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Por Patrick Carroll*
The former secretary of state and former head of the National Security Council of the United States, Condoleezza Rice, gave recent statements to the CBS program Face the Nation in which she recalls what was warned by her and her colleague, former defense secretary Robert Gates, on January of this year “…time is not in favor of Ukraine”. But deep down what she was saying is that the extension of this war favors Putin.
Given her excellent training, her exemplary discipline and moderate ego, Dr. Rice knows how to articulate messages about the content and direction of public policies without harming the interests of her country and those of the free world. But the underlying message is that Mr. Putin is going to use the time factor to her advantage. This implies that the Russian leader”s strategic motive is to weaken the West. And Ms. Rice knows a lot about this scheme. Because it was that approach that she ruined the USSR.
Indeed, when Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, his strategic objective was to end the Cold War because only then could the innovative forces of the world be unleashed. While the United States and Europe lived under the blackmail of the nuclear holocaust, enormous resources had to be devoted to defense and thousands of innovations in the field of communications and automation kept under the umbrella of defense.
Thus began his government indicating that his main foreign policy objective would be the creation of a sort of anti-missile shield that would prevent the entry of Soviet nuclear rockets into North American territory. The policy known to the world as the Strategic Defense Initiative forced the USSR – whose economy was bankrupt – to commit resources that it did not have available to try to replicate the system. The economic bankruptcy led to the dissolution of the Soviet regime. And the rest is history!
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Putin learned his lesson and is applying a similar procedure. It has unleashed a war that forces a West financially battered by the effects of COVID 19 and in a phase of political fragmentation due to the demands for inclusion of various groups that have felt excluded from progress to allocate resources to war instead of allocating them to economic recomposition or institutional repositioning.
And in parallel, in the emerging markets close to the West, populism hits the democratic classes hard, completely destroying them, as is the case of Venezuela, or weakening them, as is the case of Chile. He then calculates Putin that a drain on resources to fight a war will create such political dissent and economic setbacks that chaos will ensue and this will allow him to witness the fall of the West.
Knowledge of Putin”s strategic position is what has led former gold secretaries to tell the West that this war must be won at all costs and ended as soon as possible. There is not much room for error.
Beatrice Rangel es directora del Interamerican Institute for Democracy, Managing Director de AMLA Consulting, responsable de negociar e implementar estrategias y adquisiciones de inversión corporativas en América Latina y el Caribe. Exmiembro ejecutivo de Wharton School de la Universidad de Pennsylvania // Beatrice Rangel is Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy, Managing Director of AMLA Consulting, responsible for negotiating and implementing corporate investment strategies and acquisitions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Former Executive Fellow of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.