by Karl Pomeroy
April 8, 2015
[Editor’s note: The following archived post has been retrieved from Google cache and reposted on June 6, 2015.]
Think tanks peddle fear; that’s their business. Whether government funded, privately endowed, or fueled by corporate profits, they have a mandate to sell their product. And like any other frivolous business, they do this by creating a false need, then producing goods that appear to meet that need. Specifically, fear arouses concern, which creates an apparent need to know more. Think tanks then produce quasi-information that seems to meet that need. The information is tailored to spark new fears, igniting a cycle that keeps the customer addicted.
The following is a partial list of think tanks in Russia, compiled by a University of Pennsylvania mini-think tank that studies think tanks. If this list doesn’t worry you, they’re not doing their job:
CARNEGIE MOSCOW CENTRE
CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (IMEMO)
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL AND MILITARY ANALYSIS (IPMA)
COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICY (CFDP)
INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS (ISSA)
RUSSIAN PUBLIC POLICY CENTRE (RPPC)
CENTRE FOR POLITICAL TECHNOLOGIES (CPT)
CENTRE FOR STRATEGIC RESEARCH
INSTITUTE OF EUROPE OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CAUCASUS STUDIES AT THE MOSCOW STATE INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (CCS)
CENTRE FOR COMPREHENSIVE EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (CCEIS)
EAST WEST INSTITUTE MOSCOW (EWI)
RUSSIAN INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES (RISS)
INSTITUTE OF CIS COUNTRIES
CENTRE FOR POLITICAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (CPIS)
EURASIA HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Source: University of Pennsylvania
Putin has decided to ignore all but one or possibly two Russian think tanks, undoubtedly so he can think realistically. If we want to understand Putin, we should judge him by his actions, which show integrity, wisdom and humanity.
The United States government, on the other hand, still apparently listens to its think tanks, explaining why its policies have gone awry. This affliction has shattered the peace of the Middle East and Europe, and poses a threat to longterm global stability. To cure this US tendency, think tanks need to be exposed for the fraudulent business they’re in.
Consider the eleven “alarming” predictions for the next decade by Strategy Forecast, or Stratfor, a multi-million dollar for-profit American think tank:
1. Russia will collapse. Sanctions, declining oil prices, a plunging ruble, rising military expenses, and increasing internal discord will weaken the hold of Russia’s central government over the world’s largest country. Russia won’t officially split into multiple countries, but Moscow’s power may loosen to the point that Russia will effectively become a string of semi-autonomous regions that might not even get along with one another.
2. The US will have to use its military to secure Russia’s nukes.
3. Germany is expected to suffer severe economic reversals in the next decade.
4. Poland is going to be one of Europe’s leaders.
5. The European Union might survive in some sense, but European economic, political and military relations will be governed primarily by bilateral or limited multilateral relationships that will be small in scope and not binding.
6. Turkey and the US will be close allies.
7. The growing rift between China’s coast and its interior could presage ominous regional fissures.
8. Japan will be Asia’s rising naval power.
9. Great Power dynamics are returning to the South China and East China seas.
10. Mexico, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia could acquire the manufacturing jobs now in China.
11. US power will decline. “The United States will continue to be the major economic, political and military power in the world but will be less engaged than in the past,” the forecast says. “It will be a disorderly world, with a changing of the guard in many regions. The one constant will be the continued and maturing power of the United States — a power that will be much less visible and that will be utilized far less in the next decade.”
Source: Stratfor’s “Decade Forecast” Predictions, Business Insider.
Absurd as some of these predictions seem, they apparently sound plausible enough to fool the US government. I doubt any of these would fool Putin. The problem arises in that Western governments buy such think tank predictions, to the peril of themselves and the world.
I present below a commentary about Stratfor by Ilya Belous. The article in Russian was originally posted by Rostislav Ishchenko, President of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting, Ukraine, on the website “Free Ukraine Now; Stopping US-NATO takeover of Ukraine and Russia”. Ishchenko is Ukrainian, calling into question his loyalties to both Russia and Donbass, as the Kiev government routinely cracks down on pro-Russian and pro-Novorossiya journalists. The article he posted is however thought-provoking.
