US’ National Security Strategy is in line with Kissinger’s vision. Writes Ahmed Adel
Although former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger claims that he does not want the disintegration of Russia as a nuclear power, he does want the defeat of a Russia led by Vladimir Putin by creating the conditions for a deep political crisis that would inevitably lead to the destabilisation of the country, its political and economic weakening, and the replacement of the Russian president.
At first glance, it appears that Kissinger’s commitment to stop the war in Ukraine, start peace negotiations, and preserve the Russian state and Russia’s role in European politics is a reasonable compromise and contrary to the radical views of American officials. In The Spectator magazine, Kissinger pointed out the importance of a quick peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine, warning that the desire to make Russia, as a nuclear power, completely powerless or to even break it into several states could cause chaos of unfathomable proportions in the world.
“The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum,” Kissinger said.
“Its competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence. Other countries might seek to expand their claims by force. All these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers,” he added.
A careful reading shows that the former American diplomat wrote the article in conformation to the US’ new National Security Strategy. In the Strategy, among other things, it was pointed out that the US is not against the Russian people, but it is against Russia’s leaders.
In this way, perhaps there is a misconception about Henry Kissinger having a different position than Washington towards Russia. The official policy towards Russia has already been determined in the recently adopted National Security Strategy, a military-political document which will direct the US’ foreign and defence policy.
In the Strategy, Russia is marked as a rival and enemy of the US, while Putin is repeatedly mentioned in an extremely negative context as a person with whom Washington no longer wants to hold talks with. Therefore, expecting Kissinger to have a different attitude towards Russia than the one established in the National Security Strategy is a completely misplaced understanding of American foreign policy.
The peace advocated by Kissinger in his article is nothing more than an invitation for political crisis and the internal destabilization of Russia, especially as he advocates for a peace process linked to Ukraine’s membership to NATO.
“The alternative of neutrality is no longer meaningful,” he wrote in the Spectator magazine.
Kissinger said he had proposed a ceasefire in May in which Russia would withdraw to the front lines before the February 24 military operation began. He added that Crimea would be the subject of “negotiation.”
The 99-year-old suggested that if it proved impossible to return to the status quo established in 2014, internationally supervised referendums in former Ukrainian territory now controlled by Russia could be an option.
However, his proposal completely overlooks the reason why Moscow launched its military operation to begin with – Kiev’s insistence on becoming a NATO member and its fascistic policies towards the Russian minority in Ukraine.
Returning Russia to the lines from before the military operation would undo all the progress made and inevitably lead to political consequences in Moscow, something that Putin is unlikely wanting to risk. If Russia agreed to conclude peace on the terms that Kissinger proposed, the country would lose all the gains made in pushing back NATO’s forces in Ukraine.
When analysing Kissinger’s article, it should be remembered that he belongs to the hegemonic Western liberal order, an order which refuses to cooperate with Russia. None-the-less, this has just made the giant Eurasian country pivot towards Asia for its political and economic priorities.
One of the most important results of the war in Ukraine, which in the long-term will certainly be unfavourable for the West, is the final turning of Russia towards China and other Asian countries, and the affirmation of Eurasianism as the dominant ideology of Russian statecraft.
The West has given Moscow no choice but to pivot towards China, and if Kissinger’s supposed balanced peace solutions are anything to go by, there are little prospects that this will change in the near future.