The former commander in Afghanistan: America returned to Europe if we invaded there. flies? It is the junior partner of Beijing
While many wonder about themselves If and when war broke out in UkraineIn many ways, explains John Allen, head of the Brookings Institution – the largest US think tank – and former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan.
General Allen, how do you assess the Biden administration’s warnings that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could begin within days and that Kiev was likely to be bombed?
“First of all, we must remember that Ukraine poses no threat to Russia and this crisis is artificially created by Putin and the oligarchy to do what they are doing. We can speculate about an attack on the capital, but only the Russians know. If they intend to conduct a decisive operation in The ‘physical domain’ of Overthrow the resistance of Ukraine And quickly, logic could refer to a “command and control” “decapitation” attack. I don’t know what they will do but remember that Ukraine was already attacked months ago in the field of internet and information. In the 21st century, wars are fought in multiple domains and physical and conventional domains, with planes dropping bombs, missiles, tanks, ships and submarines is just one of them. But in many respects the main areas of 21st century conflict are those of information (to control the narrative) and cyberspace, taking advantage of the fact that developed countries depend on them for social cohesion and quality of life (medical services, financial transactions, education, highways, airports. ). These areas are already under attack by the Russians.”
Do you think Biden’s strategy of aggressively disclosing intelligence about Russian plans, as it may not have been since the Cuban Missile Crisis, is enough to deter Putin?
The Russians have long believed that they can act with impunity in the electronic and informational spheres, which will be of increasing importance to autocratic rulers in the twenty-first century. They have been trying for years to destabilize democracies, including the United States and Italy. What you see now is that the United States is competing with Russia in these places. We do not intend to interfere in the material sphere on behalf of the Ukrainians, but we do not allow the Russians to act with impunity in the other two spheres. In some ways, this is an unprecedented strategy when compared to actions we would have taken in the 20th century, but this is a typical multi-disciplinary struggle in the 21st century.
In the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman raises the question of whether one is negotiating with “rational Putin” or with “mad Vlad” (the madman).
I don’t think Putin is unstable, irrational or crazy, and I think it’s wrong to see him that way. I think Putin understands the West perhaps better than we do. Only he knows what can act as a deterrent. First, it is clear that his intention is to increase his influence in relation to his “neighbor abroad”: he does not want Ukraine to become another American or Western position on the Russian border that, in his opinion, could destabilize the country over time .. its ability to rule in Russia. Given the growing internal opposition, he couldn’t allow it. Secondly, it wants to have a voice in the security structure of Europe, but since 2014 – when Russia separated Crimea from Ukraine – it has closed off the possibility of dialogue with Russia on this issue. It has undermined our ability to speak with one voice about European security, and some European partners have differing views on whether Putin would use gas against Europe and also how to respond if he did. But in the end I bet that if Putin invades Ukraine and we see many military and civilian deaths and if we see Russians exodus of thousands of refugees in the middle of winter, there won’t be many European governments ambivalent about global sanctions against Putin and Russia. I think one of his other goals is to separate the United States from Europe and NATO. If it invades Ukraine, it will be counterproductive.”
Could the Russian invasion of Ukraine increase the US presence in Europe, even though the Biden Doctrine suggests a shift in priorities toward the Indo-Pacific?
“If, as our Brookings Institution researcher Fiona Hill said, one of Putin’s goals is to reduce American influence and possibly separate the United States from Europe, the attack could increase American orientation and commitment to Europe. And while American attention is being drawn in many directions today The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have the full attention of the United States and the American people. There will be no distraction.
How does the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul affect Biden’s handling of the Ukraine crisis?
Without first-hand knowledge of it, I believe there were many lessons the Biden administration learned from decision-making mechanisms and the consequences of the Afghan evacuation. What we see now is an unmistakable attempt at American leadership in this crisis. In Afghanistan, Biden received bad cards from Trump, with Lack of credible options to play: Nobody is satisfied with how it turned out. What the Biden administration is doing now is consulting allies and partners rarely, on the phone, in person… There is a clear American commitment to NATO. If we think that with Trump there was a time we’d We are all afraid that he will withdraw the United States from NATO, now no one should doubt America’s commitment to the alliance. We are sending forces to countries on NATO borders to show that our skin is at risk if it becomes ugly and the conflict spills over to NATO. I don’t think this will happen, but America She came to Europe at this time with a serious crisis.”
What are the risks of the alliance between China and Russia against the United States?
I don’t think there is any doubt that both authoritarian governments want to reduce American influence in the world and are working together separately to that end. In this redefined relationship, Russia will always be the “younger partner.” Given the text of the recent Sino-Russian joint declaration in which Beijing explicitly supports Moscow’s demands in Europe and explicitly condemns NATO expansion, a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to win the approval of the largest partner: China. So we have to ask ourselves: Will China also be held responsible if Russia invades? ”
Are we witnessing a new Cold War, or is the logic different today?
“I don’t want to be remembered as someone who defined this era as a new Cold War. The Cold War was a context dominated by the possibility of thermonuclear war. This is a new era of contention and it is easy to give old names to new contexts, but it is not a new Cold War. The strategies you choose will be Democracies build them are very important in the twenty-first century to collectively protect our respect for human rights and the quality of life of our citizens, as well as to use technologies for the benefit of citizens, rather than monitoring, suppressing or locking them up. Whatever happens, we will need to associate with China and Russia, but that does not mean that after a real form From aggression against Ukraine, liberal democracies will be able to continue as if nothing had happened with responsible governments. Finally, the Russian invasion of Ukraine approved by China would inevitably increase American interest in East Asia and Taiwan.”
13 Feb 2022 (change on 14 Feb 2022 | 00:09)
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