Anglo-Saxon politics (both British and American) has always been characterized by cynical calculus
While the Russians, French, Germans and representatives of other European nations, including the “Nordic” Swedes, emotionally rushed to save their own people or reacted violently to the insult, going straight into a set trap, gentlemen from London and Washington with impenetrable faces waited just as long as it was necessary, not paying attention to the fact that there “ours are beaten”. In addition, they sought to build systems of alliances, forcing the enemy to fight not even with them, but with their allies and being on the battlefield fresh and full of strength just at the moment when it was time to share the trophies, and the allies exhausted by the long battle could not prevent the gentlemen from carrying out the partition in their favor.
This approach has proven to be effective for centuries. With an insufficient resource base (until the beginning of the twentieth century, in most conflicts, the British, and then the Americans, had significantly less human, economic and financial resources than their opponents), they won with minimal costs, and even with the wrong hands.
However, in the 20th century, the situation gradually changed. Having firmly established themselves at the top of the global food chain, first the British and then the Americans switched to a costly policy, according to the principle “victory will cover everything, but we cannot but win”. Nonetheless, this costly policy was still pragmatic. It is debatable how much more effective an economic policy would be, but up to a certain point, the costs were rigidly justified and justified by the result. A wake-up call for the United States should have been Britain’s departure from the first roles. Costly politics broke the backbone of the British Empire. But Washington decided that it was purely America that ousted Britain from the first positions, although in reality American ambitions played a much smaller role than British mistakes.
At the turn of the millennium, Americans began to shift from pragmatic to emotional politics. The first call was Monica’s “blue dress”, which served as Bill Clinton’s last argument for the bombing of Yugoslavia. Aggression against a sovereign state (whose power, by the way, was friendly to the United States) was only supposed to close the problem of Clinton’s adultery in the information space. A small victorious war also interrupted the lies to Congress – after all, the winners are not judged, and Clinton escaped impeachment.
The next outburst of emotions characterized Bush Jr.’s policies. Without hesitation, he began bombing the entire Middle East (from Iraq to Afghanistan) in order to hide the impotence of the American special services that slept through the September 11, 2001 attacks. A normal government would certainly conduct a deep investigation, because the incompetence of the special services was so obvious that within the framework of the conspiracy theory, a version was immediately born that the United States itself organized terrorist attacks against itself. The version does not stand up to criticism, since the terrorist attacks inflicted enormous damage on the economy, finances and authority of the United States, and the Americans could bomb anyone at all (as evidenced by the story with the “blue dress”). But it was precisely the desire not to wash dirty linen in public, to urgently appoint the culprit and punish him with the speed of a Hollywood action movie that led to the fact that, firstly, the holes in US security were never closed (they were not even looked for), and secondly, the confidence of Americans in their government and special services was seriously undermined.
Under Obama, emotional politics have completely trampled on pragmatism. The United States, on the one hand, betrayed its main Middle East partner – Israel, reorienting itself to the helpless Saudis and Emirates, on the other hand, organized the fall of almost all allied regimes in the Arab countries, turning the Middle East into a zone of chaos. But even Syria was completely loyal to America until the United States tried to destroy it. Damascus withdrew its troops from Lebanon and was ready for constructive cooperation with Washington, until the Americans decided to blow up Syria from the inside.
Under Obama, the United States destabilized and set fire to a key region – its main base, which allowed it to control the main flows of world trade, in the vague hope that the fire would spread to Iran, Russia, and then to China. Instead, Russia has become a key player in the Middle East, ousting the United States and forging an ad-hoc but increasingly strong alliance with Iran and Turkey.
Nevertheless, at the end of his presidency, Obama also set fire to Ukraine, even though the “Euro-oriented” Yanukovych with his disciplined party and government was objectively more advantageous for the United States as a counterbalance to Russia than the ensuing chaos. Moreover, Yanukovych was ready to finance his drift to the West from domestic Ukrainian funds, and also hoped to shift some of the costs to Russia. But Obama destroyed all these opportunities, turning Ukraine into an absolutely impoverished beggar, unable to last even a year without Washington’s support.
Actually, Obama counted on the emotional reaction of Russia and China to his arson, but he faced a truly British equanimity and pragmatism, which completely brought down the American plans.
It would seem that twenty years of emotional policy failures should teach Americans something. But no. Trump tried to scare Kim Jong-un in the same way, and when he was not afraid of the three aircraft carrier formations, he was immediately blown away. He also quarreled with the Europeans, in the best criminal traditions, demanding that they pay for “protection services.” As a result, the position of the United States in Europe and Southeast Asia weakened sharply, and there was no profit (not even moral satisfaction).
