Towards A Good Samaritan World

Friday, January 06, 2006

THE GREAT GAME

Russia is expanding and militarizing its influence in Central Asia and the Caspian region:

Russia is seeking to rapidly consolidate the strategic gains it made in Central Asia during 2005...

Despite the dramatic decline in its influence, the United States remains a powerful geopolitical force in Central Asia, underscored by the continuing presence of US forces at the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan. To keep the United States on the defensive, Russian planners have developed a multi-faceted blueprint to significantly expand Moscow’s strategic reach in Central Asia, as well as tighten tactical coordination with other regional players, especially China and India...

In connection with the already considerable expansion of its strategic presence in Central Asia, Russia has either begun to conduct, or has announced a series of exercises designed to unite its own forces with those of Central Asian allies under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), another multi-lateral organization that Moscow wants to enhance... Observers note that Russia and perhaps India are seeking to transform the SCO into a true strategic and military alliance, whereas China has openly advocated that it concentrate on trade and economics.


Why does Russia want power? We know why George W. Bush wants to increase American power: to spread freedom. Why does Russia want power? Is there a resource exploitation motive? Are they concerned for national security-- perhaps with subversion of the current territory of the federation by minority independence movements? Or is there some 21st-century variation of the "Russian Idea" that they wish to extend? If so, are there any Russian writers articulating it?

1 Comments:

  • Or is there some 21st-century variation of the "Russian Idea" that they wish to extend?

    No, there isn't.

    On the other hand, extending Freedom as the justification for extending American influence is very new, and may well be quite temporary.

    The real test will come when pushing for democracy acts *against* American economic and military interests. Historically, in each case, Freedom has lost. (Notice how weak the push for democracy by the USA is in Pakistan and Saudia Arabia?)

    Still, one must be optimistic.

    By Anonymous Tom West, at 8:44 AM  

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