As I mentioned before, authenticity and sincerity are the keys to effective action and communication. Moreover, authenticity and sincerity translate into the basis for success, namely, good intentions and thoughtfulness. After having admired and read some of his work as a student, the lack of authenticity and sincerity on the part of Fareed Zakaria became ever more evident to me over time. Once an expert who nevertheless dabbled in plagiarism, Zakaria has descended into something akin to an attack dog and spin artist. Zakaria is one of those prototypical South Asian immigrants who were under the false impression that an Ivy League degree and a blonde wife are the keys to the “American Dream.” After his divorce, I am almost certain that his ‘American Dream’ is beginning to turn into a nightmare.
Zakaria was commenting last night on television that Vladimir Putin is not happy with the influx of military aid and weapons coming into Ukraine from the West because it makes him feel “insecure.” Perhaps a certain level of amnesia was getting in the way of Zakaria’s ability to recall our own history with a foreign power pouring in military aid and missiles that were laced with nuclear material under our nose in the 1960’s during the “Cuban Missile Crisis.” Moreover, no American would feel secure if Russia and China amassed troops and weapons along our Canadian and Mexican border.
Also, even if America arrived at a settlement with Russia as it pertained to Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe, that settlement does not necessarily translate into Russian troops invading Eastern European countries. Russia is no longer at its imperial peak as it was during the former Soviet Union. Thus, Russia will try to exercise influence over its neighbors – as does any other major power – through non-military means. Plus, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, American strategy towards Eastern Europe does not fully depend on what Russia is doing. Rather, to a large extent, American strategy towards Eastern Europe depends in large part on American capabilities being able to match American aspirations. After Afghanistan and the Middle East, the ability to match capabilities with aspirations no longer exists in the way that it did in the past.
One example to demonstrate that American capabilities may no longer match aspirations is the fact that China is somewhat ahead of the United States in what is known as the 21st century “Space Race.” China is beginning to expand its presence in space, and the United States has not been able to keep up with China in the way that it wishes to keep up with its Chinese competitors. Space is perhaps the new frontier for major power projection after the limits of global hegemony have been reached. And as the way things stand, China has a greater ability to project its power in the international system than the United States if we use space as a metric for global power projection. Instead of pandering to the establishment for personal gain, Zakaria should perhaps learn a lesson from a newcomer and provide the straightforward journalism that is sorely lacking in the American public sphere.