The notion that the US and NATO plan to take over Russia seems improbable, and could be based on a misconception. Think tanks, such as Statfor, may be fooling Washington into believing Russia will disintegrate, itself improbable, posing the threat of regionally controlled nuclear weapons. This was one of Stratfor’s eleven predictions. I find no indication, however, that Statfor stated America is actively working to partition Russia, only that Statfor predicted Russia will be partitioned due to internal conflicts.
I was also unable, in the time available, to find background on the author Ilya Belous. His analysis does warn of the perils of believing in think tank data, a danger the US government needs to consider. The translated article appeared on Fort Russ.
Stratfor report indicates America is working on a
scenario of partitioning of Russia
by Ilya Belous
translated by Kristina Rus
[QI Editor: with due respect, to avoid confusion we have omitted the occasional translator’s note. For these see original.]
March 12, 2015
A man like Putin: by 2018, each region will need their own Vladimir Vladimirovich.
On February 28 Stratfor posted a very interesting document – Decade Forecast: 2015-2025.
Stratfor is “Strategic Forecasting Inc.”, also known as the “shadow” or “private CIA” engaged in a highly profitable business of collecting, evaluating and forecasting information. Stratfor was founded in 1996 in Austin, Texas, by George Friedman, a former professor of political science, who is now the director of the organization. Today the audience of the company is 300 thousand paid subscribers and over two million free subscribers.
Among them – Coca-Cola, which gets advice about the stability of the situation in China on the eve of the Olympic games in Beijing; the corporation Northrup Grumman, interested in the possibility of Japan obtaining nuclear weapons; Intel, asking about the presence of Hezbollah in Latin America and their likelihood to carry out terrorist acts; the owner of hotel chain Radisson, looking for the end date of the offensive of militant Islamist groups. Also the services of Stratfor are used by Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, the US marine corps and Georgetown University. Each pays 20 thousand dollars a year to get their hands on tailored confidential information.
However, Friedman has more serious clients, namely the U.S. State Department, Pentagon, and the large global financial oligarchy standing behind them.
It is easy to figure out, connecting Stratfor’s predictions with the subsequent actions of the government and the U.S. army.
Thus, on March 27 , George Friedman published an article titled “American strategy after Ukraine: from Estonia to Azerbaijan”. There, among other points, particular focus was on the military strategy of the United States against Russia after the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. In particular, Friedman rightly argued that at this point in time, NATO is not able to wage war against the Russian Federation due to the long stretch of its Western front line and the length of communications for the supply of food, fuel and ammunition for the battle units.
The solution for this problem Friedman proposed by moving military bases directly to the Russian border at several points, as the only possible condition for full deployment of a punitive campaign against Russia, which is rapidly getting out of the control of the United States.
The skies were closed over Zaporozhye, Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk, and witnesses reported that a large number of transport aircraft, the type of “Hercules” and others landed in Ukrainian airports, bringing the equipment, vehicles and troops, consisting mainly of soldiers of private military companies. The numbers mentioned were about the size of a division from 10 to 15 thousand people, mostly mercenaries from PMC “Academi” (until 2009 it was called Blackwater, owned by Eric Prince, executing orders from the Pentagon).
Previously they were already seen in Donetsk, later in Mariupol. A secret NATO base was set up in Kharkov oblast: already much has been transported by land, the masks were off and airplanes were involved. Military experts pointed out that some of the equipment and troops was moved from a military base in Hungary near Debretsen. Previously on the territory of Ukraine trains were seen with American armored vehicles, among which were BMPs Bradley, BTRs Stryker and Hummers.
Therefore, the publications of Stratfor should be taken seriously.
The document before us is a geopolitical forecast for the next ten years, describing the future of all continents. I will not go into all the details – it has already been done by many analysts.
I will focus on key phrases and what I read between the lines. The article clearly articulates the strategic objective of establishing administrative control over Russia by way of its fragmentation – federalization. Here is a quote:
“To the West from Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania will try to return the regions once lost in the battle with the Russians. They will attempt to annex Ukraine and Belarus. In the South, Russia will lose the ability to control the North Caucasus; Central Asia will begin to destabilize. In the North-West, Karelia will try to return to Finland. In the Far East the coastal regions will start to conduct an independent policy, more associated with Japan, China and the United States, than with Moscow. Other regions will not necessarily seek autonomy, but may get it against their will. Main idea: there will not be a revolt against Moscow, on the contrary, the weakening Moscow will leave a vacuum. In this vacuum the separate fragments of the former Russian Federation will exist.
