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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus

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Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus Post-Soviet Russia and some neglected smaller neighbors.

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  #16  
Old 01 Sep 17, 03:19
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Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
Russia's zone of interest is Machiavellian, not a legal status and can only be enforced with power politics, economic influence or military intimidation.
How is it different from US practice in Latin America, if I'm allowed to ask? Again you are missing the original question. It was why the USA needs to mess with the Russian zone of influence at all? What were advantages or positive results they gained through that?
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  #17  
Old 01 Sep 17, 05:50
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Nope, it's a common knowledge that US administration seriously considered it. They didn't have guts though - fortunately for American tax-payers.
Yes, of course.

They have clearly considered ALL KINDS of things that were never done. It's just that SOME of them Russian somehow COUNT as "having been done" regardless of never actually happening. For apparent self-serving, self-justifying reasons.

It's one thing that Russia insists on continuing to resort to "tu quoque" arguments based on a certain kind of interpretation of US actions.

Frankly, we've probably given up on having any kind of discussion about how "but he did it too" isn't really an argument where Russia is concerned.

But then we are faced with stage 2: "He did it too arguments" based on things the US MIGHT have done under different circumstances.

Which indicates we really should do the chore or getting back to pointing out the "he did it too" still isn't a valid argument.
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  #18  
Old 01 Sep 17, 06:15
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Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
They have clearly considered ALL KINDS of things that were never done. It's just that SOME of them Russian somehow COUNT as "having been done" regardless of never actually happening.
Strawman. I never said anything like that.
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  #19  
Old 01 Sep 17, 07:06
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
It was why the USA needs to mess with the Russian zone of influence at all? What were advantages or positive results they gained through that?
To be as polite as i can... Why don't you finally stick your antiquated concept of zone of influence to a place where sun doesn't shine? You do understand - hopefully at some level at least - that are talking of sovereign states instead of some playthings of Russia? Yes? No?

What you are clearly refusing to accept that USA had no need to do anything (if it even did anything) - Russia's own actions (and also the state's whose continuator state Russia is) are the underlying causes for this. In other words this is the exact result of Russia's own foreign policy. And to be frank it is not in any manner a surprise.
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  #20  
Old 01 Sep 17, 07:55
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Originally Posted by Vaeltaja View Post
To be as polite as i can... Why don't you finally stick your antiquated concept of zone of influence to a place where sun doesn't shine? You do understand - hopefully at some level at least - that are talking of sovereign states
How that contradicts to the zone of influence concept? Bigger nations always exercised influence over smaller ones and they do now. After all the very essence of Russian-American tensions to explain it in two words is the question who would exercise more influence in former Soviet republics. In modern times a somewhat euphemistic term "leadership" is more in fashion, e.g. "American leadership". From my cynical point of view an ass is an ass whatever word you call it.
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  #21  
Old 01 Sep 17, 08:13
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Influence... The US/West does this with economic power by providing opportunities for former Soviet republics to grow their economies and benefit from capitalism, free market, free trade, etc.
How does Russia influence? Why does Russia maintain a very disproportionate number of troops stationed outside the borders of nations it wants to influence (see Baltics for example)?.
Russian leadership has a Machiavellian or even Bismarck style of realpolitik and that's not exactly a secret. That approach wins no friends and ultimately makes them the bad guy in the eyes of the free world and especially to those nations they try to "influence". Russian attempts to influence and rebuild their sphere of influence as they see it are the reason the US/West has encircled them, reached out to former Soviet republics and levelled economic sanctions. If you wish to believe that the Russian leadership is justified in its actions and that there is a Russian sphere of influence that needs to be protected, that's your business but no one in the West will accept that point of view.
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  #22  
Old 01 Sep 17, 09:25
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
How that contradicts to the zone of influence concept?
Because your concept of it is nothing but an alternate spelling of realpolitik where sovereignty does not exist (or is not recognized) and only interests & strengths of the state matter.
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Bigger nations always exercised influence over smaller ones and they do now.
Exerted, yes. That is what foreign politics is all about. Necessitating that there would exist in practice fixed 'zones' however not so much. Besides like i wrote earlier Russia is already seeing the effect of its own past 'exercise of influence' on its neighboring countries - they are turning away from Russia.
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After all the very essence of Russian-American tensions to explain it in two words is the question who would exercise more influence in former Soviet republics.
That has very little to do with what you have been discussing with the 'zones of influence'. You were discussing like those were some sort of proprietary right. Yet you are forgetting one rather important detail. It is still up to those sovereign countries themselves and the results are telling. The results of the Russian power politic approach have been somewhere between catastrophic and abysmal for Russia itself.
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  #23  
Old 01 Sep 17, 10:35
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It's the conceptual difference between hegemonic power — which really is just a matter of INFLUENCE — and much more crass situation of client and subject states.

