Neo-Cold War: Repositioning vs Revivalism

Jaguar Attacking A Horseman - Eugène Delacroix
In the past couple of years, we have been witnessing the cold war of the new era; because Russia misses being the centre of political attention.

Russia is a complex country, that (according to Stratfor in Russia After Putin: Inherent Leadership Struggles) needs a very strong leader to maintain its stability, otherwise it incurs the risk of crumbling; for historically only when it "has had an autocratic leader who set up a system where competing factions are balanced against each other has Russia enjoyed prosperity and stability." For the moment, that autocratic leader is Vladimir Putin.

Autocrats are usually megalomaniacs and imperialists - the psycho-pathological condition and the political policy are not really a problem, Machiavellianly speaking; however, psychotic disorders (such as delusions and paranoia) can definitely be.
Russia is obsessed with the idea that the US (the symbol of western power) refuses to treat other countries equally and that it seeks absolute hegemony only for itself - which today is not entirely true; but unfortunately delusion impedes Russia from admitting it. Deep down, Russia would like to be like the US only without the freedom, the democratic values and the liberties the US (i.e. the West) grants its citizens.
And because it can't be like its nemesis, it can't beat it and it refuses to join it; Russia decided the best way to contribute to international politics is to re-create a cold war-like environment, try to re-align the world and sell mayhem to the highest bidder.

America is changing its strategy. For the obsolete politicians and analysts, the US shift in foreign policy is viewed as a sign of weakness, of gradual loss of power, of political incompetence; but for the futurist politician and analyst, the US shift is seen as a repositioning tactic. This strategy eyes the long-term gains, not the short-term ones.
Russia fetched its strategy from the archives. For the obsolete politicians & analysts, the Russian revivalism is regarded as a sign of re-birth, of gradual repossession of power, of political savvy; but for the futurist politician & analyst, the Russian revivalism may be seen as the last gasp of a dying bird. The Russian strategy eyes the short-term gains, not the long-term ones.

Russia sells us the image that it follows the principle of inviolability of national sovereignty; that it gives utter priority to diplomacy in conflict resolution while rejecting the disproportionate use of force; that it seeks a universality of norms of international conduct while rejecting double standards and that it repudiates “humanitarian interventions; but these serve only to sugar-coat Russia's real intentions: those of conquering the world.
In order to depose the US, Russia needs friends. For that effect, it will reach out to countries that feel neglected by the West and, like Iago, it will play the melody of intrigue until those countries share its feelings towards the US. But what those nations fail to see is that Russia/Iago will need to use their grievances against them when convenient; because let's face it:

A. The principle of inviolability of national sovereignty equals to: I will prevent these democracy-obsessed westerners from meddling in your affairs; so that in the future you will have my back when they try to meddle in mine.
B. Priority to diplomacy in conflict resolution equals to: I will not allow NATO nor a US-led military coalition to attack your country; so that in the future when my people try to depose my regime and ask the US for help, you won't allow it either. I prefer diplomacy but until we get a resolution, I'd like to offer you the unique opportunity to acquire some weapons from me.
C. Rejection of disproportionate use of force equals to: if the country attacking my friends uses US, British, French or Israeli weaponry, it is disproportionately using force; if it uses Russian weapons, it is defending itself against terrorists, neo-colonialism, imperialism and occupation.
D. Universality of norms of international conduct stands for: cover my butt.
E. Rejection of double-standards stands for: Russian hypocrisy & contradiction (because their principles and national interests demand double-standards).
F. Repudiation of "humanitarian intervention" signifies: I will hamper any humanitarian intervention (which is another name for military intervention to generate regime change) in your country; so that when my times comes you will prevent the US from trying to change my autocracy and usher Russians into democracy and freedom.

It seems quite straightforward, in the short-term. However, what will happen, in the long-term, after the American repositioning, the Chinese pragmatism and their friends' change of heart? The Russian obsolete strategy is bound to fail - thus marking the end of the Neo-Cold War.

Comments

  1. I don't see a reason why Russia won't work with the USA; why it insists on this cold war posture that creates more problems than it solves? As honorable as their principles may be, they seem phony cause when we look at Ukraine we see Russia doesn't respect national sovereignty of countries surrounding her; when we remember how it behaved vis-a-vis Georgia and occupied Ossetia we see diplomacy is not her priority; universality of norms of international conduct are not respected by Russia cause there is already a certain universality of norms of international conduct but many choose not to follow them...it's all phony! Russia is should try to change cause it talks against imperialism but Russia herself is imperialist!

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Nationalism prevents it, I guess. You are so right, what is going on in Ukraine is a classic example of the Russian lack of respect for the inviolability of national sovereignty principle. Quite, quite...you are absolutely right.

      Absolutely.

      Anon, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Russia is a paradox, as far as I'm concerned. It has the potential to move forward and be a true power but it behaves like a spoiled jealous child. I agree with Anonymous, they pretend to defend noble values but their actions betray them.

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      Their actions betray them...yes, that is it.

      Ana, thank you so very much for your fabulous comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Olá Max!

    Selling mayhem to the highest bidder? Hahahah, that was a great one!
    Russia does seem to have gone to the archives and fetch its strategy, its stance, its aggressiveness! I think you had suggested once that Russians work with the West, with the US, but it seems hard for them for some reason. Medvedev I believe wanted it, but the hardliners (from the former regime) may have resisted the idea. Yet the Russian people wants change; all the have to do is to look at Ukraine and see how people effect change!

    Courageous.

