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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Golts on Russia's Farcical Attempt to Wage Cold War

Writing in the Moscow Times, defense policy expert Alexander Golts ridicules impotent Russia's efforts to restart the Cold War:

Marx has often been attributed with the famous quote that history repeats itself first as a tragedy and second as a farce. I'm not sure if the 40-year Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States can be called a historical tragedy, but the games Russia's leaders are playing now definitely resemble a farcical repetition of the Cold War.

At first glance, however, the increasingly aggressive rhetoric appears very serious. A few days before the State Duma elections, President Vladimir Putin asserted that Russia needed powerful armed forces to make sure nobody pokes "their snotty noses" into our internal affairs. This type of language creates the ideological basis for a confrontation at a time when the country is slipping further into authoritarianism.

Russia recently demanded that NATO countries ratify the adapted version of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe that sets country-based rather than bloc-based limits on weaponry. But just some days ago, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was necessary to adapt further the already-adapted treaty by putting some limits on weaponry used exclusively by NATO member countries. In this way, Moscow is trying to divide Europe and Russia once again into military blocs. It would seem that Russia is trying to function single-handedly as a its own military alliance, and it is seeking the legal foundation to increase its level of conventional forces that will allow it to achieve this new status.

The Russian armed forces are ready and eager to demonstrate their growing capabilities to potential adversaries. Major General Pavel Androsov, commander of the 37th Air Force, told reporters of the results of Russia's recently resumed training flights by strategic bombers. During their long flights over the neutral waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans, the bombers, equipped with test versions of cruise missiles, carried out 270 training missions. Jets from NATO countries accompanied the Russian bombers on 70 of the flights. In addition, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov reported to Putin that ships of Russia's Northern and Black Sea fleets were cruising the Mediterranean Sea in order to "resume the country's naval presence in the world's oceans."

Thus, on the surface, it would seem that Russia is preparing for a serious military confrontation with the West. But there are no resources for maintaining a new Cold War since Russia's military budget is one-twentieth that of the United States. Moscow's defense expenditures equal just 2.7 percent of gross national product, while researchers suggest that, during the Soviet era, they totaled from 40 percent to 80 percent of GNP.

With regard to the promise First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov made last year to deliver a squadron of strategic bombers to the Air Force, Androsov could only say that "defense orders are being fulfilled according to schedule." Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that the single new Tu-160 bomber produced has yet to leave its hanger in Kazan for over two years now.

The situation in the navy is quite similar. Last summer, then-commander of the Northern Fleet, Vladimir Vysotsky, said it was previously customary to send out naval squadrons of 10 ships on maneuvers in the Atlantic Ocean. Now, we learn, the squadrons consist of only four ships. What's more, after every such tour, the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov must undergo six months of repairs.

Those problems won't be solved in one year's time. A true Cold War won't start until the West perceives an actual threat to its security, and there is no such threat at present. Moreover, while official propaganda for the domestic consumption boasts the motherland's readiness to oppose the enemy, military leaders simultaneously take steps to preserve cooperation with those same so-called adversary countries. At this moment, the joint U.S.-Russian Torgau-2007 training exercises are underway in Germany, based on the idea of building a joint brigade during peacekeeping operations. Also in recent days, the chief of Russia's General Staff signed a U.S.-Russian memorandum on military cooperation in Washington. The details of that document have not been disclosed -- not so much to protect state secrets, but because it would look strange for Moscow to be strengthening cooperation with the same country that it calls a "treacherous enemy."

Considering the circumstances, it seems that Moscow is winking at the United States, sending a cryptic signal to Washington that the label of "enemy" is meant only for domestic consumption.

1 comment:

Artfldgr said...

Golt appears to have very little understanding of the cold war as it was or is, and the appearance or how it looks in the main stream media, and such.

Lets start with the first premise about the cold war that is never examined. That the cold war was not a war in which a winner could be declared! I bet everyone that read this is saying, yeah right, the US won the cold war, yada yada.

Well, before you can claim a win, one must first establish if one is fighting to win, or doing something else. if one reads the documents that started the cold war, the key document being George Frost Kennans “long telegram”, and actually takes time to understand what he is saying, a “win” was only possible on one side.

Does anyone remember that the whole doctrine of the cold war for the US and West was one of CONTAINMENT not REPLACMENT. Which as we can see now, turned out to be a mistake. Russia always saw the war as a war between the existence of two states, and that the winner would remove the loser. At least that’s how they played it publicly, while knowing that the whole point was to limit them, while their whole point had no limits.

The current view confuses the situation by painting it, and even now, that the whole idea of the cold war, was America saying containment, but wishing replacement. So in this way, one is only reading articles that talk about the farce of it, and so forth.