Part of the problem is that USSR was never actually hegemonic, not in Europe — bit it DID run systems of clients and subjects. The USSR did cultivate other kinds of influence in other parts, further from its own borders — in Asia and Africa. But that today matters rather less than the legacy of the DIRECT influence situation it set up in Europe.

Consequently Russia isn't really hegemonic either, and has not fully developed into a regional hegemon. And part of the problem hampering Russia, certainly seems to be that Russia would not be content with simply having influence — it wants obvious levers and knobs it can fiddle to directly induce certain behavior in neighbors, and that requires MUCH more direct means of control than just indirect influence. It's also part of what gives countries the neighborhood the jitters.

(There also seems to be a nocive, potentially dangerous Russia idea — a set of myths really — about how much one might be able to do with certain kinds of "political technology", including some REALLY outrageous notions about what "the west", the US in particular, supposedly can do. Except this can't actually be done, which tends to be brought home when Russia tries something, and it backfires. It should lead to scrapping this set of myths, but doesn't. Instead it's insisted that nefarious western plotting is behind it when things don't turn out well for Russia — i.e. the assumptions that "the west" is just so much BETTER at this sort of thing. Apparently this is not questioned, because that would force Russians to accept precisely that things may happen, and nations do things, because there are processes of collective decision making that are not conspiracies or induced by cliques of political decision-makers — and that specifically in relation to Russia, lots of countries want as wide a berth as possible to it.)

Hegemonic power isn't altogether easy to grasp conceptually though. Lord knows the Americans have often been exasperated and incredulous about the push-back and non-compliance it has been getting from its allies, when supposing them to be mere clients (hence to be relied on to do what the US tells them to do). But that's precisely because the US in relation to Europe does not, and has not, run any systems of direct influence. Just the kind of indirect leverage it gets from its role as hegemon.

AND the US HAS run other kinds of systems of direct influence, of clients and subjects, in OTHER parts of the world (S.America, Mid East).

But what all these post-Soviet states heading for NATO has done, is NOT subject themselves to any arrangement of the direct US influence kind. They have bought into the Western European security arrangements based on sovereign democracies, and a US hegemon mostly on the other side of the Atlantic — one it is perfectly possible to tell to ge suck an egg if that's what you think is reasonable. Like the French, along with the Russians, did in the run up to Gulf War II in 2003, when they threatened to veto the US idea of going to war with Iraq if it was put before the UNSC — launching the US malarky of "Freedom fries" and "surrender monkeys" of recent years.

Indirectly this seems to be confirmed by the Russian government. The most serious challenge to the European collective security situation, and the US hegemonic role, to date is Donald Trump. The situation was hugely complicated already by GWB and hos wars in the Mid East. But Trump, at least some versions of him (the ones listening to Steve Bannon fx) might be expected to allow the European security system to lapse. And that clearly would be much liked by the Kremlin. The uncertainty about US commitments is also what prompted Merkel's recent public pronouncement — very uncharacteristic for the careful lady — of how Europe needs to look into its own security arrangements. (One of the things about the EU that might bear noticing is that IF there assumptions that Western Europe only sticks together because the US tells it to do so, because supposedly it's the US that controls it all, then that so far has been disproven.)

