- As details of the larger strategic picture emerge over
what is at stake in the Georgia and larger Caucasus crisis, it is becoming
clearer that Moscow is not determined to roll back the borders of Stalin
and the Cold War of 1948. What Putin and now Medvedev have begun is a process
of defusing the highly dangerous NATO expansion, led by the Washington
warhawks since the end of the Cold War in 1990.
- Had events progressed as Washington had planned up until
the surprise rejection of NATO membership from no less than ten European
NATO member countries, including Germany and France at the April NATO Summit,
Georgia would today have been in the admission process to NATO-ization
along with Ukraine. That would have opened the door to full-scale encirclement
of Russia militarily and economically.
- Who fired the first shot in South Ossetia in the night
of 8 August is not the main issue. Russia was prepared for such a shot.
To understand events, we need to go back to the geopolitical fundamentals
underlying US or Anglo-American strategy since 1945. Russia has challenged
by its response to Georgia's attack, the very fundamentals of US expansionism.
- Fundamental axioms of geopolitics
- What few people realize is that the architect of America's
post-1945 grand strategy was a British national, Sir Halford Mackinder.
Mackinder, the grand strategist of British imperial power since his landmark
1904 paper, the Geographical Pivot of History, defined how the United States
could dominate the post World War Two world in a contribution to the leading
foreign policy organ of the United States, Foreign Affairs.
- In his July 1943 Foreign Affairs article, written a few
years before his death but when it was clear that the United States would
replace the British Empire in the postwar world, Mackinder outlined the
vital strategic importance for American global strategy of controlling
what Mackinder called the 'Heartland.' He defined the Heartland as the
northern part and the interior of Euro-Asia, essentially Russia-Ukraine-Byelorus-what
was then the USSR. For Mackinder the strategic import of the Heartland
was its special geography, with the widest lowland plain on earth, great
navigable rivers and vast grassland zones.
- Mackinder compared the strategic importance of Russia
in 1943 to that of France in 1914-18: 'Russia repeats in essentials the
pattern of France, but on a greater scale with her open frontier turned
westward instead of northeastward. In the present war the Russian army
is aligned across that open frontier. In its rear is the vast plain of
the Heartland, available for defense in depth and for strategic retreat.'
Mackinder noted to his American policy readers, 'if the Soviet Union emerges
from this war as the conqueror of Germany, she must rank as the greatest
land power on the globethe power in the strategically strongest defensive
position. The Heartland is the greatest natural fortress on earth.' 
- What Mackinder went on to suggest in that little-known
essay was that Western Europe, above all the German industrial challenge
to the Anglo-American hegemony, would be best contained by a hostile Heartland
USSR power to the east and a militarily strong American power on the Atlantic.
In a certain sense it did not matter whether that USSR power was still
friendly to Washington or a Cold War foe. The effect would still be to
contain Western Europe and make it a US sphere of influence after 1945
- US war plans in 1945 against Moscow
- As I detail in my book, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian
Democracy in the New World Order, dealing with present US military policy
in the wake of the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact seventeen some years
ago, US President Harry Truman and Churchill both had considered an immediate
war directed against the Heartland the moment Germany had surrendered.
- Only a US veto of Churchill's geopolitical plan delayed
the Cold War by three years. Difficult to understand for many is that the
Cold War was in large part a US geopolitical strategy to dominate the post-war
global order by using a hostile Russia and a hostile China in Asia after
the Korean War, to make United States military protection via NATO and
via various Asian defense arrangements, the essential fact of postwar life.
- The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's
suddenly confronted Washington policymakers with a devastating strategic
dilemma. Their "enemy image"-the Soviet Bear, was gone. China
was an economic partner. There was no need for NATO to continue beyond
a period of careful disarmament on both sides.
- That lack of an enemy image Russia, for strategists like
US adviser to Barack Obama, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a strategic threat
to continued American Sole Superpower domination. In his 1997 essay in
the same Foreign Affairs magazine as his mentor, Mackinder, Brzezinski,
who like Henry Kissinger, has implicitly and even explicitly deployed Mackinder
geopolitical ideas to shape US foreign policy, outlined the goal of US
foreign policy, post-Cold War:
- America's emergence as the sole global superpower now
makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative.
- Eurasia is home to most of the world's politically assertive
and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated
in Eurasia. The world's most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China
and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic
challengers to American primacyEurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world's
population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources.
Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's.
- Eurasia is the world's axial supercontinent. A power
that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the
world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and
East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in
Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa What
happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be
of decisive importance to America's global primacy and historical legacy.
- In the short run, the United States should consolidate
and perpetuate the prevailing geopolitical pluralism on the map of Eurasia.
