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Turkey Undermines NATO, Yet Again | Source: The Globalist

Turkey has reportedly used its veto power as a member of NATO to water down an official condemnation of Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko, for forcing down of a passenger plane, in order to arrest Roman Protasevich, a dissident journalist on board. Erdogan’s move to protect Russia’s Belarusian ally is only the latest case of collusion between Ankara and Moscow to undermine NATO.

Source: The Globalist


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Putin to meet Lukashenko in display of support after Belarus plane diversion | Source: The National News

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, greets Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017 meeting that the pair will repeat in Sochi on Friday. 

In an attempt to strengthen ties with his closest ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will meet his Russian counterpart. The summit will be a critical show of support by Moscow for Mr Lukashenko’s regime a day after the UN civil aviation agency announced it would investigate Sunday’s interception of the Ryanair airplane by a MiG-29 fighter jet.

Source: The National News


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EU sanctions expected to hit Belarus’s potash, oil and finance | Source: Metro US

EU leaders summit in Brussels.

The European Union will look at hitting Belarus’s big potash exports as well as its oil and financial sectors with new sanctions, as punishment for forcing down a Ryanair flight to arrest a journalist. Since cracking down on pro-democracy protests last year, Belarus largely ignored three previous rounds of EU sanctions and comparable U.S. measures. Western countries are demanding free elections in Belarus.

Source: Metro US


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Belarusian Defense Minister announced high NATO activity near borders | Source: Tass

Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin.

Belarusian Defense Minister noted the high intensity of NATO reconnaissance activity, as well as operational and combat preparations near the Belarusian border. The intensity of military aviation flights over neighboring countries has reached up to 30 sorties per week, which “makes it possible to carry out reconnaissance of our entire territory”. “The main cause – is NATO’s and the EU’s desire to impose its will without obstructions”.

Source: Tass


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The EU sanctions Belarus after ‘state terrorism’ | Source: CNBC

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference at the EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels on May 24, 2021.

The EU agreed to step up existing sanctions against Belarus after the Ryanair plane incident (a Ryanair airplane was forced to land in Minsk to detained journalist Roman Protasevich). Belarus has a close relationship with Russia, and benefitted from continuing political and economic support from Russia since the last round of sanctions.

Source: CNBC


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What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

24 APRIL 2021

What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

The latest de-escalation in Donbass is attributable to Russia’s resoluteness in refusing to fall into the US’ Hybrid War trap of launching an all-out military intervention there in support of its legal interests while nevertheless flexing its muscles in this respect by sending the signal that it reserves the right to deliver a crushing strike in defense of its border and/or citizens if they’re seriously threatened.

The month of April was marked by serious tension in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass after Kiev appeared to be gearing up for an Operation Storm-like genocidal advance against the Russian-friendly separatists there which many predicted might trigger a major military response from Moscow. Of course, the Mainstream Media flipped the victims and villains in order to misportray Russia as the aggressor even though it was Ukraine that declined to implement its legal obligations as agreed to during the Minsk peace process and thus unilaterally worsened the situation. I published two analyses at the time explaining the complicated dynamics of those tense events, which should be reviewed by interested readers in case they aren’t already familiar with them:

* 6 April: “Are Vaccines The Real Driving Force Behind The Latest Donbass Destabilization?

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Basically, Kiev was being put up to this by its Washington patron which wanted to provoke a scenario that would make it politically impossible for most of the EU nations to purchase Russia’s Sputnik V like they were reportedly planning to do up until that point. The US feared the long-term strategic impact of improved Russian-EU relations as a result of their prospective epidemiological cooperation. It hoped to “bait the bear” into launching an all-out military intervention in support of its border and/or citizens, which could in turn function as a Hybrid War trap for creating an Afghan-like quagmire in the worst-case scenario. Russia refused to fall for this scheme but nevertheless flexed its muscles by sending the signal that it still reserves the right to deliver a crushing strike in defense of its legal interests if they’re threatened, which got the West to back off.

The situation could of course change at any moment since the strategic dynamics haven’t changed all that much, but Russia’s confident moves must have made the West rethink the wisdom of this Hybrid War plot considering the obviously unacceptable costs that it would likely entail. For the moment at least, everything seems to be de-escalating a bit as a result of Russia’s prudent policy. The Russian “spy” scandal in Czechia was manufactured to serve as a convenient distraction from Western warmongers backtracking in Eastern Ukraine since their leadership couldn’t openly acknowledge that they blinked in the face of Russian resoluteness lest they lose credibility with their populace which has been hyped up by anti-Russian propaganda. This was followed by President Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly and the end of Russian drills in the south.

