Why the West needs Russia: An amazing transformation Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was born in 1928, is one of the most notorious figures of the American foreign policy elite. His works draw their meaningfulness foreign reality, and at the same time they cause discomfort necessary as a result of the implementation of the foreign policy of reality. Since Brzezinski himself was actively involved in the process flow of the Cold War, and also to this day is closely related to the current political elite of the United States, which is why his books are not only historical, but also at the same time policy instruments that allow the reader to get acquainted with a deep understanding of American foreign policy. And so, Brzezinski again brought to the readers his latest book. The book is called "Strategic Insight» ("Strategic Vision", 2012), it is highly curious in the sense that it describes Brzezinski radical political turnaround USA with far-reaching consequences. In his new book, Brzezinski favors large-scale revision of the previous U.S. foreign policy, taken at the beginning of the Cold War. The central thesis of his book — the United States are now in the same situation, in which there was the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

If his most famous book "The Grand Chessboard" (1997), it was still going on about how the U.S. should take political control of Central Asia and then in another place he wrote in 2008 that the U.S. still has a "second chance "to build a unipolar world, now, 4 years later, in his new book, Brzezinski states reduce the political influence of the U.S. in the world and the establishment of a multipolar world as has the accomplished objective reality. On this basis Brzezinski comes to the need for a complete rethinking of the further strategy of the United States. Most surprising in its analysis of the geopolitical reality is the fact that it is completely revising its traditionally negative attitude towards Russia. Moreover, Brzezinski believes that the survival of the West in a multipolar world is totally dependent on its ability to integrate Russia into the system of the West.

From Carter to Reagan

The significance of the sudden transformation Brzezinski in his new book can currently be fully present, if you remember all the way in his career. Brzezinski can be compared with the royal adviser in the modern version. It combines the qualities of a political thinker and a realist practice with a cold mind. Even in his earliest books, you can see the reverence Brzezinski institution of power and its fun to analyze the institution of power. Brzezinski believed to strengthen the U.S. government as its main task, which he then decided to practice under President Jimmy Carter, being with him security adviser. Then, between the years 1977-1981 in the role of adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski is directly influenced the course of the Cold War. If Kissinger and Nixon were primarily interested in maintaining the status quo of the United States in the Cold War, Brzezinski is constantly looking for ways to increase controversy and bring it to the final victory. His influence in American politics can not be underestimated also because the geopolitical concepts Brzezinski continued to be used for the next administration of President Reagan. In 1998, Brzezinski opened the French newspaper "Le Nouvel Observateur" in an interview that the U.S. financial support of Islamic militants even before the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. As Brzezinski said at the time, the purpose of this policy of supporting Islamic militants before the Soviet Union in Afghanistan was to go there just to entice the Soviet Union to increase this probability. When asked in an interview whether he has no regrets now about U.S. support while Islamic militants, Brzezinski replied: "Why should I regret? This special operation was an excellent idea. With her help, we lured the Soviet Union into the Afghan trap and you then quite seriously expect that I can not regret it. On the day when Russian officially crossed the Soviet-Afghan border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity to arrange for the USSR its own Vietnam. "But when the reporter in this interview hesitantly Brzezinski hinted about the connection of today's terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism with U.S. funding fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, Brzezinski replied: "Which is more important in world history? […] A couple of fanatical Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War? "(1)

Brzezinski: "Hobby harm Russia"

American economist James K. Galbraith once wrote in his article that "for Brzezinski is a hobby harm Russia." (2) In this he was referring to the fact that Brzezinski even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall did not change his extremely negative attitude to Russia. Brzezinski can certainly understand it being one of the top strategists in the Cold War and has devoted his entire conscious life of this fight, I probably since 1991 to fully enjoy the fruits of victory in this war.

However, the political strategy Brzezinski, who was soon presented in 1997 in his best-selling book "The Grand Chessboard", meant to ultimately more than just enjoying the fruits of the U.S. victory in the Cold War. A more detailed analysis of this book shows that Brzezinski is indirectly expressed in it for the continuation of the Cold War, hidden only by other methods.

Strategic plan, which Brzezinski introduced in 1997, called for the promotion of the U.S. and its European partners in the Eurasian continent to Central Asia itself. Brzezinski hoped to build a new Silk Road to China itself, namely by the European Union enlargement to the east, the adoption of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, and the laying of oil and gas pipelines across the state to the Union of the Caspian Sea. Crucial to the West of this new Silk Road lay in front of Brzezinski is that the West, in this case extend its influence to the heart of the continent's most important planet — Eurasia. If it were possible to establish profitable for the West geopolitical order in Eurasia, it would automatically would affect the balance of power in all the other continents of the world, ie would be to control the West over the world. At the same time promoting the West in the center of Eurasia, on a plan of Brzezinski's 1997 book, Russia — the greatest power in the territory of Eurasia — would be surrounded on the southern flank and gradually degraded to a third world country in the new world order of the West.

