|Aleksandr Dugin. Comments to four questions by Ima-press, February 2002
About russian military reform, Bin Laden, military bases and NATO
Ima-press: Vladimir Putin has approved the implementation
of a gradual transition to the acquisition of part of the Armed forces
of Russian Federation on a contract basis instead of draft. Will the generals
consent to turn the whole army into a prfessional army?
AD : I have a few observations on this problem, since the
elaboration of a geopolitical pattern of reforming the armed forces, in
particular their division, is linked to the strategic outlook. And I can
give you a uniquely valid answer, why the military reform, including the
transition to a professional army, has been delayed during the last 10
years. As a matter of fact, military reform as the practice should be the
accomplishment of the provisions of the military doctrine as the theory.
Such things are strictly interdependent and can not exist separately from
each other. Our present military doctrine is ambiguous, as it does not
give an answer to the most important problem: "who is our potential opponent".
And the answer to this problem also defines all the system of the military
doctrine and, accordingly, the course of the military reform, where the
transition of the army to a contract basis is only one of the elements.
Concerning this major, causal point about the potential opponent, an invisible,
yet very active and tough fight has been going on through all these years
between the force-wielding ministries and offices and the political government
of the country. The militaries insist on that, as long as the Americans
consider Russia or the so-called Eurasian bloc as one of most probable
potential opponents, we too should consider the US as our main opponent.
This is logical. The Kremlin acts in the opposite way. Accordingly, the
reform of the army does not take place, and all the issues linked to it,
including the professional army, bear an abstract, not concrete character.
Under Putin, it seems, the consensus was reached with the adoption of a
national security concept oriented to a multi-polar world, which makes
the US as the builder of the unipolar world our main potential opponent.
But the events of September 11 have mixed all the cards again it is unclear
whether America is for us an opponent or not. If not, them Russia needs
to build an army where the strategic sector will be reduced to its minimum,
while the highest attention will be paid to building professional compact
armed forces, able to efficiently wage war operations within the borders
of the Russian Federation. In this case the army becomes the continuation
of police forces or, say, frontier troops. But as a matter of fact this
severely contradicts geopolitical logic itself. During our President’s
last visit in the US, we became convinced that the Americans are ready
to smile, to speak about some concessions, but in the strategic sphere
their positions do not change. As a result, the contradictions are sharpened
again, not between the supporters of the professional army and their oppositors,
as between two basic definitions of the geopolitical function of Russia.
I think that even the President has not taken yet an unequivocal decision
about this problem.
Ima-press : Osama Bin Laden openly plans with the help of his son
to put an end to his life by committing suicide before TV cameras, which
will serve as a signal for terrorist attacks on the Capitol in Washington,
the Big Ben in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Do you believe in
AD : It all seems to me as a gloomy farce. When I see Bin Laden
on the screen it seems to me that all the scenery is built somewhere in
California, since it does not as much suit the Islamic consciousness, as
express some expectations of the modern man of the West. I do less and
less believe in the existence of Bin Laden. It is known that he was a CIA
agent, and I do not exclude he is an hired actor, indispensable for the
US to justify the new geopolitical trends such, as settling military
bases in Central Asia, mobilizing its own civil population stuck
in the mud of political indifference and disintegration, intimidating Europe,
who now has to pay the American military expenses, and Russia, who swears
to obey the US in everything. And the more the story with Bin Laden goes
on, the more it gets a Hollywood-like character. I do not I want
to say that we are talking about something frivolous, but we live
in a world where images completely displace reality. About this wrote in
the famous book «The Society of Performance» the French philosopher
Guy Débord. He really committed suicide as a sign of protest against
the «society of Performance», showing that human life cannot depend
on virtual falsification, on which we are fed. Bin Laden and the Taliban
look like representative figures of the «society of Performance». The outstanding
French philosopher Jean Baudrillard considered the September 11 tragedy
as the only event of the last decade which brought us back to reality.
But everything that will follow then, said Baudrillard, will be performance.
