Russia - by Anatol Lieven

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Repairing relations with Russia can begin in Ukraine. The parameters for such a compromise were laid out in the Minsk agreement of 2015, which committed Russia to disarm separatists in eastern Ukraine and Ukraine to draw up a new federal constitution granting enhanced autonomy to the Donbas, the eastern Ukrainian region that has declared independence. The United States should work with Russia on a compromise for the Donbas, which should be demilitarized and secured by a United Nations peacekeeping force. Meanwhile, the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula should be accepted (since short of a world war there is no way Russia will give it up). Though the annexation shouldn’t be recognized legally, American sanctions on Russia should be lifted.
American and NATO officials like to claim that such a compromise would encourage Russian aggression elsewhere. This view is based on self-deception on the part of Western elites who are interested in maintaining confrontation with Russia as a distraction from more important, painful problems at home, like migration, industrial decline and anger over globalization.
A child with a map can look at where the strategic frontier between the West and Russia was in 1988 and where it is today, and work out which side has advanced in which direction. So it is necessary to recognize that over the past generation, Russia’s actions — though sometimes wrong and even criminal — have been overwhelmingly reactive to what the West has done. Russia’s intervention in Ukraine is about Ukraine, a country of supreme historical, ethnic, cultural, strategic and economic importance to Russia. It implies nothing for the rest of Eastern Europe.
If, as many of the hawks in Brussels and Washington claim, Russia wanted to undermine and then invade Latvia, it would have done so after 2008, when the Latvian economy was in collapse and it would have been easy to create a crisis there. Instead, Moscow did nothing — the Russian government is well aware that any such move would bring Western Europe and the United States back together in hostility toward Russia.
If Russia does invade Latvia or one of the other Baltic States, of course, the United States and its allies would have to fight — and fight hard — to defend them. These countries are members of NATO and the European Union. To surrender them to Russian aggression would make the West look both morally bankrupt and geopolitical impotent. But it is hard to imagine any realistic situation in which this need will arise.
Eastern Europe is not the only arena where the American agenda has proved inept. In Syria, the United States and Western Europe have bungled the war. Here, too, Mr. Trump’s plans to cooperate with Russia would be a welcome change. Because of Russian, Iranian and now Turkish support, Mr. Assad’s Syrian state is not going to fall. If it is to be transformed in the future, negotiation with Russia and Iran will be necessary.
Iran is an essential ally against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria. And that means that the White House will soon discover the dangerous inconsistencies in its policies. Both Mr. Trump and his recently resigned national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, have spoken of prioritizing the fight against the Islamic State. But by simultaneously expressing desire for a new confrontation with Iran, they have demonstrated that they do not actually understand the word “priority.”
Furthermore, barring an open Iranian violation of the nuclear agreement, no imaginable American concession to Russia would persuade Moscow to agree to new international sanctions against Iran. One reason is that Russia sees good relations with Iran as permanently in its interest, whereas the policy makers in Moscow know that American concessions may be withdrawn by the next administration.
China may be the other major sticking point. While he has moderated his stand somewhat in recent weeks, Mr. Trump has suggested he is prepared for a confrontation with China. But Russia will not play along. With a 2,600-mile-long border with China and a hopelessly outnumbered army, there is no way that Russia can be persuaded to adopt an outright hostile stance toward its neighbor. The furthest that Russia might go as a result of a better relationship with the United States would be to limit sales of its most sophisticated weapons to China, and perhaps to help seek a United Nations-brokered international compromise over the islands disputed by China and its neighbors.
Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has not opposed the United States out of blind anti-Americanism. In the former Soviet countries, Russia has defended what the Russian establishment sees — rightly or wrongly — as vital Russian national interests.
Elsewhere in the world, Russia has clashed with the United States for reasons that have often been shared by many Americans, and have often later been proved correct: opposition to the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime in Libya being the most notable examples. While Russia wants good relations with the United States, it will not lend blanket support to American global primacy. If that is what the Trump administration is hoping for, it will be sorely disappointed, and the latest attempt at reconciliation with Russia will fail.
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NYT > Opinion: Op-Ed Contributor: Why Trump Is Right on Russia 

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Better relations between the United States and Moscow are necessary but not inevitable.

 NYT > Opinion