About those last two, they’re actually interconnected if one takes the time to think about them. The Russian leader very clearly implied that his country’s red lines are connected not only to conventional security interests such as the obvious ones in Eastern Ukraine that everyone had been talking about up until that point, but also “Democratic Security” insofar as announcing how unacceptable the recently foiled Belarusian regime change plot was. Without saying as much but clearly hinting in this direction, President Putin was conveying the message that the West mustn’t dare even think about attempting to assassinate him, stage a Color Revolution (the ongoing Navalny-inspired unrest isn’t a serious threat), try to co-opt military officials for a coup plot, or launch a crippling cyber offensive attack to shut down the national capital like was all planned for Belarus.

Since Russia’s southern military drills were sufficient enough to prove how resolute it was in defending its legal interests if need be, and considering the fact that the West had already begun to de facto de-escalate the situation by staging the Russian “spy” distraction in Czechia and subsequent expulsion of diplomats across a growing number of European countries, it naturally followed that Russia would reciprocate by ending its exercises. Moscow had already managed to show the West that it won’t be pushed around, and its military forces can always snap back into action at a moment’s notice if the situation requires them to do so. In other words, those drills and President Putin’s very clearly implied “Democratic Security” (counter-Hybrid War) red lines were responsible for getting the West to de-escalate, after which Russia responded in kind as is the norm.

The lessons to be learned are several. Firstly, Russia is much too wise to fall into Hybrid War traps that are so obviously laid out for it. Secondly, it still succeeded in showing its opponents that they’ll suffer unacceptably high costs for their schemes if they force Russia to militarily respond in a limited way in defense of its legal interests. Thirdly, awareness of these first two points resulted in a rethink of Western strategy, which was fourthly followed by their desperate manufacturing of the Russian “spy” scandal in Czechia to distract their hyped-up Russophobic populations that had expected the West to be the one to deliver a crushing blow to Russia and not the inverse. Fifthly, Russia conveyed its “Democratic Security” red lines, thereby essentially expanding the list of unacceptable actions against it which could provoke a hot war in the worst-case scenario.

This sequence of events explains the latest de-escalation in Donbass, but observers must remember that the present respite might only be short-lived since the strategic dynamics that provoked the original tensions still remain. There’s nothing stopping the West from trying to provoke Russia again and again, albeit perhaps modifying their approach each time. That would of course increase the chances of a war by miscalculation and contradict the so-called “rational actor theory” upon which many had (naively?) premised their understanding of International Relations up until this point. It might still be premature to predict that this will happen and that the US isn’t behaving rationally since it did after all de-escalate, though only in the face of Russian resoluteness, but everything should become much clearer by the time NATO’s Defender Europe 2021 drills end in June.


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Why’s The West Covering Up The Foiled Belarusian Coup Attempt?

22 APRIL 2021

Why

President Putin used the global attention afforded to him during his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday to raise widespread awareness of the Belarusian coup attempt that his security services helped foil last weekend but which has since been mostly ignored by the Western Mainstream Media.

The Hybrid War On Belarus

The ongoing Hybrid War on Belarus could have taken a dramatic turn for the worse had the Russian security services and their Belarusian counterparts not foiled an assassination and coup attempt against President Lukashenko over the weekend that was being planned for the very near future. President Putin remarked about this near the end of his approximately 1,5-hour-long annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday, wisely using the global attention afforded to him during this time to raise widespread awareness of this scheme. The Russian leader even remarked how strange it was that the West has been mostly ignoring this dramatic development despite the potential consequences of its successful implementation predictably being disastrous for the Eastern European nation.

The News Story That Never Broke

Another point to keep in mind is that his spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed the press on Monday that President Putin discussed the issue with his American counterpart during their last phone call, which strongly suggests that the US government might have pressured its Mainstream Media proxies not to report on that aspect of their conversation. After all, there were plenty of leaks in the last administration, yet curiously barely any have thus have happened in the present one. Nevertheless, Russian media reported on the scandal over the weekend after it first broke, but few outlets elsewhere picked up on it. It can’t be known for sure, but apart from the previously mentioned reasonable speculation, this might also be attributable to self-censorship. Some outlets might simply not want to portray Biden’s foreign policy in any negative light.

