Jun 13, 2022
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“Do not tease the bear”: American analysts talk about the liquidation of the Russian Federation

The events in Ukraine once again plunged American analysts into doubt: what to do with Russia? Somehow her actions do not fit into the previous theories and forecasts. No matter how hard they tried, the Russian economy was not destroyed, the army was advancing, isolation from the world did not work out. And the best minds of the United States are now thinking: to destroy Russia or, after all, leave it alone? President of the All-Russian Police Association, Lieutenant General, Doctor of Law, Professor, Honored Lawyer of Russia Yuri Zhdanov spoke about the logic of reasoning and doubts of the American elite.

– Yury Nikolayevich, who exactly today in the USA is thinking “about the fate of Russia”?

– The RAND Corporation website recently published an article by Rafael S. Cohen, one of the corporation’s project directors, “The return of the Don’t Tease the Bear” concept.

Let me remind you that the RAND Corporation, or, as it is commonly called, the “thought factory”, is an American strategic research center. The name stands for “research and development”. As a non-profit organization, but funded by US government agencies, the center develops and identifies new methods of analyzing strategic problems and strategic concepts for scientific, educational and philanthropic activities in the interests of public welfare and US national security. True, at first it was a partnership with the US Air Force and some firms to create aircraft, missiles and satellites. And then this corporation found itself in other areas.

This center generates ideas for the leadership of the country. The developed ideas, as a rule, become the basis for the decisions made. And, it must be admitted that until now these ideas have usually been very balanced and reasoned in order to prevent the “cowboys” from doing trouble. They really made objective analyzes of the strategic situation and gave quite reasonable advice. Which, perhaps, kept the American “hawks” from overly harsh urges to grab the Colt. Until recently, they succeeded.

– And what went wrong?

It looks like there’s some kind of glitch in their brains. So, one of the directors of the corporation Cohen writes: “Do not tease the bear. This idiom summed up the American strategy, which, in essence, argued that the West should avoid confronting Russia so as not to anger the beast. According to him, after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, this approach fell out of favor. But later the concept unexpectedly revived: “A chorus of former officials, scientists and journalists suddenly begin to argue that it would be wiser for Ukraine to resolve the issue, while quite recently many in the same camp called for the exact opposite.”

– I didn’t understand: is it necessary or not to “tease the bear”?

– The problem is that the Western “resolvers” are rushing around and don’t know what to do themselves. Here is an illustrative example of such throwing. The New York Times wrote in March that U.S. policy must be ready to join the fight for Ukraine, “no matter how long it takes until Ukraine is free.” Two months later, the same editorial now argues that the West should seek peace through negotiations, even if it “may require Ukraine to make some difficult decisions” because the risk of a clear victory is too great. And Cohen comments on this: “Don’t tease the bear” is suddenly back, and the strategic approach remains as unwise as ever.”

– This is the concept of “Don’t tease the bear”, in fact, was expressed at a recent forum in Davos by the patriarch of foreign policy, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. In America, he is considered an oracle. And now someone dared to object to him?

– So I say that the West is going crazy. It’s okay that Kissinger’s statement aroused indignation and hatred of the entire so-called “elite” of Ukraine. Kissinger was listed by them in the lists of the “Peacemaker”, which is tantamount to recognizing Ukraine as an “enemy of the people”. Actually, this is true – he definitely never was a friend of the Ukrainian people. As well as Russian. And his concern is extremely pragmatic, lest the bear bully America.

As the Abbé d’Herblay, aka Aramis, said, admiring the play of light on the edge of the blade: remember that it separates that light from this one.

– And how does Cohen argue his disagreement with Kissinger?

– Very vague, ambiguous. A vocal opponent of the “Don’t tease the bear” concept, he writes that given the fact that Russian troops are slowly advancing in the Donbas, Russia may have time to regroup, rearm and resume the offensive on more favorable terms.

Cohen concludes that calls for Ukraine to back off further highlight doubts about the West’s resilience and its willingness to see difficult tasks through. He sees this as a key element missing from American deterrence today.

At the same time, Cohen cites the arguments of the supporters of the “don’t tease the bear” concept. They, in his opinion, believe that “the benefit of retreat and peace negotiations with Russia will avoid Russian escalation.”

– That is, it turns out, neither yours nor ours. What exactly will they now advise those who make decisions in the United States?

– Specifically, nothing. The best way to stay consistent is to change with circumstances, said Winston Churchill. Cohen also argues in accordance with this recommendation. He sagely suggests a closer examination of the situation.

Cohen opposes former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s position that “the West cannot ‘lose sight’ of Russia’s long-term relationship and its potential as a future counterbalance to China.”

“In an ideal world,” writes Cohen, “Kissinger might be right. Alas, this is not the modern world. According to him, even before the Ukrainian conflict, the West’s relations with Russia were overshadowed by a variety of problems – from accusations of interference in elections to cyber attacks. After the conflict in Ukraine, relations “will undoubtedly get worse, no matter what concessions, if any, Ukraine ends up making,” he notes.

At the same time, Cohen writes that others in the don’t tease the bear group argue that Ukraine should stop now because it has already won. And Georgetown University professor Charles Kupchan, on the other hand, argues that Ukraine has “failed more than enough to justify the cost of further adventurism” and therefore “pushing Russia further is unnecessary and unnecessarily risky.”

– Some kind of porridge is obtained.

– That’s what I’m talking about. And then Cohen, who is considered a reasonable person in the political science world, draws a conclusion that is more suitable for a person with deep mental anomalies. Just listen: “When a bear has gone into the wilderness or into hibernation, there is a strong argument in favor of leaving it alone. It’s just not Russia today… Dealing with an already enraged, rampaging bear requires a different strategic approach to ensure Ukraine gets what it needs to shoot the bear.”

– How can you “shoot” a nuclear power?

– It is unlikely that they will decide to supply Ukraine with nuclear weapons. But let’s not take Cohen and his team as fools. With their alleged hesitation, which they expose to the public, they pursue far-reaching strategic goals. They are sure that the most peaceful state will be recognized as the one that will take over the whole world. And the “Russian bear”, especially the enraged one, is the biggest obstacle for these “peacekeepers”. Here they are looking for and training the future “bear hunter”. Who it will be, except for Ukraine, time will tell.

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