Generally, Russian foreign policy thinking seems like it could do with a bit more of Occam's and Hanlon's Razors?

Last edited by Johan Banér; 01 Sep 17 at 10:44..
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  #24  
Old 01 Sep 17, 11:00
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Wow, I hope not all Russians are as paranoid as you guys. Can't you see that the reason your neighbors dislike and mistrust you is due to your trying to enforce your "zone of influence"? (Whatever that is. A gang's territory?) These are nationalities and independent nations that prefer the American form of "imperialism" to being subjects of the bully of eastern Europe.
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  #25  
Old 01 Sep 17, 12:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
Influence... The US/West does this with economic power by providing opportunities for former Soviet republics to grow their economies
Another neocon myth and my favorite one:
GDP per capita, USA:
Belarus - 5400 in 1990, 18 060 in 2016
Ukraine - 6730 in 1990, 8300 in 2016
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD
As you can see Russian influence turned out to be more beneficial for economy then US "opportunities". I have nor doubts that Ukraine would be better off if choosing pro-Russian orientation instead of doing what they did.
Quote:
Why does Russia maintain a very disproportionate number of troops stationed outside the borders of nations it wants to influence (see Baltics for example)?.
C'mon, Russia doesn't want to influence Baltics and has no influence over them whatsoever.
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Russian attempts to influence and rebuild their sphere of influence as they see it are the reason the US/West has encircled them
Nope, the other way around. Russian actions were a reaction to a US incursions into their zone of interests. When were the plans to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia announced? When color revolutions in those countries happened
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no one in the West will accept that point of view
Well, I guess, you should speak for yourself.
But you didn't answer the original question: what US gained positive for their interests from messing in the Russian security zone? What were their benefits?

Last edited by Artyom_A; 01 Sep 17 at 12:31..
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  #26  
Old 01 Sep 17, 12:35
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
As you can see Russian influence turned out to be more beneficial for economy then US "opportunities". I have nor doubts that Ukraine would be better off if choosing pro-Russian orientation instead of doing what they did.
You really should have done your homework on that. Ukraine's economy stagnated already at the time Russia still per your arguments had 'influence' over it. Which, while otherwise meaningless, proves your whole argument wrong.
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Nope, the other way around. Russian actions were a reaction to a US incursions into their zone of interests.
The thing you are so desperately avoiding is that those 'US incursions' only occurred because of Russia's own actions had lead the countries in question to request for them.
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What US gained positive for their interests from messing in the Russian security zone?
Are you saying that countries next to Russia must abide by Russian policies? You are aware that comments like the one you presented are the exact reason countries are turning away from Russia and seeking protection from it - among others in the form of NATO. That is exactly what Russia's own actions have caused. However it seems to be a fool's errand to try to prevent you from shooting yourself to the leg.
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Old 01 Sep 17, 12:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Another neocon myth and my favorite one:
GDP per capita, USA:
Belarus - 5400 in 1990, 18 060 in 2016
Ukraine - 6730 in 1990, 8300 in 2016
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD
As you can see Russian influence turned out to be more beneficial for economy then US "opportunities". I have nor doubts that Ukraine would be better off if choosing pro-Russian orientation instead of doing what they did.

C'mon, Russia doesn't want to influence Baltics and has no influence over them whatsoever.

Nope, the other way around. Russian actions were a reaction to a US incursions into their zone of interests. When were the plans to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia announced? When color revolutions in those countries happened

