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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Do Changes Await the US Geopolitics?

The triumph of African American Obama over Anglo-Saxon McCain in the race to the White House is the number one recent news. Now doubt, the implications of the victory transcend the borders of the US. The deep causes of the outcome of the November 4, 2008 US Presidential elections are yet to be analyzed, but certain immediately obvious facts can already be realized.

The key factor responsible for Obama’s victory is that the course steered by the Republican Administration over the past 8 years has been unpopular even among Americans. The contentious issues include the September 11 and the suspicion that G. Bush's Administration was somehow involved in the plot, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the unprecedented alienation between the US and the international community, and Washington's inability to rise to the challenge posed by the strengthening of the EU, China, India, and Russia. Certainly, it has played a role that the Republican Administration was largely blamed for the global financial crisis which has erupted recently. As a result, the Democratic Party got a wonderful chance to win the Presidential and Congress elections.

Some of the reasons behind Obama's victory are of the ethnic, cultural, civilizational, and psychological character. The balance between the white and the non-white populations in the US is shifting, and African Americans are taking an ever bigger role in the US politics. Adrian Fenty, the current mayor of Washington D.C., is black. African Americans hold important posts in the administrations of New York and other US cities. Notably, the US Secretary of State in 2001-2005 C. Powell and current Secretary of State C. Rice are also blacks. The US Anglo-Saxon neocons took into account the growing political clout of the African American community and forged a sort of an alliance with it. However, the alliance lost the November 4 elections due to the problems in the domestic and international politics generated by G. Bush's Administration.

Democrats essentially played the same game when they nominated B. Obama as their Presidential candidate, and they won.

The Hispanic factor was also important during the past elections. The desire of South American countries to be truly independent of the US and the victories of natives in the elections in some of them (H. Chavez, E. Morales) stimulated the political activity of the Hispanic community in the US. On the whole, there is an impression that the very essence of the US politics is changing right as we watch.

The following remarks can be made concerning the potential for a renaissance in the US-Russian relations in the framework of the strategic stability project and the US approach to the international security. Following the collapse of the bipolar world in the 1990ies the US got a unique opportunity to realize its old dream of global dominance. The US became the world's only superpower. Already in 1992, it indicated that it would not allow any country to challenge its positions in the post-Soviet space and elsewhere. Efforts were made to weaken the Russian army and particularly its key part – the strategic forces - with the help of the Nunn-Lugar program, the unfair reductions of arsenals (the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty), and the political pressure aimed at influencing the military reform in Russia.

As the Russian military potential was declining, the US withdrew from the Missile Defense Treaty, launched the global missile defense project, built up its strategic might, and sought technological superiority in all types of weapons. NATO was expanding, integrating Russia's former allies, and increasingly taking over Russia's geopolitical space.

The global US leadership and advancement of the US interests have always been the priority of the US political elite. The US in its present form cannot survive in any other way as a superpower or even as one of the poles of the multipolar world. The formula of the US global dominance is to ensure safe access to the world's key regions, strategic communications, and resources. Consequently the US is going to seek control over Russia as the country concentrating all of the above and capable of evolving into an alternative pole of the global system. The US and British analysts are fully aware that Europe and then the rest of the global players would promptly escape from the US control in case the American positions weaken. As P. Buchanan wrote in his The Death of the West, the result would be the splitting of the US into three countries – the Anglo-Saxon, the Hispanic, and the African American ones.

Therefore no US President will ever change the US strategy, nor would this be allowed by the shadow financial organizations. It is the alliance of Obama and the global finances that actually triumphed in the November 4 elections. Currently it is a priority of this alliance to sustain the US ascension to global primacy, while the course is going to be introduced from the name of the new US.

What can be the “new “ approach of the new US Administration to the global affairs and to Russia in particular?

The following possibilities should be mentioned.

- A downscaling of the US military presence (particularly in Iraq) and the escalation of the financial and economic pressure on the policy of the countries Washington would like to influence.

- More intense intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries aimed at undermining their independence, destroying their political institutions, and subduing them.

- Escalation of the activity of the US, British, and Israeli intelligence communities, private military companies, and NGOs with the purpose of destabilizing defiant countries and regions.

- The emergence – in the situation of the global financial crisis – of the shadow organizations (the world government) forming supranational institutions and reducing the roles of sovereign countries, the UN, and other international bodies.

- Imitation of progress in the negotiations on strategic stability, nonproliferation, and the “transparency” of the US missile defense, as well as other distracting maneuvers.

- Psychological operations against the main opponents of the US.

Europe, Russia, China, India, and the Muslim world should expect the fostering of domestic strife, especially on the inter-ethnic grounds, and the efforts to instill the general atmosphere of divisions and mistrust. The international community as a whole will see growing instability and chaos (US Democrats and their British colleagues know how to provoke those better than neocons do) and consequently greater need for the US military presence.

During B. Obama's presidency the US will talk to Russia as an equal (rather than exploit it, as in the cases of the war on terror, the global financial crisis, and the frictions with Iran) only if

- Russia restores its ability to inflict unacceptable damage on the US by a retaliatory strike;

- Intensifies its political, economic, and security efforts in the South-East direction, seeking new partners and allies;

- Eliminates the disproportions in its development (the over-reliance on natural resources in the economy, the degradation of the security system, the depopulation due to the high – currently highest in Eurasia - mortality rate).

Only then it will be really unimportant to Moscow who is the current boss in the White House.

By Gen. Leonid Ivashov
Former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces