Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Power Vertical

Podcast: Putin's New World Order

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin's Syria gambit was always about more than Syria. And it was about more than breaking Moscow's isolation.

It was about establishing a new paradigm for global politics based on balance of power and spheres of influence.

It was about reviving a bipolar order reminiscent of the Cold War.

Putin appears to have won the upper hand in the tactical battle for Damascus.

But can he ride that to a new Yalta?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss Putin's quest for a new world order and its prospects for success.

Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows -- and foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov, president of the LEFF Group and a columnist for Slon.ru.


Power Vertical Podcast: Putin's New World Order
Power Vertical Podcast: Putin's New World Orderi
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.​

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Comment Sorting
by: Banana Republic
March 19, 2016 09:02
It is different this time. In the 70's U.S crude production peaked, which lead to a crisis in the West. In 2005 the global crude production peaked, which is now causing a global crisis.

Economies are collapsing, nations are collapsing and people are dying. There is a flood of refugees from Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa heading towards Europe.

IEA is trying to mask the crude peak with reports of crude and condensate (c+c) production. The rise in c+c since 2005 has been a rise in condensates.

China is collapsing. China is trying to mask the collapse with false economic growth numbers, despite the stock market crash, capital flight, bankruptcies, protests and riots.

There are 7.3 billion people living on this planet today. We use 10 calories (oil) to produce 1 calorie of food. It is different this time.
In Response

by: Henry from: UK
March 20, 2016 20:55
Nowadays we see more proof of the US and the western alliance that have abandoned the Kurds and letting the Turkish Nazi regime continue in their massacre of Kurdish and Syrian civilians ! Though both France and the US claim to oppose the ongoing shelling by fellow NATO member Turkey across the border into northern Syria, they both shot down a Russian resolution at the UN Security Council that would’ve called on Turkey to actually stop.

US Ambassador Samantha Power dismissed the resolution as an attempt to “distract the world” from Russia’s own involvement in the Syria war. France, by contrast, appeared to ignore the content of the resolution entirely, just lashing them for supporting the Assad government. Turkey has been shelling northern Syria, mostly targeting Kurdish sites, but also hitting Syrian military targets as well. Turkey’s ambassador insisted the country is facing a “national security threat” from the Kurds and must continue the attacks.

Despite blocking the resolution calling for a halt to the attacks, the White House says that they called for Turkey to stop the attacks, and also called on the Kurds to stop taking over territory in Syria, despite the US having heavily backed the ongoing Kurdish offensive. As you can see from the last statements, the Kurds were used and lied to!

by: edwin pace from: UK
March 19, 2016 21:34
Surprise provides a tactical, not a strategic advantage, as Hitler and the Japanese discovered after 1941. This tactic is best explained by the fact that most of those in the Kremlin have had very little experience outside of carrying out low level tactical tasks. ?A genuine world strategy requires an intimate knowledge of world economics, which no one inside the Kremlin seems to know or care about.

Most self-defeating for Russia, sowing uncertainty makes the world...more uncertain. That is part of the reason why much of the world is retrenching economically. For a raw material producer that is the worst news possible, and suggests that in the coming years Russia will be more and more a shadow player, lacking the substance of even a middle-ranking power.
In Response

by: Lewis from: USA
March 20, 2016 21:02
I am more than wiling to admit that without Russia doing most of the heavy lifting (I'm talking about the brave men and women doing the actual fighting and dying) the outcome of the WW-2 could have been a toss up. The UK itself would have fallen eventually and it would have been the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and very little else to take on the Axis powers. I do believe it would have ended in a stalemate in the end without the united allies, the Free French, the Polish remnants, etc.

And I want to make clear. I'm an ex pat immigrant, born in the UK and living in the US now. I'm not a mindless American that believes our national sh.. doesn't stink. The US has serious problems, but so does many other nations too. But to be honest, I can say the US isn't the same country I immigrated to, it isn't even close to being what it was even 10 years ago...

There's no doubt if the original founders were alive today, they would shake their collective heads, told everyone living here that we are ignorant, brainwashed, fat, lazy, self centered and cowardly. The state, the government and it's citizens is everything the founding fathers were not. Hell, if the UK was even more pathetic, I'd move right back to inverness. Anyway, cheers and thanks for being someone reasonable! 
In Response

by: saabrules from: amerika
March 22, 2016 00:00
Only few words: Americas is the new age evil empire. Russia?Soviets never was or and never will be. Only America is and no other country has the potential or motivation to do so.The only good thing is that with Russia standing up to them in Ukraine first and then in Syria, the balance of power in the world has been re-established. Poor American people, for they are the ones that will pay the ultimate price if their govt continues on their way for world hegemony by permanent state of war. If they ever attack someone who can and will fight back, unlike in WWII (which Russia won by the way with America and her puppets as side show) watch out. The consequences will be seen and felt not only on battlefield, where they attacked, but right there in the hearth-land.
Just before he attacked Russia, Napoleon famously said:"If one wants to conquer Russia, first one must be prepared to die".
Is anyone, including America prepared to die on mass, for this is what your govt, infested with neocons, has in mind as their ultimate goal.
Please, do not make Russia's day.
In Response

by: Alan Black from: UK
March 22, 2016 09:56
Russia is standing up to the US in Ukraine? Since when? According to those 'ever reliable and trustworthy' Russian sources, they aren't in Ukraine. Unless of course they are there, in which case the Russian sources aren't quite so reliable and trustworthy. Take your pick.

