US Wants Neither Peace Nor Dialogue: Some Voices Call for Disintegration of Russia

Uriel Araujo, Global Research, July 17, 2023 —

The US-led West is not interested in peace or in any kind of compromise to put an end to the current conflict in Ukraine. According to University of Chicago political science professor John Mearsheimer, “Western leaders have additional goals, which include regime change in Moscow, putting Putin on trial as a war criminal, and possibly breaking up Russia into smaller states.” Journalist Anchal Vohra, writing for Foreign Policy, tells us that “Western analysts and Russian dissidents” have been publicly calling for the “decolonization of Russia itself.”

Take, for example, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (an independent US. government agency): already in 2022, Vohra reminds us, it published a report called “Decolonizing Russia”, which declared that such decolonizing should be “a moral and strategic objective.”

This extreme stance is not a “reaction” to the escalation of the ongoing conflict (but rather one of its external causes); in fact, such views are nothing new at all. Take, for instance, the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, the influential diplomat and foreign policy expert who served as a national advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter: he openly called for the further fragmentation of Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet state). In his 1997 Foreign Affairs piece, he called for a “loosely confederated Russia – composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic and a Far Eastern Republic.” Brzezinski advocated all this while also speaking about  “America’s global primacy” – extending all the way over to the Eurasiatic landmass too, of course. According to him, the US should “perpetuate the prevailing geopolitical pluralism on the map of Eurasia”, so as to prevent even “the remote possibility of any one state” seeking to “challenge America’s primacy”. To put it simply, for the American establishment, Russian simply cannot be.

This attitude, distorted as it is, makes some sense, from a certain American perspective, focused on global supremacy and the pursuit and maintenance of unipolarity. This has been shaped by the geopolitical thinking of Sir Halford John Mackinder and his concept of the struggle for the Heartland, and also by US Navy captain Alfred Thayer Mahan (and his 1890 The Atlantic article “The United States Looking Outward”). One must also add American exceptionalism to geopolitical thinking – that in turn can be traced back to the Puritan’s biblical metaphor about the “city upon a hill”.

We are talking about a nation that, according to retired Navy captain Jerry Hendrix (formerly an adviser to Pentagon senior officials), engages in land wars, while also seeking naval hegemony. Furthermore, it is actively pursuing a dual containment policy against both Russia and China, simultaneously. When it comes to Great Powers, for the United States, there can only be one.

Under this framework, Washington has consistently refused to acknowledge Moscow’s global role as the Great Power it is. American rhetoric up to early 2022 routinely described Russia as a “paper tiger” and a “declining power”. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated on December 16, 2021 that “Russia is a power in decline, meaning the economic importance of Russia, the GDP is not keeping track with many other countries in the world”, albeit, at the same time, adding that “even an economy in decline and a power in economic decline can be a threat and a challenge.” This contradictory view could be seen mirrored in US President Joe Biden’s July 2022 dismissing remarks about Moscow “sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else.” This denial attitude goes so far as to deny Russia’s role as a regional power even.

Many post-Soviet states have sought to maintain their ties with Moscow, which is exemplified by their ongoing adhesion over the last years to economic and security alliances such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and, more recently, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).  This reflects geoeconomic and geopolitical convergent interests which are a function of both geography and history: Russian civilization has a common history and has for centuries kept economic, political, and religious relations with a number of Slavic and Turkic peoples as well as many other ethnic groups.

In denial of all such basic facts and data, from an American perspective, Moscow is not to have even a “zone of influence” of its own. Moreover, for many influential US policy makers, political scientists, and thinkers (as we’ve seen) Russia should in fact cease to exist altogether as a polity.

Earlier attempts to “cancel” Russia into irrelevance or into virtual “non-existence” should thus be seen as examples of this peculiar mindset. The refusal to realistically and properly assess Moscow’s role and status in the global arena is not merely Western wishful thinking: the American Establishment seems to be unable to think of its own country outside of the context of a unipolar world. The very existence of a Russian state is thus perceived as a threat.

Rather than prolonging a proxy attrition war (which the Europeans themselves are tired of) “to the last Ukrainian”, responsible leaders should engage in good diplomacy and lots of table talks, which are needed more than ever, so as to minimize the risk of a global thermonuclear war (a scenario no one can afford). However, any such dialogue is hampered, among other things, by American exceptionalism.


Uriel Araujo is a researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts.

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