US Policy & Chechnya

It is highly likely that the March 29th terrorist strikes in Moscow were carried out by Chechen female suicide bombers, also known as “black widows.” After six years, Chechen jihadist cells have pulled off another successful attack against innocent Russians only minutes from the Kremlin.

The official U.S. response to the bombings has been to condemn the violence and “stand with” Russia, though support in these matters rarely extends beyond statements for the press. Beyond public diplomacy, what policy line does Washington actually pursue in relation to the Caucasus? U.S.-Russian cooperation against terrorism is short-circuited by different targets and interests. Given decades of the Cold War and more recent history, both the US and Russians are quite guarded in sharing intelligence with one another. It’s been reported by sources like Stratfor that Moscow provided the US with valuable intelligence and connections in Afghanistan after the September 11th attacks. In return, the Russians have NATO on their Baltic frontier (Washington hoped to bring Ukraine and Georgia in as well, but these efforts have proven a failure) as of 2004 and a seemingly permanent American presence in Central Asia.

So the position from the White House against that amorphous, ubiquitous phenomenon of “violent extremism” is expected, but it doesn’t tell much about the US geopolitical agenda for Eurasia. It is therefore sensible to examine where major figures from the U.S. foreign policy community stand on the issue of Russia and the north Caucasus.

One organization in particular gives us strong hints at U.S. policy elites’ plans for creating an American-controlled energy corridor from the Caspian Sea Basin to the Balkans and into Europe. The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya was formed in 1999, and now functions under the aegis of Freedom House as the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus.

The ACPC has been a primary vehicle for advancing U.S. aims within the Russian-controlled north Caucasus region under the usual Comintern-style framework of promoting “democracy, development and human rights.” In accordance with successive U.S. administrations, the NGO has pushed vocally for a “political solution” to regional separatism, which effectively translates to new sovereign states in the Caucasus along the lines of Kosovo.

Even the group’s identification as a “committee for peace” approaches Soviet-scale irony, since its lineup is composed of Washington insiders who advocate war to impose the Pax Americana. The ACPC Chairman is Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to Carter and an Obama campaign foreign policy guru. He is also the US geostrategist who has quite openly written of dismembering Russia in order to dominate Eurasia, as well as ensuring that the US should be the superpower to pave the way to global governance.

Within the ACPC’s founding ranks are other liberal internationalists and Republican national security types. Otherwise, the membership list is a veritable who’s who of neoconservatives, from Richard Perle and Michael Ledeen to Norman Podhoretz and Bill Kristol. There’s also George Weigel, the theologian of democratic capitalism, readily available to bend Catholic teaching to the will of the powerful. From the very beginning, the project was sure to attract the most committed partisans of Empire.

The common thread between these men is their sponsorship of US policies to bring Eurasia and its energy resources under US control. Specific applications of this program include:

  • The use of Muslim jihadists for US interests, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the Balkan wars and even current unrest in Iran.
  • The intensive promotion of the “open society”- secularism, multiculturalism, liberal democracy, and “free markets” through media and political operations, as well as covert action- think color revolutions- and direct military intervention.
  • Hostility, implicit or open, to traditional Christianity, and especially to nations representing Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Serbia and Russia).
  • Sponsorship of Islamic power in Europe. This is accomplished through the creation of new sovereignties (Bosnia and Kosovo), continued mass Muslim immigration to the continent, and support for Turkey’s EU candidacy and rise as a regional hegemon.
  • Deployment of US/NATO forces on the Russian periphery as part of a “containment” strategy that could exploit potential ethnic and religious unrest in regions such as the north Caucasus.
  • Advancing pipeline projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Nabucco to bring energy from the Caspian Sea to Europe solely by way of American allies or client states.

Washington may publicly deplore the “violent extremism” that reared its head in Moscow this week. But U.S. anti-terrorist rhetoric doesn’t line up with its policies and semi-official projects. By taking a hard look at the initiatives backed by the foreign policy establishment, it’s clear that an Islamic emirate in the Caucasus would align with the designs of U.S. strategic planners.