In the fifth month of hostilities in Ukraine, American strategists decided to draw some conclusions, to draw the first results. Apparently, the curators of the Kyiv regime are beginning to understand that the conflict is going somehow wrong and in the wrong direction, as they wanted and planned. The president of the All-Russian Police Association, Doctor of Law, Honored Lawyer of Russia, Professor Lieutenant General Yuri Zhdanov tells about this and what lessons the Americans allegedly learned and whether they will benefit them.
– Who specifically from the analysts in the US is trying to learn from the conflict in Ukraine?
– The student was portrayed by a highly decorated American political scientist – Joseph S. Nye, Jr. From 1993-1994 he was Chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, and from 1994-1995 he was Under Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. The other day, on the Project Syndicate website, he published an article in which he lists the “eight lessons” of the Ukrainian conflict.
And what lessons did he learn?
– I’ll make a reservation right away: he does not analyze, does not analyze the course of hostilities, the tactics of units or the comparative characteristics of weapons. Nye thinks broader – strategically. But somehow too generalized. That is, he talks about everything, but without specifics. And so it slides into platitudes.
Judge for yourself. The first lesson Nye learned was that nuclear deterrence works, but it depends more on relative rates than capabilities.
“The West was restrained, but only up to a certain point. Putin’s threats, says Nye, have prevented Western governments from sending troops, though not weapons, to Ukraine.
Joseph Nye believes that this result does not reflect any superiority in Russian nuclear capabilities. Rather, it reflects “the gap between Putin’s definition of Ukraine as a vital Russian national interest and the West’s definition of Ukraine as an important but less vital interest.”
– That is, from the point of view of the United States, Ukraine is important for Ukrainians and Russians to die there, but less important for Americans to die there. Do they really believe in the possibility of nuclear war?
– Americans are afraid to cross the red line, beyond which a nuclear war is possible. On the eve and during the special operation in the American and European media, on the websites of serious analytical centers, a whole series of articles and reports on nuclear deterrence were published, where Russia’s nuclear power was always emphasized. And this factor remains the main deterrent for the United States, which, in its absence, would do everything possible to destroy Russia as a state entity.
Most importantly, they do not doubt our determination to go to any lengths to protect the country. Literally everything. But they do not have such determination and readiness – the difference in mentalities affects not only the population, but also the leadership of the countries. As Comrade Stalin said, one must be a very brave person to be a coward in the Red Army. And we are all direct heirs of the Red Army.
– Shall we move on to the next lesson?
“Second lesson: economic interdependence does not prevent armed conflict.
“While this lesson was widely recognized long after World War I broke out,” writes Nye, “the world’s leading trading partners, especially German politicians such as former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, ignored it. His government increased Germany’s imports and dependence on Russian oil and gas, believing it would be too costly for both sides to cut off trade ties.
– And that is why they are now harassing Schroeder?
– Like most liberal thinkers, to Joseph Nye, any normal trade relationship with Moscow that is beneficial to one country or another seems pathological, since it strengthens the Russian economy. But Schroeder simply bought Russian gas and oil at profitable prices for the German people. And he did this after leaving the post of chancellor. Thus, he violated the plans of the Western “hawks” – in their opinion, even during his reign, he had to prepare for a war with Russia and prevent it from profiting from the sale of natural resources. Therefore, now Schroeder, on instructions from Washington, has been declared a national traitor in Germany and in the European Union as a whole, and they are trying to bring him to justice for “crimes against humanity.”
– Apparently, this is Washington’s sore spot: the money didn’t go into their pocket?
– And this is really the worst “crime against humanity” for them. Where are the murders of civilians, the torture of prisoners of war or the burning of people in Odessa compared to this!
A third lesson immediately follows from this: the less dependent party can use uneven economic interdependence as a weapon, but when the stakes are symmetrical, interdependence has little power.
Russia, writes Nye, depends on income from energy exports, but Europe is too dependent on Russian energy to turn it off completely: energy interdependence is roughly symmetrical. “On the other hand,” Nye continues, “in the world of finance, Russia is more vulnerable. Western sanctions may hurt her more over time.”
“So the pain has already been inflicted on us, and more is promised?”
– Nai wags. One could simply write: “the effectiveness of the sanctions is small due to the complete dependence of Europe on Russian energy resources.” And who will cause economic and financial pain to whom – time will tell.
