The arrogance in Brzezinski's famous 1998 book 'The Grand Chessboard' was breathtaking
Famous American political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski once again frightened mankind by saying that “the end of America's global role ... would most probably be global chaos”. To avoid this, the supporter of the American hegemony of the United States suggested Global Realignment. That's the name of his article in the JournalThe American Interest. So, what is the American Interest according to Brzezinski?
To briefly summarize the content of Brzezinski’s article it boils down to two theses:
1) The United States is no longer a global imperial power.
2) As was already mentioned above - the probable chaos as a result of the collapse of the US imperial hegemony. In order for the United States to maintain its power, Brzezinski offers several recipes:
a) Make the main geopolitical rivals of America - Russia and China - work towards US interests. This is supposed to use the crisis in the Middle East as a source of supposed common threats to all three powers.
“America can only be effective in dealing with the current Middle Eastern violence if it forges a coalition that involves, in varying degrees, also Russia and China”.
"The political prospect for China in the near future is to become America's principal partner in containing global chaos, of the sort that is spreading outward (including to the northeast) from the Middle East. If it is not contained, it will contaminate Russia's southern and eastern territories as well as the western portions of China".
b) Making the Islamic world work towards US interests. To do this, Brzezinski once again recalls his doctrine of "global democratic awakening", which justifies US involvement in Arab Springs. The gist of it is simple: use the anti-American forces to strengthen US domination through the various mechanisms of influence and direct infiltration. Brzezinski states that special attention should be focused on the non-Western world's newly politically aroused masses, and this can be understood only in the context of his theory of global democratic awakening. The emergence of ISIS, and before that the color revolutions of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Islamic world can be regarded as the practical application of this particular strategy. These forces “surprisingly” create problems for anyone except the United States.
c) To maintain the US military presence in the Middle East by any means. The text states that this is crucial for the United States, as withdrawal will immediately trigger the collapse of American hegemony:
“A comprehensive US pullout from the Muslim world favored by domestic isolationists, could give rise to new wars (for example, Israel vs. Iran, Saudi Arabia vs. Iran, a major Egyptian intervention in Libya) and would generate an even deeper crisis of confidence in America's globally stabilizing role. In different but dramatically unpredictable ways, Russia and China could be the geopolitical beneficiaries of such a development even as global order itself becomes the more immediate geopolitical casualty. Last but not least, in such circumstances a divided and fearful Europe would see its current member states searching for patrons and competing with one another in alternative but separate arrangements among the more powerful trio”.
In other words, Brzezinski offers the following strategy, where the Middle East is playing a key role:
1. To foment chaos and war in the region, relying on the strength of "global democratic awakening."
2. Declare war on terrorism and to shift the burden onto Russia and China, drawing them into a hopeless conflict in the region.
3. Maintain or even increase its military presence under the pretext of preserving stability in the Middle East.
Of course, all of this is masked by the theses of the struggle against terrorism and paying attention to the suffering of Muslims and the inhabitants of the Third World in general, and because the main actors in the crisis in the Middle East chessboard of Eurasia - Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Europe, and Saudi Arabia - are invited to participate in it. The pretext is that they are all interested in resolving the conflict, but in fact it will only lead to a conflict of interest and increase the chaos.
"The overall threat of Islamic terrorism" is not a “threat” per se. The US were seriously hit by Islamism only once in its history, on September 11th, 2001. In the US, Muslims consist of around 1% of all citizens, as opposed to the multi-million Muslim populations of Russia and China. And unlike these two countries, there is no region in the US where the threat of Islamist separatism may emerge.
The US is separated from the conflict region by the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the US can afford to play at two tables at once - to covertly support extremists and combat terrorism, drawing Russia and China into the conflict and subsequently weakening the Islamic world as well.
America hopes to use the US-grown Islamic extremists to re-engage Russia into their orbit, as has been noted - probably post-Putin. It will be the threat of Islamism that will be used in order to engage Russia in an America-centric system. Brzezinski openly declared that this pro-Western strategy relies on Russian nationalism, or on Russia’s transition from the Byzantine imperial expansionist ideology to the concept of Russian national bourgeois European states as part of the Western world:
“Russia's own future depends on its ability to become a major and influential nation-state that is part of a unifying Europe”.
It is significant that Brzezinski, in accordance with the classical geopolitical tradition, considers the main US enemy to be Russia, not China:
“And that is why it behooves the United States to fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China”.
Brzezinski’s analysis is based on a manipulation of facts and outright lies, designed to hide the rough edges of his vision.
Firstly, he is absolutely wrong when he assesses Russia's position. From the point of view of Brzezinski, this country is in the latest convulsive phase of its imperial devolution. Meanwhile, Russia reunified with Crimea in 2014, and before that in 2008, conducted a successful military campaign in Georgia. In 2015-2016, for the first time since the collapse of the USSR, Russia launched a military campaign overseas - in Syria. Russia demonstrates not imperial devolution, but imperial renaissance. Even if Russia tries to become a nation-state, is will only push it to expand, as millions of Russians live in the territories of Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic countries, and Kazakhstan. Both imperial and truly national versions of Russia do not fit into the Brzezinski’s vision of Russia - as one of the states of the European Union.
Secondly, Brzezinski did not take into account the new rising superpowers: India, Brazil, and South Africa. Indirectly, this may mean that the United States dropped them off, hoping to overthrow their independent elite by color revolutions and coups, like what is currently happening in Brazil. However, their demographic, economic, and, as in the case of India, ideologically anti-Western potential is extremely high.
Thirdly, he overlooks the potential for disintegration within the " European Union". The migration crisis, the collapse of the Schengen, diametrically opposite positions between leaders of states on key issues, and the growth of Euroscepticism, are all problems in the euro zone. This is not a Union that Russia would like to enter. This is not a Union where Brzezinski's ideas may promote the globalist agenda: “play a constructive role in taking the lead in regard to transnational threats to global wellbeing and even human survival”.
Fourthly, Brzezinski demonstrates thinking within the neorealist paradigm of "hegemonic stability". The collapse of US hegemony in his opinion would mean the collapse of the world order as such. But, first of all, the US does in no way contribute to the preservation of world order, turning the whole world into a zone of controlled chaos using the theory by another American analyst - Steven Mann. Why would it be a factor of stability in the future? Secondly, a number of neo-realists believe that the bipolar world will have a greater equilibrium than a unipolar one. Thirdly, there is a model of a multipolar world as a world divided by the imperial "big spaces", which takes into account the diversity of the world’s civilizations. It is also not chaos, but the most adequate alternative to American unilateralism.
It may be concluded that Brzezinski’s article demonstrates the desperate attempts of the American elite to maintain its hegemony in the world. At the same time it is full of propaganda clichés, and in many cases its assessment of the situation does not correspond to reality.