The Kind of 'Resetting' That Russia Needs Moscow Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kuryer 14 Oct 09 by Vyacheslav Dashichev Senior Research

Fellow of the Center for International Economic and Political Studies of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences

After Barack Obama’s rise to power, there has been talk about a “resetting” of relations between the United States and Russia. The term, “resetting”, was put into use by the new American administration. There were weighty reasons for that. During the Bush administration, Russian-American relations reached such a high level of tension that this period was reminiscent of the era of the Cold War. The ruling circles of the United States have come to understand that they went too far in their anti-Russian policy, which pushed Russia away from Europe and prompted it to seek salvation in alliance with the rising super-power, China. The systemic crisis of capitalism and the fall of the dollar as the reserve currency put American supremacy in the world into question. All of that had to be reflected in the policy of the United States toward Russia. Why should it come down on Moscow so hard? Wouldn’t it be better to replace the tactics and methods of the anti-Russian policy? Wouldn’t it be better to try to attach Russia to the American cart by “indirect means”? That task has also be laid on Obama, with his charming smile and sweet speeches. But lip service alone will not manage to bring about a “resetting”. A serious reassessment of the “values” and goals of American policy is necessary for that. First of all, it is necessary that it be freed from the syndrome of supremacy over nations. For this purpose, the new American administration must unambiguously disassociate itself from the “Project for the New American Century”, which was elaborated by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and other “neo-cons”, and which became the foreign policy program of the Bush administration. The anti-Russian course of the United States is also an integral part of this “project”. But, to all appearances, the Obama administration does not intend to renounce it. In her programmed foreign policy speech of 15 July 2009, Hillary Clinton, U. S. Secretary of State, emphasized that the United States will continue its adherence to the concept of absolute world leader. At all times, the policy of supremacy, now camouflaged as leadership, has been the most destructive and dangerous factor in international relations and it served as the main source of wars. The hegemony of the United States under George W. Bush brought instability and conflicts to the whole world. Immorality, amorality, and cynical deception were the hallmarks of this course. It was aimed at the ruination of the sovereignty of countries and their state-forming nations, which were supposed to yield to a “multi-cultural society” of the American type. That is, national states were declared to have gone out of fashion. In order to stop being the “disturber of tranquility” in the world, it is necessary for the United States to stop acting as a messianic power, falsely believing that it has been called upon to teach the other nations how they must live. Attempts cannot be made to carry the Western values of democracy, freedom of the individual, and the “American way of life” everywhere. Wouldn’t it be better to adhere to the well-known principle: “Live and let others live?”

The principles of ethics and morality are incomparably more important for the international community. Without them, there can be no genuine freedom and human rights just as there can be no honest policy, free from deception and provocations. Deception and provocations have become the norm of the behavior of the United States in the international arena. It is necessary for the United States to stop being the leader of the world arms race. The first and unjustified use by the United States of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, when the Second World War was practically over, was immoral in the highest degree. This cruel, inhumane act cost the lives of more than 250,000 Japanese citizens. Thus, the arms race was unleashed. The share of the United States of world military expenditures is more than 50 percent. It has become the “world blacksmith” for new, deadly types of weapons. The military bases of the United States are located in 130 countries. At the same time, there is no threat whatsoever to the national security of the United States! Then why the super-weapons? They are necessary to the American ruling class for the establishment of supremacy in the world. Obama set forth an initiative for nuclear disarmament and the conclusion with Russia of a new treaty of the reduction of strategic offensive arms. The quite ambiguous cancelation of the plan for the deployment of missile defense [ABM] components in Europe is in this category. That decision can only be welcomed. However, the reduction of conventional types of armed forces and a radical limitation of expenditures for military purposes are no less important for international security. Russia is particularly interested in that. Not only from the economic viewpoint but also in the interests of its own security, taking into consideration the enormous military potential of the forces of NATO. NATO is moving right up to the Russian borders. The agreement of the United States to a radical reduction of military expenditures, a reduction of conventional types of military forces, and a withdrawal of the forces of NATO from the borders of Russia would be a real confirmation of the policy of “resetting”. Russia is vitally interested in the cessation by Washington of its policy to undermine Russian positions in the post-Soviet zone. It wants Washington to stop inspiring and financing the “color revolutions” in the former Soviet republics for the purpose of establishing regimes in them that are hostile to Russia and obedient to the United States. Russia wants the United States to cancel its plans for pulling Ukraine and Georgia into NATO and to stop encouraging conflicts between Russia and countries neighboring it. Furthermore, the United States must stop its informational-propagandistic war against Russia. It must stop representing Russia, in the eyes of Western society, as an “incorrigible imperialistic power”, as a “threat from the East”. That is nothing other than shifting the blame to someone else’s shoulders. Even Helmut Schmidt, a former chancellor of Germany, wrote the following in “The Powers of the Future”, his book: “We must not turn into degenerates, obsequiously assenting to American imperialism.” President Medvedev set forth an initiative for the establishment of a new system of all-European security, which includes Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It proposes the abolition of the bloc structure of international relations in Europe. NATO is a survival of the Cold War. It would seem that this military bloc has lost its right to exist, especially since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union disintegrated. After all, Europe is no longer being threatened by anybody. Thus, just why is the United States so persistently trying to preserve, strengthen, and expand it? Why is a large grouping of American and English troops, with nuclear weapons, still deployed on the territory of Germany?