by: Panas
March 20, 2016 14:51
Putin/Kremlin make all sorts of side trips where they need to keep themselves in public eye as well as make some progress as in Syria, Georgis, Crimea, Donbas - ups, did not mean Donbas. Russia has no solders there, except those on vacation, including a fes generals. But the basic drive is to destabilized
Ukraine, that has never changed. Crimea was on Kremlin's mind ever since Ukraine's indipendence.
In Response

by: Josh from: Canada
March 22, 2016 12:27
It's pretty clear that Ukraine needs no help from outside to destabilize itself. I've never seen this level of concentrated incompetence, corruption, and mass hysteria. Whatever Russia did in Donbas - and it probably is very little - the Ukrainians own their own disaster.

by: no more capitalism
March 21, 2016 04:12
Both the United States and Russia are the most dangerous countries. Their emphasis is power...,imperialism. Internal political opposition is the only hope. Death to capitalism!!!
In Response

by: saabrules from: america
March 22, 2016 00:10
Yes, death to capitalism. The only future that we have left is Social democracy, they have in Scandinavian countries and Bernie Sanders wants to bring to America to save it from themselves. America is the most dangerous and the only Evil Empire we had since German Nazis. Russia is not. The only danger Russia represent to the world is, that when (not if) America attacks them they will defend themselves with their nukes immediately and absolutely. Both on battlefield, where America attacked and on homeland of every country that joined America in that ultimate and final crime they spread around the world, as you read this.
This is the kind of "danger" Russia presents while America is the true evil empire bent on bloody conquer of the world. But that ain't going to happen, the moment they come close to those who can and will fight them back. the game over fr all.
Capitalists are the true evil and they must be stopped first.
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
March 22, 2016 13:55
What's it like for you 2 losers to be living next to a dumpster ?. It's quite obvious both of you share the same garbage.

As for the article, Russia is a failed state. It's economy is shrinking, the ruble is worth a penny and going for total collapse. Apple's capitalization is larger than all of Russia's economy. Sure, Russia has 432 billion in foreign reserves but Apple has 180 billion in cash and counting. Russia invents nothing, makes nothing, cures nothing and controls nothing. Russia's army is an army of conscripts. This so-called mighty army collapsed in WW1 and WW2 at the sight of the Germans. The only thing that saved Russia were the gulag prisoners who were shot in the back by the NKVD troops if they did not press forward. Soon the wild bear will be become a circus bear jumping thru hoops for honey and money. Gotta love capitalism, it won't even spare the clown in the picture.
In Response

by: saabrules from: N.America
March 22, 2016 21:24
To Peter from Ottawa: You have been living too close to propaganda machine harper created with his demonization of Russia. Plus your education in Canada has never included the truth about what happened in the last 100 years or what is going on in the world right now. Of course you live next to that monstrocity the new age evil empire, that claims they won all the wars. In reality they plaid minor role (as did Canadians) in both WW with somewhat harder role in the WWI. Russia saved the world in WWII, while USA and Ca. came in when it was convenient and clear Soviets would reach Atlantic in no time and liberate Europe both from nazis and capitalists. That is the fact and the truth. As for Russia's economy, don't you worry. They are richer in resources than you and America put together and they still have it almost intact , while America and Canada to some extent are scarping the bottom of the barrel of many resources. Example: your dirty, poisonous tarsand tar is polluting the whole world. At the same time in Siberia oil seeps out of ground as spring water and all they need to do, go there and collect it from huge oil lakes already formed. The list is endless and includes a lake that contains 20% of whole world reserve of drinking water. All 5 great lakes, the pride of American and Canada, would fit in there and would only cover the bottom of that lake. Further, who is taking your and american astronauts up there? Is the country that does this backward and poor? How about the action in Syria? Russian air-force, with their graceful and deadly jets, destroys ISIS in 5 months, while your 6 jets and all American air-power are still looking for the first ISIS target 2 years later, for they are enabling them, not fighting them. Thus your new and good PM Justin has withdrawn those token jets, for they were there only as "support" for American gang of the "willing".
You are lucky that your new PM will divorce Canada from America to the extent it'll become an independent state again. But thanks to Russia you will not need to worry about America coming to destroy you (as they do all independent country, so far 7) for Russia has given them the notice: No more soup for you. Translated; no more destroying independent/sovereign countries for you, America. If you do it next time, you'll get your block knocked off, big time as in Syria.
By the way, our condolences for you having to live in Ottawa, the most boring capital city in the world in the same "exciting" country, Canada.
Any other concerns we can help you with??
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
March 23, 2016 11:49
Thanks for your book report saabrules . You failed . If you want pollution visit China, if you want outhouses visit Russia, if you want a circus attend a session of the Duma, if you want boring watch Russian TV. What's your location or are you too embarrassed to say. By the way, was that you living in a tent by the highway.

by: Vytautasba from: Vilnius
March 21, 2016 12:57
Should also consider the question of whether Russia can sustain its sought for place in the New World Order or Establish a new Yalta. Syria and UKR ops were certainly costly for Russia and have done nothing to improve Russia's domestic/economic crisis.
In Response

by: saabrules from: america
March 22, 2016 00:18
Wrong: Ukraine and Syria are the places where Russia has re-established the much needed balance of power in the world. In Ukraine they drew the line to further NATO expansion via their former republics; in Syria they stopped destruction of independent country and made America and anyone else on notice this will never happen again.
Enough of American bloody hegemony. The world has had it. As for Russian economy; do not worry. They have the largest country in the world with enormous resources to boot and are on the way to establish an alternative world with BRICS and any other decent country that says NO to America that wants to join in.
Yes, there is an alternative (or even many more) way to run this world and American way ain't the one Russia and many others want or desire or need. It is that simple.

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The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or