Country-loser Russia and the U.S. superpower

Brzezinski saw Russia in 1997 as a bankrupt in all respects a country that was in the years to sink into chaos, poverty and incessant ethnic conflicts. Brzezinski then described Russia as a "black hole", which has not had any "geopolitical choice" in his life, "because in fact it is only the physical survival in its purest form." (3)

Brzezinski even wondered aloud in a book in 1997 on the division of Russia into pieces, "then Russia would consist of a loose confederation of European Russia, Siberia and the Far East Republic of the republic, which would separately it would be much easier to establish close economic relations with Europe, the new Central Asian states and with the East. "(4) However, any integration of Russia into the Western world order advanced Brzezinski rejected categorically:" Russia was too backward country, economically Brought Communism to poverty and therefore more or less appropriate democratic partner for the U.S., it was not to be in state. "(5)

Just as France after World War II stood for long-term measures to mitigate the German Reich in the Treaty of Versailles, and Brzezinski played in the 1990s for a new world order in which Russia — defeated geopolitical rival — would occupy a place weakened, backward, problem, and surrounded on all sides of the country, which would have been denied any role in the distinguished geopolitical player.

The same inability to wean from Brzezinski's thinking in terms of the Cold War was reflected in the 1997 book exaggerations regarding the future role of the United States. In 1997, he started from the fact that the U.S. is at least one more generation — that is, until 2027, or even longer — could save the world's sole superpower status. That would be enough time for the U.S., Brzezinski thought, to equip Trans-Eurasian corridor — along the new Silk Road to China — in terms of geopolitical security architecture. This space, which would have consisted of military bases, oil and gas pipelines and trade routes, countries with pro-Western governments, economic and financial branches of the West — all of this geographic area would be to connect the vast areas of Asia, the enlarged European Union and NATO. And in the final was supposed to integrate into this pro-Western Eurasian structure and China. Because, says Brzezinski, "is not even a network of multinational corporations and various international organizations forms a kind of informal global system." And this informal system supported by the increasing globalization of the world, "would carry on themselves a clear imprint of the current ruler of the world" that would lead to the that the U.S. political system and culture would have spread to transnational world system and it would have changed by his appearance: "And the success of such a geo-strategic goal-setting would be to inheritance, which would be America, being the first, last and only superpower in the world, would have left coming future world. "(6)

Now, however, Brzezinski sees the world and its future on the other. He recognized the ever-increasing trend of weakening of the Western community. If the West fails to conclude a long-term strategic alliance with Russia and Turkey, it could turn into a global isolation for him. This is even more important given the current rapprochement between China and Russia. Brzezinski even scares his readers that the U.S. could lose its influence in Mexico. Brzezinski concludes, while the all-powerful player in America has gone, the U.S. can not have a cocky salute before a haughty attitude to Russia, China, India, Brazil, Iran and Pakistan.

Also quite interesting new position Brzezinski toward the Middle East in general and Iran in particular. According to Brzezinski, the political awakening of the Arab region and the rest of the world, which is characteristic for the last time, allows many people to recognize, as the U.S. projected its power globally. If the U.S. and NATO in the Middle East will start a new war, this will lead to a growing anti-Americanism, which will cause the loss of influence of the West in general, in the region of the Earth. And because of the growing political consciousness of people around the world war are undesirable.

The break with the neo-cons

In fact, the new book "Strategic Insight" Brzezinski finally breaks his connection with the neoconservatives. And you have to admit, his attitude to the U.S. neo-conservatives have always been ambivalent. From the beginning, Brzezinski advocated the expansion of the United States in the world. However, in contrast to the neo-conservatives, who wanted to achieve the same, but rigid, military, direct methods, Brzezinski saw the expansion of America in line with the general trend of globalization, so to speak as part of the natural laws of nature, the dissemination of culture and values. As director of the Trilateral Commission (Trilateral Commission), Brzezinski saw the U.S. as an informal global empire that imperceptibly, subtly, behind closed doors, define and regulate international relations between the rest of the world, while the neo-conservatives, flaunting to the world the power of the U.S. empire, openly sought by war and strengthen the forces of the Empire .

