Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Autocrazies Grand Strategy

As best understood, something something "Grand Strategy" is kinda like the "purposeful hook up of all instruments of power available to a security community"

Or perhaps more betterly sync"d as the famous "Indirect Approach" cat on the other side of the hill sagely sayeth 
The role of grand strategy – higher strategy – is to co-ordinate and direct all the resources of a nation, or band of nations, towards the attainment of the political object of the war – the goal defined by fundamental policy.
Grand strategy should both calculate and develop the economic resources and man-power of nations in order to sustain the fighting services. Also the moral resources – for to foster the people's willing spirit is often as important as to possess the more concrete forms of power. Grand strategy, too, should regulate the distribution of power between the several services, and between the services and industry. Moreover, fighting power is but one of the instruments of grand strategy – which should take account of and apply the power of financial pressure, and, not least of ethical pressure, to weaken the opponent's will. 

Furthermore, while the horizons of strategy is bounded by the war, grand strategy looks beyond the war to the subsequent peace. It should not only combine the various instruments, but so regulate their use as to avoid damage to the future state of peace – for its security and prosperity.

While much is made of Great Satan"s Grand Strategy and her supa sexyful collection of Hot! Democrazies - divine daemoneoconic avatars often caveat"d that uncool, unfun and unfree regimes may often often buddy up whene"er the need - or even opportunity arises.

Like on a Grand Strategical level mein schatze?

This rising concert – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, among other states–shows increasing evidence that their foreign policies are aligned, which is not to say perfect or near-perfect alignment.

In foreign policy, the authoritarian axis follows several unifying principles that produce highly coordinated policies. In practice, these policies provide the foundation for a unified grand strategy against the West.

First, axis states routinely oppose and resist the policies and actions of the U.S., the United Nations, and its allies. No better examples exist than their policies toward Syria or Iran. They actively resist the West whenever it moves against or otherwise seeks to restrain other axis states. Attempts to impose sanctions, whether against Iran or Syria, generate sustained opposition from the axis.

 Second, the axis grand strategy aspires to undermine the values and influence of the West. Initially, its grand strategy organized opposition to U.S. policies, until President Putin redefined the axis grand strategy. Before a meeting in Moscow of Russian ambassadors, Putin pronounced in highly charged and provocative language the West’s decline. Warning that, “domestic socio-economic problems… are weakening the dominant role of the so-called historical West,” Putin’s strident words shifted the attack from the United States to a broad condemnation of the U.S. and the West.

This established the foundations for a more expansive grand strategy for the axis. The chairman of Russia’s Duma’s (parliament) International Affairs Committee, Aleksey Pushkov, joined the chorus, warning “we are in for a very hard year in Russia-U.S. relations.” It is time, he said, “to reset the reset.”

remarkable shift. Only several years ago, commentators hoped democracy would flower in Russia, Iran, and Syria – perhaps in China, too. Strategically, focusing on the West encourages states in the authoritarian axis to attack freedom and democracy, free markets, and human rights.

Third, the axis grand strategy, which is hostile to liberal political values, is dangerous precisely because it promotes and legitimizes authoritarianism. Such governments rightly fear that democracy, freedom, and liberty directly threaten their power. If this principle sounds counter-intuitive, recall that what all of these states share are highly repressive, authoritarian governments. These states also share, if we exclude China, totally dysfunctional command economies, which survive from revenues generated by oil and gas exports and military sales.

Fourth, the axis grand strategy, by actively opposing the West, seeks to encourage self-doubt, perhaps fear, in the West that it is, once again, under assault from authoritarianism. While it has been two decades since the West worried seriously about confrontation, the axis seeks to undermine the West’s confidence and sense of security by acting in unison to oppose, through overt and subtle means, the West’s values and policies. Regrettably, democracies are vulnerable when the public believes that some states conspire to undermine their values and institutions.

Fifth, the axis grand strategy works, aggressively when necessary, to protect its members. Directly put, the axis seeks to maintain the number of authoritarian states – at all costs. While we see more democracies today than at any time in history, the axis states likely understand how profoundly vulnerable they are to revolutions. Predictably, the axis grand strategy elevates the principle of preserving like-minded authoritarian states, while the West naturally wants to see more democracies.

Axis states may be optimistic that they can “grow” the number of authoritarian states – or at least maintain those already in the axis. The strategy of preventing the West from destroying authoritarian governments explains precisely why Russia, China, and Iran actively support Syria’s authoritarian government even when thousands of civilians are dying.

This logic works in the opposite direction. If the axis states can prevent the West from encouraging democratic opposition movements, say in Syria and Iran, the number of authoritarian states might increase. For example, without Russia’s political and economic support, Belarus likely would collapse and fall out of Moscow’s firm grip. If the axis could prevent the West from intervening in such states as Libya, where an opposition movement destroyed Libya’s authoritarian government, it could halt democratic revolutions.

Pic - "Autocrazies are the root of all of our problems. They are together and individually the major security threat to Great Satan, to their neighbors, and to the world."