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Blinken’s Right To Decline Designating Russia As A “State Sponsor Of Terrorism”
It would certainly be the “popular” thing for him to do to designate Russia as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism”, but it would carry with it enormous risk to the US’ larger interests. The immediate applause that he’d engender wouldn’t compensate for the self-inflicted damage that he’d been committing to his country, especially if India and the rest of the Global South ignore that prospective designation as expected.
Credit should always be given where it’s due, and US Secretary of State Blinken deserves praise for pragmatically pushing back against the hawks who demand that he designate Russia as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism”. This unexpected rift between a leading member of the Biden Administration and the rest of the US Government (USG) isn’t a “political fantasy” but was just reported in detail by the New York Times in their piece titled “Blinken Resists Push to Label Russia a Terrorist State”. It explained how America’s top diplomat is reluctant to cut off the extremely minimal contacts that his country still has with Russia as well as his fear that Moscow could kick out all US officials if he takes that fateful step.
Many pro-Kiev supporters are extremely angry that he hasn’t done so already, though, which they regard as absolutely unacceptable. He, however, claims that his country is already pretty much sanctioning Russia to the max as it is and that any further restrictions would essentially be redundant. Moreover, Washington needs to continue cooperating with Moscow on issues of mutual concern such as prospective prisoner swaps and the Iranian nuclear deal, among others. While it would advance America’s hegemonic interests to make it much more difficult for third countries to do business with Russia as a result of that designation, there’s also no guarantee that key players will comply.
India, for instance, has shown that it’ll never unilaterally compromise on issues of objective national interests no matter how much pressure America attempts to put it under. This has proven to be hugely embarrassing for the US, which mistakenly assumed that it could coerce that civilization-state into doing its bidding and thus turning it into its largest-ever vassal state. The entire Global South has been emboldened by India’s example and also practices a policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict by refusing to sanction Russia. This even includes African countries that France hitherto considered to be within its so-called “sphere of influence”.
With this in mind, while designating Russia as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism” for purely political reasons that have nothing to do with factual reality would be an ego boost for those people who most passionately support Kiev, it could ultimately end up being counterproductive for US grand strategic interests if a bunch of countries refuse to distance themselves from that Great Power. American authority is already weaker than at any time in history after the majority of the international community refused to jump on its anti-Russian bandwagon and sanction Moscow so the last thing that Washington needs is them openly flouting its prospective “state terrorist” designation too.
That’s what the most passionately pro-Kiev folks don’t understand either since they’re so indoctrinated with their “cause” of fighting Russia “to the last Ukrainian” that they’ve lost sight of the larger political, soft power, and strategic dynamics of the conflict. They’re laser-focused solely on military developments and literal trolling, remaining completely ignorant of anything else. Proper diplomacy, however, has to take all other factors into account in order to be effective. That’s why Blinken, who’s a bonafide professional in the Western sense no matter whether one agrees with his worldview or not, is so reluctant to proverbially “feed the trolls” at the expense of his country’s wider interests.
It would certainly be the “popular” thing for him to do to designate Russia as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism”, but it would carry with it enormous risk to the US’ larger interests. The immediate applause that he’d engender wouldn’t compensate for the self-inflicted damage that he’d been committing to his country, especially if India and the rest of the Global South ignore that prospective designation as expected. This has unexpectedly provoked a rift within the pro-Kiev camp across the West since this “cause’s” activists literally can’t countenance why the US’ top diplomat won’t do what they demand, yet Blinken’s right in declining to submit to the mob’s pressure.