Brzezinski was aiming to keep the U.S. superpower status at least for another generation. Beyond this period represented Brzezinski is an America that would be dissolved in the international interweaving of powerful transnational corporations and organizations who continue the traditions and values of American politics and culture on a global scale. The neocons also wanted to see the 21 century "New American Century", arguing that election and the uniqueness of the American nation.

Despite these differences in Brzezinski's views were shared with the neocons. And Brzezinski and the neocons attributed the U.S. central role of the architect of the future world order. They also agreed that the foundation of this future world order, the United States must be brought to the Middle East. Also, they had a common strategy to prevent the union of Russia and Europe, to prevent Russian influence in Europe and the military strategy of gradual weakening of Russia by expanding NATO to Russia's borders, the military component of building space against Russia, its surrounding military bases and missile stations. And the general had Brzezinski with the neo-cons that they categorically reject partnerships with post-Soviet Russia, even though it belonged to a common Christian-European cultural world.

In his penultimate book, "Second Chance" ("Second Chance") 2007 Brzezinski harshly criticized the policy of the neocons under Bush the Younger. He wrote that he is open to the public exhibited the imperialist ambitions of the neocons and even inhibit negate the possibility of the United States of building a new world order in the 21st century. According to Brzezinski, the neocon war against terrorism was perceived in the Muslim world as a war against Islam as a religion, and therefore it has weakened the credibility and respect for the United States in the region. In addition, in this book, Brzezinski accused the neocons is that they have done too little against the growing alliance between Russia and China.

And anyway, writes Brzezinski, the Bush administration is too soft appealed to Russia, "because the Russian do not like the weak" — Brzezinski said in an interview in 2008. (7) And yet, despite all this misses the neocons Brzezinski is still seen in the 2007 "second chance" for America's unipolar world to realize the plans formulated by them in 1997 in his book "The Grand Chessboard". In the book "Second Chance" Brzezinski wrote in 2007: "America will be decisive for the use of" second chance "after 2008 more successful than she used her" first chance ". Because a third chance the U.S. will be gone. "(8)

Results of Obama's reign: Big failure

At the moment of the Obama presidency comes to an end, and following the reasoning Brzezinski in his new book, "Strategic Insight" in 2012, the U.S. used this his "second chance": "In the future, America will pursue a more responsible and sophisticated policy than before. World domination of a single power is no longer possible, regardless of how it is strong or weak. This is especially true when the world stage come out with new regional powers. "(9)

And that means more than just the U.S. entry into a new multi-polar world. In numerous interviews on the new book "Strategic Insight," Brzezinski points out that with the establishment of a multipolar world is coming to an end and all the 500-year era of world domination Atlantic sea powers. When asked in an interview about the consequences of such a development, Brzezinski replied: "Basically, it means that we can no longer dictate our will. We can no longer be daunting global player, which regulates international affairs in the world. "(10)

This does not mean, says Brzezinski, that the world order, which is now gradually established, will determine China. At least due to the fact that the neighboring regional powers China, Russia and India will not allow him that. A new world means including the fact that the regional powers bordering countries — Georgia, Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Israel and parts of the Middle East — will lose their attachment to the United States and will be involved in the power sphere of influence of these new powers. According to Brzezinski in his new book, the West can still avoid the fate of the world of international isolation and marginalization of a secondary role. But you need to infuse it with new life-giving force and develop a new strategy and action plan. For the West, this new strategy, Brzezinski writes in his book "Strategic Insight", should be to be able to integrate Russia and Turkey in the international system the West. Turkey has been a century focused on the West and its political system and culture, and according to Brzezinski, Turkey should continue to deepen this cooperation with the West, including the reach of EU membership. But the decisive factor for the future of the international status of the West and to strengthen it will involve Russia in the extended community of Western countries.

This kind of union that would be based on a universal system of political culture and values, and would extend from Vancouver to Vladivostok would have had considerable political weight in the world, writes Brzezinski. Moreover, in his opinion, Russia is already gradually crystallized the civil society of the Western type. The report for the organization «Center of Strategic and International Studies» Brzezinski said that Russia today is much more democratic than the American media show: "If you live in Russia today, then you can freely read in the newspapers direct criticism of Putin — a fact worthy of praise that in America do not often hear." (11) According to Brzezinski, the democratization of Russia this trend will continue and intensify, and the involvement of Russia in the West can be implemented in several phases and several variants.

