Thursday, March 29, 2018

US strategy to ‘dethrone’ Putin for oil pipelines?

medium |  A US Army document concedes the real interests driving US military strategy toward Russia: dominating oil pipeline routes, accessing the vast natural resources of Central Asia, and enforcing the expansion of American capitalism worldwide.

The Russians are coming. They hacked our elections. They are lurking behind numerous alternative political movements and news outlets. Such is the overwhelming chorus from traditional reporting on Russia, which sees the United States as being under threat from fanatical Russian expansionism — expansionism which has gone so far as to interfere dramatically in the 2016 Presidential elections.

Russia is certainly an authoritarian regime with its own regional imperial ambitions. President Vladimir Putin and his cronies are responsible for massive deaths and human rights violations against populations at home and abroad (the latter in war theaters like Syria and elsewhere). Putin has strengthened a system of oligarchical state-dominated predatory capitalism which has widened extreme inequality and concentrated elite wealth. And we will no doubt learn more about what shenanigans Russia did, or did not, get up to in relation to US elections. 

For the most part, these are not especially dangerous things to report on from the comfort of the West. Somewhat lacking from conventional reporting, on the other hand, is serious reflection on whether US policies toward Russia have contributed directly to the deterioration of US-Russia relations.

While the bulk of the Western pundit class are busy bravely obsessing over the innumerable evils of Putin, it turns out that the upper echelons of the US military are asking some uncomfortable questions about how we got to where we are.

A study by the US Army’s Command and General Staff College Press of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth reveals that US strategy toward Russia has been heavily motivated by the goal of dominating Central Asian oil and gas resources, and associated pipeline routes.

The remarkable document, prepared by the US Army’s Culture, Regional Expertise and Language Management Office (CRELMO), concedes that expansionist NATO policies played a key role in provoking Russian militarism. It also contemplates how current US and Russian antagonisms could spark a global nuclear conflict between the two superpowers.