American Tradecraft

Although the US officially denied any involvement in the plot, the details that the media disclosed about it (and which President Putin also repeated to everyone on Wednesday) bear the hallmarks of American tradecraft. The scheme involved assassinating President Lukashenko, reportedly during the military parade on Victory Day (9 May), which was to have been followed by a military coup carried out by compromised elements of the armed forces. In addition, the capital of Minsk was supposed to have been cut off from the rest of the country and victimized by a massive power outage, presumably as a result of a cyber offensive operation. The ongoing Color Revolution movement would have also been ordered to repeat the EuroMaidan scenario of all-out urban terrorism during this sensitive time in order to ensure that the coup succeeds by one means or another.

The Ukrainian & Venezuelan Precedents

President Putin compared this plot to what had previously been employed against former Ukrainian President Yanukovich and current Venezuelan President Maduro, thereby implying an American hand in the reported Belarusian events considering that the US’ leading tactical and strategic involvement in the prior two bears close resemblance to the Belarusian scenario. The Western Mainstream Media wanted to keep silent about this scheme out of fear of making Biden look bad since their targeted audience has been indoctrinated into thinking that he’s a comprehensive improvement upon everything that former US President Trump earlier was. If Biden – or rather, the military, intelligence, and diplomatic power structure (“deep state”) behind him – was implicated in a foreign assassination and coup attempt, then it might raise questions about whether the US’ ostensibly “democratically driven” regime change last November actually changed anything across the world.

Biden’s Following In Trump’s Footsteps

It shouldn’t be forgotten that despite legally discredited accusations of being a so-called “Russian puppet”, former President Trump did more to destabilize Russia than any US leader in history, which in this context includes organizing the ongoing Hybrid War on Belarus. Biden is therefore following in Trump’s footsteps whether his supporters acknowledge it or not, but this observation is very “politically inconvenient” for his base and must therefore be suppressed from the public’s consciousness. That explains why it’s practically forbidden from being discussed by the Mainstream Media, but that might have suddenly changed after President Putin ensured that the whole world became aware of it during his address to the Federal Assembly. He didn’t just do this to spite Biden, though, but for very practical reasons related to Russia’s national security interests.

Belarusian Threats = Russian Threats

The context in which the Russian leader talked about the foiled assassination and coup attempt in neighboring Belarus concerned the West’s larger campaign of maximum pressure against his country. Since Belarus is a civilizationally similar state that’s also proudly part of what many in Moscow consider the so-called “Russian World”, it naturally follows that its latest Hybrid War intrigue directly threatens Russia itself since the successful implementation of that regime change scenario could one day result in its replication inside Russia too. The socio-economic and even political situations are remarkably similar between those two nations, even though their security capabilities are incomparable by virtue of Russia being a Great Power while Belarus is simply a moderately sized regional state with very limited influence even within its own neighborhood.

Russia’s Red Lines

Even so, President Putin warned his country’s opponents against getting any crazy ideas by attempting to cross Russia’s red lines, which he said his country will draw at its own discretion on a case-by-case basis. Considering that he had just finished talking about the latest Hybrid War escalation against neighboring Belarus with which Russia has a mutual defense treaty through the CSTO and which is civilizationally similar to his own country, the implied message is obvious and it’s that Moscow won’t tolerate any such plots being attempted within its own borders. It would arguably constitute the crossing of a very clear red line if the West attempted (let alone coordinated) the assassination of President Putin, a military coup, a serious Color Revolution (the Navalny-inspired one isn’t all that threatening), and/or a crippling cyber attack.

The Truth About The New Cold War

The Belarusian attempt was foiled which is why it’s not being discussed by the Western Mainstream Media because of how embarrassing this failure is for their leaders. It also confirms what President Putin has been saying all along, namely that the real aggressor in the New Cold War isn’t Russia, but the West and especially the US. Most of the people living in the West have been indoctrinated through an incessant stream of propaganda and intense perception management operations into thinking the inverse, but even these brainwashed masses might reconsider their dogmatic beliefs if they took the time to reflect on the implications of their governments organizing the assassination of a Russian-friendly foreign leader and a military coup against him. That might, in the “worst-case scenario” from their leaders’ perspectives, get them to wake up.

