Director of the Noravank scientific and educational foundation Gagik Harutyunyan in an interview with ArmInfo discusses the latest global and geopolitical processes and trends. He shares his opinion on the success of the initiatives of the largest actors in global politics, the causes and possible consequences of the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Share your opinion about the features of the global confrontation that is going on today, which is often called the Cold War. The absence of the USSR is the only major difference, or has the entire global system of political coordinates changed radically?
The feature of the current Cold War is the multi centricity. Today there is no struggle between the two poles, as it was before. And in a new Cold War, a lot of actors are involved, and not only in the rank of superpowers and even countries. It is a question of a host of non-governmental organizations, corporations, transnational companies. All this we clearly see today in the United States, where the so-called. "Deep state" is fighting with President Trump. In this light, US foreign policy is often subject to significant adjustments precisely because of such a struggle. Recently we observed the scandal surrounding the journalist investigation of "Azerbaijan laundry", in this connection I will remind you that the European bureaucracy is considered in Europe a separate political force, respecting in all its corporate interests. These interests often differ from the interests of the EU, its allies. Another important point is the growing importance of information actions, often carried out not by states, but by private structures. Karl von Clausewitz characterized war as a continuation of politics by other means. Today, politics is the continuation of information campaigns in other ways. An example is the influence of Russian hackers on the outcome of the elections in the US, although it is certainly ridiculous to talk about it, given the fact that the US itself influences the outcome of the elections around the world.
How are all these events concerned to Armenia?
Perfectly direct. We see that in the confrontation in the Middle East, thanks to the actions of Syrian government troops, Russian, Iranian military, there is already a light at the end of the tunnel. And it looks very much like that with IGIL will be finished already in the near future. However, the Iraqi Kurdistan is already being created - a new hotbed of tension is no longer at the level of some organizations, but of the national state. And the tension and possible consequences of this initiative can go far beyond Iraq to the South Caucasus.
Do you consider the referendum held by the initiative of Masud Barzani and his entourage or the geopolitics is still a dominant here?
With all my due respect to the Kurdish people, it should be noted with regret that this people has traditionally served as a weapon in the hands of the so-called " large states. At the moment, such states are Israel and the United States. It is very likely that Baghdad treats the Iraqi Kurds with great respect, as evidenced by the high degree of autonomy of Kurdish education. And today, against the backdrop of the availability of fairly good financial resources, the Kurds should increase their intellectual resources in order to grow to real independence. I think that in this case we still need to distinguish between true independence and the attributes of independence. Unfortunately, the general tension at the global level in case of continuation of chaotic developments in the Middle East, in this case in Kurdistan, may well come to the South Caucasus. In this light, the only thing that remains for us to Armenia is to closely monitor the situation in order to develop the right action plan, in case all this instability reaches our borders.
The government in Baghdad reacted to the referendum in Erbil extremely negatively. Do you see, in this light, the prerequisites for covering the region with a new wave of instability?
To give an unambiguous forecast in this case is quite difficult, considering that events develop in the eastern spirit, with a sufficiently high degree of emotionality. At the same time, the changes in the tonality of Barzani's statements in the period after the referendum are clearly visible. He speaks of independence is far from being so decisive as before. I hope that politicians in Baghdad and Erbil, especially after Israel's statements about the readiness to buy up all the Kirkuk oil, will have enough intelligence to realize that the war does not come from their interests today.
Virtually all countries opposed the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan. All except Israel ...
Israeli policy deserves great respect, considering that it is being implemented exclusively in the national interests of the Israeli people. Today these interests require the maximum dismemberment of the Arab world. And we see that everything that happened and happens: "Arab spring", the Arab genocide, terrible chaos in the Middle East - is based on the national interests of Israel. I note that the Israeli special services began to engage in genealogical research of the Kurdish people a few decades ago. Among the Kurdish tribes there is a segment that relates its roots to the Israelis, many of them, by the way, emigrated to Israel at the time. And as a result of the work of the Israeli secret services, it was unexpectedly found out that the whole of the Kurdish top has purely Israeli roots, and the Kurds are Jews as a brotherly people. Accordingly, Israel has every right to support this fraternal people, which is the undoubted outcome of the correct work in the right direction. That is why a small Israel manages to maintain the primacy in the environment of unfriendly, disunited and, as a rule, weak Arab states. That is why the regional superpower Iran with its nuclear and space programs is a lump in the throat of the Israelis. It is Iran today - the main threat to Israel and the obvious way. Jerusalem is trying with the help of the Kurds to shake the positions of both Iran and Turkey.
Israel's interest in Kurds is clear, are there any others?
It is too naive to assume that behind Kurdish separatism there is only Israel. The Kurdish militia is armed with American weapons. And Kurdistan seems a promising geopolitical project not only for the US, but for many other countries. The area of managed chaos is declining, and new projects with the exception of Kurdistan are not yet visible. However, so far such a policy of real dividends to the Kurdish people has not brought.
A somewhat naive question. Why and who needs constant destabilization in the Middle East?
The question is complex and multicomponent. At one time in the US appeared so-called. Institute of Systemic Complexities, in which a very representative team of scientists was assembled, among which there were several Nobel laureates, for example, the largest modern physicist Gelman, people from special services, the State Department, for example, Zbigniew Brzezinski. They faced the task of translating the theory of the Nobel Prigogine about the order and chaos in the physical environment to geopolitics. At first, this, of course, caused laughter, but then Brzezinski with the help of physicists still managed to develop a geopolitical theory of controlled chaos. Chaos was needed by the US to destabilize the situation around the main geopolitical actors, the rivals of the US - Russia, China and Iran. The Americans hoped that Islamic radicalism would very quickly spread to Iran, China and, of course, Russia. In part, of course, they succeeded. Terrorist groups have repeatedly committed terrorist attacks in the Russian North Caucasus. Terror acts were committed in the territories of China inhabited by Uighurs, there was an attempted terrorist act even in the Iranian parliament. Nevertheless, the Americans were wrong, because the attempt to translate physical laws into unpredictable, irrational human material was a failure. As a result, Russia, Iran and China remembered their great past and geopolitical influence in many ways precisely because of the processes initiated by the United States. And the fact that today the geopolitical influence of these countries is growing is a fact.
The Zbigniew Brzezinski you mentioned published a map with zones of potential destabilization in the Middle East 20 years ago. Today we see that in its forecasts it was practically accurate. In other words, it turns out that the Americans managed to correctly calculate and implement the theory of controlled chaos, but could not calculate its possible consequences?
I think that it is really like that. The publication of maps with configurations is, of course, a traditional matter, and Brzezinski in many respects was really perspicacious. However, it is obvious that with the same Egypt, in which the United States placed its protege, they did not succeed. In Syria, everything goes to the final victory of the Assad regime, at least over IGIL. As a result, the US is losing its leadership, and China is stepping on its heels. According to our estimates, China will overtake the US in spending on science and new technology in 4-5 years. Therefore, the emergence of new geopolitical boundaries and state borders does not yet mean reaching all the ideas of the authors of this process. In the 21st century, one country can not be good, when it is very bad for another. And in today's multi-centered world, registering local successes without taking into account the interests of other centers of influence is extremely difficult.