“This will lead to a major crisis in the next decade. Russia possesses a vast nuclear arsenal, scattered across the country. The decline of the Moscow power will raise the question of control over these missiles and about how to guarantee restraint from their application. This will be a huge challenge for the United States. Washington is the only power, that can solve this problem…”
Next, Stratfor talks about a necessity to create a stable and economically sustainable government in the nuclear regions, in order to neutralize the missiles by non-military means.
In the final part of the study the private intelligence agents laid down the fundamental principle of the American doctrine in relation to Russia:
“The US has entered the Cold war early, and (at least in Europe) did not suffer any losses. This is the guiding principle of the American foreign policy, brought almost to perfection: if a hegemon emerges in Europe, the US intervenes as early as possible, as during the Cold war, building alliances and positioning troops on the main defensive positions. Now this is done in relation to Russia. <…> The Americans will try to build a system of alliances, parallel to NATO, from the Baltic States to Bulgaria, and engage as many countries as possible. They will try to lure Turkey into the union and stretch it to Azerbaijan. The troops will be send to these countries in proportion to threats.”
The State Department is well aware that under Vladimir Putin the task of federalization is not feasible, as all rehearsals and attempts of Maidan were ineffective and did not find support in society. In addition, the effectiveness of security forces that provide physical order in the capital is undeniable.
Therefore the main task now is to implement technologies of soft power, which include attempts to undermine the economy, the formation of anti-government public opinion through mass media, organizing round tables and conferences, work at universities and nudging the authorities in the provinces to gain more independence from Moscow.
Stratfor writes about this: “Given the structure of the Federation, in which profits from exports go first to Moscow, and only then are redirected to local governments, the regions receive a very different amount of this profit. This will lead to the repetition of the Soviet experience in the 1980’s and the 1990’s, when Moscow has lost the ability to maintain state infrastructure. All this will cause the regions to seek solutions independently, forming formal and informal autonomous associations. Economic ties between Moscow and the periphery will weaken.”
Now let us remember that the first public statement after the accession to the post of mayor of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman, concerned “injustice that the money goes first to Moscow and then is distributed”, and subsequently a group of people close to Roizman held protests under the slogan “Stop feeding Moscow”. Among the protesters great activity was shown by young people from a foreign agent-NGO “Golos” (“Voice”), headed by the famous “color revolution technologist” Marko Ivkovich from Serbia, who was banned from entering Russia by FSB in 2012.
The fact is, in Russia the vertical of power now ends at the post of a governor, which allows municipalities to implement policies, different from the state, to form their own budgets controlling a city, using large funds to protect their business with security forces and mass media. At the start of the reform of local self-government, which should continue the vertical of power to the cities, the described system will be broken, and the American diplomats will capitalize on the resistance of local “princelings”.
A key objective of the US is to beat Vladimir Putin at 2018 election, for which the entire arsenal of available technologies will be engaged – marches, lowering of oil prices, political killings – we may likely see, for example, the general director and owner of the anti-Russian TV channel “Dozhd” (“Rain”), Natalia Sindeeva, shot with a bullet with minted initials of Vladimir Putin. History teaches us that often after a strong ruler comes a weak one, and Americans are well aware of it!
An important role, as conceived by the US, is given to the young generation born in 2000, who will turn 18 in 2018, and who had never lived without Putin. Who will they vote for? They did not, as the author of these lines and most of their readers, witness the bloody shoot-outs and cars exploding on the streets in the 90’s, total racketeering of business, pervasive corruption, deliberate destruction of industry, agriculture, army, non-payment of salaries for several months. Today in universities they are told romantic stories about the “real freedom” of that era, although it is appropriate to call it a time of chaos and anarchy. However, in certain ways they are synonymous with the concept of freedom.
In case US looses the next election for the President of Russian Federation, a special tool is prepared: actions of disobedience will take place across the regions, and their exit from the Russian Federation will begin, writes “Stratfor”. Rostislav Ishchenko, president of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting, [in Ukraine –QI editor] in his article “It rips at the weakest spot” rightly notes: the revolutionaries in Yekaterinburg don’t even have to storm anything. The municipal authorities already are infiltrated with American collaborators, and the government of the region will not be able to immediately react – it is extremely passive and does not have the political will, and its staff consists of the officials who are keen to outlive one governor after another.