Concluding Thoughts

Many of President Putin’s foreign supporters oftentimes describe him as “5D chess grandmaster”, and while this label is sometimes laughably exploited to deflect from some seemingly unsavory parts of his foreign policy such as Russia’s indisputable alliance with “Israel”, it can be said that this time it’s right on the mark when talking about his strategic genius in bringing up the foiled assassination and coup attempt in Belarus during his address to the Federal Assembly. The Russian leader broke through the Western Mainstream Media’s censorship firewall and forced this politically suppressed issue into the wider discussion, though it remains to be seen whether it’ll have any meaningful impact on public perceptions. In any case, it was a wily move to make and completely in line with the Russian leader’s style of responding to the West in asymmetrical ways.


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Bild’s Libelous Spy Claim Against RT Is Part Of The German Hybrid War On Russia

11 MARCH 2021

Bild

Russian-German relations continue to tank after Bild’s libelous spy claim against RT left little doubt that Germany is waging a Hybrid War on Russia, though Berlin still hopes to complete Nord Stream II in order to retain a limited degree of strategic autonomy in Europe vis-a-vis its Washington patron and enable the Central European country to possibly influence Moscow’s “balancing” act with Beijing.

The Gist Of Germany’s Hybrid War On Russia

Contrary to what many in the Alt-Media Community inaccurately claimed for years, Germany isn’t trying to partner with Russia as part of some “master plan” to remove American influence from Europe but is actively waging a Hybrid War against the Eurasian Great Power to expand Berlin’s influence there at Moscow’s expense. Bild’s libelous spy claim against RT are but the latest iteration of this comprehensive strategy, which follow in the footsteps of German banks refusing to do business with RT-affiliated companies shortly after the outlet announced its plans to launch RT Deutsche at the end of the year. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that not only did Germany earlier treat allegedly poisoned anti-corruption blogger and NATO agent Alexei Navalny, but it also supported the 2013-2014 urban spree of terrorism in Ukraine that’s commonly known as “EuroMaidan” as well as presently backs the spiritually similar Color Revolution movement that erupted in neighboring Belarus last summer. The Central European country still hopes to complete Nord Stream II, but only in order to retain a limited degree of strategic autonomy in Europe vis-a-vis its American patron and enable Germany to possibly influence Russia’s “balancing” act with China. All of this insight will now be explained in detail.

Bild’s Libelous Allegation Against RT

Regarding Bild’s libelous allegation, the tabloid claims that a former RT investigative journalist suspected that he was being exploited as a useful idiot to illegally spy on Navalny during his period of treatment in the German capital. Their full article in German can be read here. Upon reviewing the piece, it’s clear that the Russian outlet did nothing wrong. If anything, the only criticism that can be leveled against the company is that its management might have been so eager in their competitive drive to get the scoop about this globally relevant story that they unintentionally made one of their former employees feel uncomfortable. Their reported tactics, however, aren’t anything exceptional in this industry but are par for the course even if the average news consumer is largely unaware that this is how that line of work generally operates. Real-time brainstorming between some senior managers and the employee in question over Telegram is dishonestly misportrayed in a scandalous way akin to a spymaster giving their agent secret orders. RT vowed legal action to clear its name and seems to stand a solid chance at succeeding, especially since the former employee released a book about his experiences the day before the scandal broke and thus seems to have provoked all of this just for publicity.

Banking Obstacles

On the topic of German banks refusing to do business with RT-affiliated companies, this clearly seems to be part of the host country’s campaign against the Russian outlet. Bild’s libelous allegation adds fuel to the fire that RT’s network of affiliates is toxic to associate with, which might have also been one of the supplementary objectives behind the latest scandal. It’s evident that Germany is doing all that it can to impede the launch and subsequent activities of RT’s forthcoming German-language channel by the end of the year. There are also active efforts underway to discredit its activities far ahead of time, potentially to manufacture the supposedly “plausible pretext” for the government to promulgate legislation to prevent it from operating. That theory makes sense from a strategic standpoint because everything that the company has endured over the past month points to a concerted campaign aimed towards that end. German officials fear the influence that RT’s German-language channel could have on shaping the domestic debate, yet they’re currently powerless to apply existing legal mechanisms to stop it. That might soon change as a result of the latest scandals in addition to whatever other provocations might be still committed before the planned December launch.

