МОСКВА, 13 октября 2021, Институт РУССТРАТ.
The regular National Interest author David Pyne published on October 11 in this American publication his third article in a month about a possible military clash between the United States and Russia and China.
In the first publication, under the characteristic heading “Russia and China are Already Winning the Nuclear Arms Race”, the author stated the worsening military-technological lag of the United States from the alliance of the two Eurasian powers. In the second text, “America Cannot Take On China And Russia Simultaneously”, Pyne comes to a disappointing conclusion about the catastrophicness of a war on two fronts for the United States.
And here is a logical continuation of the series – the article “To Counter Russia and China, Make ‘Spheres of Influence’ Great Again”. For obvious reasons, the new publication aroused considerable interest in Russia, especially in the context of the discussion of the “Big Deal” – a likely agreement between Moscow and Washington on restoring Russian influence in the post-Soviet territory in exchange for the support for the US on climate issues. It is all the more interesting to analyse the article in NI for obvious statements, hidden threats and sweet promises.
For a better understanding of the text of David Pyne, it should be borne in mind that this is not only a former career officer of the US Army, but also a master of the Jesuit Georgetown University. And his previous publications in the National Interest are almost entirely devoted to one topic — how the Third Reich should have acted in order to win the Second World War.
However, now Pyne holds the very murky position of Deputy Director for National Operations in the NGO “EMP Caucus on National and Homeland Security” — and this should also be taken into account.
Bleed and strengthen
Based on two previous publications, Pyne suggests that the US leadership abandon faith in its own hegemony within the unipolar world and move to a new geopolitical concept — “strategic retrenchment” and “offshore balancing”. The author formulates its ultimate goal bluntly — the destruction of the strengthening alliance of Russia and China, which will inevitably wipe America off the face of the earth in the event of a major war.
The new strategy implies that the United States should withdraw its troops from Europe (with the exception of Germany), Africa and Asia, including the Middle East. According to the author of NI, this will not only accumulate American resources scattered around the world, but also reduce the risk of the United States being drawn into a hopeless war for secondary territories — with the prospect of total defeat after it escalates into a nuclear conflict.
Pyne considers, in particular, all the former Soviet republics (fervent greetings to Ukraine and the Baltic states), as well as, for example, Taiwan, to be such territories that it makes no sense for the US to protect. In addition, Washington should abandon incursions into sovereign countries “as part of efforts to change power”. In other regions, including Europe, the burden of maintaining security should be borne by US allies. America itself, having untied its hands by refusing their mandatory protection until leaving NATO, will choose which conflicts to intervene in and which not.
With a broad gesture, Pyne designates new spheres of influence of Russia, China and the United States, which he proposes to consider by analogy with the Yalta-Potsdam division of the world. The author wants to secure the “largest sphere of influence” for Washington: the entire Western Hemisphere, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He is ready to give Moscow the entire territory of the former USSR (another hello), Serbia, Syria, Iran and Iraq, as well as Libya. The South China Sea, Taiwan, the DPRK, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the “four Marxist countries” in Southeast Asia (that is, with the exception of Thailand) and “about half a dozen” African countries may depart to Beijing.
All this, according to the military Jesuit, should lead to a cooling of relations between the Russian Federation and China due to the disappearance of the immediate threat from the United States. The most important result of the new American strategy will be “an end to all Sino-Russian military cooperation and mutual assistance”. And finally, the main consequence:
“Then Russia, having realised its objective of achieving military security along its western frontier, might turn its focus eastward towards the rising threat of China.”
Meanwhile, America itself will be able to “pursue the modernisation and rebuilding of its strategic nuclear arsenal and strategic defensive capabilities”. At the same time continuing the “diplomatic ‘peace offensive’”.
The logic of circumstances versus the logic of intentions
As we can see, the author is quite frank and does not hide his “logic of intentions” at all. Within its framework, all the “buns” intended for Russia and China are nothing more than a tool for pitting them against each other and winning America the time it needs so much. There is nothing new in this strategy, which Pyne himself admits. This is Henry Kissinger’s favourite “triangle” – the idea that Washington’s relations with Moscow and Beijing should always be better than relations between Moscow and Beijing.
It is equally obvious that any division of the world into spheres of influence within the framework of Pyne’s concept is doomed to failure. The reason lies in the fundamental intention of the United States indicated by him — to regain the lost military power on the planet at all costs. No treaties, no borders drawn on the map will be able to discourage the current America from striving to restore world hegemony as soon as it becomes possible.
