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Just how rational is Russia?

The timing couldn’t have been better.Just as the New York Times published yet another opinion essay The Russians rationally perceive NATO expansion as a real threat to their national security and therefore embarked on a war with Ukraine, claiming that Russia’s authoritative policy magazine, Russia in World Politics, has its own magazine. Issued. piece This conclusively shows that Russians are either irrational or their rationality is out of this world.

The article in question was written by Sergei Karaganov, who is described as “Doctor of History, Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.” his words say it all. Below are some of his particularly notable comments. Translated by the journal, with some corrections by me.

Who started the war? The desperate Western elite, of course. “Like many other conflicts in the world, the root and main cause of the Ukraine crisis is the accelerated failure of the modern ruling Western elite created by recent decades of globalization,” Karaganov said. It is what we are doing,” he wrote. ”

What was Karaganov reading? The US economy is still the largest in the world. The European Union and NATO are still to a remarkable effect. Certainly American politics is dysfunctional, but somehow the US and EU elites manage to govern a society that is a model of democracy and affluence for much of the world.

And Karaganov went to extremes: “This weakening not only infuriates the imperial and international elite (such as Mr. Biden), but also terrifies the imperial and national elite (Trump).” rice field. Furious? A mild-mannered Biden? President Trump may not even know where most of the world is? “Western powers are losing their ability to impose a violent, political and economic order first of all, to establish cultural supremacy and to siphon wealth from the whole world for five centuries,” Karaganov said. concluded. Karaganov does not seem to understand that the rise of China and India does not come with a decline in the West’s ability to “suck wealth” or, more precisely, create wealth. He is also tempted to resort to measures such as: Toukwoke Discussion: How did Russia become the largest country in the world, if not by force?

As if this wasn’t enough, Karaganov goes even further. “I have studied the history of nuclear strategy for many years and have come to an unequivocal, albeit not entirely scientific, conclusion: the emergence of nuclear weapons is the result of the intervention of the Almighty.” Note that there is no What to say about someone who should be a serious analyst who genuinely believes that God works in such an incredible and mysterious way? Did the lord decide to pass this knowledge on to none other than Karaganov?

The world is in chaos because of the West, but Russia can save the world if it does two things. First, Ukraine needs to dream big. “The confrontation with the West in Ukraine, whatever its outcome, is spiritual, cultural, economic, political, militar-political – distracting us from strategic domestic movements towards the Urals and Siberia. Don’t turn aside.”, Ocean. A cynic might call Karaganov’s aspirations nothing less than imperialism in the guise of imperialism. It is a formalization of “finally the urgently needed ‘Russian Dream’, the image of Russia and the world that people aspire to.” If that image of Russia and the world resembles what Russia has done to Ukraine, may heaven help us all—albeit as much as God imagines Karaganov. Even a miracle will not help you if you are an evil person.

So far, most of these statements sound absurd at best and confusing at worst. But it is at the heart of Karaganov’s work that it shows how free-spirited he and his peers are. His second recommendation to save the world from the desperate Western elite involves acting big. “We will have to restore the credibility of nuclear deterrence by lowering the unacceptably high threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and by carefully and swiftly climbing the deterrence ladder.”

So what the heck is he thinking? Karaganov goes far beyond Russian military doctrine. De-escalation by escalation. “Countries directly supporting the Kiev regime may go so far as to warn their compatriots and all well-meaning people of the need to leave their settlements near potential targets for nuclear attack. This is the only country involved Rammstein process — Last count was over 50.

Now consider what Karaganov effectively said. He wants to threaten most of the developed world and a quarter of the world with nuclear war. And he is confident that this problem can be circumvented. Because “only if a madman sits in the White House… America decides to attack the ‘defenses’ of the Europeans with a counterattack, at the expense of conditional Boston.” C’mon. It’s Poznan. ” once again, Toukwoke What comes to mind is what would happen if a lunatic sat in Russia’s Foreign and Defense Policy Council or the Kremlin?

To what extent do Karaganov’s deeply disturbed views reflect the views of those in power in Russia? We don’t know, other than that his authoritative role on the council suggests he’s not a lone wolf.Serge Schumemann of The New York Times Distinctive Karaganov said he was “a well-known Russian political scientist who I have known for almost 20 years while covering Russia and whom I have interviewed many times as a window into the Kremlin’s thinking.”

Some Western policymakers and analysts believe that Russia is not irrational and that its rationality differs from that of the West. In any case, completely misunderstanding geopolitical reality, genuinely believing that nuclear weapons are the product of divine intervention, aspire to create Messianic Russia, and start by destroying Poznań and other European cities. How am I supposed to talk to people who believe they shouldn’t? World War III, but to prevent it?

Alexander J. Mochil Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. He is an expert on Ukraine, Russia, the Soviet Union, nationalism, revolutions, empires and theory, and is the author of 10 non-fiction books.imperial end: The Decline, Fall, and Resurrection of an Empire” and “Why The Empire Is Rising Again: Contrast the fall of an empire with the rise of an empire. ”

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material.

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