Skip to comments.The End of the New World Order (Russia not playing ball)
Posted on 04/25/2014 6:31:45 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
DENVER Russias annexation of Crimea and ongoing intimidation of Ukraine appears to mean the end of a 25-year period whose hallmark was an effort to bring Russia into greater alignment with Euro-Atlantic goals and traditions. Now the question is: What comes next?
As the weeks pass, it is increasingly clear that the challenge is not so much Ukraine which will continue to lurch from one crisis to the next, as it has since independence 23 years ago as it is Russia and its regression, recidivism, and revanchism.
Exactly 25 years ago, in the spring of 1989, Poland and other countries of what was then known as the Eastern Bloc took the first steps to break free from their forced alliance with the Soviet Union. Indeed, these countries relationship with the Soviet Union was no true alliance at all; rather, they were accurately described as satellites states with limited sovereignty, whose main role was to serve Soviet interests.
As subjugating and ahistorical as those relationships were, much of the world accepted the binding of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union as a logical state of affairs, one in keeping with the world order that emerged at the close of WWII. But what seemed like a permanent division of the world into competing spheres of interest suddenly ended in 1989, when the Eastern Bloc left the Soviet orbit, soon followed by the republics of the Soviet Union itself.
Russia emerged not as a renamed Soviet Union, but rather as a state with its own history and symbols, a member of the international state system that had been absent for some time, but had suddenly returned. And the reborn Russia seemed to be dedicated, in its own way, to the same goals as its post-Soviet neighbors: membership in Western institutions, a market economy, and a multi-party parliamentary democracy, albeit with a Russian face.
This new world order held for almost 25 years. Except for Russias brief war with Georgia in August 2008 (a conflict generally seen as instigated by reckless Georgian leadership), Russias acquiescence and commitment to the new world order, however problematic, was one of the great accomplishments of the post-Cold War era. Even Russias reluctance to support concerted Western action, such as in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, was based on arguments that could be heard in other European countries. Russian democracy certainly had its share of flaws, but that hardly made it unique among post-communist countries.
Russias historical relationship with Ukraine is far more complex and nuanced than many Western pundits suggest. It is difficult to talk about Russian civilization without talking about Ukraine. But, whatever the complexities, Russias recent behavior toward its smaller neighbor is not rooted in the legacy of their shared history.
It is rooted in a different legacy that of a Russian Empire whose habits did not die during the Soviet period. Ukraine did not and perhaps could not develop its sovereignty in the way that Poland and others have succeeded in doing since 1989; nonetheless, it is entitled to chart its own future. Russias challenge to Ukraines status as an independent state is thus a challenge to the entire world, which is why the crisis has risen to the top of the global agenda.
In the United States, the media often point out that most Americans would be hard pressed to find Ukraine on a map. They dont need to. But Americans do need to understand the challenge they are facing from a Russia that no longer seems interested in what the West has been offering for the last 25 years: special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors. All of these seem to be off the table for now.
So what should the West do? An approach based on sanctions that target the Russian economy (and therefore its people) is the preferred alternative of those with the least at stake (US politicians). But sanctions are unlikely to bring about the internal changes that Russia needs, because those changes need to be accomplished by the Russian people.
For the West, the real issue should be shoring up security structures and being prepared for the long haul. NATO has taken an important step in reassuring its eastern members. This is not to say that Russia, having annexed Crimea and intimidated Ukraine, will seek to make similar trouble among former Soviet allies. But historical memories die hard.
Poles are well aware that, 75 years ago this year, France and Britain were parties to security agreements that compelled them to declare war on Germany if it invaded Poland. In September 1939, when Germany invaded, both countries dutifully declared war, but neither fired a shot or helped Poland in any tangible way. Poland disappeared from the map of Europe for five years.
The Ukraine crisis is really a Russian crisis. Ukraine whatever is eventually left of it will increasingly become a Western country. Russia is showing no sign that it will follow suit.
Instead, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be settling in for a long diplomatic winter. The US needs to prepare for it, especially in shoring up partners and allies, and ensuring as best it can that Ukraine is Russias last victim, not its first.
Russia is investing heavily in their military.
They have cut taxes, have a flat tax, a business friendly atmosphere, gobs of energy and a president who is proud to be Russian.
They kick muslims in the @ss if they misbehave and have actually raised the birthrate of Russians.
Russians are proud of their country and of being Christians.
Compare/contrast with America today...
you’ve got to quit listening to Russian Propaganda, FRiend.
Try protesting in Russia.
Nature abhors a Vacuum
Christopher R. Hill worked closely with Richard Holbrooke to break up Yugoslavia, hand Kosovo over to the Muslims, and generally make a mess of things. The guy is a clintonoid jerk, and now apparently an Obamanoid jerk.
I’ll say, once again, that I am NOT siding with Putin. But it was Soros, the CIA, and Obama who started the mess in Ukraine, without ever considering what they would do to follow up on the revolution they funded and encouraged. Putin stepped in, Obama caved as usual, and now we have a real mess. If this marks the end of the New World Order, it is Obama, not Putin, who is mainly responsible for starting it.
Some intelligent diplomacy might still save the situation, with Putin settling for Crimea, and only threatening to do more because he wants weight at the bargaining table.
