By Jeremy McCoy
The new political realities inspire doubts
January 4, Anonymous hackers released the new batch of documents from the Integrity Initiative – a government-funded program run by the London-based Institute for Statecraft. The Institute for Statecraft describes itself as “an independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, to improving governance and to enhancing national security”. The Integrity Initiative: Defending Democracy against Disinformation is one of the Institute’s projects aimed at countering Russian propaganda as well as all kinds of “attempts to influence the policies and undermine the societies of the West”.
The released batch contains the files on the Integrity Initiative efforts in the USA. These documents are worth being examined more carefully because they show a questionable approach to European security shared by some British think tankers. The experts believe that a reassertion of the US political and military domination in Europe is the only way for the West to counter Russia, China and Daesh/IS.
“The West is badly in need of a reassertion of US leadership. The EU has been unable to generate any strategic thinking or to exercise convincing leadership. Russia (& China) are successfully driving wedges between EU Member States and between Allies within NATO. Brexit has added to the confusion.
The US also needs to rebuild its understanding of Russia and how to deal with it, so as to (a) improve its own governance at a time of transition, and (b) rebuild its leading role in Europe via NATO and via encouragement to the EU, to enable them to deal more effectively with the new challenge to our democratic structures and processes posed by Russia (and China, and Daesh/IS) today,” the documents recently leaked by Anonymous state.
In other words, British security experts welcome American military bases on European soil and supremacy of American national interests over the interests of European nations. They believe that American military power will save the Europeans from “Russian hybrid warfare”, Chinese expansion and jihadists. This approach looks more than flimsy.
The problem of IS sleeping agents in Europe has no military solution at all. China shows no intention to annex Europe; it sees the Old Continent as an attractive market but not as the battlefield.
The problem of “the Russian threat” is more complex. Today it looks more like a mirage widely used by mass media to fuel anti-Russian hysteria necessary to justify increases in defense spending. By February, it could turn into a Cold War-style standoff between Russia and the West as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced, that the US had given Russia 60 days to comply with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty or it would no longer abide by the agreement and could produce, test and deploy new missiles in NATO member states. There is now doubt Moscow will respond in kind by deploying missiles in its Western regions.
The new political realities show imprudence of the approach to European security developed by the think-tankers from the Institute for Statecraft. American military facilities are the last things necessary for the Europeans to feel safe. What the Europeans really need to do is to stay away from the up-coming missile duel between Trump and Putin.
Jeremy McCoy. I am a freelance journalist published in such media outlets as History Today, Global Research and Ground Report.