MOSCOW – The West considers Russia, which is regaining its forces and boosting its military, not as an ally but as a threat to US rule, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“Today Russia, which is regaining its strength, is not seen as an ally but as a threat to US domination. We are accused of alleged aggressive plans towards the West while they continue to focus new forces near our borders,” he stressed.
While this much may appear more than obvious to FRN readers, Shoigu’s comments must be understood within the following context: As an example of such unfriendly actions, the Russian defense minister recalled the NATO decision taken in June on the creation of two new regional command centers responsible for maritime communications and rapid deployment of US troops to Europe.
It is also important to understand his intended audience, and the nature of messaging and information. Within Russia, there exists a large pro-liberal media sphere, and much misinformation and disinformation about the US deep state’s orientation towards Russia, i.e., ‘The Russian Question’. As agents of the 5th and 6th column continue to promote the view that it is Putin holding Russia from better relations with the west, it is important for powerful and respected actors like Shoigu to also continually reassert the contrary.
In addition, he pointed to the increase of the military contingent of the Atlantic Alliance in Baltic countries, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland. Instead of 2,000 military personnel, NATO plans to position approximately 15,000 military personnel in these countries and provides for the possibility of a rapid increase of up to 60,000 troops, right on Russia’s borders. These are significant, and negative developments on the face of them, but they also may reflect growing desperation.
For all the signs and symbols that such moves send, the reality is that the US is unable in terms of force projection in the context of limited/conventional warfare, to pose a serious military threat to the Russian Federation.
Meanwhile, NATO is concerned about possible deals that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump may close during their meeting, bypassing the alliance, Peter Beyer, government coordinator of Germany for transatlantic relations, said in an interview with German media group Funke as quoted by Reuters.
According to him, the representatives of the alliance did not participate in the planning of the meeting between the heads of Russia and the US in Helsinki.
Moreover, in the alliance there are “big concerns” about possible deals that the leaders of the two countries can close.
Beyer added that a similar situation occurred prior to Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore.
“So far, Kim Jong-un has made promises, however we do not know if he really stopped uranium enrichment. Trump only declared that the summit was successful,” Beyer said .
He said it was exactly Trump’s meeting with the leader of North Korea that gave rise to concerns that the US president could allow Putin to “cheat him, too.”
Times of Change
It is apparent that the last eight years has seen an ever-quickening of world events, which in itself has a destabilizing component. At the same time, such chaos creates opportunities for unexpected phenomenon to emerge, and for those global actors previously at a disadvantage, to take an advantage.
Therefore, the US’s actions should be seen in this light: failing to act ensures that the growing multi-polar world will see the irreversible end of the US’s already eliminated global hegemony, but by creating destabilization zones in various parts of the world, there is some chance, however small, that the US will emerge in a better position than if it hadn’t acted. This is similar to the reasoning of the Japanese military’s high command in the year leading up to Japan’s war effort in WWII. They projected that they had a 7% chance of maintaining their empire by going into the war with the US, but a 0% chance of same if they did not.
Shoigu is evidently aware of these things, as both a military historian of sorts, and minister of defense.
Often in the pro multi-polar media sphere, there is a negativistic, arm-chair generaling, or idealistic punditry that the Russian Federation should not refer to the US and NATO countries as ‘partners’. This is often misunderstood, as this term ‘партнеры‘ has a nuanced meaning, and a particular meaning in IR and in business which is not the same as the conventional meaning. Furthermore, there is an understood tone of sarcasm that Putin uses which is plausibly deniable because he delivers it so straight. To be clear, in 2015, Putin announced that the US and NATO are ‘geopolitical opponents’.