One American Expert’s View: “We Are on the Road to Relaxation”

Ray McGovern, who served for 27 years as a CIA analyst on Russia, was a co-founder in 2003 of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). At a webinar of the The LaRouche Organization held on Jan. 15, he gave his assessment of the state of U.S.-Russia and NATO-Russia relations following the recent spate of talks – an assessment which one will not find in the mainstream media serving the interests of the infamous military-financial complex (see

After the U.S.-Russia talks in Geneva, McGovern said he is persuaded that “we’re on the road to a relaxation of tension”, that Vladimir Putin “got a major concession from Mr. Biden”, but told his people to play that down, and that “talks will continue”. Up to now, the main result of those talks is “a big commitment”: that of “reinventing the Intermediate Forces Treaty”, which the U.S. unilaterally pulled out of in 2018. A new Treaty would guarantee that while the letter of Russian demands (no expansion of NATO) may be rejected, the substance (no threat to Russia’s security) would be accepted by placing limits on offensive strike missiles in Eastern Europe.

McGovern then reconstructed the process that led to the apparent breakthrough, under which Joe Biden emphasized, during the Dec. 30 talks with Putin, that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine. “Putin himself was probably surprised that he frightened Joe Biden with a deployment of 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border.” But he persuaded him that this is basically a reverse of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and that Russia would react the same way the U.S. did at the time.

A primary Russian concern for years has been that the ABM emplacements already completed in Romania and going into Poland now, can also accommodate Tomahawk missiles, which could destroy the strategic balance. “Right now, [Putin] is being heard, and there’s a concession on the table from Biden about not doing this in Ukraine.”

Another crucial factor is that at their summit last June 16, Biden had not yet come to grasp the reality and the strength of the Russia-China alliance. Before coming home, he told the media that Russia was being squeezed by China. But then, at the next summit, on Dec. 7, Putin basically told Biden: “You got our relationship with China completely screwed up. We’re very, very close.” And just one week later, Putin and Xi held a virtual meeting, and released the first minute of it, which made the point unmistakably. And just in case the message had not been understood, Putin insisted on Dec. 15 that the two Presidents should again talk on Dec. 30.

Of course, there are very strong forces, which McGovern has dubbed the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial, Congressional, Intelligence, Media, Academia, Think tank complex), which includes parts of the government but not the White House and they do not want a relaxation of tensions. So, “the question for the next couple of weeks” is who will prevail — the White House or the MICIMATT?”

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