This strategy will put a premium on political maneuvering and diplomatic
manipulation, preventing the emergence of a hostile coalition that could
challenge America's primacy, not to mention the remote possibility of any
one state seeking to do so
- Mackinder and the Bush Doctrine
- Briefly restated, US foreign policy, whether under George
H.W. Bush, guided by Kissinger, or under Clinton or under George W. Bush,
has followed the Mackinder outline suggested in the Brzezinski statement-divide
and rule, balance of power politics. Preventing any 'rival power' or groups
of powers on Eurasia from 'challenging' American sole Superpower dominance
was codified in the official National Security Strategy of the United States,
published in September, 2002, a year after September 11. 
- That Bush Doctrine policy went so far as to justify for
the first time 'pre-emptive' war, such as the attack on Iraq in 2003, to
depose foreign regimes that represented a threat to the security of the
United States, even if that threat was not immediate. That doctrine ended
definitively for much of the civilized world the American legitimacy in
- Since 2002 Washington has pushed relentlessly with an
agenda of covert regime change, most exemplified by its covert organizing
of pro-NATO regime changes in Georgia and Ukraine in 2003-2004. Washington
has organized, in violation of the agreement it had pledged when James
Baker III met with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, namely that the
US would not extend the borders of NATO eastwards in return for Moscow
allowing a united Germany be as well a member of NATO.
- Washington conveniently suffered a case of diplomatic
amnesia as people like John McCain's foreign policy guru, Randy Scheunemann
, a leading neo-conservative hawk, led the campaign after 1991 to bring
Poland, the Baltic States, the Czech Republic and other former Warsaw Pact
states into NATO. Moscow, not surprisingly, became alarmed at the pattern.
- Finally when Washington announced in early 2007 that
it planned to station its missile 'defense' array in Poland, including
US missiles, and in the Czech Republic, then-President Putin reactzed loudly.
His remarks were largely censored by the ever-watchful US media, and only
the comments of US officials expressing 'shock' at the hostile reaction
of Russia to the US missile defense plans, were reported.
- Washington made the ludicrous argument that the Polish
and Czech installations were necessary to defend US security interests
in event of a potential nuclear missile attack by Iran. When Putin exposed
the fraud of the Bush Administration's Iran defense argument by proposing
an alternative site for US interceptor radar far closer to Teheran in Azerbaijan,
a surprised Bush was left speechless. Washington simply ignored the Azeri
option and rammed ahead with Poland and the Czech sites.
- What few people outside military strategy circles know,
is that missile defense, even primitive, is as one leading American missile
defense strategist put it, "the missing link to a nuclear first strike
capability."  If the United States is able to deploy missile defense
on Russia's borders and Russia has none, the US has won World War III and
is in a position to dictate terms of unconditional surrender to Russia,
its dismemberment as a viable nation, its entire dismantlement. Little
wonder that Putin reacted. Moscow strategists know full well what US military
adventures have been since the 1940's.
- Eurasian geopolitics post 8-8-8
- This all leads us back to the consequences of the Russian
response in Georgia after 8.8.08. What Russia has done by swiftly responding
with military force, followed by the announcement by President Medvedev
of Russia's Five Points of Russian foreign policy which some western commentators
have dubbed the Medvedev Doctrine. The five points include, in addition
to Russia's reaffirmation of its commitment to the principles of international
law, a simple statement that 'the world should be multipolar.'
- Medvedev notes, 'A single-pole world is unacceptable.
Domination is something we cannot allow. We cannot accept a world order
in which one country makes all the decisions, even as serious and influential
a country as the United States of America. Such a world is unstable and
threatened by conflict.' Then after stating its wish to have peaceful friendly
relations with Europe the USA and others, and its intent to protect its
citizens 'wherever they may be,' Medvedev comes to the decisive fifth point:
'as is the case of other countries, there are regions in which Russia has
privileged interests. These regions are home to countries with which we
share special historical relations and are bound together as friends and
good neighbors. We will pay particular attention to our work in these regions
and build friendly ties with these countries, our close neighbors.'
- If we follow the latest Russian foreign policy moves
with the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as sovereign independent
states, Russia's August 29 agreement with Tajikistan that allows Russia
to expand its presence at Tajikstan's Gissar Airport. The fact of that
agreement was a potentially devastating blow to Washington's Eurasia geopolitical
strategy. Tajikistan, a remote central Asian country with dependence on
Russia for export of its uranium and dependent on heroin for much of its
income, was drawing closer to a strategic link with Washington after 2005.
In the wake of the Russian reaction in Georgia, Tajikistan's dictator President,
Emomali Rakhmon clearly decided his best security guarantee lay in closer
ties with Moscow not Washington.
- The government of pro-NATO 'Orange Revolution' President
Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine collapsed on September 3 when Yushchenko pulled
out of the ruling coalition over the refusal of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
to back the president in his support for Georgia and condemnation of Russia
in the recent conflict over South Ossetia. Yushchenko accused Tymoshenko
of 'treason and political corruption,' over her failure to back a pro-US
stand. He also withdrew over new laws passed by Tymoshenko's party in de
facto coalition, stripping the President of his veto on prime ministerial
candidates, and facilitating a procedure for impeaching the president.
