Russlands Geostrategie der strategischen Geduld, des Asian Pivot und ihr Chefideologe Karaganow

von Ralf Ostner

Bei der Analyse der heutigen Geopolitik unter Putin bezeichnet ein mir befreundeter Ex-Diplomat diese als „Strategie der dynamischen Defensive“ die im wesentlichen  das Denkerpaar Snesarew und Swetschin (die in ihrem Schaffen mit dem Duo Marx/Engels verglichen werden)  in ihrer Auseinandersetzung mit Clausewitz und russischer Geopolitik vom Zarenreich bis unter den Bolschewiki als ideen- und handlungsrelevant für die heutige russische Geopolitik unter Putin sieht.

Speziell Snesarews Sicht des Britischen Empires weniger als Demokratie, sondern als imperiales Finanzzentrum, das unaufrichtig ist und mittels des russisch-britischen Vertrags von 1907 Russland einhegen, Britisch-Indien als wichtigsten Baustein seines Empires erhalten, sich den Zugang zu den ölreichen Gebiete des Greater Middle East schaffen und zugleich Russland als Juniorpartner des British Empire in Stellung gegen das Deutsche Reich bringen wollte, werden analog für die heutige Sichtweise der USA durch Russlands strategische Entscheider gesehen. Putin, Gerassimow und noch 3 andere Leute aus der russischen Sicherheitselite als Belege zitieren ausgiebig Snesarew, wie es auch ein Revival seiner Werke in Russland gibt, ja selbst Alexander Solschenyzin wird als Kronzeuge gleichen Denkens innerhalb der russischen Bildungsintelligentsia genannt.

Snesarews Geostrategie sah dann als Conclusio eine unabhängige Außenpolitik Rußlands , die sich nicht von der damaligen Weltmacht GB instrumentalisieren lässt, auch nicht als dessen Juniorpartner oder untergeordneter Juniorpartner, sondern gegenüber dem British Empire eher eine defensive Ermattungsstratgie verfolgt, zumal in Kooperation mit dem sich modernisierenden China und mehr mit einer eurasischen Ausrichtung und sich nicht in eine Konfrontation mit der neuen aufsteigenden Weltmacht Deutsches Reich treiben lässt.

Als definierende Passage für den Terminus „Strategie der dynamischen Defensive“ ist folgende zu nennen:

„Jenseits der tiefgreifenden politischen Zäsuren des 20. Jahrhunderts lassen sich also jene Leitideen aufzeigen, die 100 Jahre nach dem 3. Anglo-Afghanischen Krieg, 40 Jahre nach dem Einmarsch sowjetischer Truppen in Afghanistan, 30 Jahre nach ihrem Rückzug und 20 Jahre nach dem Einzug Wladimir Putins in den Kreml die Geostrategie Russlands bestimmen. Sie sind historisch fundiert, geopolitisch ausgerichtet und konzentrieren sich auf den eurasischen Raum. Dabei sieht sich Moskau aufgrund seiner ökonomischen und demographischen Schwäche in der strategischen Defensive und wartet ab, bis die Hauptgegner, die USA mit ihren europäischen Verbündeten, politisch, ökonomisch und militärisch ermatten. Jedoch kann unterhalb der strategischen Ebene, falls möglich und erforderlich, offensiv gehandelt werden. Vorrausetzung dafür ist allerdings eine von der politischen Führung zu billigende, sorgfältige Planung. Sie muss klare räumliche und zeitliche Begrenzungen der jeweiligen Operationen vorsehen. Sie solte-wenn irgend möglich-verdeckt und durch Sonderkräfte, nicht durch reguläre Einheiten erfolgen.“

Dass Russland eine Strategie der dynamischen Defensive verfolgt, werden einige Kritiker wahrscheinlich an dem Begriff „Defensive“ kritisieren und behaupten, Russland habe offensive, neoimperiale Bestrebungen, die sich in der Ukraine und Syrien zeigen würden. Dem ist entgegenzuhalten, dass Russland in beiden Staaten Militärstützpunkte unterhält, die integraler und substantieller Bestandteil seiner Geostrategie sind. Zum einen grenzt die Ukraine direkt an Russland und wollte es keinen neuen NATO-Staat an seiner Grenze, zudem wollte Russland die Ukraine in ihre Eurasische Union aufnehmen, was durch die EU-Abkommen konterkariert wurde, zu dritten hat Russland auf der Krim seine Schwarzmeerflotte (obgleich es überlegt in Südossetien und Abchasien ebenso einen Marinestützpunkt fürs Schwarze Meer zu errichten), zum vierten hat die Ukraine aufgrund des ersten Rus und Katharina der Großen historisch und kulturell eine andere Rolle als vergleichbare Staaten, die der NATO beigetreten sind. Deswegen protestierte Russland zwar bei der NATO-Mitgliedschaft Polens , des Baltikums und anderer Staaten, unternahm aber militärisch nichts.  Von daher könnte man diese Aktion in der Ukraine auch mehr als Defensive verstehen, denn als offensive Aggression. Selbiges für Syrien. Hier unterhält Russland in Tartus und Latakia Militärstützpunkte, bestanden und bestehen zu den panarabischen, säkularen Sozialisten wie Saddam, Ghaddafi (nun General Haftar ) ,Bouteflika oder den Assads traditionelle gute Beziehungen schon seit Sowjetzeiten und war Syrien der letztverbliebene Posten Russlands im Nahen Osten, zumal auch wichtig für seine Mittelmeer und Nahoststrategie. Von daher kann man Russlands Eingreifen auch hier eher als defensive Antwort sehen.

