Threatening Russia Will Not Bring Pro-Western Forces to Power in Moscow

There is a fairly universal consensus in Washington that Russia presents a potential geopolitical threat to the United States. The threat derives from Vladimir Putin’s desire to reshape the international order by restoring his country’s position as a great power and his willingness to modernize and wield Russia’s military forces in service of this aim. However, there is no such consensus on how to deal with this threat. Some experts argue for more robust U.S. and NATO policies aimed at deterring future Russian adventurism, including positioning significant military forces in Eastern Europe, providing lethal military equipment to Ukraine and Georgia, and starting preparations to deploy intermediate-range nuclear forces to Europe. They say that these measures, in combination with Russia’s economic travails, will strengthen the position of those in Moscow officialdom who are opposed to Russia’s military adventurism.

This argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how humans react to threats.


Originally published by War on the Rocks. Click here to read the rest of the article.

5 thoughts on “Threatening Russia Will Not Bring Pro-Western Forces to Power in Moscow

  1. Pingback: Threatening Russia Will Not Bring Pro-Western Forces to Power in Moscow – Susanna Panevin

  2. Putin started threatening NATO’s borders as from autumn (fall) 2013. He has threatened the west three times recently he has nukes. He needs to create imaginary enemies to deflect his public’s attention away from his corruption and the disatrous Russian economy.

    • Romans Seja has bought the western propaganda line hook, line, and sinker. America and it’s allies have been threatening Russian strategic interest for years. After the fall of the Soviet Union when Russia was economically and militarily impotent the Pentagon started to devise a missile defense program that would see interceptor missiles placed in eastern Europe in order to neutralize a Russian strategic nuclear missiles. This advantage would allow the United States do act militarily anywhere in the world with no fear of reprisal. Russia tried to negotiate with the Americans for years on this issue to no avail. They did not start threatening their neighbors until it was quite clear that NATO had no intention of respecting Russia as a sovereign nation. Through economic pressure and color revolutions the USA has installed America friendly goverments in both Georgia and Ukraine. NATO has extended it’s reach to countries that neighbor Russia in an attempt to contain Russian influence and economic prosperity. In order to counter this Russia has opened and frozen conflicts in many countries along its borders. Not because they have interest in the lands they now control, but to stop NATO’s expansion eastward. No country with ungoing territorial dispute can join NATO and no country where Russia wields significant influence will allow the Pentagon’s Ages ashore system to be installed on their territory. “Russia acting badly” isn’t really Russia acting badly, it’s Russia attempting to get western nations to take its national interest seriously. You can’t say they are going about it the wrong way because they tried to go about it the right way for over a decade and all of their concerns were ignored. The sooner western nations start to recognize the fact that they can not control the world forever the safer the world will become. The world order that was created after the fall of the Soviet Union, where everything was run through Washington, is coming to an end. China and Russia refuse to accept it and soon Brazil and India will buck that system as well. The only thing left to be seen is whether or not the Americans can peacefully accept that their hegemony is declining or will they lash out with their military, fruitlessly trying g to maintain control of the whole world.

  3. As a Putinversteher I agree whole heartedly with you. But you have not explained your own view as to how US should deal with Putin’s ambition.

    It seems obvious that US is a threat to Putin more than Putin is a threat to US. But, in IR, US interest is considered the norm and interests of other nations that do not align with US interests are considered deviant.

  4. Yes, of course pressuring Putin will in fact make him stronger at home, and lead to more conflict.

    And the people who propose such provocations are aware of it. They want conflict, they profit from it and will seek it when none exists. This is a reciprocal arrangement: there are constituencies for conflict in the US AND in Russia. They need each other and one party is not really more guilty than the other. Unfortunately, this is an old and recurring theme in geopolitics. There are many pairings like this in the world today, and there have been through history.

    Certainly when Putin invaded Crimea, he was well aware of what the reaction would be (conflict). As were the Americans who enlarged NATO over and over. What’s amazing is how it goes on and on, and no one is ever able to rein in the conflict-seekers.

    It seems the job of the conflict-seekers is easier; it’s easier to light a fire than to put it out.

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