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      Indeed, their behaviour is from the archives. So démodé.
      I believe Medvedev wanted it as well; but nationalist forces prevented it. Yes, the Ukraine is a good example for the Russian people - it was beautiful when they brought down Lenin's statue down; what a message to Russia.

      Celeste, thank you so much for your brilliant comment :D.

      Cheers

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    2. Bringing and hammering down Lenin's statue was a huge letter of intent to Putin!

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    3. Indeed it was. "Letter of intent" wow...loved it. :D

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  4. The worst is this Iago isn't as convincing as Shakespeare's. The Soviet era ruined Russia for 40 years a least, until that period is over they will be confused and missing the old days but I am confident the Russian people will eventually turn the table. The US may reposition itself after it cleans up the house. Awesome post, Max!

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    1. Hi Michael :D!

      LOL LOL you know? You may be on to something there...
      So, you also believe the US has some cleaning up to do, eh?
      Thanks, mate.

      Mike, thank you a million times for your comment :D.

      Cheers

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  5. I also think the US is repositioning itself even though everybody is talking crap around. Russia is so going to the archives that now is forging a relationship with Vietnam! Talking about a blast from the past. Ukraine conceded to her people and will sign a deal with EU, another slap on Russia' face.
    Portugal was "invaded" by false refugees? 74 nonetheless...what has Portugal done to piss the Muslims off?

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    1. Hi Adam :D!

      Indeed. I haven't read that report yet, but I am looking forward to it - it should be interesting (like you said, it is dejá vu).
      Not quite, Catherine Ashton said that but apparently she was wrong; and now the EU back-tracked. Another dejá vu situation.
      LOL nothing, at least that I know of...

      Adam, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

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  6. Portugal got 74 people claiming to be refugees seeking asylum? That would be normal if they didn't have fake passports on them and travelled from Bissau; how did they get there and why didn't they come from Turkey if the passports were issued there?
    Is Portugal ready to deal with a possible infiltration? As for Turkey, too many stories already...Islamist Erdogan may be helping his brethren. Good call, Max!

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    1. Hi Joseph :D!

      Yes, it did. Exactly my thoughts, Joe.
      I want to believe that SIS has the ability and capacity to deal with it...let's see. Agreed. Thanks *bowing*.

      Joe, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. The Russians have been great friends for India and during some of our most difficult times have supported against the arrogant Americans who had their priorities wrong in our part of the world. The Americans are still paying the price for that. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/31/us-books-pakistan-haqqani-idUSBRE99U01E20131031

    That does not stop us from being disappointed with some of the things that they have been doing since Putin took charge. He is after all ex KGB! I simply refuse to get too excited about what happens and would rather observe with bemused indifference the posturings that have been in the recent head lines.

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    1. Rummuser, bloody good article! I think the Russians did to India what they did to African nations, in the pre and post-revolution period, they pretended to be their friends, they supplied them with weapons and intelligence, they asked for favors in return but looked down on them. The KGB looked at darker people as something they could use against the United States but they never liked them nor were their friends. But you guys thought they were, that goes to show how good they are in this game.
      Americans are arrogant...of course they are and they must be, after all they are the leaders of the world! Anyway, India can't complain much cause the Americans helped India to be in the spotlight, despite her leftist tendencies...you know why? America has moved on, so should India!

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    2. Hi Rummy :D!

      Arrogant Americans...well, I do not deny that they have been so for a long long time, but today it is not the case. Besides, America's reaction to India is slightly understandable (if we take the context, at the time, into account): India pretended to be non-aligned while being aligned with Russia. If you were the US in a cold war environment, how would you have reacted back then?

      Nevertheless, I do think the US made a mistake regarding Pakistan - but again, in that cold war context...they had to ally themselves with the Indian arch-enemy in case India would act on behalf of Russia. Sheer political strategy (although the wrong one, in my opinion).

      You do well not to get too excited ;)

      Rummy, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

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    3. Ana, you presented good points.
      Rummy, thank you for the reuters article (excellent and I agree that Pakistan must focus on developing itself).

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  8. I had a wide beam in my face while reading this piece. You have nailed it fantastically and really appreciate your finer nuances. Those are some really hard facts in these freezing climes of the winter. I guess for 2 decades form 1990 to 2010 Russia went a lot behind international headlines and it is in the last 2-3 years when we are kind of seeing an Russian revival once again in the news headlines and bring back the era of shrewd diplomacy and trying to regain lost ground by reaching out to regimes which are at loggerheads with US, although sometimes its a little difficult to read the US diplomacy well also because of its inherent contradictions when it want a democratic free world and on the other hand parties with the Arabs too.

    I for one would love the way it is getting structured now and enjoy the counter balance created because for over decades US had its might over world economies and it is quite surprising how the Russians have encroached upon their domains. Its doubtful the US did it deliberately, maybe there are contradictions in itself over choosing between 2 evils.

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      lol a wide beam in your face? Beautiful :). I am glad you liked it *bowing*.
      You are correct, Russia's revival began 2-3 years ago when it perceived America as being weakened from within (with the Republican party being focused, obsessed eve, on/with trashing President Obama). They were smart in that regard.
      US diplomacy although complex is quite transparent: we keep a fixed amount of friends around (5 Mirrors + 1) and the rest we play as we go. And yes, their ambiguity with the Arabs created nothing but problems and today they are paying the price. You are also right in another thing: their obsession with democracy and freedom for all, many times creates even more troubles than anything else; since the world is not all the same although we are all humans and look for the same things (happiness, harmony, jobs, comfort, freedom to think and speak etc).

      I will only comment one thing: the power lies in intending one thing while acting as if unintentionally. Know what I mean?

      K, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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