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From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine

From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Washington will maintain a balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe by creating an alliance structure.


By George Friedman


As I discussed last week, the fundamental problem that Ukraine poses for Russia, beyond a long-term geographical threat, is a crisis in internal legitimacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent his time in power rebuilding the authority of the Russian state within Russia and the authority of Russia within the former Soviet Union. The events in Ukraine undermine the second strategy and potentially the first. If Putin cannot maintain at least Ukrainian neutrality, then the world's perception of him as a master strategist is shattered, and the legitimacy and authority he has built for the Russian state is, at best, shaken. 

Whatever the origins of the events in Ukraine, the United States is now engaged in a confrontation with Russia. The Russians believe that the United States was the prime mover behind regime change in Ukraine. At the very least, the Russians intend to reverse events in Ukraine. At most, the Russians have reached the conclusion that the United States intends to undermine Russia's power. They will resist. The United States has the option of declining confrontation, engaging inmeaningless sanctions against individuals and allowing events to take their course. Alternatively, the United States can choose to engage and confront the Russians. 

A failure to engage at this point would cause countries around Russia's periphery, from Estonia to Azerbaijan, to conclude that with the United States withdrawn and Europe fragmented, they must reach an accommodation with Russia. This will expand Russian power and open the door to Russian influence spreading on the European Peninsula itself. The United States has fought three wars (World War I, World War II and the Cold War) to prevent hegemonic domination of the region. Failure to engage would be a reversal of a century-old strategy.

The American dilemma is how to address the strategic context in a global setting in which it is less involved in the Middle East and is continuing to work toward a "pivot to Asia." Nor can the United States simply allow events to take their course. The United States needs a strategy that is economical and coherent militarily, politically and financially. It has two advantages. Some of the countries on Russia's periphery do not want to be dominated by her. Russia, in spite of some strengths, is inherently weak and does not require U.S. exertion on the order of the two World Wars, the Cold War or even the Middle East engagements of the past decade. 



Read more: From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine | Stratfor 

Coffee Party USA's insight:

I find myself thinking as I try to understand what's happening in Ukraine and on the larger geopolitical stage that if it wasn't for fossil fuels, how much of this would matter?

 

Since parts of Europe are almost solely dependent on Russia for energy and, likewise, Russia is very dependent on energy exports for revenues, what would happen if Europe started a massive build of solar and wind farms instead of fracking or importing fossil fuels from elsewhere? Wouldn't that weaken Russia and be better for everyone except the Big Money in the fossil fuel industry?

 

And, couldn't going green be done faster and maybe even cheaper - certainly it would be cleaner - than more drilling, mining, and refining? Think about it. What would be better, trying to get Turkey to allow Azerbaijan, a fossil-fuel rich country, to build pipelines to Europe, or Europe building wind and solar farms? (Yes, I know you can't run cars on solar - or can you?)

 

Why doesn't Europe just keep going greener and tell Russia - and us and the fossil fuel industry - to put the oil, coal, and natural gas where the sun doesn't shine?

 

Green energy is abundant and available to every single country and person on the planet. Ask yourself what's really best for us and in our long term interests; dirtier and more expensive fossil fuels nations are ready to go to war over, or renewable energy, and doesn't going green take on of Putin's strongest trump cards, the issue of energy, off the table and thereby weaken Russia?


(The views expressed above are my own and do not reflect any official position or views of Coffee Party USA. Greg R., Curator, Coffee Party News.)

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.....

The I.R.S. did not respond to a request for comment. A representative for Mr. Issa, Caitlin Carroll, would not comment on the failure to find a link to the White House but noted that the investigation was not over. It will continue in the 114th Congress under the committee’s new chairman, Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, after congressional investigators recovered thousands of I.R.S. emails thought to have been lost in a series of computer crashes.

 

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