Everyone in this world wants to live in the times of peace, many would be ready to endure anything, but not war. Are we living in the times of peace though? Alexey Fenenko, Associate Professor of the International Security Department of the Faculty of World Politics at Moscow State University, expresses his not too traditional point of view on the subject in an interview with Pravda.Ru.
During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russia and Turkey almost found themselves on opposite sides of the barricades. Turkey is a threat, because Turkey's power has been growing, and the Turkish administration has quite an ambition in international politics. Russia is a great power, and we always talk about the threat of the clash with the United States, but there are other monsters growing around too.
In the theory of international relations, there are two types of states. The first type stands for status quo states, which, in principle, are satisfied with the existing world order. The second type goes for revisionist states that are willing to break and change the rules of the game.
When we talk about international security, we talk about the logic of the status quo type of state. A revisionist state does not consider that to be order, because this is exactly what such a states finds extremely disturbing. Prussia and Japan used to be such states for the Viennese order. In the Westphalian order, France used to be supremacist, but later, when it did not work out, it turned out to be the main revisionist.
The presence of nuclear weapons does not play any role at this point. Argentina was not afraid to start a war with the nuclear power, the UK, for the Falklands. Vietnam, a non-nuclear nation, created a casus belli for China in 1979 by overthrowing Pol Pot? Georgia, a non-nuclear state, had no fear either, when it attacked Russian peacemakers in 2008.
We lived in peace after 1945 until we saw revisionist powers. They usually appear towards the end of the world order.
Interestingly, in 2020, in the year of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Russia has a very complicated relationship with Japan. Japan publicly sets forth territorial claims to Russia, it restored large-scale armed forces and officially secured its right in 2015 to use those armed forces outside the Japanese archipelago.
Japan has limited sovereignty today, but it was limited by the Kanagawa Treaty with the United State during the Russo-Japanese war too. Yet, it did not stop Japan from attacking Port Arthur.
Germany has a more interesting story. Let's take a look at the Navalny case from a different angle: Germany feels strong enough to diplomatically attack the victorious power. Look at the rotation of the German military since 2016 in Eastern Europe and NATO. If there is a major confrontation between the United States and Russia, how will Germany and Japan behave?
What if the European Union falls apart smaller countries will all go to hide behind Germany's back. This will be a new rise of the German imperial idea. During the 1990s, our patriotic camp believed that Germany would come into conflict with the United States, and Russia would get stronger. What if everything happens vice versa?
Russia does not see Germany and Japan as enemies. However, in 1840, then ex-British Foreign Secretary Lord Henry Palmerston called Prussia a Gothic ruin. He said that Germany was a fragmented country of romantic poets and princesses. Of course, we would like to live in the times of war with Japan, Turkey, Germany. However, we are all in the times of war. They say that we live in the era of globalization, but can you name at least one year of peace in the 21st century? War is a common state of mankind, whether you like it or not.
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