It appears that, for the United States, this is related to the resolution of the three main tasks: (1). To rely on NATO, now and in the future, as the main instrument for supremacy of the United States in Europe and thereby “keep the Germans in check”. (2). To conduct the “globalization” of NATO in order to use the troops of the countries in that alliance, not only on the European continent but also in remote regions of the world, in the geopolitical and economic interests of the top ruling circles of the United States. (3). In case of an emergency situation in Russia, which may arise as a result of a social outburst of dissatisfaction influenced by a deepening of the crisis of the Russian economy, the United States will not fail to send NATO troops into Russia territory under the pretext of “saving democracy”. There is another possible scenario: The organization of a large-scale anti-Russian provocation on the territory of Ukraine in order to create a reason for the use of NATO troops against Russia. Such a development of events would make it possible for the United States to put an end to the sovereignty of Russia, get its hands on Russia’s natural resources, and force Russia off to the sidelines with respect to world development. In essence, this is the long-term goal on the anti-Russian policy of the United States. The secret services will engage themselves until the time for its realization, and then, at hour “X”, the armed forces of NATO will become involved. For the society of the West, an invasion of Russia by NATO troops would not be unexpected and unacceptable. The Western mass media, which are controlled by the United States, have done a fair amount of work to make Russia look like a country that must be feared. All of that demonstrates that European security is resting on a shaky foundation and that it is necessary seriously to embrace the initiative of President Medvedev. Why not give the European community the opportunity to return to the principles of the Charter of Paris, which was approved and signed by all of the European countries, the United States, and Canada on 21 November 1990? It put an end to the Cold War and correctly pointed out the path along which Europe should move forward. It called for a withdrawal from confrontations, the overcoming of the division of the continent, the abolition of the bloc structure of international relations, and the establishment of security for all of the countries on the same, equal basis. It also entailed the reduction, to a minimum, of military expenditures and arms and the obligation to make sure that the threat of war will never again emanate from Europe, as well as the guarantee that the domestic and foreign policy of the European countries will be based on the principles of democracy. It also called for the development of all-European cooperation. For the United States, as a power that has set itself the goal of achieving world supremacy, the remarkable principles of the Charter of Paris were unacceptable. The United States cast those principles aside regardless of the fact that it has signed that document. Briefly, that is what is required for a “resetting” of Russian-American relations and the taking of them out onto a clean road of mutual respect and trust, fruitful cooperation, and service to the world and the common good. Incidentally, the computer term, “resetting”, was inappropriately selected. A “resetting” does not change the program that that was installed on the computer. Is it possible to hope that this does not apply to the policy of the new administration of the United States? Editor’s note: Vyacheslav Dashichev holds the degree, Doctor of the Historical Sciences. He is a senior research fellow of the Center of International Economic and Political Studies of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

[Description of Source: Moscow Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kuryer in Russian Weekly newspaper focusing on military and defense industrial complex issues published by Almaz Media, a subsidiary of the defense industrial firm Almaz-Antey]

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