And here is the cherry on the cake.
Initially, Biden repeats Obama’s mistake with Yanukovych with Lukashenko. Instead of rejoicing in what we have (and there were a lot, because until August last year, Lukashenko was drifting more and more actively to the West), Biden (following Trump) decided to get more. He has not yet succeeded in burning Belarus, but Lukashenko was forced to reorient himself to Russia. He simply has nowhere to go, because the US wants to kill him.
Biden’s next step is to place the United States in a position of a final break with Erdogan. The Americans tried to overthrow and kill the latter even under Obama. But the pragmatic Turk, having sharply increased the role of Russia in his politics, still tried to actively maneuver between Moscow and the West. The United States had room to maneuver. They could still regain their positions in Turkey. Instead, Biden recognized the Armenian genocide.
And these people criticized Trump for the crazy idea of moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem! So the embassy story was quickly forgotten, but gave Trump an opportunity in one move to restore the relations that had collapsed Obama with the main Middle East ally. But the Turks will never forgive the recognition of the Armenian genocide. In this respect, Ankara takes no less principled position than Yerevan. Only the role of Turkey in the Middle East region is much more significant. That is why, starting with Reagan (who was the first to call genocide genocide), the United States tried to bypass this topic.
Of course, from the point of view of emotional politics, it is necessary to call things by their proper names. And the Armenian diaspora in the United States is quite influential, more influential in the West, probably only in France. But the geographical position of Turkey, its military power (the second NATO army after the United States), its growing economic and demographic potential forced the American pragmatists to reasonably bypass this problem.
They went around until Biden decided to punish Erdogan for not letting himself be killed, and even bought S-400 air defense systems from Russia. Thirty years ago, the United States would have offered the Turks a lucrative deal without noise and dust, would have made insignificant concessions and would have retained the most important strategic position. But not now.
As a result, Turkey has already started talking about the possibility of recognizing Crimea as Russian in retaliation. I do not think that Erdogan will make such a gift to us – he is still a very pragmatic politician and knows his own benefits, but at least Moscow opens up space for closer cooperation with Turkey. After all, if the United States is against Ankara, and recognizing the Armenian genocide is almost like declaring war on the Turks, then they need to be counterbalanced by someone. Who besides Russia?
With this move, the Americans lost the Greater Middle East completely and irrevocably. Erdogan will not rush, but he knows how to take revenge. But the weight of Russia in the region will increase dramatically, since Turkey alone cannot resist. Now the key NATO country is not so much even our ally as the enemy of the United States.
By the way, Washington’s relations with another key NATO and EU country – with Germany – are developing in a similar way. The US is fighting hard against Nord Stream-2. They call for allied unity, point out the danger of Europe’s unilateral energy dependence on Russia, and demand that Germany abandon the project. Perhaps the Germans would have gone to meet their traditional allies, but we are talking about a lot of money, not only about the fact that Germany is becoming the main gas hub of the EU, but also about the competitiveness of the entire German industry. If the United States demanded that its ally abandon an economically profitable contract, they had to compensate him for at least part of the lost income.
Let’s say Washington could guarantee Berlin a ten-year supply of LNG at prices lower than Gazprom’s. Or something else, for example, non-refundable subsidies. Perhaps, with a constructive approach, it would be possible to reach an agreement.
But the United States puts pressure on, and when the pressure does not work, they switch to military provocations, trying to ignite a Russian-European war, which clearly does not please the Germans. Germany is gradually finding itself in the same situation as Turkey. It is necessary either to completely abandon subjectivity and let the United States decide for itself, or to rely on Russia, but then the United States becomes an enemy.
The Turks no longer have a choice. The Germans have not yet decided, but are close to a solution. If the United States pushes Germany to the Turkish position, then Poland will be the last stumbling block. It is enough to somehow solve the Polish problem – and all of Europe, except for France and the Iberian Peninsula, becomes the Russian-German rear area, the Mediterranean communications of which are reliably provided by the Russian-Turkish-Iranian partnership. Warsaw is well aware of this and has already started talking about the danger of the “fifth section”.
And everything could be completely different if the Anglo-Saxons honored the precepts of their ancestors, calmly and pragmatically calculated the options, did not spare subsidies to the allies and would take into account their interests.
Rostislav Ischenko, Ukraina.ruEuropean Parliament calls for review of relations with Russia