Barack Obama has just declared that Russia is “a small country that doesn’t produce anything, which exports oil, gas, and weapons … a country that does not innovate”. Russia does not claim to have an hegemony on the economic sphere, indeed. It knows perfectly its limits. But it does not steal oil and gas from other countries by fomenting civil war, as the West did in Libya. It does not sow chaos abroad under the hypocritical pretext of human rights. It does not invade or destabilize any sovereign States, it does not finance any organization tasked with causing the disorder. It intervenes in Syria at the request of the legal government, and it confronts the terrorists instead of deliver weapons to them while pretending to fight them.
The Russians are not the strongest in the military sphere. They do not have a tenth of the capacity of the external projection of forces that the USA has at its disposal. Having being in full modernization over the past decade, their military serves to protect the vast territory of the Russian Federation. Their strategy is defensive, not offensive. They have two military bases abroad, while the USA have 725. The Russians do not let others walk all over them, but they have a sense of measure. It is precisely NATO, not Russia, that has reignited the arms race by deploying a missile shield. Russia is accused of threatening peace, but its military budget ($48 billion) is lower than that of the United Kingdom ($53 billion) and represents 8% of that of the USA ($622 billion).
But if the Russians have modest means, they know how to use them. It’s useless to use colossal forces in order to achieve its purpose, it is enough to do it wisely. In a month, without a shot being fired, Crimea was back in the bosom of the Motherland. Westerners will have to get use to it. It is final. The Russians have also come out on top in the Syrian theatre. In a year, the Russian intervention halted the offensive of the mercenaries sponsored by the western powers and the corrupt petromonarchies. The end of a fierce 30-day battle, the liberation of Aleppo, the second city of Syria, opens the way for the comprehensive restoration of the sovereignty of Syria.
With 5,000 men and 70 aircraft, Moscow has tilted the balance of power. It has foiled the plans of “regime change” engineered by Washington and triggered in 2011 in favor of the “arab spring”. With the rout of armed Wahhabist gangs, the western apprentice sorcerers have received a thrashing. This explains without doubt the bitterness of one American president, who is packing his bags to leave the place to a successor who wants to resume dialogue with Moscow. What a slap! It is to be believed that it is not enough to align aircraft carriers on the oceans to influence the course of things. Westerners have not understood anything, or didn’t want to understand what was happening in Syria. These arrogant predators lost the game.
This “small country that doesn’t produce anything” will have given a lesson of humility to the yankees, who take themselves to be geniuses of geopolitics. Being supported by a China that is a rising power, Russia would give a chance for the establishment of a multipolar world. The Americans believed in conducting the ball, and now they are doomed to be a wallflower. They will be forced to admit it. If the Russians outmaneuver the Westerners, it is not because they are stronger. It is mainly because they are more intelligent. They understand the world around them with more finesse. They capture better the inflections of reality. They have this acuity of vision that identifies the tipping point, the place and the moment when it is necessary to act in order to influence the course of events. Russian superiority is not quantitative, it is qualitative. It is expensive to under-estimate the country of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. A millennia-old culture has taught itself patience. Their tragic history gave the country a sense of reality. It is what the Americans miss the most.
Is Barack Obama able to understand what is going on? The USA is the means of civilization that is called a civilization. Their historical experience shows that a colossal GDP doesn’t always equate to perspicacity. No physical law transfuses material power into strategic intelligence, like magic. The yankees believe themselves to be superior, and this feeling of superiority blinds them. They imagine that the attractiveness of their cultural model is universally approved. They think that their belief in themselves is shared by others. What an illusion! The “unipolar moment” ushered in by the collapse of the USSR is not the “end of history”, but just a parenthesis, which is now closed. A small country that doesn’t produce anything tasked itself with closing it with a double lock.
Bruno Guigue | 18 Décembre 2016
Bruno Guigue is a French author and political analyst born in Toulouse 1962. Professor of philosophy and lecturer in international relations for highter education. The author of 5 books including Aux origines du conflit Israélo-Arabe, l’invisible remords de l’Occident (L’Harmattan, 2002).
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
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