Grand Strategy Revisited, by Andrei Martyanov

This article is written by a writer who’s first language is probably not English. However, beneath the awkward syntax he makes an important point. While Russia could have responded to all sorts of provocations the last few years, under Black Belt Strategist Vladimir Putin Russia has minded its own business, concentrating on rebuilding its economy and military and becoming an Euroasian power. It’s worked. From Andrei Martyanov at unz.com:

We live in the world of models, all kinds of them. Some models are simple, others—very complex. The main task of those models is to predict how things, those models describe, will behave depending on the circumstances. Some of those models work brilliantly, others fail miserably. Worst models in terms of reliability are those dealing with geopolitics. A record of dismal failures of Western in general, and American in particular, geopolitical models to predict anything right is widely available for everyone to see. Time after time those models and predictions turned out to be wrong. In terms of “predicting” anything in regards to Russia, those predictions were not only wrong, they were downright dangerous.

No better demonstration exists of a complete breakdown in the process of predicting anything than evolution of Russian military and economic power. As late as 2016, claims that Russia remained nothing more than, in the words of John McCain, a gas station masquerading as a country continued to pour in by all kinds of “experts”, who, despite a huge collection of facts to the contrary, continued to believe that these are only Russia’s nuclear forces which keep Russia as some secondary factor in the international relations. There are even some Russian experts who shared this point of view. Their models and predictions turned out to be wrong. They lacked the most important predictor of them all.

Fast forward to March 1 this year to Putin’s speech to Federal Assembly—the loud echo from this speech is still being heard today, half-a-year later. It is still loud. In fact, the volume increases. It was the day majority of models of international relations and balance of power, all those matrices, differential equations, arrays of information became completely irrelevant, because military power and full ability to wage both nuclear and, what is most important, conventional war, and win in it, not some abstract financial or cooked military “rankings” data, is what defines geopolitical status of the nation. Any serious military analyst knew already in 2014 that neither US, nor NATO as a whole, could defeat Russia in conventional war near Russia’s borders.

To continue reading: Grand Strategy Revisited

 

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