Back in the late 60s and early 70s — when the Cold War was really hot and very threatening — Nixon was faced with two giant communist countries forming a very intimidating ideological alliance against the United States. He did a very smart and diplomatic but unexpected thing by broaching a thaw with communist China, and actually went to China to cement the new relationship. The obvious benefit was that communist China would be less of an ally to the then Soviet Union and more neutral in its dealings with the United States.
We face the same potential alliance between Russia and China today that Nixon faced, even though Russia is no longer communist and so the two countries are not all that ideologically compatible. But with the relentless bad mouthing that the American press has voiced toward Russia, as well as the State Department’s endless negative tactics toward Putin’s Russia, we have done the reverse of what Nixon did, and actually driven Russia into the welcoming arms of China — the two countries have actually participated in joint strategic games, and it goes without saying who their enemy is. Our rigidly hostile attitude toward Russia is responsible for all of this.
What I think the United States should do is take a page out of Nixon’s playbook, and try to splinter this alliance or at a minimum neutralize one of the two countries. But instead of China — still a communist country, one with a very domineering economy, and, in my mind, the greater long-term threat to the United States — we should rather approach Russia with a new and welcoming relationship.
The truth is that the United States and Russia have very few areas in the world where we are in direct conflict with one another — perhaps in the Arctic region, but that’s about it. And Russia is a Christian country with the same issue of Islamic terrorism that we face. It is also an underdeveloped country, but a huge one with tremendous natural resources yet to be fully exploited.
Russia is also a country loaded with nuclear missiles aimed at the United States. Is it really in our interest to keep poking the Russians in the eye when this nuclear threat hangs over our heads? I think not. A more cordial relationship with Russia would go a long way toward safeguarding our nation against annihilation. Improved relations with Russia could push back the Doomsday Clock a good half hour, if not even more.
That American media is always playing the Russia bogeyman card is no reason why we shouldn’t be doing a smart diplomatic play if it would clearly be in our national interest. Nixon did it; why can’t we?