Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Russia — Dmitri Trenin

This is a reasonably good assessment of Russia in terms of what it is now, it's past and it's forward trajectory.

The one matter with which I would strongly disagree is Tenin view that Russia will never be a super-power again. Russia is a super-power now. It is the only country with the means to counter the US militarily. Although China is rising quickly, it likely won't become a superpower in a decade or two. But a strategic alliance between Russia and China would defang NATO's ability to project power into the Eurasian region they dominate. 

Neither Russia nor China have strong offensive capability and therefore their ability to project power is limited while "the West"s" reach is global and offensive. But Russia and China are quite capable of defending their area. In fairness to Trenin, I assume he is equating superpower status with force projection, whereas Russia (and China) are defensively oriented, regardless of what NATO may project about "empire."

It will be very difficult for the US and its allies to break up Russia and China into smaller states after gaining control of the rimland that surrounds them. But they haven't given on that yet, and in some ways are pressing ahead more strongly, apparently because they see the window of opportunity closing.

A reason that Putin in at the top of the West's shitlist is that he upset the apple cart when the West was about again control of the region after the collapse of the USSR and the "liberalization" that almost destroyed Russia and Russian society. Putin stepped in and put an end to it. Now the game has shifted.

The Ambassador's Brief
Dr. Dmitri Trenin is the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. He also chairs the Center’s research council and the Foreign and Security Policy Program.

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