“China is the biggest long-term National Security challenge for the US, and I think it’s on several fronts,” NPR National Security Correspondent Greg Myre points out in an interview with TheGeopost. Myre was also a Moscow correspondent and journalist who entered Kosovo with NATO troops in 1999.
Among other things, Myre talks about the political system of the USA, but also of Russia and the influence of the latter
TheGeopost: What are the biggest challenges for National Security in US now?
I am talking to lot of people, either working in National Security now or former officials or analysts, that combined with my own experience, I think there is really virtually a strong consensus here in US that China is the biggest long term National Security challenge for the US and I think it is on several fronts.
It’s militarily the talk about a possible Chinese military action in Taiwan, it’s huge, something we did not hear much about it and now we hear about it all the time, so that’s that military front.
The technology challenge, which sometimes people like to frame it in terms of competition that is not win or lose, but the US needs to sturdy stay ahead or catchup in some fields with China, so there is that.
There is competition in terms of political system, the US felt for a long time that our democracy and our market economic system, everybody would be interested in that, but the Chinese, as you well know, want to have their own vision of the world and see themselves as the world leader and offer a different view where you have a very strong state and you don’t have elections and that you don’t have all the messy chaos that you see in democracy here in the US, they think that that is a better system, so, they are offering a genuinely different model that has had a lot of economic success, so I think on all these fronts, military, economic, political, China poses real challenge to the US and the leadership role it has in the world.
TheGeopost: As a US correspondent in Moscow, do you believe in theory that after Putin will come another Putin or Russia can change?
When I was there in the late 90’s, I really felt that Russia would sort of work its way to the point we’ve seen in other European countries after the fall of communism, wheather that might be Poland, or the Czech Republic or any other number of countries that have made a lot of progress politically and economically and Russia might take longer, but it would eventually get there, and it would not be a clean line, there would be problems, but as we’ve seen in the past, basically, since Putin came to power that has not been the case at all.
The Russians I think initially were happy with Putin since he was a strong leader who could restore Russia as a strong country and take them out of that some kind of chaos.
What comes after Putin, well nobody thought he would be there this long, so probably it’s very dangerous to make predictions, but, just looking historically (a number of people pointed out), Mikhail Gorbatchev and Boris Jeltsin were the only two Russian leaders in a thousand of years to voluntarily step down, and everybody else has either died in power or been killed or nobody has given up power easily.
So, I think sometimes in the west people might think, oh well, if Putin passes from the scene, let’s say, Navalny would emerge from prison and will lead a new democratic Russia, and, maybe, one could speculate in that way but I think you look even with this war in Ukraine, you’ve seen a lot of criticism coming from people saying Putin is not pressing hard enough in Ukraine, he’s not prosecuting the war strongly enough and so, you certainly have to suspect or think that the next Russian leader, whoever that might be, whenever it might be, would be coming from the security services, sort of hard conservative side of Russia and not this, sort of more liberal, democratic side which has been pretty much snuffed out in the past couple decades.
TheGeopost: How do you see Russian interferences in the Balkan and challenges for Balkan states?
Certainly, that is true, I guess the question would be the degre. In 1999 I was on the border of Kosovo, I was in Kukes, Albania while the fighting was going on in Kosovo, so, I’m familiar a little bit with that area, I know the Russian role and involvement, they saw that very much, they were very supportive of the Serbs and still are. So, I think those historical ties are going to continue to be there whoever is in charge in Russia will continue, the question is how hard. I think what is happening in Ukraine will tell us a lot, if western countries working with Ukraine are able to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty and control of its future, I think that will send e very strong message to Russia and other countries about the limits of what they can do, but you can certainly see where you get a sort of messy inconclusive ending. Last year we were thinking the Russia could take over Ukraine. I think there’s a lot of different scenarios but Russia will not give up on its idea that it is a key player in the Balkans and other parts of Europe.
I don’t want to make any hard predictions, but Russia is going to be involved, the question is the degree that they will be involved. /TheGeopost/