From the same series is the fourth lesson, according to Joseph Nye: although sanctions may increase the costs for Russia, they do not determine the results in the short term.
Nye recalls that CIA director William Burns (former US ambassador to Russia) reportedly met with Putin last November and warned, to no avail, that the conflict with Ukraine would lead to sanctions.
– Were they outraged that the Russian leader did not heed the warnings of the CIA director?
They are not used to being ignored like this. But here again, cheating. Burns “warned” – and, together with other colleagues from Biden’s entourage, did everything possible to make the conflict happen inevitably. After all, now no one hides the plans of Kyiv, and hence America, to launch catastrophic preventive strikes against the DPR, LPR and even Crimea, if Russia had not launched its special operation ahead of the curve.
And, speaking of the fifth lesson – they say, it turns out that the information war matters – he again blurts out.
“America’s meticulous disclosure of intelligence about Russia’s military plans,” writes Nye, “has been highly effective in “preliminarily debunking” Putin’s narratives in Europe and has greatly contributed to Western solidarity.”
At the same time, Joseph Nye admits that the so-called “intelligence disclosure” was the months-long information war against Russia, when the inevitability of the conflict in Ukraine was hammered into the head of everyone and everyone through all US-controlled media.
– Does the US think that they are winning the information confrontation?
– They are trying to sweeten or disguise the failures of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield with alleged successes on the information one. Nye is trying to learn a sixth lesson from this camouflage: both hard and soft power are important. This is the most muddy, indistinct lesson, accompanied by obscure reasoning.
“While coercion is more important than persuasion in the short term, soft power can make a difference over time. Smart power is the ability to combine hard and soft power in such a way that they reinforce rather than contradict each other.” Russia failed, but Zelensky succeeded, says Joseph Nye.
“I wonder what he means?”
– I’m afraid that Nye and Zelensky were smoking or sniffing something together. I can assume that all the talk about the combination of hard and soft power is a continuation of the same information war. In the West, they are trying not to remember the provocation in Bucha, which was uncovered by Western journalists and analysts themselves. They do not talk at all about the hostages with which the Ukrainian Nazis and mercenaries are hiding, about pillboxes in schools and hospitals. On the killings and torture of captured Russian servicemen. Silence or distortion of facts – this, apparently, is “soft power”. Perhaps they are right, and we should heed Churchill’s warning: “A lie has time to go around half the world before the truth puts on its pants.”
– But what kind of force do they attribute cyber warfare to?
– Probably soft, although it is difficult to understand the mess that is in their heads. But Nye says in his seventh lesson that cybercapabilities are not a panacea. Also not God knows what a revelation.
Many analysts, Nye argues, predicted a Russian cyber attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure and government early in the conflict. However, while there were reportedly many cyberattacks during the Ukraine crisis, “none of them led to broader results.”
“What’s more,” says Nye, “with training and experience, Ukrainian cyber defense has improved.”
According to him, “when the conflict began, kinetic weapons provided commanders with greater timeliness, accuracy and damage assessment than cyber weapons. With cyber weapons, you don’t always know if an attack has succeeded or if it has been patched.”
So was the cyberattack successful or not? And was she at all?
“Here’s another great quirk by Nye. On the one hand, Nye himself warns that it is impossible to determine whether there was a cyberattack or not. On the other hand, he immediately declares that it was (although it actually was not) and that it was repulsed. Go understand these educated…
However, cyber war is a panacea or not a panacea, one can argue for a long time. But for some reason, the US Department of Defense, closely monitoring the development of hostilities in Ukraine, decided to double the number of its cyber units by 2030.
– Does this American analyst make any predictions about the military operations in Ukraine?
– He does, and this is his eighth lesson: armed conflicts are unpredictable. As always, the conclusion is profound and wise. Who would have thought? And the good soldier Schweik warned that in war they can be killed and even wounded …
“The promise of a short war,” writes Nye, “is dangerously seductive. In August 1914, European leaders expected the troops “to be home by Christmas”. Instead, they unleashed four years of war, and four of these leaders lost their thrones. Immediately after America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, many in Washington predicted an easy ride, but the effort fizzled out for years.”
But it is with this lesson of Nye that I fully agree. The unpredictability of current armed conflicts may manifest itself not only in Europe, but also in America itself. There, their consequences may affect the elections, the economic situation, and the state of social tension. Maybe in the USA someone will lose the throne …