Foundations of Geopolitics
|Original title||Основы геополитики (геополитическое будущее России) / Osnovy geopolitiki: geopoliticheskoe budushchee Rossii|
The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia is a geopolitical book by Aleksandr Dugin. It has had some influence within the Russian military, police and foreign policy elites and has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military. Its publication in 1997 was well received in Russia. Powerful Russian political figures subsequently took an interest in Dugin, a Russian eurasianist, fascist, and nationalist who has developed a close relationship with Russia's Academy of the General Staff.
Dugin credits General Nikolai Klokotov of the Academy of the General Staff as co-author and his main inspiration, though Klokotov denies this. Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, head of the International Department of the Russian Ministry of Defence, helped draft the book.
Klokotov stated that in the future the book would "serve as a mighty ideological foundation for preparing a new military command". Dugin has asserted that the book has been adopted as a textbook in many Russian educational institutions. Former speaker of the Russian State Duma, Gennadiy Seleznyov, for whom Dugin was adviser on geopolitics, has "urged that Dugin's geopolitical doctrine be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum".
The book declares that "the battle for the world rule of Russians" has not ended and Russia remains "the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution". The Eurasian Empire will be constructed "on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us."
Military operations play relatively little role. The textbook advocates a sophisticated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded by the Russian special services. The operations should be assisted by a tough, hard-headed utilization of Russia's gas, oil, and natural resources to bully and pressure other countries.
- Germany should be offered the de facto political dominance over most Protestant and Catholic states located within Central and Eastern Europe. Kaliningrad Oblast could be given back to Germany. The book uses the term "Moscow–Berlin axis".
- France should be encouraged to form a bloc with Germany, as they both have a "firm anti-Atlanticist tradition".
- The United Kingdom, merely described as an "extraterritorial floating base of the U.S.", should be cut off from Europe.
- Finland should be absorbed into Russia. Southern Finland will be combined with the Republic of Karelia and northern Finland will be "donated to Murmansk Oblast".
- Estonia should be given to Germany's sphere of influence.
- Latvia and Lithuania should be given a "special status" in the Eurasian–Russian sphere.
- Poland should be granted a "special status" in the Eurasian sphere.
- Romania, North Macedonia, Serbia, "Serbian Bosnia" and Greece – "Orthodox collectivist East" – will unite with "Moscow the Third Rome" and reject the "rational-individualistic West".
- Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible.
In the Middle East and Central Asia:
- The book stresses the "continental Russian–Islamic alliance" which lies "at the foundation of anti-Atlanticist strategy". The alliance is based on the "traditional character of Russian and Islamic civilization".
- Iran is a key ally. The book uses the term "Moscow–Tehran axis".
- Armenia has a special role: It will serve as a "strategic base," and it is necessary to create "the [subsidiary] axis Moscow-Yerevan-Teheran". Armenians "are an Aryan people ... [like] the Iranians and the Kurds".
- Azerbaijan could be "split up" or given to Iran.
- Georgia should be dismembered. Abkhazia and "United Ossetia" (which includes Georgia's South Ossetia) will be incorporated into Russia. Georgia's independent policies are unacceptable.
- Russia needs to create "geopolitical shocks" within Turkey. These can be achieved by employing Kurds, Armenians and other minorities.
- The book regards the Caucasus as a Russian territory, including "the eastern and northern shores of the Caspian (the territories of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan)" and Central Asia (mentioning Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan).
In East and Southeast Asia:
- China, which represents a danger to Russia, "must, to the maximum degree possible, be dismantled". Dugin suggests that Russia start by taking Tibet–Xinjiang–Inner Mongolia–Manchuria as a security belt. Russia should offer China help "in a southern direction – Indochina (except Vietnam), the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia" as geopolitical compensation.
- Russia should manipulate Japanese politics by offering the Kuril Islands to Japan and provoking anti-Americanism.
- Mongolia should be absorbed into Eurasia-Russia.
The book emphasizes that Russia must spread anti-Americanism everywhere: "the main 'scapegoat' will be precisely the U.S."
In the United States:
- Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke "Afro-American racists". Russia should "introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics".
The Eurasian Project could be expanded to South and Central America.
Reception and impact
Hoover Institution senior fellow John B. Dunlop stated that "the impact of this intended 'Eurasianist' textbook on key Russian elites testifies to the worrisome rise of neo-fascist ideas and sentiments during the late Yeltsin and the Putin period".
Historian Timothy Snyder wrote in The New York Review of Books that Foundations of Geopolitics is influenced by the work of Carl Schmitt, a proponent of a conservative international order whose work influenced the Nazis. He also noted Dugin's key role in forwarding the ideologies of Eurasianism and National Bolshevism.
The book was described by Foreign Policy as "one of the most curious, impressive, and terrifying books to come out of Russia during the entire post-Soviet era", and "more sober than Dugin’s previous books, better argued, and shorn of occult references, numerology, traditionalism and other eccentric metaphysics".
- Dunlop, John B. (July 30, 2004). "Russia's New—and Frightening—"Ism"". Hoover Institution. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
- "The Unlikely Origins of Russia's Manifest Destiny". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
- Liverant, Yigal (Winter 2009). "The Prophet of the New Russian Empire". Azure. Jerusalem: Shalem Center (35). ISSN 0793-6664. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
- "Classification of Dugin as a fascist is justified, regardless of the fact that today the MGU professor frequently speaks not as a primitive ethnocentrist or biological racist. (...) By «fascist» we understand the «generic» meaning of the concept, used in comparatory research of contemporary right-wing extremism by such well-known historians-comparativists as Alexandr Galkin (Moscow), Walter Laqueur (Washington), Stanley Payne (Madison), Wolfgang Wippermann (Berlin) or Roger Griffin (Oxford)", Андреас Умланд (22 June 2012). ""Евразийские" проекты Путина и Дугина – сходства и различия" [Putin and Dugin's "Eurasian" projects − similarities and differences]. Geopolitika (Lithuania). Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- Koposov, Nikolay (October 13, 2017). Memory Laws, Memory Wars. Cambridge University Press. p. 211. ISBN 9781108419727.
- Lavelle, Peter (2003). Uncovering Russia (excerpt: A civil society without civility). Norasco Publishing Ltd. pp. 379–380. ISBN 0972970800.
- Firth, Charles (March 4, 2017). "1990s Manifesto outlining Russia's plans is starting to come true". news.com.au. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
- Mankoff, Jeffrey (October 17, 2011). Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 69–70. ISBN 9781442208261.
- Dunlop, John (January 31, 2004). "Aleksandr Dugin's Foundations of Geopolitics" (PDF). Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization. Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (George Washington University). 12 (1): 41. ISSN 1074-6846. OCLC 222569720. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2016.
- Toal, Gerard (2017). Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest Over Ukraine and the Caucasus. Oxford University Press. p. 78. ISBN 9780190253301.
- Snyder, Timothy (20 March 2014). "Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine". The New York Review of Books. Archived from the original on 2016-01-27. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- "This is what Russian heavyweights wanted in the '90s". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2017-10-23.