Well, I guess, you should speak for yourself.
But you didn't answer the original question: what US gained positive for their interests from messing in the Russian security zone? What were their benefits?
Why do Eastern European countries have to choose between the West and Russia? Why can't they steer a middle course between the two and do business how they see fit? You know, as independent countries? Only Russia seems to be playing this silly zero sum game.
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Old 01 Sep 17, 15:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Another neocon myth and my favorite one:
GDP per capita, USA:
Belarus - 5400 in 1990, 18 060 in 2016
Ukraine - 6730 in 1990, 8300 in 2016
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD
As you can see Russian influence turned out to be more beneficial for economy then US "opportunities". I have nor doubts that Ukraine would be better off if choosing pro-Russian orientation instead of doing what they did.
Russia is actively hurting the Ukraine's economy through economic warfare and state sponsored separatist movement, but that country is your choice to prove a point about how great Russia is to its neighbors? How about all of the other countries that were former Warsaw Pact or Soviet Republics that have embraced the West and prospered??? I see you only mentioned the one that is actively fighting Russian attempts of "influence". To me, this is typical red herring crap conversation tactics from your corner of the world. You speak of rednecks in the US, well, clearly you have your own version there as well.

Quote:
C'mon, Russia doesn't want to influence Baltics and has no influence over them whatsoever.

BS... http://www.defenseone.com/threats/20...n-what/138610/

There are so many links to that storyline that your insistence on Russian innocence looks ridiculous.

Quote:
Nope, the other way around. Russian actions were a reaction to a US incursions into their zone of interests. When were the plans to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia announced? When color revolutions in those countries happened
Revolutions to throw out Russian sponsored puppets. That's the start point.

Quote:
Well, I guess, you should speak for yourself.
But you didn't answer the original question: what US gained positive for their interests from messing in the Russian security zone? What were their benefits?
Increased Russian defense spending on a shrinking budget, Russian meddling in the affairs of the sovereign nations is very public and bad for the Russian image. Lame Russian attempts at rearmament continue to sap funds, continued sanctions strangle the Russian economy which depends on exporting raw materials and Europe believes the Russians to be aggressive, not the US. Those are clear benefits, as is Russian isolation as long as their leadership attempts to enforce their "security zone" outside their borders and influence (bully) their neighbors. Russian leadership will fail, as did Soviet leadership except they have reduced assets to compete with Europe, the US and their own former slave states.
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  #29  
Old 01 Sep 17, 15:25
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Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
Russia is actively hurting the Ukraine's economy through economic warfare and state sponsored separatist movement, but that country is your choice to prove a point about how great Russia is to its neighbors?
The point is that of all former Soviet republics Ukraine who was going the Western way turned to be the least successful, whereas those who didn't and retained relations with Russia developed quite well. You can browse data on the site to see stats on other republics. Actually Ukraine has been an economical looser before 2014. That was a key reason for their economical turmoil after all.
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How about all of the other countries that were former Warsaw Pact or Soviet Republics that have embraced the West and prospered???
Again, browse the stats. Eastern Europe had a solid economical growth but not more impressive generally than Russia or those countries in the Russian zone.
The page wants my bank card. Don't read too much some garbage sites, is my advice to you in general.
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Revolutions to throw out Russian sponsored puppets.
Clearly you don't know much about the former Soviet Union. In Georgia president Shevarnadze has been in quite bad relations with Russia for many years. His favorite habit was telling about Russian plots to assassinate him. In Ukraine president Kuchma pursued a typical Ukrainian "servant of two masters" policy flirting with both Russia and the West. And he wasn't overthrown. He didn't go to the next elections, and the race was between other men including those more pro-Russian and pro-Western. The positive sign though is that you admit that US policy was directed against Russia already in 2004.
Quote:
Increased Russian defense spending on a shrinking budget, Russian meddling in the affairs of the sovereign nations is very public and bad for the Russian image. Lame Russian attempts at rearmament continue to sap funds, continued sanctions strangle the Russian economy which depends on exporting raw materials and Europe believes the Russians to be aggressive, not the US. Those are clear benefits, as is Russian isolation as long as their leadership attempts to enforce their "security zone" outside their borders and influence (bully) their neighbors. Russian leadership will fail, as did Soviet leadership except they have reduced assets to compete with Europe, the US and their own former slave states.
He-he.
I still don't see any benefits for America.
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  #30  
Old 01 Sep 17, 15:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny87kz View Post
Why can't they steer a middle course between the two and do business how they see fit?
Mr Yanukovich tried that and it ended badly for him as he was overthrown as a result of coup d'etat in a course of months.
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