Even now, Pyne sets conditions. So, as part of the promises not to send troops to Eastern Europe, he stipulates: “except in case of Russian aggression”. What kind of sphere of influence is this if it cannot be encroached upon?
Note, by the way, that Pyne is “already haggling”. So, in his similar article two years ago, “Trump could win Peace Prize with this tri-polar deal”, he also referred to Israel and South Korea as the sphere of the West, Mongolia, India and Lebanon as the sphere of Russia, among other things, and Bhutan and Nepal as the sphere of China.
But besides this “logic of intentions” there is a stronger “logic of circumstances”. The disappointing statements of David Pyne, given in this and previous articles, do not leave a stone unturned from his attempts to divide the world “into three.”
The circumstances are such that the United States is increasingly lagging behind the Russian-Chinese alliance in military-technological terms. The United States and all its allies are completely losing to the Russians and the Chinese, not only in the event of a global nuclear conflict, but also in a usual, conventional war on two fronts. Washington does not have the ability to seriously interfere with the actions of Moscow and Beijing, even within the framework of hypothetical regional conflicts: both in Ukraine, the Baltic states or Taiwan, and in Eastern Europe and the Korean Peninsula, the author of NI admits.
A reasonable question arises: what can make the Russian Federation and China abandon such a victorious strategy and agree to share the world with a weakening America, and even according to its patterns? On the contrary, Pyne’s statements push Moscow and Beijing, firstly, to strengthen their strategic partnership, and secondly, to increasingly frequent conversations with Washington from a position of strength. In fact, why on earth did the United States decide to leave the entire Western Hemisphere behind it, limiting the national interests of the Russian Federation and China on the American continent?
In fact, the author of the publication in the National Interest is trying to “sell” to Russia and China what the Americans themselves, by his own admission, no longer control. And if the assessment of the situation by the American publication at the Nixon Centre is true, then the boundaries of future spheres of influence should not be drawn by him at all, but, say, by the Institute of International Political and Economic Strategies in Moscow. Against the background of the presented alignment, it will be fairer.
Attention is also drawn to the fact that the author completely denies subjectivity to any of America’s allies. Nuclear Britain is mentioned in all three articles only as the birthplace of Churchill. Germany, the leading force in the EU, is spoken about exclusively in the context of the deployment of a limited contingent of the US army in it. Similarly, about Japan. Not a word about India or Turkey.
Another nuclear power, France, is completely absent. There is no AUKUS in sight, Pyne nearly wipes his feet on NATO. Allies are perceived more as a burden, which strives to put the United States under attack by the Russians and the Chinese. All this leaves the US in extremely uncomfortable solitude.
By the way, even Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Pyne appeals to as a “supporter of the new Yalta agreements”, in his program article “75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future” in June 2020, offered to discuss the fate of the planet with not three, but five nuclear powers – the permanent members of the UN Security Council: Russia, the US, China, Britain and France. And Mr. Pyne “unhooked the last two train cars”.
Thus, there is no reason to buy Pyne’s “gingerbread”. Let’s say it again: the author of NI suggests that Russia not just abandon the alliance with China, but perceive it from now on as a “growing threat” to our security. Textbook wiring!
This does not mean at all that Russia is deprived of the opportunity to conclude certain deals with the United States to protect its national interests beyond its own borders. If Washington’s weakening geopolitical position forces it to flee Afghanistan in a panic or abandon the sanctions pressure on Nord Stream 2, then it is a sin not to take advantage of it. However, it is definitely not worth negotiating with America at the cost of destroying the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership.
But all these circumstances lie in the military-political plane, whereas, in the words of the classics, it is only a “concentrated expression of the economy”, Aircraft carrier groups, which allow the United States to continue to dominate in a number of regions of the planet, serve as a guarantee of protecting their true basis of power — the global “dollar empire”.
The financial and economic dictate of Pax Americana has been forcing the world to pay all the debts and costs of the United States for half a century, sucking real resources, goods and services out of it in exchange for unsecured pieces of paper. And while this state of affairs persists, it’s too early to talk about the real redistribution of the world. Only the collapse of this global American “vacuum cleaner”, with the deconstruction of the planetary and national institutions serving it, will make it possible to build a more just world order on Earth.