Merkel’s Color Revolution Mania

Germany’s prior treatment of Navalny following his alleged poisoning was officially a humanitarian gesture but one that was politically exploited for the purpose of discrediting Russia after the patient’s speculative claims that his homeland’s security services were responsible for his medical emergency. German officials participated in this latest escalation of the West’s long-running information war against Russia, which served to incite unauthorized rallies across some of the Eurasian Great Power’s main cities, especially its capital. In fact, the Russian government even expelled a German diplomat alongside two of their Polish and Swedish counterparts who directly took part in those proto-Color Revolution events. This shouldn’t have been surprising since one mustn’t forget that Berlin supported the infamous 2014 “EuroMaidan” Color Revolution regime change operation and subsequent coup in Ukraine. The Central European country also backs a similar albeit much less successful movement in Belarus. An indisputable pattern of behavior is on full display in which Germany actively aids Eastern European Color Revolutions in Ukraine, Belarus, and nowadays even Russia itself as part of its efforts to assert itself as the continent’s hegemon at the “Lead From Behind” behest of its American patron.

Germany’s Ulterior Motives For Supporting Nord Stream II

Even so, Germany also doesn’t want to surrender all of its strategic autonomy to the US either, ergo why it continues to press ahead with Nord Stream II. Although that megaproject is officially apolitical, it’ll nevertheless enable Berlin to retain a limited degree of strategic autonomy upon its full completion, which explains why the US is so adamantly against it since Washington fears that Berlin might subsequently feel emboldened to undertake certain political courses that America doesn’t approve of. Some of these might speculatively relate to the Central European state leading an EU rapprochement with Russia that some countries like Poland fear would be at the eventual expense of their regional interests. The US in turn has been preemptively seeking to support the rise of the Polish-led “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) for the purpose of carving out a “sphere of influence” between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas that could serve as a pro-American geostrategic wedge between Germany and Russia in that scenario. In his country’s defense, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass suspiciously claimed last month that Nord Stream II would actually enhance “Europe’s abilities to influence Russia” by not pushing the Eurasian Great Power into China’s arms like would happen if the project is scuttled.

It’s Against German Interests To Push Russia Into China’s Arms

Some further elaboration is required in order for the reader to better understand the complex strategic dynamics at play. To simplify, Russia’s 21st-century grand strategic ambition is to become the supreme “balancing” force in Eurasia, to which end it seeks to work a lot closer with China following the imposition of the West’s anti-Russian sanctions in 2014 but is nevertheless also seeking to “balance” the People’s Republic in a “friendly” manner via their fellow BRICS and SCO partner India. From the standpoint of EU-leader Germany, the continent’s full compliance with its American patron’s strategic demands to impose a policy of so-called “maximum pressure” against Moscow through the scuttling of Nord Stream II would accelerate Russia’s “Eastern Pivot” and ultimately be disadvantageous for German interests. This would be especially so if the Eurasian Great Power implemented some of the 20 proposals that the author shared last month for how it could “contain” the US in response to intensified Western pressure upon it. German rhetoric has been more aggressive against Russia lately, which is why the latter fears the seemingly inevitable establishment of an ideological wall between them as a consequence of the New Cold War, so this scenario isn’t purely speculative.

The German-American Strategic Divergence Over Russia

It’s here where the German and American strategies diverge in their joint Hybrid War on Russia. Berlin agrees with Washington insofar as keeping up the pressure on Moscow, but it doesn’t want to push Russia too far lest it risk the consequences of the Eurasian Great Power being compelled to abandon Europe per the gist of the 20 aforementioned proposals, wholeheartedly embracing China in response, and therefore qualitatively empowering the People’s Republic in its quest to become the leading force in the Eastern Hemisphere. Germany fears that such a state of affairs might eventually entail the EU making “concessions” to China or at the very least being caught up too closely in the New Cold War between Washington and Beijing, which it’s already in the middle of but has yet to become as intense of a scene for strategic competition as it could be in that scenario. Ideally, Germany would prefer for Russia to keep one foot in Europe through Nord Stream II and the other in Asia through its Sino-Indo “balancing” act, which could enable Berlin to “balance” between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing more adroitly. The US, however, prefers the EU’s full submission to its “sphere of influence” and doesn’t care about the consequences of intensified competition with China there.