According to Russia's RAI Novosti, Ukraine's pro-Russian former prime minister,
Viktor Yanukovich, who heads the Party of Regions, has said that he does
not rule out the possibility of forming a parliamentary majority with the
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc. Such a move would likely remove from the discussion
the entire issue of a Ukrainian application to join NATO.
- American global strategy is in crisis, and this is clearly
what Moscow has sensed. The United States has insufficient power to cope
with the war in Iraq and increasingly in Afghanistan. Both were to have
been an essential part of a US policy to militarily control Eurasian rivals,
especially Russia and China. However, to act militarily beyond sabre rattling
against Russia in Georgia has now been exposed for all Georgia's neighbor
states as essentially a US bluff.
- Continuing the current US strategy means dealing with
the war on Islam rather than the Russian one. The confluence of US Presidential
political posturing, a devastating US economic and financial crisis that
is worsening by the day and the loss of credibility for US foreign policy
around the world since the Bush Administration came to Washington in 2001,
have created the opening for other powers to begin to act on what would
be Halford Mackinder's worst nightmare: A Russian Heartland that is vital
and that is able to forge strategic relationships, primarily not through
guns as during the Cold War, but through economic and trade cooperation,
with China, Kazakhstan and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
- Washington has made devastating strategic miscalculations,
but not merely in Georgia. They began back in 1990 when there had been
a beautiful opportunity to build bridges of peaceful economic cooperation
between the OECD and Russia. Instead, George Bush senior and the US sent
NATO and the IMF east to create economic chaos, looting and instability,
evidently thinking that a better option. The next President will bear the
consequences of having lost that opportunity.
- F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American
Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press), and Seeds of Destruction:
The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (www.globalresearch.ca) and his
new book, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World
Order (Third Millennium Press) is due out in late October. He may be reached
-  Sir Halford J. Mackinder, The Round World and the
Winning of the Peace, New York Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs,
Vol. 21, No. 4, July 1943, pp.599-601.
-  While still ostensible allies, during the World War
II the United States started to prepare for war with the Soviet Union.
In the summer of 1945, at the time of the Conference in Potsdam, the United
States had secretly adopted a policy of 'striking the first blow' in a
nuclear war against the Soviet Union. To that effect a secret document
JCS 1496 was drafted on July 19, 1945. The first plan for nuclear attack
was drafted soon afterwards by General Dwight Eisenhower at the order of
- The plan, called TOTALITY (JIC 329/1), envisioned a nuclear
attack on the Soviet Union with 20 to 30 Atomic-bombs. It earmarked 20
Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuibyshev,
Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk , Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad , Baku, Tashkent,
Chelyabinsk, Nizhni Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny,
Irkutsk, and Jaroslavl." Detailed in Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod,
To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon's Secret War Plans, Boston, South End
Press, 1987, pp. 30-31. The secret Pentagon strategy since the end of the
Cold War to use modernization of its nuclear strike force and deployment
of missile defense technology is but a modern update of a policy established
in 1945-Full Spectrum Dominance of the world, via the destruction of the
only power capable of resisting that dominance-Russia.
-  Zbigniew Brzezinski, A geostrategy for Eurasia, New
York Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, September/October 1997.
-  Condoleezza Rice, et al, National Security Strategy
of the United States, Washington D.C., National Security Council, September
-  Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice, Germany Unified
and Europe Transformed , Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1995, pp.
180-184. US Ambassador to Moscow at that time, Jack Matlock, confirmed
in personal discussion with German researcher, Hannes Adomeit, of the Stiftung
Wissenschaft und Politik of the German Institute for International and
Security Affairs, that he had been present and noted in his diary that
US Secretary of State James Baker III had agreed in talks with Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev that 'Any extension of the zone of NATO is unacceptable.'
Curiously, Baker omitted the pledge entirely in his memoirs.
-  Richard L. Garwin, Ballistic Missile Defense Deployment
to Poland and the Czech Republic, A Talk to the Erice International Seminars,
38th Session, August 21, 2007, in www.fas.org/RLG/. Garwin, a senior US
defense scientist demonstrated the fraudulent nature of the US Government's
motivation for its missile policy, p.17. Garwin asks, 'Are there alternatives
to the Czech-Polish deployment? YesAn Aegis cruiser deployed in the Baltic
Sea and another in the Mediterranean could thus provide equivalent protection
of Europe against Iranian missiles.' Garwin as well reaches the same conclusion
as Putin: the US missiles are aimed directly at Russia.
-  Robert Bowman, Lt. Col. and former head of SDI research
under President Ronald Reagan, cited in, National Security Council Institutional
Files, POLICY FOR PLANNING THE EMPLOYMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, 17 Jan 1974,
NSDM 242, in http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:xHvc_74xiroJ:nixon.archives.gov/find
-  RAI Novosti, Medvedev outlines five main points of
future foreign policy, August 31, 2008.