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Eurasia

Ex VP Dick Cheney confirmed US goal is to break up Russia, not just USSR

Former Vice President and Iraq War architect Dick Cheney wasn’t content only breaking up the Soviet Union. Balkanizing Russia (and China) is a bipartisan foreign-policy goal among top US national security state officials.

Dick Cheney Iraq soldiers
US Vice President Dick Cheney at a military base in Iraq in 2008

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney, a lead architect of the Iraq War, not only wanted to dismantle the Soviet Union; he also wanted to break up Russia itself, to prevent it from rising again as a significant political power.

Balkanizing Russia, as NATO did to former Yugoslavia, is a fantasy shared by many hawks in the US national security state. They will never tolerate an independent government in Moscow, regardless of whether or not it is socialist.

Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote that, “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat.”

Gates made these comments in his 2014 memoir “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.” This quote was highlighted on Twitter by journalist Jon Schwarz.

Cheney was one of the most powerful vice presidents in modern US history. He exercised significant influence over President George W. Bush, who had little foreign-policy experience and knowledge.

The fact that a figure at the helm of the US government not-so-secretly sought the permanent dissolution of Russia as a country, and straightforwardly communicated this to colleagues like Robert Gates, partially explains the aggressive posturing Washington has taken toward the Russian Federation since the overthrow of the USSR.

The reality is that the US empire will simply never allow Russia to challenge its unilateral domination of Eurasia, despite the fact that the government in Moscow restored capitalism.

This is why it is not surprising that Washington has utterly ignored Russia’s security concerns, breaking its promise not to expand NATO “once inch eastward” after German reunification, surrounding Moscow with militarized adversaries hell bent on destabilizing it.

Leading US imperial planner Zbigniew Brzezinski clearly stated in his 1997 opus “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” that the goal was to contain and weaken Russia.

Washington had to “prevent the emergence of a dominant and antagonistic Eurasian power,” the former US national security advisor wrote, in order to maintain US “global primacy.”

The Russian Federation of today consists of 22 republics. Moscow has long accused Washington of supporting secessionist movements within its borders, aimed at breaking away some of these republics, with the goal of destabilizing and ultimately dismantling Russia.

Russian security services have published evidence that the United States supported Chechen separatists in their wars on the central Russian government.

British academic John Laughland stressed in a 2004 article in The Guardian, titled “The Chechens’ American friends,” that several Chechen secessionist leaders were living in the West, and were even given grant money by the US government.

Laughland noted that the most important US-based pro-Chechen secessionist group, the deceptively named American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), listed as its members “a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically support the ‘war on terror'”:

They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be “a cakewalk”; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush’s plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.

This was a Who’s Who of DC’s most influential hawks. Alongside Rumsfeld, Abrams, and company, Cheney was a key figure in these neoconservative foreign-policy circles in Washington, whose bellicose adherents fill the unelected US national security state bureaucracy, under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

That is to say that Cheney was by no means alone is seeking the breakup of the Russian Federation; it is a fantasy shared by many of his Beltway colleagues.

During the Second Chechen War in the 2000s, these avid proselytizers of the so-called “War on Terror” cheered on Chechen insurgents as they battled the Russian central government.

The fact that far-right Salafi-jihadists made up a significant percentage of the Chechen insurgency didn’t bother these anti-Muslim neocons – just as Islamophobic “War on Terror” veterans had no problem supporting extremist head-chopping Takfiri Islamists in the subsequent US wars on Syria and Libya.

Today many of these same neoconservative US national security state functionaries have turned their attention back toward supporting secessionist movements in China – in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, and especially Xinjiang.

The fact that the CIA cutout the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) openly publicizes its support for Uyghur separatist groups in China shows how transparent Washington’s geopolitical objectives are.

The idea that the US foreign-policy apparatus, and NATO as a military bloc, seeks to prevent the rise of both Russia and China as independent powers is obvious to any truly impartial analyst.

Michael T. Klare, a professor emeritus of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, wrote at TomDispatch this January that “America’s top leaders have reached a consensus on a strategy to encircle and contain the latest great power, China, with hostile military alliances, thereby thwarting its rise to full superpower status.”

Klare continued:

The gigantic 2022 defense bill — passed with overwhelming support from both parties — provides a detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states. The goal is to enable Washington to barricade that country’s military inside its own territory and potentially cripple its economy in any future crisis. For China’s leaders, who surely can’t tolerate being encircled in such a fashion, it’s an open invitation to… well, there’s no point in not being blunt… fight their way out of confinement.

For Chinese leaders, there can be no doubt about the meaning of all this: whatever Washington might say about peaceful competition, the Biden administration, like the Trump administration before it, has no intention of allowing the PRC to achieve parity with the United States on the world stage. In fact, it is prepared to employ every means, including military force, to prevent that from happening. This leaves Beijing with two choices: succumb to U.S. pressure and accept second-class status in world affairs or challenge Washington’s strategy of containment. It’s hard to imagine that country’s current leadership accepting the first choice, while the second, were it adopted, would surely lead, sooner or later, to armed conflict.

This goal is likewise clearly reflected in a 2019 report published by the RAND Corporation, a major Pentagon-backed think tank. Titled “Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground,” the document discusses various ways to exploit Moscow’s “weaknesses,” encircle it, and contain it.

RAND listed the following “geopolitical measures”:

Measure 1: Provide Lethal Aid to Ukraine

Measure 2: Increase Support to the Syrian Rebels

Measure 3: Promote Regime Change in Belarus

Measure 4: Exploit Tensions in the South Caucasus

Measure 5: Reduce Russian Influence in Central Asia

Measure 6: Challenge Russian Presence in Moldova

Excluding perhaps concerning Moldova (at least openly), the US government has pursued all of these policies to a tee.

The Moon of Alabama blog, which highlighted this RAND report, also noted that Victoria Nuland, the third-most powerful official in the Joe Biden administration’s State Department, served as Vice President Cheney’s principal deputy foreign policy adviser from 2003 to 2005.

Nuland, today under-secretary for political affairs, held a similar senior position in the Barack Obama administration’s State Department. She used her role there to help sponsor a violent coup in Ukraine in 2014.

A leaked phone call showed that Nuland chose who would make up the top members of the subsequent Ukrainian puppet government.

Like her mentor Cheney, Nuland is a hard-line neoconservative. The fact that he is a Republican and she works primarily in Democratic administrations is irrelevant; this hawkish foreign-policy consensus is completely bipartisan.

Nuland (a former member of the bipartisan board of directors of the NED) is also married to Robert Kagan, a patron saint of neoconservatism, and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century – the cozy home of the neocons in Washington, where he worked alongside Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and other top Bush administration officials.

Kagan was a longtime Republican, but in 2016 he joined the Democrats and openly campaigned for Hillary Clinton for president.

What all of this shows is that these hawkish foreign-policy positions are totally mainstream in Washington. Whether Republican or Democrat, Beltway policy-makers simply refuse to allow Russia and China to challenge US unipolar hegemony.

The idea that the United States, a country on the other side of the planet, should rule Eurasia – and frankly the world as a whole – is unquestionable and sacrosanct.

There are some exceptions and internal contradictions, but they are few and far between. The reality is that large parts of the US national security state clearly seek the balkanization of Russia and China. This quote from Dick Cheney only further confirms what was already apparent.

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