Weniger defensiv sind jedoch recht aktive Aktionen Putin-Rußlands rechtspopulistische und nationalistische Parteien, Bewegungen und Gruppen in Europa zu unterstützen, wie man dies am besten am 40-Millionen-Kredit eines Putinnahen Oligarchen für Marine Le Pens Front National sehen konnte, da deren Sieg ein Ausscheiden Frankreichs aus der NATO und der EU bedeutet hätte, die deutsch-franzöische Achse zertrümmert und damit die Rest-EU isoliert dastehen gelassen hätte. Aber die EU wird nicht nur seitens Rußlands angegriffen, sondern auch seitens der Trump-USA, speziell Deutschland oder wie Trump erklärte: „Die EU ist so schlimm wie China, aber kleiner“. Desweiteren versucht China mittels der 16 plus 1 Gruppe einen chinesischen Hinterhof in Europa zu errichten. Aber all dies ist nur möglich, da die EU mittels ihres Expansionismus und ihres neoliberalen Kursen innere Widersprüche hervorbringt, die diese Kräfte nutzen können. Insofern nutzt Rußland, China und die Trump-USA nur die inneren kapitalistischen Widersprüche Europas aus und wartet Rußland die Konfrontationen zwischen den USA und der EU, vor allem Deutschland wie auch zwischen den USA und China ab, um die USA und die EU zu ermatten und eine günstigere Position für sich zu erlangen.

Russland hat seine geopolitischen Lektionen aus Afghanistan und dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion-laut Putin „die geopolitische Katastrophe des 20.Jahrhunderts“-gezogen. So will es auch kein Afghanistan in der Ukraine wiederholen.So schreibt der russische Geostratege Karaganow in Russia in Global Affairs „How to avoid second Afghanistan“ vom 6.August 2014 bezüglich der Ukraine:

„The trend for transatlantic rift between Europe and the U.S may slow down or even reverse. This trend could have opened prospects for the establishment of a continental union in Europe – a Union of Europe – with relations between Berlin and Moscow as its core.

It is already pretty obvious that the U.S. and associated forces in Europe have succeeded in moving relations from a brief competition in hard power and hard will, advantageous to Russia, to the domain of economic and informational confrontation where the West has been stronger so far.

At the same time, anti-modernist uncompetitive forces in the Russian elite have gained a more solid footing by playing on patriotism in an attempt to push aside more educated and efficient strata of bureaucracy and bourgeoisie. Such a scenario, or rather its radical version, already did work – after 1917.

Russia’s geopolitical rivals will use the Boeing crash to full advantage, and confrontation and attempts to isolate Russia will continue for some time. But what will happen next?

As of now, four options seem available to Russia.

First. “A wimp out” similar to what happened in 1991, with slogans calling for a “newer political thinking.” Hopefully, this scenario will not be considered.

Second. “A status quo”. Russia can de facto support the simmering conflict in Ukraine. This option implies the opponent takes the initiative (which is already happening now) and the game will be played in his field where he is stronger. This scenario is fraught with a whole flock of “black swans” or slipping into massive military intervention, a sort of Afghanistan-2.

Third. “Afghanistan-2.” Escalation of the conflict and massive invasion in the hope of bringing Kiev to its knees and/or split Ukraine. I believe that this scenario is so dangerous that accepting it is inadmissible.

Fourth. This option, though not easy, is most advantageous. Russia, which has successfully attained its minimum objective, should have its victory firmly proclaimed. NATO will not enlarge, Crimea is now Russia’s and the immediate objective is not to get bogged down in a big war. Moscow should continue to put pressure on Ukraine by economic and political tools, exposing inevitable mass violations of human rights. Ukraine must learn to live on its own money, without subsidies and easy terms. Let us see how Kiev and its current masters will be able to handle it.

Russia can and should take a cautious view of Europe’s digression from many of its traditional values. Yet proclaiming that “Russia is not Europe” would not only discard the key three centuries following  Peter the Great, but actually means that the Horde still triumphed, despite Prince Dmitry Donskoy and his associates’ victory in the Kulikovo field.

Russia, for the sake of preserving its identity and culture, should reiterate its intention to build, over time, an economic and humane Union of Europe with visa-free travel, and an energy union with uniform rules. Perhaps, these efforts should include cooperation with Europe in helping Ukraine survive.

Russia will seek to form a union like that from a new position, leaning on de facto allies’ relations with China, on the expanding and more active Shanghai Cooperation Organization, on the Eurasian Economic Community (even if it has no Ukraine in its ranks), and on a new foreign policy obviously needed in the Asia-Pacific region which is in active motion.“

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/How-to-avoid-second-Afganistan-16858

Sergejew Karaganow ist Doktor der Geschichte, Dean der Schule für Weltwirtschaft und Internationale Beziehungen an der Nationalen Forschungsuniversität, führendes Mitglied des Valdaiclubs und Ehrenvorsitzender des Präsidiums des Rats für Außen- und Verteidigungspolitik. Er gilt als der führende russische Ideologe des Asian Pivots für Russland. Zwar redet er nicht von einer Strategie der dynamischen Defensive, sondern von einer Strategie der Ermattung und Strategie der strategischen Geduld, doch meint er ziemlich das Gleiche wie einst Snesarew: Wie Snesarew hält er nichts davon, dass Russland sich gegen China als untergeordneter Juniorpartner des Westens und der USA andient, wie einst Russland in Bezug auf das British Empire gegen das Deutsche Reich, sondern eine unabhängige Politik in Kooperation mit dem sich modernisierenden China verfolgt, die systembedingte Ermattung des Westens abwartet und eine eurasische Politik verfolgt.

Während Karaganow zwar demographische und wirtschaftliche Probleme eingesteht, sieht er jedoch in der neuen Ostorientierung Russlands nach Asien die Antwort für alle russischen Probleme, sieht dadurch eine Revitalisierung Russlands durch das asiatische Wirtschaftswunder, das das Asian Century einläutet, kommen. Die US-amerikanische Jamestown Foundation hat extra für Russland ein Projekt „Russia in Decline“ aufgestellt, das versucht Russland Vorschläge zu präsentieren, wie es doch durch prowestliche Reformen eine Wende von dem ansonsten ansehbaren Abstieg vollführen könnte:

„This project begins with the assumption that Russia is in fact in decline, and that the way Russia declines will likely have consequences that Western policies and strategies will be forced to address. Evidence of decline across most aspects of political, economic, and social life in Russia is now plentiful, and little evidence suggests that overall decline is reversible. Some areas of decline—for example, Russia’s demographic crisis, or in knowledge production—are profound and increasingly rapid. That said, in some areas Russia is making a concerted effort not to decline, for example in the development and reform of its military, which continues to boast some impressive select capabilities. But building the military to compensate for decline elsewhere hints at scenarios of the future that could be fraught with risk and conflict.

In their analyses, the project’s participants have tried to envision what might plausibly lie along the pathways leading to Russia’s decline. They have sought to identify the forces, attitudes, and ideas driving decline and Russians’ responses to it. Where possible, they have attempted to describe a range of potential alternative destinations for Russia, as well as conceivable contingencies that could emerge along the way. In particular, they have focused on potential downside scenarios, the dynamics that could power them, the critical uncertainties whose resolution might push scenarios in different directions, and the possible wildcards that might radically, rapidly, and unpredictably alter the shape and movement of the competitive landscape.

The project’s analyses and products will appear on this Jamestown Foundation website. These include papers by Russian experts, who are grappling with how to think about decline from “the inside,” as it were. Their analyses are augmented and expanded by those of several well-known Western experts, who survey how Russians think about particularly impactful elements of decline and what this might mean for Russia going forward. A final workshop of experts will assess how decline might affect Russia’s relations with the West, and explore policy options for dealing with a transforming Russia. We envision compiling these materials in a single volume, as well as several smaller, focused analyses on particular aspects of Russia’s decline, with appropriate contextual analysis and synthetic assessment. The final volume will be published by The Jamestown Foundation.

https://jamestown.org/programs/rd/

Für Putins Geostrategen wie Karaganow sind dies jedoch alles Vorschläge, die Russland in eine inferiore, untergeordnete Juniorpartnerrolle gegen China bringen wollen und auch die „genetische historische Präferierung des Ostens für Autoritarismus“nicht bedenken, sondern die liberale westliche Demokratie auch nach Russland bringen und es mittels Wirtschaftsreformen als abhängigen Rohstofflieferanten für den Westen zementieren wollen. Karaganow sieht inzwischen einen Neuen Kalten Krieg und lehnt westliche Beratungsangebote strikt ab.

In seinem programmatischen Artikel „How to Win the Cold War“ in Russia in Global Affairs vom 25. September 2018 führt er diese Strategie der Ermattung ausführlich aus:

Die USA und der Westen hätten aufgrund der russischen Atommacht ihre Fähigkeit verloren, militärische Macht wie früher einzusetzen, weswegen nur der Rückgriff auf wirtschaftliche Macht samt Wohlfahrtsversprechen und umgekehrt Sanktionen und ideologische Macht der wirtschaftlichen Überlegenheit durch das liberale demokratische System verbliebe. Da aber der Kapitalismus unvereinbar mit der Demokratie wäre, er soziale Ungleichheit verschärfe und sein Wohlfahrtsversprechen nicht mehr einlösen könne, wie auch die wirtschaftliche Macht des Westens gegenüber Asien schrumpfe und sich die Macht der Konzerne und des Finanzkapitals immer weiter konzentriere, verliere auch die liberale Demokratie an Ausstrahlungskraft. Zumal auch durch die gesamten Demokratisierungskriege und das militärische Desaster von Afghanistan, Irak und Lybien.

„The main reason for the desperate counterattack lies deep. The West has lost its unconditional military supremacy upon which it built its economic, political, and cultural dominance since the 16th-17th centuries. As the Soviet Union created its own nuclear weapons, followed by China and some other non-Western countries, and Russia subsequently retained its nuclear capabilities and regained its potential for active deterrence in the 2000s, the West lost the ability to ensure its hegemony by force. This democratized the world and allowed other countries and civilizations to use their accumulated (with the help of Western technologies as well) competitive advantages. Having restored its strategic capabilities and will to fight for its own sovereignty and security, Russia has essentially “midwifed” the rise of new powers, primarily those in Asia. The global balance of power has changed drastically over the past ten to fifteen years.

The West’s retreat is a result (among others) of its  fatal mistake made in the early 1990s, when the major part of the Russian elite and society wanted, for a number of reasons, to join the Western world on decent terms. But the West did not respond to that impulse because of its own arrogance, triumphalism, ideological blinders, and intellectual shortsightedness. It demanded more than Russia could ever give, namely, ideological, geopolitical, and economic subordination to the extent of having its sovereignty limited, which was clearly at odds with the country’s overall historical tradition. The opportunity was missed. When Russia had predictably regained its status as a leading global player in a historically short time, largely due to restoring its military capabilities, it had already panned out as a non-Western power. This changed the global balance of power dramatically.

Another reason for the recurrence of the Cold War is more down to earth. While more and more citizens of Western countries became discontent with growing inequality and diminishing chances to improve their wellbeing,  elites lost control of their own political systems. This majority, represented mostly by so-called “populists,” got a chance to influence politics by self-organizing itself through social media, bypassing traditional institutions. Elites cannot a do not wish to change the system which keeps provoking more discontent, but they have started to try to take new media under control. To rationalize that they need an external enemy. In this case, they have cooked up semi-mythical “Russian hackers.”

Confrontation became unavoidable some ten years ago when Moscow asserted itself as an independent and sovereign player and, more importantly, started rebuilding its military capabilities in earnest. Tension can be expected to start subsiding only when the U.S. and other Western countries become used to the new state of affairs, put their internal things in order, at least to some extent, and regain control of their political systems. This will inevitably bring about more elements of authoritarianism which have already become all too obvious.“

Die Dichotomie „repressiver Autoritarismus- liberale Demokratie“wird schwinden, es werden sich hybride Systeme herausbilden. Die USA als Wiege der Demokratie wird zwar demokratisch bleiben, aber wesentlich reduziert bei den liberalen und demokratischen Rechten. Zudem die herrschenden Eliten aufgrund des Wegfallen des Kommunismus nicht mehr auf soziale Gerechtigkeit Rücksicht nehmen müssen und daher zum einen das Wohlfahrtsversprechen unterminiert wird wie aber auch diese immer mächtigeren Eliten an direkterer Herrschaft ein Interesse hat. Zudem auch die wirtschaftlich erfolgreichen asiatischen Autoritarismen als Gegenmodell dienen, wenngleich alle Systeme insgesamt aufgrund weltweiter Trends die Tendenz haben offener, toleranter und humaner zu werden:

„The most important ideological advantage—high standards of living and quality of life for the majority of citizens—is on the West’s side. It has so far been able to sustain the stereotype that well-being is a result of political democracy, the dominant form of government in almost all developed countries. But it is already beginning to be questioned. Freedom House indices evaluating the spread and popularity of democracy in the world have been showing negative dynamics for several years in a row.

The key reason for that lies within the West itself—growing inequality and the declining quality of life in the middle class. The West’s image was badly damaged by a series of interventions, unsuccessful for the most part, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and by its support for the failed Arab Spring. A long-term crisis in the European Union and U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy have added tarnish to democracy, making it less appealing. In addition, the achievements of authoritarian Asian countries are depriving the West’s soft power of arguments in support of its own model of development as the only successful one.

Contemporary liberal democracy will have to back down just as democracy has always done throughout history when faced with fierce competition. Hellenic republics gave in to tyrannies. The Roman Republic turned into an empire. The Novgorod one fell. The Republic of Venice became weak and surrendered to Napoleon. The relatively democratic Polish state lost to the Russian Empire and Prussia and was torn apart. We can find similar examples in a less distant past as well. Almost the entire Europe succumbed to Hitler. Had it been not for the desperate struggle of the Soviet Union and the selflessness of its people, the history of continental Europe and the major part of the world could have been different.

Let me go a bit further and say that capitalism, which by definition breeds inequality, runs counter to democracy. Its success was based and conditioned not on democracy but on the legal system inherited from feudalism and designed to protect private property. Democracy in the capitalist West evolved leaning on the political systems which would be considered authoritarian today and which were based on military supremacy and redistribution of the world gross product from colonies and semi-colonies. There are no such possibilities any more to lean on and there will be none in the future. Likewise, there will be no threat of state communism which forced the ruling circles in the West to share and pay attention to social justice.

But none of this means that democracy is dying out. All governments have to respond to their citizens’ demands for many reasons including the one mentioned above—technologies give people unprecedented opportunities for self-organizing and pursuing their interests. This applies to all countries and Russia is not an exception.

The “regressive authoritarianism—progressive democracy” dichotomy will fade out even more in a dozen years or so. There will be a variety of hybrid systems. Democracy has the best chances of holding out in the United States due to its efficient economic system, which Trump will most likely spur, and America’s uniqueness. In fact, this is the only state born as a democracy and it is probably simply unable to give up this form of government. But the degree of liberality may vary. The democratic space will shrink in the U.S. too. This is already happening due to the struggle for control of new media and Trump’s novelties, which may as well continue after the end of his term.

A similar situation will develop in the realm of values. Globalization has opened up new markets and boosted well-being in the West. Set against the background of sentiments brought about by the revolutions of 1968, this led to a massive shift in values among a considerable part of Western elites towards the priority of individualism, dogmatic tolerance, cosmopolitanism, rejection of faith and partially even the family, and other traditional values. But the situation has changed. Well-being is not growing any more. Most people in leading Western countries are frowning upon the dominance of postmodernist values, and the overwhelming majority of citizens in the rapidly growing non-West (which is gaining more weight in the world economy, politics, and ideology) simply ignore these values as alien to local cultural traditions. As a result, the progressive (or so it thinks of itself) Western minority (and the “advanced” minority in other countries) is becoming infinitesimally small and will have to defend itself rather than lead the way.

It must be said that the defeat of aggressive liberalism does not belittle socio-humanistic achievements of the Western civilization. Likewise, resistance to attempts to impose Western ideology does not rule out efforts to use the best experience for the sake of one’s own development. With famine and direct threat of war gone, information revolution underway, and higher living standards achieved, all sociopolitical models will tend to become more humane, open, and tolerant.“

Rußland könne von seiner bisherigen Westorientierung nichts gewinnen und sollte den Westen in seinem eigenen Saft schmoren lassen, mit strategischer Geduldheit abwarten, bis sich langfristig durch den Abstieg des Westens eine günstigere internationale Konstellation ergibt und sich, da der Eurozentrismus versagt habe mehr an Asien und China orientieren und ein eurasisches Projekt vorantreiben:

„The experience of the previous Cold War and the subsequent period must be studied to avoid the mistakes made by the Soviet Union and young Russia. This experience is our advantage over our competitors who thought they had won.

Locked in imposed bitter rivalry, Russia cannot remain in the institutions burdened with old inertia of confrontation; nor should it quit everything. However, there is no explanation for its constant desire to go back to the Russia-NATO Council which legitimizes the alliance that has proved to be hostile and morally bankrupt, and has committed several acts of aggression. Did we not appease them enough? Instead there should only be a military-to-military dialogue to avoid direct confrontation and a new arms race. Russia should probably also downgrade level of its representation at the OSCE. Perhaps it would be prudent to extend arms control treaties for the duration of the transition period while a new world order is built. But new agreements would be almost pointless or even harmful as they would only continue to remilitarize mentality and prompt decisions, which could be unfavorable. Negotiations should rather focus on how to reduce mistrust and  mutual fears .

Russia should try to restore the dialogue with the United States in order to lower the too dangerous level of confrontation. And we should not back ourselves into a corner of pathological anti-Americanism just as the Americans have done to themselves by whipping up the anti-Russian hysteria. But one should not expect any thaw in the foreseeable future.

Europe-centrism is outdated. Russia should stand back and let Europe stew in its own unsavory juice. This does not mean an end to mutually advantageous and useful cultural, educational, and economic cooperation, but there will be no strategic joint political initiatives. In the medium term, interested European partners ought to be brought into the Eurasian project, as this may in fact be the only way for them to maintain positive dynamics and retain international weight.

The Greater Eurasian project needs to be specified and carried on. Otherwise, it will wind up in much the same way many of our other undertakings have, such as the initiatives to turn the OSCE into a pan-European security system and sign a European security treaty. Beijing is moving towards creating a Sino-centric system in Asia. We risk remaining on the periphery, albeit friendly, unless we propose our own ideas.

Some in the Russian economic elite still believe that successful development or even a breakthrough can be possible within the present international economic system dominated by the United States. But this is a dangerous illusion. Firstly, the system is clearly overstrained as it is struggling to retain its positions. Secondly, no “stranger” will be allowed to develop within it. Washington has abandoned all hope that once China embarks on the capitalist path it will move politically and strategically in the West’s footsteps. The West will contain China, openly regretting it helped it rise, and obstruct Russia’s development. In other words, the sanctions are there to be never lifted. Any serious concessions in politics or economy will only make the West all the more eager to finish Russia off. Russia will have to diversify its foreign economic activities and instruments in order to become as independent from Western institutions as possible. As the world economy becomes increasingly politicized, foreign policy needs to focus more on economic aspects and get intertwined tighter with economic decision-making.

While scrapping old institutions, Russia should team up with its partners to build new ones, deepen and enlarge the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union, and show the world its vision of the future not only through resolute actions like around Ukraine and in the Middle East, or by its new Eastern dimension, but also verbally. Finally, Russia must act more determinedly to protect peace and emphasize its role as a leading provider of global security. Russia leads the way in providing hard security in the world by effectively deterring the U.S. and the West militarily, stopping the destabilizing regime change practice, and getting directly engaged in the fight against radicalism and terrorism.

It is about time to draft a truly new foreign policy concept as the previous narrative has exhausted itself, being more of a ritual than a guide to action. Russia needs “strategic patience” as never before. On the whole, the situation is changing in our favor and future agreements may probably be more advantageous than those offered to us now. So let me say this again: there can be no complete victory in a Cold War, and therefore it should be brought to an end on terms that would be acceptable to everyone.“

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/How-to-Win-a-Cold-War–19732

Auch in seinem Artikel „We have used up the European Treasure Trove“ erläutert Karaganow die Strategie der dynamischen Defensive oder die Strategie der Ermattung, die er Strategie der strategischen Geduld nennt derfolgt:

„The pivot was first conceived when relations with the West looked quite decent. It was Peter the Great who put virtually everything on the European path. But there are no illusions left today: Russia is not Asia, nor is it Europe. Russia is a country with largely European high culture and economy, but partly with Asian mentality and Asian attitude towards the authorities. It is a rather odd and original mixture of European, Byzantine, and Asian civilizations. Today’s Russia must not under any circumstances place its bets on any one center but should instead diversify its risks and reap all the benefits. So when I say “the pivot to the East,” I do not mean that we should turn our back on the West. No one says that we should give up the ties established centuries ago, even if they are partly blocked today. We shall wait for Europe to overcome its crisis and become ripe for a new Eastern, actually Eurasian policy. But waiting does not mean standing still. We should move forward in the only available direction today—to the East“

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/We-Have-Used-Up-the-European-Treasure-Trove-19769

In seinem Beitrag „Ideology of Eastward Turn“ vom 21.6.2018 spricht Karaganow sich dafür aus, dass Rußland sich nach Asien orientiert, die russischen Ostgebiete entwickelt. Russland soll der erste Europäer inm Asien und der erste Asiate in Europa werden und nicht nur als Transportweg sondern als VBrücke zwischen dem Osten und dem Westen dienen:

„Also the world around has changed, too. Whereas starting from the 17th century Europe used to be nearly the sole provider of advanced technologies, now their source is quickly drifting to Asia. So does the center of economic activity. While 40 years ago that center was some place in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Ireland, now it is in Turkey, and in ten years from now it will have to be looked for on the border of India and China.

In addition, Russia has apparently reached the limit of its social and public rapprochement with Europe. The Western neighbors find annoying Russia’s unpreparedness to follow the European way and the loss of their profitable and flattering status of a mentor. For its part, Russia by and large is reluctant to import modern European values (for instance, the super-tolerance towards immigrant) because it finds many of them alien, post-European or just disadvantageous. This does not mean Europe is rejected altogether – Russians share the same high  culture. A great deal in Europe, such as its ecological regulations, is still worth borrowing. Europe is a vast and lucrative market. It is a nice place to travel. High technologies are still there. However, access to them amid the current U.S. policy of sanctions is limited.

It is quite possible, though, that 2014 saw not just a stop to the further expansion of Western unions, fraught with a big war, but also an end of the Petrine period in Russian history. Europe will remain a neighbor. Russia is to stay on friendly terms with it wherever possible. But the chances Europe will continue to be a benchmark are slim. Russia’s turn to Europe and its technologies from the 17th and 18th centuries was logical: Asia was far away and sliding into a period of relative decline for several reasons, including colonial expansion by a better armed Europe. These days the situation is changing. Asia is destined to become the most important source of capital and advanced technologies.

Many in Russia are still unaware their country happened to be the midwife of history that facilitated the rise of Asia and other newcomers to the world scene. It was Russia-the Soviet Union that put an end to nearly five hundred years of the West’s military supremacy – the pillar of its economic, political and cultural domination. Nuclear parity, once created and preserved over the years, leaves no chance for anyone to win a big war. That is why the today’s world is freer and more democratic. The Asian countries have obtained an opportunity to capitalize on their competitive advantages. The realization that the days of uncontested supremacy are gone and will never return is probably the main reason for the animosity towards Russia that makes the U.S. and some other Western elites see red.

Some in Russia have begun to argue that its strategic loneliness is inevitable. Meanwhile, the word ‘loneliness’ in Russian does not necessarily have a negative connotation. My inner voice prompts me, we run no risk of getting lonely at all – we will not be left to ourselves. More important is the emerging opportunity to establish (without turning our back on Europe) tight cooperation with Asia. Russia can become the center of a Greater Eurasia partnership, an initiative proposed by Moscow and supported by Beijing, especially as it is 90-percent consonant with China’s One Road-One Belt project.

Problems on the way to building Greater Eurasia will be many.

For the people of Russia’s Far East the turn has not yet become an idea they wholeheartedly share. This proposal came from Moscow, for which the central authorities should be thanked. But it has not yet filled the hearts and minds of Far Easterners, who incidentally are far more inclined to think and act big than the other Russians – with drive and passion crucial for the success of any ambitious pursuit. (Incidentally, the lack of drive for big accomplishments and the famous Russian valor is a flaw of current home policies in general.) The locals’ experience and potential of communicating with China and other neighbors has not been tapped to the full yet.

The Eastward turn is beginning to confront ideological and psychological constraints. Efforts to do away with them should enjoy unflagging attention over years to come.

Another, no less important task on Russia’s way to new Eastern horizons is to bring back the history of Siberia and the Far East – glorious and thrilling in many respects – to the fold of historical self-awareness of the entire Russia. It will be likewise crucial to overcoming the attitude of a certain part of Russia to Siberia and the Far East as something different. Sometimes I am asked why it is worth investing into the Far East first and foremost, and not, say, into European Russia’s northern regions. My reply is this region has been Russian land for the past four to five centuries. There one finds superb wildlife and mammoth resources. Moreover, booming neighbors offer vast development opportunities, incomparable to those available in other regions. The competitive advantages that have emerged there for the first time in the Russia’s history can be used for fast-tracked development. Also, something should be done at last to soothe the Siberians’ wounded pride, for in the 1990s those people were undeservedly abandoned and neglected, and in a far stronger way than the other Russians.

In developing the human capital of Siberia and the Far East, which by and large are better than Russia’s average, it will be not enough to just provide assistance in mastering new technologies. It would be reasonable to create moral incentives, to let the people feel themselves again as trailblazers, as leaders who are steering Russia towards new economic, political and cultural frontiers – this time Eurasian ones. The people of Russian culture are open to other cultures and remain very tolerant towards other faiths. This major competitive advantage will give the advantage   in a new Eurasian megaproject.

Painstaking consistent efforts are required to overcome the eurocentrism of a considerable part of Russian elites – certainly a regressive factor in the modern world. Amid the havoc of the 1990s and the chaotic recovery of the 2000s the Eurocentric sentiment soared, as many Russians of means took their newly-appropriated gains out of the country – to Europe in the first place – and as their compradorian attitudes inevitably gained strength.

Russian society should by no means abdicate from its mostly European culture. But it should certainly stop being afraid, let alone feel ashamed, of its Asianism. It should be remembered that from the standpoint of prevailing social mentality and society’s attitude to the authorities Russia, just as China and many other Asian states, are offspring of Chengiss Khan’s Empire. This is no reason for throwing up hands in despair or for beginning to despise one’s own people, contrary to what many members of intelligencia sometimes do. It should be accepted as a fact of life and used as a strength. The more so, since amid the harsh competitive environment of the modern world the authoritarian type of government – in the context of a market economy and equitable military potentials – is certainly far more effective than modern democracy. This is what our Western partners find so worrisome. Of course, we should bear in mind that authoritarianism – just like democracy – may lead to stagnation and degradation. Russia is certainly confronted with such a risk.

I believe that in several years’ time the whole of Russia will realize that it is no longer an oriental periphery of Europe. We will see that Russia’s road to Asia, to new riches, to power and progress is “our road home.” That having borrowed from Europe its high culture and made it still richer Russia now takes its own civilized niche of a great Eurasian power – an original blend of many civilizations in its own right. (This thought was prompted to me by L.E. Blyakher, a wonderful Russian historian and philosopher in Khabarovsk).

Our knowledge of Europe, especially of its older part, is good enough. But we still know very little about Asia – a continent of rising cultures, civilizations and technologies. We should hurry right away to introduce extensive courses of Asian history and languages to our school curricula and to train specialists in oriental affairs at our universities on the massive scale. In any case, the history of the human race, hitherto written mostly by Europeans, will undergo revision in a couple of decades. Glittering Byzantium, which the successors of crusaders tend to portray as an embodiment of intrigues and ineffectiveness, will appear in its true disguise: that of a marvelous civilization that has preserved and developed European culture throughout the dark Middle Ages to mate it with the Oriental ones. Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean dynasties will take a worthy place next to the Plantagenets, Habsburgs, Bourbons, Stewarts and Romanovs. It is very important for us, Russians, to become the first Europeans in Asia or even the first Asians in Europe to play the inherent role of a civilizational bridge, and not just of a transport link.“

The article originally was published in „Rossiyskaya Gazeta“ (#7585 (122) on June 06 2018.

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/Ideology-of-Eastward-Turn-19628

Recht kriegerisch und weniger strategisch geduldig klingt jedoch ein Artikel von Karaganow in Russia in Global Affairs April 2018 über eine sinorussische Allianz und einer gemeinsamen Strategie gegenüber den USA kurz vor der Konferenz des Valdai Clubs in Shanghai:

“Russia and China need to think about creating a joint strategy to strengthen peace. There is no need to wait for someone’s attack – the threat of war in the air,”

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/No-Need-to-Wait-for-an-Attack-the-Threat-of-War-Is-in-the-Air-19534

