"Why Is There A Biden-Putin Summit And What Is It Supposed To Achieve?"
by b
Moon of Alabama (June 12, 2021)

On June 16 the Presidents of Russia and the United States will hold talks:

The real reason for not holding a joint press conference is of course that a senile Biden is likely to brabble some nonsense and ruin the summit spin his minders want to put out there.

The U.S. initiated the summit which comes early in Biden's presidency. The not yet answered question is why, and what the U.S. wants to achieve with it?

The short answer, discussed in length below, is that:

Both of these strategic aims are unlikely to get achieved because the U.S. foreign policy community is still misjudging the global situation as well as Russia's strength and position [emphasis added]. It wants the summit to fail.

Now the long version.

In an essay published on his email list Prof. Michael Brenner, a regular reader of Moon of Alabama, gives his answer to our questions:

The call up of a five divisions strong battle ready force within 10 days, which NATO is unable to match in size and speed, had the desired effects:

It indeed is. The last 30 years have shown that Russia can absolutely not trust Washington whatever it might promise. Its partnership with China though is solid.

A quote in a recent New York Times piece seems to confirm Brenner's take:

Russia analyst Gilbert Doctorow has a slightly different take:

Russia's new weapons are something that Washington can only dream of. Announced in 2018 the new systems are now being introduced in frontline units. U.S. weapon development is at least 10 years behind Russia's. Nuclear parity has been restored (vid).

Some of Russia's new system do not fall under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. If the U.S. does not manage to achieve a new agreement with Russia that limits its new weapon systems, Russia could soon achieve first strike capability. This would be an existential threat to the U.S. The Pentagon is surely not happy about the situation.

That Biden needs to get a new strategic arms agreement as fast as possible may indeed be the reason why the summit is happening so early.

Unfortunately a success, says Doctorow, is far from guaranteed:

An example of the foreign policy community Doctorow describes is the former U.S. ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker who wants the summit to fail:

The Canadian professor Paul Robinson takes aim at such lunacy but concludes:

As long as they help to prevent war I am happy about each and every summit between superpowers. But I do not expect any great results from this one. U.S. policies do not turn on a dime and the borg is currently far from accepting compromises to which Russia can agree [emphasis added].

Posted by b on June 12, 2021 at 17:03 UTC