Putin’s Speech: Plain English Explanation
If Sir Halford John Mackinder, --the founder of "geo-politics" (1861-1947) -- were alive today, Sir Halford would be reading President Vladimir Putin’s October 21, 2021, speech to a small audience of Russian academics with great interest.
While looking at the world’s current imbalance of power, Sir Halford would not be overly concerned about what Vladimir Putin has done to rise from a middle-grade KGB officer to reach the pinnacle of power in Russia and hold onto it for 22 years. Anyone who can rule a land spanning 11 time zones and one-ninth of the world’s landmass, would have to master the cut, thrust, and parry of Russian politics, albeit leaving some suspicious graves along the road.
Based on Sir Halford’s teachings about the role played by geography in "balance of power" international relations, Sir Halford would probably conclude that this is what President Putin is thinking:
I have nothing to fear from NATO or any of the western nations, including the United States. As long as I do not attack them, they will not attack Russia. That is good because to my west Russia has no mountain ranges, no physical carriers to an attack from the west.
Even though my country is now a semi-presidential federation that allows oligarchs to practice free-market capitalism,*I know many people in the United States regard Russia as a "communist" enemy. My people remember how my predecessors lost the Cold War and some feel bitterness toward the United States. I need to bring about a rapprochement between our two peoples. Out of Cold War habit, my people still regard the United States as the "main enemy." But if we say "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," then the United States is Russia’s friend.
My security threat lies out in the eastern reaches of Russia, in Siberia. Because of former chairman Mao’s only one child per family policy, the Chicoms have a shortage of child-bearing women and an excess of testosterone-filled males. Always a formula for aggression.
The Chicoms also have a shortage of oil and gas. The Chicoms can obtain young, child-bearing women and oil and gas in Russian Siberia. But in our post-Cold War reduced military status, I do not have enough troops to counter a Chicom invasion of Siberia.
In accord with Sir Halford John MacKinder’s teachings about the balance of power, I need the United States to be much stronger out in the western Pacific, to be stronger in the Spritely Islands, stronger in the Strait of Taiwan and stronger in the Strait of Malacca.
But ever since Obama and now the Biden Regency**, the American armed forces have been preoccupied with "climate change, diversity, inclusion, and wokeness training." Their service academies are infested with it. Their surface ships run into each other. Their subs run aground underwater. Their tanks lose mock warfare battles in the American desert. Their Air Force is losing its close air support capability. They are purging their independent thinkers over scientifically-unwarranted vaccine mandates.
I need the Biden Regency** Apparatchiks out of office and a return to a robust, Trump-like military. I think I’ll make a speech about that.
We interpret. You decide.
*CIA World Fact Book.
**Regency: When someone governs in place of another.
©2021. William Hamilton.