To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To an empire, everything looks like a crisis to justify a multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-security complex as dictatress of the world. The crisis du jour for the American empire is Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine. The political establishment and the mainstream media assign responsibility to President Putin’s megalomaniac ambition to recreate the Soviet empire. The Committee for the Republic welcomes Ray McGovern and John Mearsheimer as a breath of fresh air. They shoulder the United States with a fair share of the blame: the never-ending expansion of NATO cheek by jowl to Russian borders provoked the invasion. Russia fears nuclear weapons on its borders as more menacing than the Cuban Missile Crisis was to the United States. Ray and John offer some thoughts regarding how to bury the hatchet and move forward.
John Mearsheimer returns for the third time as a salon speaker. We hosted John for his trenchant analysis of the abject failure our quest for global dominance and for his courageous book with Steve Walt on the liability of American support for Israel. John is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point (1970), has a PhD in political science from Cornell University (1981), and has written extensively about security issues and international politics. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2020, he won the James Madison Award, given by the American Political Science Association to “an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science.” His principal work on Ukraine is “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin,” appearing in September-October Foreign Affairs 2014. The video of his talk has been viewed more than 14 million times.
Ray McGovern is a long-time Russian specialist. After serving as an Army combat intelligence officer in the early 60s, Ray joined the CIA’s analyst ranks. His first portfolio focused on the Sino-Soviet conflict, which was deftly exploited by Nixon/Kissinger (with more than just interpreter assistance from our own Chas Freeman). As chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch, Ray’s analytical team supported the SALT negotiations and he was in Moscow for the signing of the ABM Treaty, cornerstone of strategic stability for the next three decades. Ray correctly predicted Brezhnev’s invasion of Czechoslovakia but incorrectly predicted Putin would not invade Ukraine. Ray thinks the new Russia-China entente helps explain Putin’s gamble. See Ray’s website RayMcGovern.com and posts on Antiwar.com.