The escalation of the confrontation between the United States and Russia for more than ten years, with a memorable Putin speech in Munich, remains a topic for speculation. It was for a long time that both American and Russian experts imagined that new presidents would come to power in the United States (or that certain changes are about to occur in Russia), and relations between the two countries are normalized. There were hopes for Obama, then for Trump. However, in practice, these relations are getting worse and worse.
There is a natural question: is the nature of these relations the result of the evil will of the presidents Bush, Jr., Obama, Trump, Putin's toughness and unyielding substitute each other - or are there deep reasons that do not depend on the personal and leadership qualities of the leaders of the two countries?
Immediately answer to such a sharply posed question. We should not expect in the foreseeable future to improve relations between the US and Russia, whoever is at the helm of these states. The nature of this relationship is determined by more global processes, where the relationship between Russia and the US is derived from the nature of the relationship between the still dominant US and growing China, which challenges America and claims to be a new world leader. I will not burden readers with figures that show that China has outstripped the United States in many respects in economic, scientific, technological, military-political development or ahead of schedule in the very near future. This creates a situation that the famous Harvard professor Graham Allison, a former US Deputy Secretary of Defense, calls the "Thucydides trap". It is about the famous ancient work on the Peloponnesian War (between Sparta and Athens).
Thucydides writes that the dominant Sparta in ancient Greece, which made a decisive contribution to the defeat of the Persians who invaded Greece in the fifth century BC, began to feel anxiety and tension because of the growing strength and influence of Athens. Sparta believed that Athens was trying to challenge her primacy in the ancient world. Beginning in 435 BC, the war, which lasted almost thirty years, ended in the defeat of Athens, but bleached both powerful states of the Ancient World.
Graeme Allison, analyzing in his recently published book, "For the war: will the US and China succeed in avoiding the Thucydides trap" a five hundred year history of the West, allocates 16 cases when the rising state challenged the dominant power in the world at that time - and in 12 cases from 16 it ended in war. The main conclusion of Allison: China's growth is unstoppable. He will challenge America's leadership not only in the regions of East Asia, the Indian and Pacific basins, but also in international relations in general. If this conclusion is correct and the centuries-old history shows the repeatability of the "Thucydides' trap," then the escalation of confrontation between the US and China is only a matter of time.
Already now, the United States has adopted a deterrence strategy with respect to Beijing and methodically pursues a policy of encircling the PRC with the help of its partners and allies. China has almost all its neighbors have conflicts and problems that the US traditionally skillfully uses to create an anti-China coalition. Countries that can form its core include Japan, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia. Over time, other states can join them.
... And now - the most important thing. Against the backdrop of a possible battle between the two giants in the foreseeable future, Russia's role and significance are incredibly increasing. Obviously, having huge nuclear-missile potential, vast spaces and immense resources, Russia can, with its participation on the side of one of the giants in the battle, decide the fate of the confrontation.
I personally get the impression that Washington strategists understand this perfectly. However, they do not believe that, having improved relations with Moscow, they can make it a reliable ally in the case of a frontal confrontation with China. And because the future destiny of the United States, at which an existential challenge rushes, is at stake, any miscalculation can prove fatal.
That is why Washington adopted a strategy for scrapping Russia. The US wants to break our country and withdraw it from the game, to deprive it of sovereignty and subjectivity in world politics, as it was in the 90-ies, so that at the hour of the decisive clash Russia was not an independent player capable of making decisions based on its interests. Thus, the minimal and maximum goals of the US are pursued: the first is to neutralize Russia, and since today it reliably covers the rear of China, and create threats for it from the Russian direction. The second is to establish such a power in Moscow that would act together with Washington against China in a decisive battle. In recent years, we have seen the elements of the implementation of this strategy. These are sanctions in Ukraine, attempts at financial and economic strangulation, involvement in mediated wars and a new arms race in order to provoke a split in elite Russian circles, between the masses and the leader - in order to ruin Putin's power and establish a puppet regime in Russia.
Will the Americans succeed in realizing their strategy? This has serious doubts, despite the enormous resources that can mobilize the collective West led by the United States. First, the Western world and the States are experiencing not the best of times. America has overextended over the past almost two decades in a series of endless wars and external adventures. Secondly, Russia can not be broken, giving it a rough, straightforward pressure. If it breaks down, as we know from our history, it is only because of internal conflicts and confrontations. So, in the medium term, external pressure can only consolidate Russian society and power.
Third. History with the pressure of the White House on North Korea suggests that this huge country can not cope even with this small state that has taken a firm stand.
Fourth. The solidarity of the Western countries with the United States also has its limits. They are unlikely to long to become hostages to the confrontation of the US - Russia, and then the US - China.
And the last. I would like to hope that in Beijing they understand (or very soon realize) that the main goal of the States is not Russia. Thus, the Kremlin is now resisting the White House both for itself and, as we said in the USSR, for that guy.
And it seems to me that if in this confrontation China more vigorously substitutes Russia's shoulder, then it is likely that the US will understand the strategy's hopelessness for scrapping Russia and change the paradigm of its policy. Otherwise, they themselves are at risk of being broken because of the exorbitant imperial overstrain.
Not without reason, one of the most astute patriarchs of American politics and analysts Patrick Buchanan, analyzing US foreign and domestic policy, published a few years ago a book with a very characteristic title "Suicide of a superpower: will the US survive until 2025?".