However, without understanding the situation of containment, they see it in terms of one overthrowing the other. and in those terms, the concept looks farcical, as one tries to assess overt power to determine the overt outcome to such a conflict if it boils over. And since the US is big and mighty like an elephant, and the russia is a flea, they cant see how russia can win. However, any idiot can tell you that a flea can drive an elephant crazy and make it make bad choices, and that a flea can drive the elephant to rampaging through other peoples homes. Those people, then make it a point to remove the elephant, they never see the flea in his ear biting him constantly where it can do nothing (and can get no help since no one believes a flea can do anything).

Its in that small space that russia is MOST powerful. But one would have to understand tactics and power, and not the simplistic concept of overwhelming force, which only works if the enemy stays still.

So the tactics of the US and West in all this has always been to hold the nutty brother down till they stop thrashing about, knocking everything over, hurting people, destabilizing and murders, and so forth.

They held him down till he collapsed. Then they let him up and said “are you done yet”? the past 20 years has been the time needed to see if they are done thrashing about. However Russia relized that it did best when it was held down and let up!
As long as it was being held down, it was also being protected. To the right of russia is china and china has many more times men than russia, a hunger for raw materials, and might think that no one would defend a problem state like russia.

How would YOU keep the 30 million extra Chinese and the 30 million regulars from waltzing in with more soldiers than you have people?

EASY, declare a cold war, get the US to hold you down… it doesn’t stop any of your games, but the US will not let China invade as long as its hobbling the state and it would be unfair. In other words, the US will not allow itself to be used to weaken russia so that china could invade.

At the point of the fall of the berlin wall, russia was very vulnerable, and china had lots of people that are a problem for it, that it could have thrown at the situation. even if it was only a grab for distant lands with few people and only resources.

Its pretty simple if you live in the real world… one can only have one fight at a time… and so as long as one is engaged, everyone else has to wait their turn. The cold wars failure to replace, but to contain, means that this protection could be created without having to comply to a treaty, and could be maintained as long as one wants. Whats even better is that any change to this situation will be seen as another act of compliance and uncewrstanding and will be met with lots of rewards. After all, how many times do you hold down your crazy brother, let him up and see him hurt the family, and hold him down again?

Whats most interesting is that these ‘analysts’ are really crappy analysts.

Thus, on the surface, it would seem that Russia is preparing for a serious military confrontation with the West. But there are no resources for maintaining a new Cold War since Russia's military budget is one-twentieth that of the United States. Moscow's defense expenditures equal just 2.7 percent of gross national product, while researchers suggest that, during the Soviet era, they totaled from 40 percent to 80 percent of GNP.

That paragraph says so much as to their thoughts reasoning and such.

Can we name the false premises?

1) That one must have parity and a chance to win in order to start a conflict.
2) That without this parity, any conflict is a waste (only true if your enemy will invade)
3) That military power is the only power or means – might is the only thing
4) That it implies a “serious military confrontation”
5) It totally ignored the napoleon effect (that small entities that are weak start more fights with large entities because they win in the secondary arena, not the primary one).

If russia WAS on par with the US it would be farcical!! Not the other way around. when a small dog comes up and barks at you and such, what do you do? you tell it to shut up, and it keeps barking and barking. You cant do much. but when a large pit bull comes up and does the same, what are the odds that your going to shoot it if you can?

The analysts are not analyzing, they are trying to project the situation into some neat concept they have, and not examining the concept.

A REAL analyst would say.. the pieces don’t fit, so something else must be up, then work to find that.

A propagandist says, the pieces don’t fit, then proceeds to change your perceptions from the real to the fake.

Its easy to see that most are propagandists because their analysis tend to end up with the same answer… he is crazy, pay no attention… he is crazy, so don’t act… etc.

In fact, in case you haven’t noticed, they always have the same answer of everyone!!!

That should tell you something.

That their job is to bend everything to the same answer, not reveal the answers behind everything.

Here is how far away he is, but then consider where he takes those that read him.

Those problems won't be solved in one year's time. A true Cold War won't start until the West perceives an actual threat to its security, and there is no such threat at present.

What this also implies is that America actually thought russia was a real threat during the cold war… but if it saw russia as a real threat to its power, it would NOT have chosen containment.

Think to the little dog vs the big dog. Containment is too dangerous with the big one, and is the only option for the little one or appear really really mean and bad.

The threat to security that America saw in the cold war was the no end of troubles that someone can cause in trying to cause harm. After all, this little yap dog keeps trying to chew on your legs and such… it may not be ABLE to cause real harm without hurting itself, but that only exists if one ignored everything they could do if it wasn’t in a war. Which is also crazy.

So the US never saw russia as an equal threat. Can anyone here actually list out why? well, for the same reasons that now it seems farcical. Russia has never been ahead of the US in innovation and production and such.. EVER.. oh, they might get ahead on some missle count… or some singular thing… but across its whole, it was always a mess, it was never a real threat. Since any real action would have been suicidal on its part given the rest of the world.

Russia is only doing this so that it can steer the boat of hatred for all the other countries that would be the ones to act. from iran stopping the use of us currency, to tons of other things… as before, it will be at the forefront of hurtful things… but none of them will add up to something large enough to justify a war that would end the endless biting of the flea.