Splitting the opposition.
When the Neo-cons were pushing to invade Iraq in 2004, France, Germany, and Russia were three great powers that opposed the war and refused to join the Bush administration’s “Coalition of the Willing.” The Neo-cons came up with a strategy for dealing with this opposition and it was summed up with the phrase: “Ignore Russia, Forgive Germany, Punish France.” This strategy was based on the specific relationships that the United States had with each power.
Russia was to be ignored. While the United States and Russia were nominally allies, Russia was not a member of NATO and the reality was Russia and the USA were opponents, enemies barely under the surface. The United States and Russia were to be at loggerheads anyway, and while Russia could create trouble for the United States, they were very limited in what they could do. Forgiving them wouldn’t gain their cooperation, but neither would…
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