America, the West and the rest of the world

But in order to expand and increase the West realized, Brzezinski said, we need to reform the concept of the West's attitude to the rest of the world. Because for the first time since the French Revolution, almost all of the world's population now beginning to think political categories, has gained political consciousness. And this is a global political awakening, writes Brzezinski, accompanied with anti-Western sentiments in many parts of the world. Proven injustice during colonialism, the U.S. military interventions in different countries since 1945, is not resolved conflict between Israel and Palestine, the last of the U.S. war in the Middle East: all of these factors, writes Brzezinski, now penetrate into the consciousness of the world's population, and it is even has already led to a significant loss of legitimacy of Western policy in the eyes of the rest of the world. It may even lead to the fact that many parts of the globe are fundamentally reconsider its attitude towards the West is not in his favor, a fact which, in turn, other powers, such as China, can take advantage of. Therefore, given the situation, writes Brzezinski, "Strategic insight", the West can only survive if it fundamentally reconsider the concept of his relation to the rest of the world.

Brzezinski makes it plain that the fate of the entire Western community depends on whether the West will be able to update it. In an interview, he said: "From our experience, we should be aware that the use of military force is for unintended consequences, and also very, very expensive. […] We can not be a global policeman, because that would lead us to bankruptcy, will cause the internal political and social unrest of foreign policy will lead to a loss of legitimacy of the United States. " (12) In another interview, Brzezinski said: "America can experience the same system paralysis, which was the 1980s in the Soviet Union." (13) In the preface to the book "Strategic Insight" Brzezinski leads 6 parallels between today's United States and the Soviet Union 1980s:

1. Frozen, ossified and not able to reform the political system

2. Financial bankruptcy due to military adventurism and bloated military budget and military industries

3. Falling living standards of the U.S. population

4. Existence of a political class that is insensitive to the growing social inequality, and that is thinking only about their own enrichment

5. Attempts to compensate for the declining legitimacy of power within the U.S. foreign policy picture enemy

6. U.S. foreign policy, leading to a self-imposed isolation in the world

Paralysis of the United States of America

Next Brzezinski says in his new book, this comprehensive paralysis United States can be overcome only if the United States will hold a large-scale domestic and foreign policy reforms. Domestic political reform must be expressed in the reduction of greed and corruption in the Western economies, as well as to increase the opportunities of social mobility in Western societies. And although, according to Brzezinski, the West is today the only culture in the world that can offer a model of a modern civilization, but still with a high infant mortality rates, high unemployment, a crumbling infrastructure and a low potential for social mobility, as it is today in the U.S. and the West in general, such a society can not be an attractive model for others. Only in the event that Western societies have become attractive again as role models, only then they will be able to spread democracy in other parts of the world.

Foreign policy paralysis, as it experienced the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the U.S. can only be overcome if it is eliminated by the indifference with which today is the Western public to other countries. According to Brzezinski, today, but as of yesterday, the Americans know virtually nothing about other people. In the book, "Strategic Insight" Brzezinski cites statistics that show that 75% of Americans do not know where on the map is Iran, and 88% can not find Afghanistan. (15) And the American politicians, says Brzezinski, consciously and deliberately use this indifference of Americans to gain their trust. This led to the fact that public discussion of foreign policy issues on TV and in the media in Western countries were "more primitive, one-sided and historically regressive." (16) In an interview with journalist Jeffrey Brown, Brzezinski called the perception of foreign policy processes the Western public, "boundless ignorance." (17) And, accordingly, the American public with jubilation greeted the war with Iraq, even though it was a strategic error of the premium, says Brzezinski, "Strategic insight." And that in his opinion should not happen again in anticipation of a possible war with Iran, Brzezinski believes that strategically meaningless, he writes: "I think the whole world will laugh at us if we go to war against Iran." (17)

"Democracy" without charisma

In "strategic insight" Brzezinski writes that today in the Western media voices almost exclusively supporters of the war, the moderate opinions are suppressed. According to him it's not just the U.S., but the media all Western countries. In Europe, the public debate in the media, too, more and more directed to the creation of an enemy, with the opposite stance of foreign policy is distorted or even completely withheld. And here is a systematic lowering of the brackets adequate status hands of the Western press seriously threatens the national security for many reasons, writes Brzezinski. In the first, in part because of this made the wrong strategic decisions. Second, the one-sided coverage in the Western media is very well seen and registered in other countries. Thus, according to Brzezinski, the Western media destroy charismatic appeal and impact of western democracy on other countries, which leads to even more strengthen its already happening now isolated by the West.