What should be our next steps?
First, we need absolute unification of the country, all the people – around the President and commander-in-chief. I am convinced, that the course taken by Vladimir Putin is completely justified. It assumes full sovereignty in all spheres of life, the priority of the interests of Russia as a determinant of state strategy, productive, mutually beneficial cooperation with countries in Latin America and Asia, uniting them around Russia as a new pole of power on Earth. This course is implemented competently, firmly and consistently, and also accurately. We must strongly support it, thwarting any attempts to split the society from the President by the liberals from the fifth column.
Secondly, the authority of the FSB, whose job is to defend the constitutional rights of citizens and territorial integrity of the state, containing anti-Russian activity, today is clearly lagging behind the demands of the time and the situation in the state, as well as the laws that ensure their authority.
I am talking about such precedents as activities of the notorious member of the Ekaterinburg City Duma and a friend of Yevgeny Roizman – Konstantin Kiselev. Professor of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural State University visited the U.S. and Kiev, lectured on “the utility of” Maidan and positively noting the “contribution” of Yarosh and Turchinov into “the building of the Ukrainian nation”, and even prepared an online conference with the leader of the “Right Sector” in Yekaterinburg.
In this situation, the power structures of Ekaterinburg looked completely toothless: formally no existing article of the criminal code of the Russian Federation applied to the activities of the “political scientist”. If Professor Kiselev called for direct appeals to overthrow the government and seize government buildings or promoted fascism – he could be subjected to the article for extremism, but smart and cautious MP never allowed himself to go that far. Each student, whom the liberal teacher pushed to the “right” frame of thinking, had to make the last step on his own and arrive at the desired conclusion. And the unauthorized contacts with foreign diplomats and agents of Western intelligence, positive coverage of color revolutions, is not a reason to start investigation under the current laws.
Numerous conductors of implementation in Russia of Western values continue their work – “RPR-Parnas”, “Progress Party”, “Civic platform”, “Yabloko”, non-profit organizations “Memorial”, “Voice”, “The Sakharov’s Center”, which this way or another are involved in the preparation of anti-government marches and destabilization of the population, undermining the image of the government, and numerous liberal media supporting them, distorting reality, causing panic. Their activities should be stopped.
If we take the example, as demanded by the liberals, from the United States of America, there after the September 11 terrorist attacks the authority of security structures was expanded. May be it’s our turn? Vladimir Putin has long been waiting for the public opinion to ripen. We already have a full “set” – preparation of color revolutions, assassinations, corruption and the coalition with Americans at local levels. Enough signals to act.
In reality, if we are to withstand the destructive forces, then at a minimum, we should not be weaker. If our special agencies will concede, we will lose in the struggle, and the CIA has historically always been stronger, almost unlimited in their scope of work and generously funded.
We need new legislative initiatives, including the introduction into the criminal code of definitions of activities of the fifth column. Together with public institutions, it is necessary to define appropriate measures of deterrence and punishment.
And the third and main conclusion, we need to start thinking about how to form a new generation of patriotic politicians at all levels of government. Already the US is trying to install their people at key positions. They need to be pushed out, but we need the human resources, and they need to be selected and educated.
To bet the political success only on Vladimir Putin, first of all, puts an enormous strain on him, and secondly, poses a security threat to him personally. We need to appoint its own Putin to each region and municipality, and then any attempts to overthrow the President will lose sense – because his course will be clearly planned and steadily continued at each level.
Our main motto should be: “Today we are all Putin”.
According to the new Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program survey, here are the TOP 15 global think tanks:
1. Brookings Institution – US
2. Council on Foreign Relations – US
3. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – US
4. RAND Corporation – US
5. Cato Institute – US
6. Chatham House – UK
7. International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – UK
8. Heritage Foundation – US
9. Center for Strategic and International Studies – US
10. Peterson Institute for International Economics – US
11. International Crisis Group – Belgium
12. American Enterprise Institute – US
13. World Bank Research Department – US
14. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – US
15. Amnesty International – UK
Source: Lone Wolf Librarian