Frank G. Wisner, former US Ambassador to India, 1994-97, brought Dr. Thomas Graham, Senior Director, Kissinger Associates to Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, for a lecture "Reflections on Russia and the US-Russian Relationship". Dr. Graham is a former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia, U.S. National Security Council. The audience consisted mostly of retired Indian diplomats and research scholars.
His lecture about the changes in Russia post Fall of the Berlin Wall was ok , nothing new, not very patronizing either. Yes, informative perhaps for the usual seminar attending audience in New Delhi, which briefs itself from uninformed Indian media or Western corporate media, which is mostly owned by military-industry-energy and other corporate interests and works as PR outlet.
I tried to balance the view of the lecture by pointing out how US itself was in decline, with a debt of 8-10 trillion and an annual trade deficit of five/ six hundred billion dollars. With $708 billion US defense budget for 2011 it is higher than at any point in America's post-World War II history. It is 16 percent higher than the 1952 Korean War budget peak and 36 percent higher than the 1968 Vietnam War budget peak in constant dollars.
It is almost equal to the total defense budget of the rest of the world put together. It is about seven times as much as China, thirteen times as much as Russia, and seventy-three times as much as Iran. High defense outlay was one of the reasons for the collapse of USSR. What about USA! After centuries of warfare between the Roman/Byzantine and Persian empires –Iraq and Syria were the objectives then too of Western and Eastern empires, both empires collapsed and it was easy meat for the Beduin tribes from the arid deserts of Arabia with their new creed.
Regarding Eurasia I also referred to the US franchised street revolutions to put puppets like Victor Yushchenko in Ukraine and regime changes in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan (it failed in Belarus and Ozbekistan). The regime changes were financed and organized covertly by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House and George Soros' Open Society Institute, the very entities, which had helped oust Shevardnadze last year. The NED has four affiliate institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). They" provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide."
Richard Holbrooke, now AFPK envoy condemned Russia for promoting a pro-Moscow government in neighboring Ukraine, where Russia has centuries of shared linguistic, marital, religious, economic and security ties and declared ' that far-away Slav nation part of "our [US] core zone of security." Some Gall.
Russia was laughed at, ignored and lectured to, with George Bush even looking into Putin's eyes and his soul, declared him to be trust worthy. In cut throat strategic world, trust (but verify) is the last thing. Madeiline Albright even declared Russia's energy resources to be the world resources (to be exploited by Chevron, BP of oil spill!).
Finally Putin let go at the 43rd annual International Security Conference held in Munich on 10 February, 2007, on the importance of the role of United Nations, U.S. missile defense, NATO expansion, Iran's nuclear program and the Energy Charter. He accused Washington of provoking a new nuclear arms race by developing ballistic missile defenses, undermining international institutions, trying to divide modern Europe and making the Middle East more unstable through its clumsy handling of the Iraq war.
Since then while Russia has become more confident, Washington has declined in power and influence. Obama has signed new Salt agreement with Medvedev in Prague a few months ago. But the neo-liberals and Neocons who led US into quagmire into Iraq and an unwinnable war in Afghanistan are still making a lot of noise. US politicians so easily manipulated by the Jewish lobby have still not realized that in the new world order, US is just one power and not the hyper power of 1990s and 2000s. In an essay titled ‘Time to Appease’ in the July –August 2010 Issue of ‘National Interest’ Prof Paul Keneddy giving a historic survey of European history tries to prepare the Americans to reconcile to the downsizing of US role in the emerging new world order.
After Putin outburst in Munich I had done a long piece detailing the US-Russian relationship post collapse of the Soviet Union. It is still worth perusing as necessary recent historical background.