Therefore, Brzezinski calls for the book to an increased awareness of Western public opinion on foreign policy topics. According to Brzezinski, Obama gave a great speech in Cairo and Prague. But Obama needs to talk directly with the American people, he must also notify the Americans about the changed position of the U.S. in the world. Thus Brzezinski stresses in the book that only Obama from all other presidential candidates capable of carrying out the foreign policy change that is needed in America today.

Of the devil in angels?

Wonderful change attitudes that are expressed by Brzezinski in his latest book, "Strategic Insight," it seems to us extremely curious phenomenon. As a security adviser under President Jimmy Carter, Brzezinski has aggravated the confrontation with the Soviet Union and intentionally brought the situation to escalate in Afghanistan, sparking a war, a million deaths and the emergence of today's al Qaeda. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union Brzezinski continued to fight against Russia. For example, Brzezinski even during the brief war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 called for a long-term international isolation of Russia. (18) Against this background, the current transformation of Brzezinski's just amazing — all of a sudden he stands up for rapprochement and even reconciliation with Russia. Also greatly impressed by his claim that democracy can not be propagated in the world with the help of foreign pressure, but only their own examples of the successful implementation of democracy.

We should also mention the ability to Brzezinski, already in his old age, to change the angle of view and perspective view of the ongoing world events, but it would be even better if Brzezinski even earlier, in the 1990s, called the Western community to integrate Russia into the West. For being such a rapprochement with Russia and its integration in the West at the time of the 1990s, when it would be easy to do, just beckoning her finger, did not take place, to a large extent is responsible just Brzezinski himself. But maybe this new, unexpected revision of his views on relations with Russia is just the recognition on his part that he is guilty and responsibility for the past negative attitude of the West towards Russia.

You also need to recognize the rightness of criticism Brzezinski relatively primitive and one-sided understanding of foreign policy processes of modern Western society. But here too it should be noted that in the process of creation of this one-sided understanding of the media, this information demagoguery in the Western media was largely Brzezinski himself. For example, when Brzezinski in 2008 compared Putin to Hitler. (18) The former presidential advisor Brzezinski should be well aware that modern wars are fought and won in the information space. That's why the Pentagon and NATO have put their work with the media on a professional basis, spending increasing amounts of money. You can see this in the examples in the media representation of the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf and more recently in Libya. So Brzezinski has perfectly understood that the indifference of Western public opinion to the foreign policy process by which he complains in his new book, arose historically, that is, has a long historical tradition. But for some reason Brzezinski does not mention in his new book about this long-standing tradition of mutual cooperation of the military-industrial complex of the West with the Western media.

Yet, in spite of all the above mentioned observations and reservations, "Strategic Insight" Brzezinski gives reason for hope that the alliance of Western states still could still be capable of self-correction, that we in the West have managed to avoid Brzezinski predicted global isolation and ossification, as happened in 1980 with the Soviet Union.

July 2012

Author: Hauke Ritz (Hauke Ritz)


[1] "How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen", Interview mit Zbigniew Brzezinski, in: "Le Nouvel Observateur", 15.1.1998.

[2] James K. Galbraith, Democracy inaction, in: "Salon", 30.11.2004.

[3] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Die einzige Weltmacht — Amerikas Strategie der Vorherrschaft, Berlin 1997, S. 180.

[4] Ebd., S. 288? F.

[5] Ebd., S. 153.

[6] Ebd., S. 307.

[7] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Russians don't like weak people, www.day.kiev.ua/154348.

[8] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance — Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, New York 2007, S. 216.

[9] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision — America and the crisis of global power, New York 2012, S. 131.

[10] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conversations, in: "PBS Newshour", 8.2.2012.

[11] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision, Center of Strategic and International Studies, 9.2.2012.

[12] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conversations, in: "PBS Newshour", 8.2.2012.

[13] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision, Center of Strategic and International Studies, 9.2.2012.

[14] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision — American and the crisis of global power, New York 2012, S. 4.

[15] Ebd., S. 52.

[16] Zbigniew Brzezinski sounds alarm against military action against Iran, in: "Reuters TV", 7.3.2012.

[17] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conversations, in: "PBS Newshour", 8.2.2012.

[18] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Russlands Vorgehen ahnelt dem von Hitler, in: "Welt Online", 11.8.2008.

The magazine "pages of German and international politics," in the printed version of the journal article is on pages 89-98, No. 7, 2012. (Blatter deutsche und internationale Politik 7/2012, Seite 89-98).

Original article blaetter.de

Translated by Dmitry Luft


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