The Biden regime’s frantic moves in recent weeks to escalate tensions with Russia—at a time of China’s continued economic and military rise—are irrational, inexplicable by any standard method of foreign policy analysis, and perilous to this country’s security interests.
Mr. Biden’s decision less than two weeks after his inauguration to move B-1 bombers to Norway “to deter Russian aggression” is a stunningly provocative move. It is almost equivalent to Nikita Khrushchev’s bid for strategic nuclear supremacy in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Treating allegedly imminent Russian “aggression” against some NATO member countries as formal justification for that decision was imprudent—or, more likely, deliberately insulting.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statements last December that the U.S. would deliver offensive arms to Ukraine, support regime-change coups in the post-Soviet space, and seek NATO’s further eastward expansion, had no rational explanation, except for a visceral hatred of Russia among the new regime’s foreign policy luminaries. It is a sentiment unamenable to rational geostrategic arguments and wholly independent of Moscow’s actual behavior.
Then came Joseph Biden’s aggressive, evidence-free list of accusations regarding Russia’s alleged meddling in U.S. elections, which he read to President Vladimir Putin in the course of their first telephone call on Jan. 26. It was unprecedented in rudeness and arrogance, at least in relations between two major powers, belying Biden’s declaration at the Department of State one week later that “diplomacy is back.”
above: a B-1B Lancer takes off on a routine mission from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael B. Keller)
To his credit, President Donald Trump did try to develop a meaningful détente with Moscow. It was based on his instinctive yet accurate perception that there are no true geopolitical differences between the two major nuclear powers, the United States and the Russian Federation. In reality, Trump is correct: there are none. Whatever is conjured as such is an invention from within the Beltway.
Trump was not able to bring his plan to fruition, however, as we have seen after the Permanent State’s hysterical reaction to his summit with Putin in Helsinki in July 2018. At least Trump was able to prevent an escalation of enmity between the U.S. and Russia, enabling him to secure China’s surprisingly swift acquiescence to his 2019 trade deal. Thanks to Trump’s instinct-driven diplomacy, Russia remained more or less aloof to both the trade quarrel between Washington and Beijing, and the parallel dispute over China’s rights in the South China Sea.
Such prudence is no longer present. It is a matter of regret and a cause for alarm. One of the principal lessons of a great power’s successful grand strategy is not to create too many powerful enemies at the same time. There are many tragic examples from antiquity, but five episodes of the modern era are particularly relevant.
In less than two decades, Philip II— King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, and Sicily, jure uxoris (ruler through his wife’s titles) King of England and Ireland, Duke of Milan, Lord of the Provinces of the Netherlands, etc.—sought to stop the Turks in the Mediterranean, help Catholics against Huguenots in France, quell rebellion in the Low Countries, and invade the British Isles. However, it turned out that God was not a Spaniard. Philip’s audacious overreach set the most powerful state in the world on the road to bankruptcy and permanent ruin, never to rise again.
Less than a century later, Louis XIV tried in three major wars to establish continental hegemony and thus terminate the balance of power system established by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. He died a broken man after losing the fiercest of them, the War of the Spanish Succession. He left France bankrupted and lastingly weakened, paving the way for the horror of the Revolution.
Napoleon’s Russian obsession, while the nagging British ulcer still remained active in Iberia, ultimately cost him his empire, his reputation, and what little remained of his life. His hubristic call in June 1812 to march on “that Asiatic capital,” Moscow, ensured that—barely two years later—40,000 Cossacks would camp in the Bois de Boulogne.
“The secret of politics,” Otto von Bismarck quipped shortly before his dismissal by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1890, was “to make a good treaty with Russia.” His Reinsurance Treaty of 1887 was just that, ensuring that Germany would not have to face the nightmare of a two-front war for many years to come. Wilhelm II, obtuse and neurotic, let that key treaty expire after he fired Bismarck. That was the beginning of Germany’s strategic encirclement, which contributed to its defeat in 1918. Russia, autocratic and Christian, instead of remaining an ally of the Kaiserreich, with which it had shared many commonalities, was forced to make an alliance with France, by then Masonic, republican, and viscerally anticlerical. The rest—the disastrous treaty of Versailles, and the sequel of 1939-1945 included—is history.
In the interwar era, there were eminently reputable and patriotic voices in Germany calling for an understanding with Russia, whether she be Red or White. The most prominent was General Karl Haushofer, the grand man of Weimar’s school of geopolitics. After 1933 he was marginalized by the Nazis, whose bizarre obsession with the racial denigration of Russians and other Slavs as Üntermenschen was coupled with their visions of an Eastern Lebensraum which was utterly unattainable by available resources. The mix ensured Germany’s dramatic, Wagnerian downfall in 1945.
The United States, if it were a normal country—which it is not at this time, sadly—would treat Russia as a natural ally in the grand civilizational struggle with the non-European behemoths that is coming in the near future, perhaps three to four decades from today, if not sooner. Many thinking Americans realize that Russia is their natural ally in the struggle to preserve the vestiges of faith, identity and rootedness, and against the collective death wish and self-hatred purveyed by the regime that now rules over them.
It is not just “in the American interest,” it is in the interest of America’s very survival that the morbid Russophobia of Biden’s foreign policy team be prevented from leading this nation into a catastrophic showdown with Moscow. That scenario, suddenly viable for the first time since the coldest of the Cold War, would mark the final end of the European civilization that the luminaries of the new Beltway regime hate with a passion.