Unfortunately, intelligent diplomacy is unlikely. John Kerry? Christopher Hill? Any of the other jerks whom Obama has appointed to key positions? About all we have to rely on at this point is that Putin will have the good sense not to push it too far, because we sure as hell can’t expect any sense of Obama or Kerry, or apparently from the EU.
Again, I AM NOT SIDING WITH PUTIN. But Obama has gotten us into this mess, and I’m not very confident that he is capable of getting us out of it. Nor do I expect anything but toe-kissing from the media, who will lie their heads off if it makes Obama look better.
And the Black Panthers and Eric Holder could not bother me...
Well stated. The Russians have to be LAUGHING THEMSELVES SILLY when they hear that our response to them going into the Ukraine is to cut our military by ANOTHER 30% and to dredge-up doctor Jocelyn Elders to tell us that transexuals will actually HELP our military in the long run.
We might as well NOT EXIST as a world power, as NO ONE takes us seriously anymore. Heck, our nukes have not been tested in DECADES and no one even knows anymore whether the few we have left will even detonate (the isotopes decay and change form over time, they are not stable).
So, yes, we can complain about Russian transgressions, and so can Lichtenstein, but Russia will look at us in the same way they look at Lichtenstein - as a country with well-paid diplomats, but otherwise NO TEETH when it comes to having a military threat.
If this marks the end of the New World Order, it is Obama, not Putin, who is mainly responsible for starting it.
So you’re giving credit to Obama for stopping the New World Order. If that’s the case, it’s the only thing he’s done right and he didn’t mean to.
2banana, I agree. I would not serve in the military to fight the current Russia. I now understand how someone could run to Canada if they disagree with a war. FLAME SUIT ON!
Dr. Hill (I presume he has a Ph.D. since he’s now a dean) should know better than to describe Western policy for the past 25 years with the nonsensical claim that its “hallmark was an effort to bring Russia into greater alignment with Euro-Atlantic goals and traditions.” He was party to the NATO aggression in the Balkans as his “plaudits” attached to the article in your post testify. The attack on the Orthodox Christian Serbs and the theft of their spiritual homeland on behalf Muslim Albanians over Russian objections, along with NATO expansion to the very borders of Russia, are the main features of the last 25 years from a Russian point of view and completely nullify any good feelings created by the expansion of the G7 to the G8 or any of the footling little efforts at NATO-Russian cooperation.
What did he say in post 2 that is incorrect?
I often wonder...
When will units of the US military just say no.
We will not fire on Russians.
We will not fire on Americans who have guns or are Tea Party members.
We will not support or train muslim jihadists slaughtering Christians in Syria...
Russia has always invested heavily in their military. Thats why they are a third world country with no infrastruture.
Putin a former KGB thug runs the country for about 40 oligarchs who he reports to. In return Putey has been able to muscle in on the gas operations and is now worth about 40 billion. He’s living La Vida Loca and loving it.
Meanwhile if you are a regular plebe in Russia when you go to the hospital you have to take your own needles.
We have done underground nuke tests until we had a scandal from a containment breach that horribly poisoned our own troops. Our nukes have some potential of working, enough that Russia is still scared of a direct attack. But a covert one is a different story.
Too bad Chris Stevens ain't around to give a similar dissertation regarding American exploits in North Africa and the Middle East.
No flaming from me. I agree.
If Obama wants to start up a war with Russia, he can let his own dregs fight it... his Hollywood sycophants, community organizers, gay Olympians, Colorado dopeheads, academia profs, Sandra Fluke sluts, and the entirity of his cretinous voter base.
As for this question:
So what should the West do?
That's easy; remove Bambi from his position as President.
Not a thing, sadly. I wish the same things could still be said about us today.
Actually, I think that the subtext here is hilarious.
If you can say anything about Putin, it is that he is a strident nationalist. *Not* an internationalist.
He knows that internationalism is a socialist sucker play, that it is profoundly anti-nationalist, in fact wants to eventually destroy the very idea of nations. Including his own, beloved Russia.
Such fools, under any guise, cannot fool him because he knows all their tricks. He is the Russian equivalent of David Horowitz, which is why they fear and hate him.
While what Putin does is pretty reprehensible from the western point of view, it needs to be appreciated as well for its context. Putin is a Russian, he works for Russia, he is patriotic to Russia, and he wants to do everything he can to make Russia stronger and wealthier.
The last time the US had a president like that was Ronald Reagan. And the Russian people were as dubious of him as the American people are of Putin.
Maybe the US will again get a president who has such character, and who realizes his job is to work for America, not a handful of internationalist cabals.
That's the point I've been making for weeks. After the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO promised Moscow that we would not expand eastward if Russian troops were withdrawn from the former Soviet territories. Then NATO turned right around and added three new member nations in 1999, another seven in 2004 and then two more in 2009 -- right up to Russia's own borders. Twelve new treaty members, all sworn to fight against Russia.
After outliving its founding purpose, NATO morphed from a defensive alliance into an offensive bloc intent on encircling and emasculating Russia. Like the 1919 victors at Versailles, NATO's leaders in the 1990s thought they were dictating the history for the next century. They went too far. And with their hubris, they created a bitter mess.