By Darius Shahtahmasebi
Foreign policy lunatic, architect of the ‘New World Order,’ and personal mentor to Barack Obama, Zbigniew Brzezinski, appears to have abandoned his lifelong dream of a complete, unchallenged American empire. He is now yielding to what he refers to as a “global realignment,” instead.
Some of Brzezinski’s most notable foreign policy achievements to date include brokering the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, actively supporting Poland’s opposition Solidarity movement, providing covert support for national independence movements in the former Soviet Union, and normalizing relations between the U.S. and China. Most notoriously, Brzezinski was instrumental in providing assistance to the Afghan mujahideen fighters who were battling the Soviet invasion (these fighters became the bulk of al-Qaeda and included Osama bin Laden). He was also a strong advocate of NATO expansion in the face of Vladimir Putin’s rise to power in Russia.
However, Brzezinski appears to have abandoned his former fears of Russia and has shifted his attitude to adapt to five main developments, which he concedes are redistributing global political power. Namely, these five changes are that (1) following complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, the U.S. is no longer the globally imperial power it once was; (2) Russia is experiencing the “latest convulsive phase of its imperial devolution,” as he describes it; (3) China is rising steadily and slowly enough so as not to pose an outright military challenge to the U.S. (for now); (4) Europe is no longer likely to become a global power; (5) the violent political awakening among post-colonial Muslims is a belated reaction to years of suppression by European states.
However, Brzezinski still posits that the U.S. must take the lead in realigning this global power structure by “elaborating” on the five aforementioned developments. This suggests that Brzezinski still intends for the U.S. to have the upper hand in all of the world’s future developments. The essence of his argument is basically that even though the U.S. can no longer bully every country on earth, they should at least maintain as much influence in the world as possible.
For example, Brzezinski insists the U.S. can only be effective in the current situation in the Middle East if a coalition is forged that includes Russia and China, two rising powers that challenge America’s monolithic status. However, Brzezinski creates an unrealistic caveat for this to work. He argues:
To enable such a coalition to take shape, Russia must first be discouraged from its reliance on the unilateral use of force against its own neighbours – notably Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic States – and China should be disabused of the idea that selfish passivity in the face of the rising regional crisis in the Middle East will prove to be politically and economically rewarding to its ambitions in the global arena.
Brzezinski, a man who advises Obama on foreign policy, knows better than anyone that Washington had a hand in the Ukrainian crisis, assisting the toppling of the Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a neo-Nazi government of its own. It’s unlikely this was done without the advice of Brzezinski himself considering he advocated taking over Ukraine in his 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard, stating Ukraine is “a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country (means) Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.” Brzezinski warned against allowing Russia to control Ukraine because “Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”
The U.S. should extend a hand to work with Russia, not against her, but in doing so Russia should refrain from using unilateral force to protect its interests in its neighboring states. So what happens if Russia refuses to concede?
Basically, Brzezinski is propagating the same ideas he advocated in his book in 1998, merely presenting a switch in the means by which the U.S. can achieve those goals. Note that the goals don’t change; according to Brzezinski, the termination of America’s global role would result in “global chaos.”
Still, one cannot argue that the world Brzezinski envisioned in 1998 has a chance of succeeding now. This on its own would explain why he advocates a new approach to global restructuring, and he is not alone in this belief. Foreign policy mastermind and alleged war criminal Henry Kissinger also advocates a new vision for Russia and U.S. relations:
Until quite recently, global international threats were identified with the accumulation of power by a dominating state. Today threats more frequently arise from the disintegration of state power and the growing number of ungoverned territories. This spreading power vacuum cannot be dealt with by any state, no matter how powerful, on an exclusively national basis. It requires sustained cooperation between the United States and Russia, and other major powers. Therefore the elements of competition, in dealing with the traditional conflicts in the interstate system, must be constrained so that the competition remains within bounds and creates conditions which prevent a recurrence.
Though it is mild progress that the likes of Kissinger and Brzezinski have acknowledged the U.S. can no longer look to expand its empire without working together with Russia, given their past records of nefarious behavior and the current presidential race, it would be unwise to get too hopeful in this regard. As CounterPunch shrewdly acknowledged:
Brzezinski presents a rational but self-serving plan to climb-down, minimize future conflicts, avoid a nuclear conflagration and preserve the global order. (aka–The ‘dollar system’) But will bloodthirsty Hillary follow his advice? Not a chance.