Russia’s “Asian Pivot” Might Ruin Its Sino-Indo “Balancing” Act

As for Russia, while it’ll pivot eastward in support of its interests if the circumstances compel it to, the country also fears the long-term consequences of becoming strategically over-reliant on China. This explains its tricky “balancing” act between China and India, which it practices in an attempt to preserve as much of its strategic autonomy as possible, exactly as Germany is attempting to do vis-a-vis Russia and the US via Nord Stream II. If that megaproject is scuttled, however, then Russia wouldn’t have as effective of a means of “balancing” Eurasia since it’ll be forced to abandon the Western half of its strategy and thus become entirely dependent on its Eastern one. Russia can’t properly “balance” China and India in such a scenario since those two might inevitably enter into a rapid rapprochement if Washington sanctions New Delhi for its S-400 purchase like it threatened to and thus compels the South Asian state to implement what critics might describe as “concessions” towards the People’s Republic since it would lose the ability to militarily contain Beijing along the Line of Actual Control (seeing as how Moscow wouldn’t replace Washington’s role in this respect in order to avoid provoking a security dilemma with the People’s Republic). Russia might then become less relevant in Asian affairs.

The Convergence Of Russian, German, And American Interests

This strategic insight suggests that Russian, German, and American interests indirectly align over Nord Stream II. Its completion would bolster Moscow’s “balancing” capabilities vis-a-vis Beijing, thus preventing Berlin and Brussels from becoming intensified objects of competition between the US and China if Russia eventually becomes a second-rate geopolitical player in Eurasia as might happen if the project isn’t completed, which could in turn endanger the viability of Washington’s hegemony there. That outcome is entirely possible upon Russia being pushed out of Europe in the event that its pipeline is scuttled and then de facto transformed into the junior partner of what might then become the Asian-wide Sino-Indo alliance that could blossom following speculative “concessions” by New Delhi should Moscow’s tricky “balancing” act between them fail. The worst-case scenario for the US is that China pushes it out of Europe once Russia’s influence there is neutralized by the US first, which could in divide the world between Beijing and Washington along hemispheric axes. With time, China would inevitably win the New Cold War, but America could prevent this if it doesn’t “lose” Europe, which requires saving the viability of Russia’s “balancing” act by allowing Nord Stream II to be completed as planned.

Concluding Thoughts

It might be a lot for the reader to take in, so they should consider rereading the piece after putting it down for a while to ponder the complex strategic insight contained within it. What’s being argued is that Germany’s Hybrid War on Russia veritably exists as evidenced by Bild’s libelous accusation against RT, the country’s banks refusing to service RT-affiliated companies, Berlin’s support of Navalny, and the Central European state’s active backing of Color Revolutions in Ukraine, Belarus, and even Russia nowadays. Nevertheless, this Hybrid War does indeed have its limits since Germany still wants to preserve Nord Stream II so as to prevent the feared collapse of Russia’s Eurasian “balancing” act that could in turn lead to China becoming the preeminent superpower all across the Eastern Hemisphere (which entails speculative eventual “concessions” by Berlin and Brussels to Beijing). The US doesn’t see the situation the same way and arrogantly believes that its hegemonic control over Europe is best preserved by compelling its proxies to fully submit to its strategic diktats, not realizing that America actually needs Russia’s “balancing” act in order to comparatively keep China somewhat more at bay. The fate of Nord Stream II might therefore prove to be a game-changer for Eastern Hemispheric geopolitics.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Germany, Merkel, Putin, RT. Fake News, Infowars, Hybrid War, Nord Stream II, China, Balancing, US, EU, Navalny, Color Revolutions, Ukraine, Belarus, Regime Change.


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Poland’s Anti-Russian War Game Failure Proves That A Paradigm Change Is Needed

26 FEBRUARY 2021

Poland

Poland’s reported failure in last month’s anti-Russian war games proves that the country cannot defeat the Eurasian Great Power in a conventional conflict, which should thus inspire a paradigm change of thought about the future of Warsaw’s present policy towards its neighbor.

