By Ray McGovern, May 26, 2021
The “Critical Hour” asked me to elaborate on my gloomy prediction for the June U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva — so far, it has been the most bizarre, acerbic pre-summit period of any I have watched in the past five decades. The “Is the Biden-Putin Summit Doomed?” article published earlier Wednesday was the jumping off point ( See: https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2021/05/25/is-the-biden-putin-summit-doomed/. )
In addition to my pointing out the important role likely to be played by the increasingly close relationship between Russia and China, I must mention more mundane modalities having to do with Biden’s first venture abroad as president. As the Western press seems to relish reporting, Biden’s visit with Putin “is being tacked onto the end” of his travels … a kind of afterthought — as in, Oh, and let’s not forget to hit Geneva before we turn around and go home.”
As if to add insult to afterthought, Biden is attending the Group of Seven summit (June 11-13) in Britain, and then the NATO summit in Brussels (June 14) before going to Geneva to meet Putin on the 16th.
The G-7 was the G-8 before Russia was unceremoniously kicked out in March 2014. NATO, of course, is a military alliance created to stop the Soviet Union from invading Western Europe. As most people outside NATO headquarters know, the Soviet Union fell apart 30 years ago. The NATO bureaucracy, though, pretends to believe still that the Russians are coming anyway. That belief is good, of course, for the bureaucracy and excellent for the MICIMATT, which needs as many enemies as it can find or contrive.
As for what Biden’s motivation might be in proposing a summit (that is, beyond telling the Russians how to behave), one theory Ray passed along is that the Pentagon is genuinely worried at the progress the Russians have made with hypersonic and other highly advanced weapons, and consequently Biden may suggest renewing strategic arms control talks as a way to apply brakes on what has become growing Russian superiority in some areas.
I recounted the various illusory hopes — like Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” ABM system — that an airtight missile defense system could one day be produced and deployed. Billions have been thrown toward that illusory goal and billions more are likely to follow. This, despite the reality that Russia’s latest weapons make ABMs absolutely obsolete, so to speak. Putin has actually made that claim, and the Pentagon presumably knows he is not bluffing.