“The clash between America and Russia is now global in size” - how surprisingly modern this statement sounds. True, it was written ...35 years ago.
"Dispatched according to a special list"
This stamp was on the title page of the book "Game Plan: A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the U.S.-Soviet Contest", published by the Moscow publishing house "Progress" in 1986. In the year of the XXVII Congress of the CPSU and the just begun acceleration (not yet perestroika, and even less publicity!), For the top Soviet leadership, diplomats and generals, a translation of the treatise of the most vicious anti-Soviet, Assistant to the President of the United States Jimmy Carter for National Security Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928 -2017). The son of a Polish diplomat (and, most likely, a scout) was born in the consulate building in the then capital of the Ukrainian SSR, Kharkov, but was recorded in the metric as born in Warsaw.
Sovietologist Zbig knew the USSR very well and did not particularly separate it from imperial Russia - the more interesting it is to read his book now, because sometimes he just writes "Russia", and the parallels with today appear all the more amazing.
For example, take his assessment of America's security doctrine: "The imperial system dominated by the United States is framed by treaty obligations - which actually determine the status of Western Europe, Japan and South Korea as American protectorates." What's outdated here?
"In the strategically important colonial outposts of the Baltic region"
When Brzezinski tells about our area, he does it with healthy geopolitical cynicism:
"The truth is that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill actually ceded Eastern Europe to Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference (November-December 1943)".
He pays tribute to his opponents: “The Russians have managed to take control of the largest portion of the world's real estate. They carry it out by rather densely populating the interior regions - a vast territory known as European Russia - and based in a smaller but politically significant number in strategically important colonial outposts in the Baltic region (including Kaliningrad), in parts of Belarus, Eastern Ukraine. , on the north-eastern coast of the Black Sea ... "
Note that all these regions at the end of the second decade of the 21st century are examples of a “cold” (Baltic), “warm” (Belarus) or quite a “hot” war (Eastern Ukraine). “As the map shows, Russia is an object of a kind of isolation and even encirclement,” the professor stated 35 years ago.
"The countries dependent on the United States sincerely consider themselves their true allies..."
So Brzezinski, with a touch of slight contempt, writes about partners. “Eastern Europe continues to consider itself a part of Europe, and most Eastern European countries do not perceive Russia as an integral part of European civilization. This is a strong cultural and political attraction to the West..."
His attention to the Polish issue is explained by the fact that it was under Carter that Washington began to actively help Solidarity. After all, Warsaw was an important center of power - it was not for nothing that the military alliance of socialist countries was called after it!
“Key states include Germany and Poland on the western flank... Weakening Moscow's control over Poland would ultimately be tantamount to weakening its influence in Eastern Europe... Granting Poland more autonomy would inevitably undermine ... control over Lithuania and Ukraine. Religious and historical ties between Poland and these countries are deeply rooted, and Poland, freed from Moscow's control, could revive separatist tendencies to the detriment of the domination of the Great Russians".
As we can see now, it is Poland and Lithuania that influence the former Rzeczpospolita - within Belarus and Russia. However, Brzezinski paradoxically throws the reader (the book was intended for the Yankees!) To ...Latin America. And this turns out to be not at all complimentary for his fellow tribesmen:
“There are many parallels between the US-Mexican and Russian-Polish relations. In both cases, the weaker partner today was once a very large power, in some ways even surpassing its current giant neighbor".
"There is no rush in Moscow's behavior"
In Brzezinski's book, of course, there are no forecasts for the imminent unification of Germany - more precisely, the absorption of the GDR by the FRG. Even the rich Polish imagination could not imagine such an unexpected gift from the young General Secretary Gorbachev. But here is the passage that his expert pen gives out:
“The danger is that if Moscow succeeds in drawing West Germany into a special relationship, then it could become a lever for undermining the political unity of the Atlantic countries. History and geography play a role in this situation. On the German side, there has always been a strong pro-Russian orientation, especially among the population of Prussia ... German banking and industrial circles have historically supported the economic development of Russia, and this orientation is still strong in the German business community".
Why the story that did not happen in true reality with Gerhard Schroeder and the Nord Stream gas pipeline or Siemens turbines and medical equipment in Crimea?
This is what Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote about the Kremlin's Eurasian potential.
“A radical reorientation of Iran or Pakistan, which could involve one or even both of these countries in the orbit of Moscow's strategic dominance, would represent more than just a regional success ... The key states of the third main strategic front are potential catalysts that could spread far beyond their regional geopolitical radius ".
If we take the current format of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, we can see that not only permanent friends of the Indians are sitting at the same table with the Russians, but also those with whom Moscow was literally at knives in the mid-80s - the Chinese, Pakistanis, Iranians. ... Can this enormous scale of partnerships acquired be compared with what the United States has received over the same period? Oh yes, Washington is now friends with Riga and Kiev, Vilnius and Tbilisi. But, in fact, only in the 70s Iran and Pakistan were America's puppets. Now this is not even close - and the total population of these two countries, by the way, exceeds 300 million. In the US - 330.
Wisely, whatever you say, Brzezinski wrote: “There is no rush in Moscow's behavior. She prefers to advance step by step, through gradual expansion, gradually exhausting the opponent, carefully consolidating what has been achieved and continuing to seek new opportunities. The size and depth of the territory give Russia the confidence that other continental powers such as Germany lack".
“Generally speaking, the strategy being pursued in Europe can be best described as a strategy of political exhaustion. Its goal is to weaken the ties of Western Europe with the United States, without causing any serious anxiety in Western Europe, or a sharp American reaction to its gradually increasing neutralization".
In 1995, Konstantin Gayvoronski and I interviewed Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was in Riga. One question was, "Who is America's geopolitical rival?" “Nobody in the next 25 years,” he replied. The time of the States is up, Zbigniew Tadeushevich.
The original material can be read here.