Poland’s Unsurprisingly Disastrous Anti-Russian War Games

Media reports streamed in earlier this week claiming that Poland disastrously lost its latest anti-Russian war games last month, so much so that the exercise allegedly ended with Moscow’s military forces on the banks of the Vistula fighting for control of Warsaw after just five days of virtual hostilities. This isn’t so-called “Russian propaganda” like some might instinctively claim as they usually do in response to any “politically inconvenient” development that happens in Europe nowadays, but was even reported on by The Center for the National Interest, a prominent US think tank. RT’s Scott Ritter and the Strategic Culture Foundation’s Patrick Armstrong also wrote insightful commentary about those reports, arguing that they could become a self-fulfilling prophecy and that Poland is being exploited as an American lab rat, respectively. These are thought-provoking observations, but what’s needed in order to have a more complete picture of the situation is a credible action plan for Poland to follow in the future, ergo the purpose of this analysis.

A Long-Overdue Lesson

The long-overdue lesson that must be learned from Poland’s reported failure last month is that the country cannot defeat Russia in a conventional conflict, not even with state-of-the-art American arms like the exercise incorporated into the scenario despite them not even having been delivered yet. While it might comfort the sensitive Polish national psyche to know that they have such weapons in their possession, they’ve thus far proven to be incapable of serving their intended purpose, which is to deter so-called “Russian aggression” in the extremely unlikely event that it ever happens. About that, while it’s understandable why Poles historically distrust Russia and most folks across the world are familiar with the quip that “history rhymes”, there’s no credible chance that the Eurasian Great Power will invade the Central European country nowadays. It arguably has the military capabilities to do so, but the intent is lacking, both due to the fact that attacking a NATO member would likely trigger World War III and also because Russia doesn’t have any reason to do so anyhow.

Debunking The “Russian Invasion” Myth

Even those who are casually familiar with the complicated history of Russian-Polish relations know that Poles will never accept being militarily occupied by their regional rival. Russian strategists also know this as well, hence why they’d pragmatically regard the fearmongered scenario of annexing Polish territory as unsustainable, thereby making it an impossibility. It wouldn’t accomplish anything for their country. Russia has no need for additional territory just for the sake of it, nor is there any reason to forcefully incorporate foreign citizens into one’s nation who don’t want to be a part of it. It’s a lose-lose for Russia regardless of whichever way one looks at it. The only semi-plausible scenario that some might speculate about is that Russia would launch a preemptive strike against Poland if it was convinced that Warsaw was about to imminently attack its forces in Kaliningrad in coordination with Washington’s and the rest of NATO’s. Even then, however, the attacking forces could be adequately dealt with without Russian troops entering Polish territory, let alone marching on Warsaw.

The Dangerous Russian-Polish Security Dilemma

The problem at play here is that Russia and Poland are trapped in a dangerous security dilemma that’s largely provoked by historical distrust and the pernicious influence of the US. Both sides fear, whether rightly or wrongly, that the other might launch a preemptive strike against them. Russia’s concerns are more legitimate than Poland’s considering NATO’s recent regional military buildup and the occasional publication of provocative so-called “reports” and “studies” about the possibility of seizing Kaliningrad. As for Poland, its fears are based mostly on historical experience and its leadership’s consequent predisposition towards expecting the worst of Russian intentions no matter what. The American angle is relevant insofar as the US provokes Poland’s paranoia for the purpose of exploiting its territory as a springboard for strengthening its offensive military positioning vis-a-vis Russia in advance preparation of any worst-case conflict scenario. Poland willingly goes along with this because it believes that it’s in its best interests, once again, whether rightly or wrongly.

Is America A Reliable Ally?

The most objective conclusion that one can make from the recent reports about Poland’s disastrous showing in last month’s war games is that the country’s policy of bolstering its conventional military capabilities has failed to achieve its purpose in defending against so-called “Russian aggression”. This “politically inconvenient” reality should inspire a paradigm change of thought about the future of Poland’s policy towards Russia. It’s needlessly expensive to continue along the present trajectory when the latest war games prove that this military-driven policy probably won’t ever succeed in delivering its expected results. In fact, one should ask why this policy is even being pursued in the first place if Poland truly has faith in the US’ commitment to Article 5 of the NATO Charter mandating all members to rush to each other’s aid upon request. Considering the capriciousness of some American Presidents, it might be the case that Poland doesn’t feel comfortable putting its entire security in the US’ hands, instead hoping to hold out in the event of a war long enough to pressure its ally to finally act.

