АЛЕКСАНДР БЕЛОВ, 26 апреля 2021, 10:45 — REGNUM The challenge of leading a great power is that from time to time its president is forced to act accordingly, and if there ever was a time for a sensible course on the part of the White House, it is now. Since Washington does not understand that behind Russia’s maneuvers in Ukraine lies an inexhaustible desire for national self-preservation, Joe Biden, with his insulting remarks and hostile sanctions, plunged the country into a deeper and more dangerous confrontation with Russia in Ukraine – in the region of limited strategic US interests. retired Army and former senior adviser to Secretary of Defense Douglas McGregor in an April 26 article in The American Conservative.
An order by Russian President Vladimir Putin to return most of his troops to the garrison, while maintaining their weapons and equipment systems along the Ukrainian border, should be viewed in Washington as an opportunity to create a degree of stability in US-Russian relations that has been lacking for years. It is not enough to quit the insults and simply repeat what the Biden administration opposes. It is time to explore what alternatives to the fragile and dangerous status quo in Ukraine Washington and Moscow can support.
Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill insisted that most strategic problems can be solved “if they are connected with some kind of central plan.” The central plan implies the directing influence of the strategy. Strategy is not a list of ideological desires. Strategy presupposes an understanding of strategic interests; in this case, understanding the divergence of interests between the United States and Russia. And in this regard, there are five factors to consider.
However, Putin is equally aware that for Moscow military action is an option, but hardly the first or even the second option. Russia’s actions in Ukraine would entail serious losses for Moscow in the form of trade sanctions and a blow to international credibility. For example, China once – in 2015 – already intervened and provided support to the Russian economy, but today it is unclear whether Beijing will do it again if the Russian economy falls under these conditions. These moments mean that the possibility of resolving the conflict with Moscow cannot be ignored.
Third, the Biden administration must work with Moscow and Beijing to define new rules of engagement that will help Washington adapt its foreign policy to the occasional competition between great powers. Russia and China uphold the ” principle of non-interference ” in the affairs of other states.
Finally, President Biden must develop a new national strategy that will align its political objectives with US military capabilities and financial realities. Too many hotheads in the Senate and House of Representatives are ready to use American military power without a sober assessment of the specific interests and costs of such actions. President John F. Kennedy thrilled his supporters with his assertion that Americans must “overcome every challenge, support every friend, oppose every enemy, to ensure the survival and success of freedom.” It was great rhetoric, but it put the country on the road to disaster in Vietnam. The United States lacks the resources or the need to export its political ideas at gunpoint.
Historian and philosopher Arnold J. Toynbee argued that great empires die by suicide, not murder. If the United States is to avoid such an outcome, Washington must end the strategic follies of the past 20 years and put American foreign policy back on a solid footing. Ukraine is a good place to start.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.