Scott Ritter – US strategic dysfunction
Scott Ritter has suggested a wise and reasonable analysis. (note 1)
But he has a serious weakness in that he underestimates the devil. Appian warns against such a dilemma.
He describes the position of Russia as seeking a ‘soft landing for Europe’. What he does not consider is the risk of dealing with the neo-cons if the motive of some neo-cons was to exit with as much damage as possible to all remaining players. This may be irrational from a public point of view but is what it is. If the neo-cons want to pass on a can of worms, they will always seek to do that which prevents future solutions. If we recommend Russia to seek a peaceful solution, then that requires trust. Without trust, there is a great difficulty in crafting steps forward. This means that there is an opportunity to take steps that would damage any trust being built. For example, they can allow one negotiator to take steps and agree on options to then deliberately undermine and contradict them. The sole purpose is to destroy any lingering trust.
However, if Russia makes concessions to encourage negotiations, it would be disadvantaged and suffer a loss of face as the steps brought nothing. This creates a scenario that requires great subtlety. Russia cannot know if the dominant force is left or right, forwards or backwards. Also whoever is dominant now may be subject to change.
Both Scott Ritter and Alex Mercouris underestimate the complexity introduced by both the internal battles within the US state but also the negative disruptive strategy of part of the US state. One of the great objectives of these elements of the US state was to leave Europe with long lasting divisions and internal hatreds. Europe and Russia in harmony together would be a great potential rival to the US so that leaving Europe riven by deep hatreds is one of the primary objectives of one part of the US state. Russia cannot influence the folly of Germany and the rest of Europe. If Europe decides to follow the direction of the US, that creates one possible impasse for Russia. How can Russia dance if Europe is not behaving in accord with its own interests?
Ghengis Khan and many Taoist sages knew how to deal with such a situation. One of the key steps, according to both the Khan and Taoist sages, is not to reveal one’s shape. Both Scott Ritter and Alex Mercouris wish Russia to signal a clear shape ..this would be a disaster.