Something For Poles To Ponder

That would explain the focus on improving its conventional military capabilities instead of relying solely on NATO’s nuclear umbrella as the ultimate deterrent against so-called “Russian aggression”. This observation is certainly provocative and will probably be angrily contested in public by most Poles, but upon pondering it, there definitely seems to be some truth within it that’s worth considering even if Poles don’t publicly admit it. Be that as it may, it’s important to return to the point that the only realistic chance of war between Russia and Poland would relate to their security dilemma dangerously spiraling out of control. With that in mind and remembering that Russia lacks any reason to invade Polish territory or strike it first unless it feared an imminent attack, the onus arguably falls on Poland to take the first step towards lessening this dilemma, perhaps by not so actively courting US and NATO troops into the country. This is especially the case when it comes to their presence in close proximity to Kaliningrad and Russia’s CSTO mutual defense ally Belarus.

Hybrid Competition In The Post-Soviet Borderlands

That’s not to say that Russia and Poland should — or ever can — “trust” each other, but just that it’s of the highest importance that no war is sparked by miscalculation from either side, which in the most likely case could result from Moscow’s legitimate misunderstandings about the purpose of foreign troops on Polish soil so close to it and its Belarusian ally’s borders. In reality, Russia and Poland will likely remain locked in a hybrid competition with one another for the indefinite future over the countries within their overlapping envisioned “spheres of influence”, Belarus and Ukraine. These two states sit in between Moscow’s Eurasian Union & CSTO (with Minsk being part of both while Kiev’s post-coup pro-Western government is in neither) and Warsaw’s “Three Seas Initiative”, thus making them the geopolitical fault lines of the New Cold War‘s European front. Neither Russia nor Poland is likely to back down from pressing their respective claims of influence which they both regard as inextricable components of their national security strategies.

Keeping The Russian-Polish Hybrid Competition Non-Kinetic

Even so, this predictably prolonged hybrid competition doesn’t have to go kinetic, let alone in a conventional military way like Poland fears that it might. Its ongoing military modernization program should be completed since the budget has already been allocated and the country’s long-term planning is predicated on this eventual outcome, but in the run-up to that milestone being met, Poland should consider a paradigm change of thought regarding its relations with Russia. Those two states are already in a state of unconventional conflict with one another through hybrid means in the Belarusian and Ukrainian “borderlands” between them which doesn’t require any further conventional military involvement on either side beyond their present posturing in this respect. It’s veritably in both of their interests to manage the dangerously spiraling security dilemma between them in order to offset the mutually disastrous scenario of a war by miscalculation, hence the need for Poland to consider how it could take the first step to bring this positive outcome about.

Poland’s Peacemaking Prerogative

There’s no shame in Poland doing so either since it should actually be regarded as a matter of national pride if the country took the initiative to pragmatically manage its military relations with Russia, especially considering the grand strategic importance of such a move with respect to global security, to say nothing of its more immediate effect on Europe. Poland aspires for leadership status within Europe, but won’t ever obtain this so long as it continues reacting to others, in this case its perception of the supposedly imminent threat of so-called “Russian aggression” and pressure upon it by its American ally to respond through a more robust conventional military buildup that only serves to exacerbate its dangerous security dilemma with Moscow (which itself should in theory be moot due to NATO’s nuclear umbrella). By proactively taking the initiative to peacefully manage its security dilemma with Russia, Poland would prove its political maturity, strategic independence, and continental leadership capabilities.

Concluding Thoughts

The paradigm change of thought that Poland must commence in response to its reported failure during last month’s anti-Russian war games is to seriously reconsider the wisdom of doubling down on its conventional military “deterrence” capabilities since these are inadvertently provoking an increasingly dangerous security dilemma with Moscow. It would be one thing if the recent war games predicted a Polish military victory in the event of a conflict between the two, but since it actually resulted in the exact opposite, this shows that Poland’s present policy hasn’t succeeded with its intended purpose. Both countries will likely remain locked in a hybrid competition with one another for the indefinite future over Belarus and Ukraine, but this dynamic could continue without the need for worsening their conventional security dilemma. Seeing as how Poland aspires for regional leadership status, it should consider taking the first step to manage its mutually disadvantageous security dilemma with Russia in the interests of global peace and security.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Poland, Russia, US, Belarus, Ukraine, NATO, Kaliningrad.


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  • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko instructed the government to impose tit-for-tat sanctions against Western nations that had earlier slapped sanctions on some Belarusian enterprises as punishment for Lukashenko election’s outcome.

SOURCE: TASS


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