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Opposition to War against Russia Goes Mainstream in U.S.

Feb. 6, 2022 (EIRNS)—A number of articles published on the Center for the National Interest website over the past three days are indicative of the fact that a growing number of leading establishment advisors in the U.S. are scared that the U.S. is heading into a potential war with Russia with incalculable consequences, and a course change is urgent. The Center, and its magazine, The National Interest, views itself as a platform for “strategic realism” in U.S. foreign policy. The views of the authors cited below are not shared by all at the Center, and none of them show signs of recognizing that the entire geopolitical premise of their outlook must be dumped for peace to be secured, but they reveal the growing turmoil in U.S. Establishment ranks over the drive for national suicide.

• George Beebe, an intelligence analyst and diplomat who has served as director of CIA Russia analysis and Special Adviser to Vice President Cheney for Russia/Eurasia and Intelligence Programs, warned in The National Interest on Feb. 5, “For America and Russia, Deadly Perceptions Can Lead to War.” Deterrence and punishment, even carried out with “Churchillian resolve,” can produce a spiral of “action-reaction cycles” which can lead to war. Breaking those cycles requires “mutual introspection, empathy, and moral courage,” even if against the winds of domestic politics, he urges. Russia and the U.S. must come up with a “face-saving compromise.” His greatest concern: the “perilous assumption” of many in the government and media that Putin will not strike back if we apply “unconventional warfare” against Russia (draconian sanctions, arming and training Ukrainians to kill Russian invaders or deploying cyber weapons to disable Russian operations.) “Just a few months ago, Russia conducted a successful test of an anti-satellite missile, and its state television announced that it had the ability to disable America’s entire Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation—on which our stock markets, bank payments, power grids, digital television, and cloud computing all depend. Unlike Russia, the United States has not built a land-based backup that could function if GPS is lost.”

• Matthew Burrows, a 28-year career CIA and State Department official now heading Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, warned on Feb. 4 of “The Costs of War with Russia.” Burrows calls Russia the instigator, but insists the Biden administration must consider the strategic consequences of “rushing into a full-scale confrontation with Russia.” Others fear a World War III, but Burrows focuses on “three big” second-order effects under the subhead, “A Decoupled World,” in which a West, cut off from Russia and China, could potentially suffer $190 billion a year in lost output by U.S. businesses, a cut of $25 billion in U.S. investments, and a global “economic shock just in time for the 2022 midterms.”

• Dimitri Simes, former foreign policy advisor to Nixon, leading U.S. specialist on Russian affairs at CSIS, Carnegie Endowment, Johns Hopkins, now president of the Center for National Interest, also argued in The National Interest on Feb. 4 “Why Biden Should Give Diplomacy With Russia a Chance.” Simes blasted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s attack on a sitting Senator as a “Putin puppet” in the name of “ ‘bipartisanship,’ is the same kind once practiced by Senator Joe McCarthy.” George Washington had warned, he reminded, that under “excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause ... real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” Simes backs sending more U.S. troops to Europe and more military assistance to Ukraine, but warns that allowing NATO’s transfer of lethal weapons to the Donbas frontlines or turning Baltic states into military assets against Russia is “reckless.” He urges: “The Biden administration must provide leadership in addressing Russian demands, including Moscow’s call for a formal treaty that precludes Ukrainian and Georgian NATO membership.”

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