A French perspective on the Russian – American relationship

Dear readers, I am really very glad to present You my first article being published in The Washington Times, via an insert produced by Russia House Associates in cooperation with Voice of Russia.  You can find the insert on the WT website on this link: http://media.washtimes.com/media/misc/2013/06/10/201300611-voiceofrussia.pdf

And also on this link http://www.washingtontimes.com/



At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, America triumphed in the sands of Iraq and announced the birth of a new world order dominated by the West. The end of the USSR marked the beginning of an era in which the Euro-American alliance assumed unchallenged control of the world’s economic, political, military and moral order.

On the European continent, the Western alliance seemed destined to gradually incorporate the entire former Soviet world for eternity.

From that moment, the Europeans, freed from Communism, seemed to fi nally have won the right to join the Euro-Atlantic community and develop their market economy. In a world that had become unipolar, they also appeared to have the right to choose between the West and the West, between NATO and NATO and between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

This myth of the new unipolar world order did not last very long, however. Only 10 years after its birth, on 11 September 2001, America, the mightiest power the world has seen, was attacked on its own territory.

A year earlier, in Moscow, another fundamental geostrategic event took place, although very few analysts paid attention to it at the time: the election of President Vladimir Putin. That election marked the political birth of a new Russia.

A few hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Russian president was the very fi rst head of state to speak to President Bush and offer him political and military support in the fi ght against terrorism. Russia, which at that time was facing an Islamist guerrilla insurgency in the Caucasus and terrorism on its own territory, clearly understood the fundamental importance of global, comprehensive and long-term cooperation in the fi ght against this scourge.

Unfortunately, Russia’s outstretched hand was not grasped by US strategists.

The wars against terrorism – initiated by America during the last decade in Afghanistan and Iraq but also to a limited extent in Pakistan, Somalia and indirectly in Libya – did not pay off. Worse, they have arguably contributed to the weakening of America’s fi nances, exacerbated its post-2008 economic downturn and laid bare the fl aws of the Western financial system.

Moreover, all the above-mentioned military interventions have increased the diplomatic isolation of the United States.

Meanwhile, the regional wars that were triggered in the Muslim world did not prevent terrorism from proliferating in America, Europe and elsewhere in the world. Indeed, the world seems to be inexorably entering a
multipolar paradigm – one in which regional organizations are playing a greater role and want to conduct independent policies.

But nobody knows what this change will bring or what this new world order will look like. Parallel to the expansion of NATO, projects in which America is not directly involved have emerged that point to embryonic pan-European collaboration.A signifi cant such development is the growing economic, energy and political integration between Paris, Berlin and Moscow.

We are witnessing a marked reduction of tensions, driven by Russia’s proposals for a European security architecture that would be independent of NATO.

Further to the east, a Russo-Chinese alliance seems to be taking shape. The integration between these two superpowers is growing in the political, economic, energy and military fi elds, particularly in the context of anti-terrorism activities conducted through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,which is slowly becoming a “Eurasian NATO.”

In this new multilateral paradigm, Russia has become a key economic partner for the European Union, a privileged partner of China and a very active member of the group of countries known as the BRICS. A new strategic deal could have been struck between the Americans, Europeans and Russians in the wake of the dissolution of the Warsaw pact in the 1990s.

Unfortunately that was not to be, owing mainly to the advance of NATO to Russia’s border and pro-Western putsches – poetically labelled “color revolutions” – in the countries of the former Soviet Union. More recently, Washington has pushed ahead with its missile defense shield deployment, riding roughshod over Moscow’s objections.

Yet just as in 2001, Russia has once again affi rmed its support for the US in the wake of the Boston terrorist attacks. Building on this new momentum, US strategists should fi nally acknowledge that Russia is not the Soviet Union and that America should work with it in an alliance against terrorism and totalitarianism.

Could there be a more fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by both countries in the Second Word War?

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