Karaganow selbst sieht noch die eurozentrische Tradition russischer Eliten als Hemmnis für seine Ostorientierung, aber die bisher grössten russischen Manöver seit denen des Warschauer Paktes in den 80er Jahren, die Vostok 18-Militärmanöver, bei dem Rußland erstmals mit China und der Mongolei gemeinsam in Sibirien übten , zeigen, dass diese Ostorientierung Dynamik aufnimmt.Wobei die Russen 300 000 Mann aufboten, die chinesische Volksbefreiungsarmee nur 3500 Mann, Russland das Manöver in seinebn Medien groß heraustellte, während die KP China dies eher kleinlauter popularisierte. Zudem unternehmen Rußlands und Chinas Marine im Pazifik, Mittelmeer und neuerdings in der Ostsee gemeinsame Manöver, wenngleich dies noch keine ernsthafte Herausforderung der NATO oder der USA darstellt. Zumal neben den BRICS nun auch die Shanghai Cooperation Organization neben China, Russland, den 5 zentralasiatischen Staaten nun erstmals auch Indien und Pakistan als neue Vollmitglieder begrüssen konnte. Zwar hat Russland bei weitem engere Beziehungen zu China, möchte aber zwischen China und Indien bei Streitigkeiten keine Seite ergreifen, sondern als Vermittler auftreten. So erklärte Karaganow im Interview mit der Times of India laut Russia in Global Affairs vom 2.8.2018:

‘China and Russia are quasi allies … On strategic affairs Russia and India have serious conversations only at top level’

The evolving Russia-China relationship appears to be of concern to India. How do you see it, and how will it affect India?

India has to understand that by virtue of both history and geography China is our closest neighbour. We have to have good relations with them. Our relationship with India is not dependent on our relationship with China. We have to think differently. We have to build bigger relations with China but this would be balanced positively by others. At this juncture you (India) have a tense relationship with China, but being so preoccupied with China is not very healthy – just like we were preoccupied with the US. We have a closer relationship with China, we are more involved in international affairs, (and) it’s very different from what it used to be 10-15 years ago.

The India-China relationship is fraught with tension. What if Russia is asked to make a choice?

We understand the difficulties and differences in your systems. China is becoming a more complex and sophisticated society. We have to give history a chance, in spite of our ideological anxieties. Act calmly.

If you need help from Russia as an intermediary, we could help. But we will not take sides. We will not jeopardise Russian interests for either China or India. We think that the fact that you are hostile to one another is an aberration. The sooner you solve it, the better. Thirty-forty years ago there was deep distrust between Russia and China, including a territorial dispute. Now, because of the wisdom of our peoples, the Russia-China border is most peaceful.

Some would say Russia is almost a younger sibling to China.

We are quasi allies right now, because the United States has chosen to contain both Russia and China, which is a strategic failure by the US. We also have a lot of common interests. Russia cannot be a junior brother to anybody and has never been so – from the heirs of Genghis Khan to Napoleon and Hitler, we have defeated them all.

The India-Russia relationship is confined to governments, how would you broaden it?

We should have common courses between Indian and Russian universities, open up our economies to each other – our $7 billion trade is an aberration. We should open up people-to-people contacts – there is only goodwill on either side. There are some members of the Russian elite who are fearful of China – not too many, but some. But there is none of that with India. On strategic affairs, for instance, we have serious conversations – but all this only at the top level. It doesn’t go deeper in the two systems.

In 2018, what would you say are top Russian foreign policy priorities?

Our top priority is Russia’s internal development – this is important for both our strategic and foreign policy. We’re good at diplomacy and good at military power and international manoeuvring but we have a relatively weak economic base, which is a longer term problem.

Our most important foreign priority would be keeping peace in the world – very important for Russia, and also because the global situation is worse than at any time in decades.

Second, building a robust relationship with China based on concept of greater Eurasia. Third, rebuilding our relationship with Europe, not on the previous basis which failed but on a new footing. Next in geographical terms would be India – because our relations with India are clear and there are unused opportunities that have been missed in the last 30 years.

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/China-and-Russia-are-quasi-allies–On-strategic-affairs-Russia-and-India-have-serious-conversations-

Kurz: Beim Projekt Großeurasien ist China aus Karaganows Sicht bevorzugter Partner Russlands. und abzuwarten , den Westen dazu zu bringen, um auf gleicher Augenhöhe, wenn der Westen herabgesunken ist, dann wieder Gemeinsamkeiten zu besprechen. Aber mittel-und kurzfristig will Russland sich mehr an Asien und dort vor allem an China orientieren. Putin dürfte dies tendenziell nicht wesentlich anders sehen, wenngleich er da doch die eindeutigeren Positionierungen Karaganows etwas relativiert nd das alles ein wenig nuanciert. Zumindestens hat Karaganow durch seine Positionen und durch seine Elitenunterstützer für sein eurasisches Projekt mehr Rückhalt und Gehör und mehr durchdachte politische Positionen bei Putin als dies ein rechtsradikaler  ideologisch-mythischer Eurasienspinner wie Alexander Dugin je hatte und haben könnte. Strategie der Ermattung, Strategie der dynamischen Defensive, Strategie der strategischen Geduld bedeutet abzuwarten, bis der Westen sich selbst genug geschwächt hat, um dann wieder in Verhandlungen mit ihm zu kommen. Zumal eben auch über Russlands Rolle als zivilisatorische Brücke zwischen Ost und West. Bleibt also abzuwarten, wer schneller ermattet: Russland oder der Westen, die USA und die EU, zumal ja Trump nicht das Musterbeispiel strategischer Geduld ist  und ob Russland sich da nicht in chinesische Abhängigkeiten begibt, auch wenn es dies explizit nicht vorhat, aber eben mittels negativer wirtschaftlicher und demographischer Trends erfolgt.

 



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