Friday, May 16, 2014

Ukraine And Its Position on Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post
May 15, 2014

Throughout the conflict currently taking place inside Ukraine, it is often a frustrating ordeal to attempt to explain the hidden mechanisms at work in the battle for the strategically vital European nation.

Indeed, to convey the fact that the initial Euromaidan protests were instigated by the United States and Anglo-European powers in order to gain a strategic advantage over and antagonize Russia is difficult enough.

To further explain that Russia, who has geopolitical and imperial aspirations of its own, is acting defensively in its response to the destabilization efforts while, at the same time, attempting to extend its own level of control over Ukraine, is an equally difficult task.

However, assuming that the complex nature of the Ukrainian situation can be accurately conveyed, one question that almost always arises is “Why?” “Why is Ukraine so important?”

In order to answer this question it might serve us well to consult the work of powerful insider Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives.

It should be remembered that it was in this very book that Brzezinski uttered the famous statement that “America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being.”[2]

The book, written in 1997, seemed to lament the fact that the public would not support such blatant imperialism unless they truly viewed the crusade to be in their own immediate self-interest. Only fours year later, the public would receive such a “sudden threat or challenge” to their “sense of domestic well-being” in the form of the 9/11 attacks.

However, the Grand Chessboard discusses so much more than the lack of desire to wage war by the general public absent a perceived external threat. The book discusses in detail the various major players in the geopolitical game and the methods they may use to achieve their goals of hegemony.

In this book, Brzezinski explains briefly the role that Ukraine plays in the geopolitical back-and-forth between the United States and Russia as well as the delineations these three countries fall under when attempting to analyze the geostrategic imperatives of the two major powers.

For instance, in the section entitled “Geopolitical Players and Geostrategic Pivots,” Brzezinski defines the major geopolitical players in the geopolitical game as well as those nations that are too weak to act as anything other than pawns or, at best, crafty tightrope walkers balancing and encouraging conflict or cooperation between those nations that seek to dominate them.

Brzezinski defines these roles by stating,
Active geostrategic players are the states that have the capacity and the national will to exercise power or influence beyond their borders in order to alter – to a degree that affects America’s interests – the existing geopolitical state of affairs. They have the potential and/or the predisposition to be geopolitically volatile. For whatever reason – the quest for national grandeur, ideological fulfillment, religious messianism, or economic aggrandizement – some states do seek to attain regional domination or global standing ... They thus take careful stock of America’s power, determine the extent to which their interests overlap or collide with America, and shape their own more limited Eurasian objectives, sometimes in collusion but sometimes in conflict with America’s policies. To the Eurasian states so driven, the United States must pay special attention.[1]
As for the geopolitical pivots, Brzezinski describes them by writing,
Geopolitical pivots are the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geostrategic players. Most often, geopolitical pivots are determined by their geography, which in some cases gives them a special role either in defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player. In some cases, a geopolitical pivot may act as a defensive shield for a vital state or even a region. Sometimes, the very existence of a geopolitical pivot can be said to have very significant political and cultural consequences for a more active neighboring geostrategic player. The identification of the post-Cold War key Eurasian geopolitical pivots, and protecting them, is thus also a crucial aspect of America’s global geostrategy.[2]
Brzezinski also notes that “although all geostrategic players tend to be important and powerful countries, not all important and powerful countries are automatically geostrategic players.”

Still, he breaks the world down into five countries that he considers geostrategic players and five which he considers to be geopolitical pivots. Since Brzezinski is writing his book from the point of view of an American imperialist, it should be accepted that the United States is also considered to be a major geostrategic player, thus bringing the count in that category to six.

With that in mind, Brzezinski’s major geostrategic players include the United States, Russia, China, India, Germany, and France. Interestingly enough, while significant enough to bear honorable mention, Great Britain, Japan, and Indonesia do not qualify as major geostrategic players.

The five major geopolitical pivots are then listed in the form of Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey, Iran, and Ukraine.

Although Brzezinski spends time discussing each of these nations individually, it is his statements regarding Ukraine that concern us here. Brzezinski writes,
Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasion chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the South.[3]
Clearly, although a major geopolitical pivot for any nation attempting to assert its imperial will, Ukraine stands as a much more important player for Russia than it does for the United States. As Brzezinski writes, “Without Ukraine, as already noted, an imperial restoration [for Russia] based either on the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] or on Eurasianism was not a viable option. An empire without Ukraine would eventually mean a Russia that would become more “Asianized” and more remote from Europe.”[4]

Later, Brzezinski also points out the necessity of the Ukrainian connection to Europe for Russia’s own European connections. He states, “The key point to bear in mind is that Russia cannot be in Europe without Ukraine also being in Europe, whereas Ukraine can be in Europe without Russia being in Europe.”

Brzezinski pretends that Russia’s self- interest involves greater integration with Europe. Indeed, Brzezinski clearly suggests that a model Europe would involve a united land mass that stretches from the UK to the Ural mountains. He states that “It is to be hoped that a cooperative relationship between an enlarging Europe and Russia can move from formal bilateral links to more organic and binding economic, political, and security ties ... An association or even some form of membership for Russia in the European and transatlantic structures would in turn open the doors to the inclusion of the three Caucasian countries – Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan – that so desperately aspire to a European connection.”[5]

Of course, the national interests of Russia would most certainly not lie with the integration of itself with Europe. Indeed, this has been against the national self-interest of every nation that has joined the E.U. to begin with as they all have inevitably sacrificed their national sovereignty, economies, and personal freedoms for the benefit of a massive European Soviet that now issues dictates down to the lowest levels.

In addition, it should be pointed out that the E.U. was by no means an organic operation. Despite the protest of the vast majority of Europeans, the E.U. was forced down the throats of the population despite repeated popular votes against the union. Indeed, the E.U. was entirely a creation of the political elite as far back as 1954 in the first of what is now termed the infamous Bilderberg meeting.

Still, it is important to point out that, despite Brzezinski’s visions for Europe and Russia, the importance of Ukraine in that dynamic cannot be understated. As Brzezinski writes,
Indeed, the Ukraine’s relationship to Europe could be the turning point for Russia itself. But that also means that the defining moment for Russia’s relationship to Europe is still some time off – ‘defining’ in the sense that Ukraine’s choice in favor of Europe will bring to a head Russia’s decision regarding the next phase of its history: either to be a part of Europe as well or to become a Eurasian outcast, neither truly of Europe nor Asia and mired in its ‘near abroad’ conflicts.[6]
Notice that, in this statement, the choices provided to Russia by Brzezinski’s philosophy are between total fealty to the European Soviet and total irrelevance. No self-respecting nation would choose either of these two options for its future and this is a fact that Brzezinski is undoubtedly aware of. Thus, it is clear that the Russians are being faced with the non-choice that is the Brzezinski doctrine, a philosophy that, when put into practice, makes conflict virtually inevitable.

With these statements in mind, it is clear that Ukraine not only stands as an important geopolitical pivot, but also as a potential tinderbox between two nuclear powers. It also becomes clear from the writings of Brzezinski, the statements of his Neo-Con counterparts, and the actions of the Anglo-Europeans, that a conflict between the United States and Russia is not feared, it is desired.


[1] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. Pp. 40-41
[2] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. Pp. 40-41
[3]Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P. 46
[4] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P. 113
[5] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P. 122
[6] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P.122

Recently by Brandon Turbeville:
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at)

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