WILL THE U.S. NOW BYPASS ITS RUSSIA MYTH TO FOCUS DIRECTLY ON CHINA?
The all-pervasive neocon majority in Washington have now wrung about as much as they can from the ‘Aggressive Russia’ myth. It worked tolerably well for the Democrats though they only just squeaked in at the recent presidential elections.
The era of Russia hating and baiting may just possible be nearing its end.
Expect no great change in rhetoric towards Russia however, but just possibly there will be a softening of America’s stance behind the scenes. Even as I write this U.S. and Russian officials are having meetings where largely unknown issues are being discussed. At long last some tentative willingness to establish a dialogue is evident. Not before time.
In public pronouncements we can probably expect even tougher words spoken than before. The geopolitical tactics involved are well rehearsed. The recent State Department pronouncement that Ukraine can move forward toward NATO membership is just such a political chess move. While doing one thing over here you must signal another over there. You keep certain actors assuaged via statements with little real substance to them while pushing your most vital agenda hard behind closed doors.
What might be the reasons behind this apparent thawing of relations between the USA and Russia?
In my view it is all about China. Specifically (as Biden has more than hinted about) the rise and rise of the Chinese economy. But China has of course been seen as an economic adversary of the USA for many years now. Why the change to up the ante now?
In a word, Covid.
As China surmounted the worst effects of the pandemic and re-engineered its economy to once again exponentially expand as before... the USA has been hit hard, and the negative economic effects of the pandemic there appear certain to have much greater impact still.
What additional gains can the USA expect to extract from the ‘Aggressive Russia’ myth now? Very few I would say. And the latest engineered scandals in eastern Europe may signal the last hurrah with its multiple round of diplomatic red cards to Russians.
I suspect that, along with protestations of unlimited support for Ukraine and all NATO members as a pat on the head assurance, we may see U.S. eyes lifted far from the borders of Europe. Not that certain individuals will not raise a few bolstering but essentially meaningless verbal fists toward Russia now and then. But Moscow will naturally recognize the theater of it all, especially as the behind closed doors discussions taking place will give the appropriate winks and nods necessary.
Biden’s broadside at Putin recently was no doubt part of the geopolitical public relations fig leaf that presented the “right” image to protect the underlying ambition to engage with and improve relations. It’s may all seem quite perverse and on the surface of it unlikely but I suspect it may just be so.
As I have said previously, the timeline to undermine China was quite a bit longer prior to the pandemic hitting. It has in my view been necessary due to the surge in the Chinese economy now occurring and the expected decline in the U.S. The previous timeline was in no way a sure thing but I suspect it was felt necessary then to keep the end goal and the methods to achieve it camouflaged somewhat. This can no longer be afforded. China is leaping from the post-covid starting gate while the USA has a severe time penalty. It’s time to take the gloves off, dispense with all distractions (Russia) and focus like a laser on speeding the process.
The ultimate target for the USA was always China. That surely has been clear to everyone for decades now. However, the messy aftermath of the U.S./EU support for the 2014 coup in Kiev created the perceived necessity for a seven year response to keep Europe firmly aligned.
With the U.S. wishing to see the impasse ended and the distraction of Russia for them ended Blinken’s visit to Kiev in the coming days is more likely to push Zelensky toward making peace than war. Against the expectations of many.
I believe the Biden administration no longer sees much leverage in attacking Russia or using Ukraine or NATO to do so. The far larger adversary (as they see it) is quite obviously China, a China soaring onward destined to pass them by, across a range of economical and increasingly geopolitical categories sooner and sooner with each passing day.
Russia may well become so yesterday as time goes by.
Russia, which has largely sat still and taken it for all these years, will no doubt shrug for a moment then get back to building her own economy and defending her own interests, as usual.
The whole sham theater of Russiagate will disappear like the mirage it always was.
Not that anything will be admitted to. That of course is not the geopolitical way of things. Now and then a sham missive will be fired. Allies will remain there to be reassured like the little beaks begging mama bird for a morsel or two to keep them reassured.
To continue the metaphor, when the gimlet eyes of Mama America look up from her chicks and peer in an easterly direction they will be set diamond hard, undistracted by certain onion domes in the mid-distance.