Home / OPINION / Analysis / The Brzezinski Doctrine And NATO’s Response To Russia’s Assault On Ukraine

The Brzezinski Doctrine And NATO’s Response To Russia’s Assault On Ukraine

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The American-Polish scholar Zbigniew Brzezinski has proven to be one of the most insightful of the geostrategists, old-guard Kremlinologists, and futurologists of the 20th and 21st centuries. He contributed to “formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, that aimed at dismantling the Soviet bloc” and liberating Central and Eastern Europe from the Russian/Soviet sphere of influence (Bacevich 2018). He pressed for toughness with the Soviets throughout the Carter administration and was very skeptical about the possibility of long-lasting peace in Eastern Europe. Throughout more than seventy years of his professional career, Brzezinski mastered the art of observing, deducing, and uncovering several very important patterns in global politics. He was convinced that “the United States is destined to preserve its status as the first and the last truly global superpower”, but he warned that this outcome cannot be taken for granted (Brzezinski 1997 & Brzezinski 2013).

His critics accused him of being a hardliner who never stopped portraying global reality as a bipolar competition between two superpowers, but Brzezinski respectfully disagreed and was quite persistent in warning the US political establishment against the Fukuyama’s triumphalist claim that the end of history was fast approaching after the collapse of the Soviet Union. To the outrage of liberal IR theorists and many Washington insiders who were in a celebratory mood well after 1991, Brzezinski saw the weakness of the Yeltsin administration not as an indicator that Russia would be permanently satisfied with a new role as geopolitical outsider committed to the voluntary constraint of its military during the collapse of its economy and the complete and utter evaporation of its national pride. To him, Russia was not a giant on rusted legs but a force to be reckoned with as Moscow was just experiencing a temporary setback in the late 1990s that it would overcome within a few decades.