About what you asked me, it is an idiotic farce. Every new mediacratic
detail as though carefully breed the fears of the American philistine –
suicide, blood, TV, son, Bin Laden, religion... Thus are simultaneously
demonized and idealized human life, belief, the example of the others,
the attacks, even Bin Laden himself. As a matter of fact, ever more serious
realities are brought as a victim to the insatiable sensational nature
of the television. Basically it is the continuation of such programs as
«Behind the glass» and «The Last Hero», only carried out
in sadder tones, in a horror-movie style. I conceive all the latest events
as a mark of the full numbness of our civilization and its extreme inadequacy.
Ima-press: Russia closes its last large military bases, in
Cuba (Lurdes) and in Vietnam (Kamran). How far is this justified,
especially on the background of the present unstable world situation and
the rumours about the third world war?
AD : This decision can be considered from several sides. Firstly,
it is a symbolical capitulation of Russia before the winner of the cold
war «atlantism». NATO today is expanding eastward, and it is sad from
the point of view of the death of a great power, a great stage in our national
history. Secondly, I do not exclude that technologically these bases have
exhausted their military operating value and in principle may be
substituted by something different, on other levels. Thirdly, it is probably
the diplomatic course of Vladimir Putin, who tries at any cost to normalize
the relation with the West. Truly, the problem of the price, in my
opinion, is being inadequately set, and everything will end with a failure.
The West will find some excuse not to let us neither in the NATO, nor in
the WTO or in the European Union. The outcome will be like under Gorbachev
we make steps forward, and in reply we get busted and slapped in the
face. The Russian President over some time will necessarily return to a
different pattern of behaviour vis-à-vis the Western countries –
an eurasist pattern, But, unfortunately, we shall still have for
a long time to disentangle ourselves from the consequences of the present
decision of the federal government. An enormous quantity of fatal mistakes
is being made. And, most importantly, our concessions are not indemnified
by anything. Misunderstanding that Russia does not benefit from the opposition
between the US and Taliban means not simply a mistake, as the ignorance
of the laws of geopolitics as such. The Clinton strategic doctrine about
American national interests in the XXI century was published in 1997, even
children heard about it. It is a fundamental, epoch-making document, where
it is said that the main task of the United States is to prevent the rise
of a strategic bloc in Eurasia. Until September 11 Putin was drawing this
bloc, but America used the tragedy in order to disorganize it. What
can be the profit to Russia here?!
Ima-press: President Putin is going to meet in Brussels with
NATO general secretary Robertson. How far are substantiated the rumours
about that a condition for the Russian involvement in the Antiterrorist
Campaign is the decision about its inclusion in the North-Atlantic alliance
or, in any case, stopping NATO eastward expansion?
AD : Russia will destroy this organization: our membership in
the North-Atlantic alliance will considerably change its structure and
geopolitical direction. You see, the entrance in this bloc of a mighty
Eurasian nuclear power with completely definite continental concerns brings
to nothing the concept of «atlantism», turns the North-Atlantic alliance
into something absolutely different! In this case the NATO, by definition,
would not be able to discharge those functions for which it was created.
It will be some completely new strategic union: the strategic and military
weight of Russia will be so heavy that the organization will not be able
anymore to spend such uniform civilizational and geostrategic line like
the one the NATO is now leaning on. Our President since the very beginning
constantly took definite and very persevering steps in this direction:
for example, proposing to create a pan-European antimissile defence system.
As far as I know, such change of the present pattern of geostrategic relationship
with the West is for Putin one of the priority tasks and is an organic
component of his foreign policy. However, the NATO too perfectly perceives
what is going on. In my view, the US are now absolutely not ready to a
similar conversion of the alliance, and will go through it only in case
they feel its fundamental vulnerability. Therefore we must aim to enter
NATO, but should not be surprised if us they will never accept us: we are
not dealing with idiots! Another issue is that in the present situation
Russia tries to show Europe and the US its own geopolitical subjectivity.
This is absolutely correct, and any our involvement in the antiterrorist
activity of the international assemblage should be arranged by a number
of strategic conditions on the part of Russia. On the whole, our straight
participation to American antiterrorism actions is extremely undesirable
and even dangerous. But even other softer forms of involvement of Russia
in the opposition to international terrorism must be undoubtedly accompanied
by a number of requests. In particular, by the demand to stop NATO expansion.
I think that Putin will discuss these problems with Robertson, though actually
it is difficult to figure how hard a position will be held by both parties.
Trans. M. Conserva