U.S. should modernize its approach to Russia

The cold war nobody won or lost; it just ended one day. Who even remembers where he was the 3rd of December 1989?

When the cold war ended, the US waived the requirement of unconditional surrender, and offered praise to God for such deliverance and thought about how to spend the peace dividend. The Russians drew the conclusion that they are not lost.

Gone are the chaotic years of Yeltsin’s rule ended the period of “shock therapy”, and the President of Russia was Vladimir Putin. With the support of high oil prices and a group of loyal security forces, he resumed the work, which involved all the Russian rulers since Peter the First, taking up the security of the Russian periphery.

Security of the periphery does not mean physical occupation of neighboring States. Russia can achieve its goals by methods of political sabotage and information warfare, using them as tools to incite unresolved conflicts. If we talk about wanting to protect Russian, it is not a secret — just look at the map.

On the East European plain is situated the Baltic countries, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and European part of Russia. This is a traditional route of invasion into Russia, which was used by the Golden Horde, Swedish Empire, the army of Napoleon and the Third Reich. Russia is almost land a country with no ready access to the ocean, and its main population centres, agricultural areas, transportation systems and industry are concentrated West of the Urals on the East European plain.

Perhaps fear of Russia before the invasion from the West originates in 1200 years, and it is reflected in the Novgorod chronicle: “For our sins came unknown tribes” (the Mongols). Russia will expand its borders, but using the tools of political warfare means that it cannot be subject to the provisions of article 5 of the NATO Charter. And when she is accused of hacking attacks, stealing email and other sins, she can always attract the attention of the court to the Evidence No. 1: Edward Snowden.

No matter what motivated Putin — patriotism, paranoia, a sense of insecurity or the need to save all the money that he supposedly has — his call to defend Christianity and the unique Russian culture from impersonal relativistic Europe resonates with a far larger number of Europeans than communism. Russian plans aiding the thoughtless policy of Germany, which hosted more than a million immigrants from the Middle East, most of which will never participate in economic life and production, and it is unlikely assimilyatsiya.

So, Yes, Russia is challenging the United States; but the loud statements by Senator John McCain that it is a greater threat than the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia organization — approx. TRANS.), “useless”, as they say in Washington. But it’s a smart publicity stunt, intended to prepare taxpayers for the cold war 2.0.

A significant part of American politicians and representatives of public opinion does not want to admit that with the end of the cold war, which was a landmark event on the continent did not end power politics. Russia unpredictable? No, but her tactics is impossible to predict that the events in Ukraine and Syria. If you look at the history of public administration, this can hardly be called cheating. Worse, according to some people in Washington, Putin actually believes in what he says.

So what are we to do?

First, to prioritize. Charles de Gaulle asked: are we willing to trade new York for Paris? It is unlikely that we were ready for it then, and certainly not ready now, unless there is a nuclear attack, when you have to answer. If Russia focused on conducting information operations, and unconventional warfare, then we need to help Eastern European countries that already have some experience countering Russian cyber operations. Military maneuvers with allies are always useful, but the political war goes in a different field, where the main weapon is the social network. Information operations create an additional layer that must go to the States before to take real military action. But if they are combined with unconventional methods of war instead of applying the embattled conventional armed forces in case of escalation by the loss will be much less.

Second, we need to abandon the idea of “regime change”. The policy of regime change is a great way to rally the troops. Unfortunately, it rallies the troops of the opposition. Remember: the first rule of politics of regime change is that to talk about regime change impossible.

Undoubtedly, some high-ranking Russian leaders and businessmen dissatisfied with Putin, but not enough to start cooperation with US, EU or NATO for its overthrow, especially given our chronic inability to keep a secret. Despite all this talk about “mafia state”, the Russian leadership in case of need, unite their ranks and bring order to protect themselves and Russia. I’m sure we’ll get along just fine with President Sergei Shoigu.

And finally, our leaders should shut up. Calling Russia a “regional power”, as did President Obama, or to say that Putin could be our “best friend”, as at the time put it, the President trump, it is counterproductive. We will achieve greater results in relations with Russia, if we act firmly, respectfully, clearly and consistently, defending their interests.

James Dorso — managing Director of the consulting firm Corsair LLC. For 20 years he served in the U.S. Navy, doing logistical support and security. Durso, served in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, worked as a civil Advisor for transportation to coalition provisional authority in Iraq.

Contained in the article the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher The Hill.

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Reader comments

George Strong

Only a madman wants a bad relationship between the United States and Russia.

Harvey Schmidt
Putin’s critics killed.

What about the critics killed Clinton?

Russia attacked our elections, dealing a blow to the heart of our democracy and discredit the will of the American people. Trump and his cronies wants to ease sanctions and be friends with the Russians. But not because of the fact that it is a good policy, but because it can earn.

This is a war, a fake President and it is not on the other side. Russia has always been and will always be an enemy of America.