Biden’s opportunity for peace in Eurasia

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In late December 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened that rejection of Russia’s proposed security deals with the West would be accompanied by “appropriate military-technical retaliatory measures”. Gilbert Doctorow, a Brussels-based political analyst, translated this into the deployment of additional Russian military equipment, including SS-26 Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles, in Belarus and Kaliningrad, to threaten frontline states. NATO and eastern Germany. He also speculated that it could refer to a possible deployment of sea-launched nuclear-armed Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles off the coast of Washington, DC, which Russia has previously said could be used. to destroy the American capital before the president can escape by air. Strength One.

When Russia’s other weapons of mass destruction are added to the mix, the stakes for bilateral negotiations between the United States and Russia could hardly be higher. Russia also threatened these military-technical measures of retaliation in response to the adoption by the United States of much stricter economic sanctions against it. Of course, if the United States and NATO were to move their troops to the Ukrainian border in response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, it would almost certainly provoke a Russian attack on the frontline NATO member states where these troops are stationed, potentially starting a Third World War. Thus, it is a Russian “red line” that should not be crossed. Furthermore, any Russian invasion of Ukraine and/or outbreak of a US-Russian war in Europe could be quickly followed by a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and a North Korean invasion of Korea. of the South – anything but guaranteeing that the United States would be incapable of effectively countering any of these aggressions.

Unfortunately, bilateral US-Russian talks collapsed this week after the US delegation reportedly refused to offer Russia any concessions or acknowledge any of its legitimate security concerns, especially in Ukraine. In response, Russia said it did not plan to resume bilateral talks with the United States to end the crisis and continued to intensify its war preparations. At this point, the only way to give Russia a face-saving solution to the Ukraine crisis would be for the Biden administration to offer a major concession such as the suspension of US military assistance to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a number of national security experts have concluded that Russia intends to use the United States’ reluctance to negotiate a security deal on Moscow’s terms as a pretext to invade Ukraine in the near future. coming months. Additionally, Russia threatens to increase costs to the United States by threatening to deploy its military assets (potentially including nuclear bombers or missiles) to Cuba and Venezuela.

Time is running out for the Biden administration to avert a possible nuclear war with Russia, which could cost many more lives than those lost in World War II. The Biden administration has expressed its desire for peace with Russia, but should understand that war shifts with Russia and China will remain more likely than not as long as the United States continues to send in weapons and military forces. to interfere in adjacent countries. Russia and China (for example, in their spheres of influence). That said, it is not too late for the United States to abandon its high-risk policy of containment and military strategy with Russia and reach a mutually acceptable compromise. What the United States and NATO need most right now is to restore trust and a sense of mutual security in their relationship with Russia. To avoid falling into such an unnecessary and apocalyptic war, a new strategic framework that recognizes the vital security interests of the United States and Russia and resolves other outstanding sources of tension must be established. Otherwise, a more stable, secure and lasting peace will remain elusive.

Since President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders have publicly stated that they will not intervene militarily in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States essentially has two options. He can either stand aside and watch the Russian military invade and take over Ukraine, possibly ending its existence as an independent state, or make a serious effort to negotiate a security deal with the Russia in the sense that Putin proposed. Since there is no realistic chance that NATO members will agree to allow Ukraine to join NATO, which has already extended to Russia’s borders, there is no reason not to issue a written guarantee to Russia confirming the same. Furthermore, current US military deployments in Poland only total around 4,000 additional NATO troops, while the US has already withdrawn all of its troops from the Baltic region (which Washington then returned in January , leaving a force of just 3,000 NATO troops). In addition, 1,000 American soldiers are deployed in Romania. Needless to say, these small-scale forces, totaling just 9,000 men, would be woefully insufficient to stop, let alone slow, a possible Russian invasion of these NATO member states. As such, their presence serves more as a pretext than a deterrent for Russia to attack the states on which they are deployed. Accordingly, agreeing to withdraw them would be the most sensible thing to do for the United States and NATO from a strategic perspective.

Since becoming president, Biden has hinted at his desire to improve and “reset” relations with Russia. Accordingly, rather than inadvertently provoking an unwanted war, he should seize the opportunity Putin offers him to restructure Europe’s security architecture and establish a new detente with Moscow. Such an agreement could, for example, ensure the maintenance of Ukraine’s independence in exchange for Ukraine adopting a new federal constitution which grants additional autonomy to its oblasts/regions and legally codifies the rights Russian citizens residing in eastern Ukraine. As part of this compromise peace agreement, the United States, NATO and Ukraine would also formally recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea, whose population is more than two-thirds ethnic Russian and which part of Russia until 1954.

In response to my previous article arguing for recognition of Russian, Chinese and American spheres of influence, a Russian think tank, which appears to represent the views of the Kremlin, denounced my proposal that the United States leave NATO in exchange of a Russian withdrawal. the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which serves as a de facto military alliance with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as “a trap”. Accordingly, rather than making US acceptance of Russia’s draft security agreement conditional on Russia’s departure from the SCO, US acceptance of the proposed security agreement by Russia should be conditional on the signing of a treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between the United States and Russia, such as the one that Russia concluded with the PRC more than two years ago decades.

Such an agreement would serve as the centerpiece of a new European security architecture that could end what has been called “the second cold war” between the United States and Russia. It would likely redefine US-Russian relations by forging a grand strategic partnership between the two nuclear superpowers and ushering in a new era of mutual cooperation. If US leaders began to see Russia as a potential strategic partner rather than an adversary, they would likely be much more willing to offer the compromises needed to ensure a peaceful resolution to the current standoff over Ukraine. Assuming that the United States then ceases deployments of its military forces in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, such a friendship agreement with Russia would greatly reduce the risks of the United States being drawn into a war. with Russia and China or face the threat of an adversarial nuclear first strike.

Biden could also condition U.S. approval of Russia’s security deal on other concessions, such as a Russian pledge to drastically cut carbon emissions under the Biden administration’s agenda. on climate change. The United States would agree to withdraw all of its military forces from Eastern Europe in exchange for Russia agreeing to return to full compliance with the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty limitations on troop levels and the deployment of heavy weapons in Europe as well as bringing its troops massed on Ukraine’s borders back to their bases. Additionally, the United States and Russia could agree to reinstate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which the United States left in 2019. This could be followed by the signing of a free trade agreement. – military-significant US-Russian exchange. technical cooperation and the establishment of a joint US-Russian missile defense shield in Europe, called for by Putin in 2000. Military-technical cooperation between NATO and Russia, possibly via the NATO-Russia Council , would also be encouraged. Russia and NATO could also implement new confidence-building measures and joint military exchanges aimed at increasing cooperation, trust and friendly relations between Russia and NATO.

In exchange for Russia’s consent to the Baltic republics continuing to be part of NATO, the United States would agree to the construction of a land bridge/elevated road and rail highway across southern Lithuania that connects the Russia’s ally, Belarus (and therefore Russia itself) in Kaliningrad, Russia. enclave. The United States could agree to withdraw all of its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe in exchange for Russia’s agreement to denuclearize and remove all Russian nuclear-capable bombers as well as ballistic, hypersonic and cruise missiles from its enclave of Kaliningrad and not to station any ground or air-launched nuclear weapons outside the territory of the Russian Federation. However, if Russia insisted on the departure of the Baltic States from NATO as the price of a peace agreement, the United States could accept that Russia issue a written guarantee of the independence of the Baltic States with their neutrality assured by an international treaty (as was done with Austria under the Austrian State Treaty of 1955).

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