“There Will Be No Revolution in America”: Former Russian Illegal Intelligence Forecasts US Future
The coronavirus pandemic, mass protests in the United States over the murder of George Floyd, continued intrigue on the eve of the American election ... It seems that a series of completely unpredictable events are occurring in the world that can change the course of history. However, Andrei Bezrukov, associate professor of the Department of Applied Analysis of International Problems at MGIMO, a member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy of Russia, is confident that what is happening today was quite predictable, and even now it is quite possible to predict the future.
Prediction Andrei Bezrukov began to engage in the United States as part of the organization of the World Future Society - though, under the name of an American of Canadian origin Donald Howard Heathfield. It is under such a legend that Andrei, being an illegal scout, along with his wife Elena Vavilova (Tracy Lee Ann Foley) lived abroad for more than 20 years: first in Canada and then in the USA. The American career of a Russian intelligence officer was interrupted by the arrest of the FBI exactly 10 years ago. It was then that as a result of the betrayal of the former colonel of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Russia Alexandra Poteeva American counterintelligence uncovered a network of ten deeply conspiracy illegal immigrants. As a result of the exchange that followed shortly after the arrest, the detained Russians returned home.
Earlier Elena Vavilova already told ForumDaily is about preparing for illegal intelligence, espionage tricks and the complexities of double life. Andrei Bezrukov, in turn, shared with us forecasts about what the unrest in the USA will lead to, which will affect the result of the presidential election and what the world will be like in ten years.
Riots and Elections
According to Andrei Bezrukov, before the crisis caused by the pandemic and subsequent unrest, victory Donald Trump in the November elections seemed almost inevitable.
«If you look at the fundamental factors on which, in fact, the whole pre-election scenario depended, they played in favor of Trump. It is a working economy and a fragmented Democratic Party. Trump, of course, has problems, but Biden obviously has more. For many years, the Democratic Party has been in a state of internal struggle between the centrists who came to power during the presidency. Bill clinton, and the young left wing, which is trying to wrest power from them. Such a deconsolidation of the party in the absence of an iconic, charismatic leader becomes one of the most surviving factors affecting the outcome of the election.", The analyst explains.
According to Andrei Bezrukov, the protests against police arbitrariness that began after the murder of African-American George Floyd while police detained Minneapolis, paradoxically played into the hands of the Democrats, as they gave a chance to unite a scattered party.
«It is not yet clear how much they did. If they go too far, a backward wave may begin. In addition, participation in the protests of left-wing radicals discredits “moderate” democrats, and therefore also plays for Trump. Nevertheless, the coronavirus somewhat undermined its position - despite the fact that the crisis caused by it weakened all players without exception and further shook the system. It seems to me that the outcome of the impending elections will be decided by the personalities. A lot depends on how Trump manages to keep his electorate, and how democratic voters will consider Biden to be an acceptable figure for them. Do not forget about the debate, on which Trump usually holds steady.", Argues the MGIMO expert.
Nevertheless, Andrei Bezrukov admits: in the light of recent factors, it has become almost impossible to predict the outcome of the US presidential election with confidence.
«I still think Trump will win, although the likelihood of this has become much less than it was a few months ago. One thing is certain: these will be very difficult elections, and on November 4 you can expect new street protests"He predicts.
At the same time, Bezrukov emphasizes that, unlike the forecasts of many "hot goals", the November protests will not outgrow the full-fledged revolution.
«For the revolution, key factors are needed: when “the tops cannot, but the lower classes do not want” to live in the old way, and, plus this, a specific political force ready to take power. So far, in America there is no power ready for this. This means that the stalemate will last another four years, or even eight, until some consensus is built between the elites. I'm afraid we will have to wait until new people come to the US political elite who have new interests. Then they will have to agree among themselves. Up to this point, the situation will be quite unstable, but the significance of this instability should not be exaggerated. The economy, for example, can safely work amid any disagreements in government", Concludes Andrei Bezrukov.
According to the forecast of the former intelligence officer, these new elites will emerge in about ten years, and will be more favorable to Russia.
«They will have other problems. Russia today is not an ideological adversary or economic competitor of the United States. It is a competitor in terms of global influence and an “enemy” in terms of military confrontation. However, from a military point of view, both countries can annihilate each other, and awareness of this is rather a stabilizing factor. It does not reduce tension and does not add to it. As for spheres of influence, most likely, new elites will begin to move to the concept of the USA as the strongest player in geopolitics, recognizing, however, other spheres of influence. In addition, the real competitor to the United States is China, not Russia, and the struggle with China and Russia is simultaneously futile", - believes Bezrukov.
Expected Pandemic Surprise
In his book “Russia and the World in 2020. The contours of a troubled future ”Andrei Bezrukov introduced the concept of“ big surprise ”. Nevertheless, he did not consider the pandemic of the coronavirus, which hit the whole world, to be too much a surprise.
«We know that there will be more such viruses, because the “crowding” of people is increasing, people are living side by side with nature, and the spread of viruses is multiply increasing due to air transportation. As for the version about the laboratory origin of the virus, this is the same hypothesis as any other, and, like any hypothesis, it must be checked. Until a serious scientific investigation is carried out here, the position that the coronavirus is of natural origin will dominate. In addition, it is consistent: similar viruses existed before, and yet each virus behaves in a new way.", - the former intelligence officer believes.
Moreover, according to the expert, coronavirus has already seriously changed the world.
«Obviously, the economy will have to be rebuilt in many ways, investing in new processes, primarily related to the virtual interaction of people. This will lead to the decentralization of individual systems and processes. Of course, a separate restructuring will affect the medical industry, the most affected by coronavirus. But it seems to me that Russia is quite well prepared for this, and has the resources to deal with subsequent epidemics. Yes, the system could react better, but at the moment it has reacted satisfactorily. As for the issues of transition to the “digital” mode of operation, such as the security of communications, they all the same inevitably arose as the economy digitalized. Coronavirus just accelerated these processes", - says Andrei Bezrukov.
Personality in history and in espionage
Due to his unique biography, Andrei Bezrukov managed to see inside not only American and Russian society, but also the political elites of both countries. However, in his opinion, the role of the individual in history cannot be overestimated in any of the systems, since any leader is somehow forced to depend on public requests.
«The leader inherits the problems that are. He cannot just get out of the context in which he is. However, being in this context, it has a fairly wide scope for maneuver. Here he can either use the chance or not, or maybe just not see him - it depends on his talent as a leader. However, there are things that he is obliged to do and cannot ignore. Yes, there is a great chance that a leader can radically change history, but even this he does on the basis of pre-existing premises. Rulers are not able to create fundamental factors themselves. In short, the role of the individual in history can be estimated at a ratio of 50/50", - says Andrei Bezrukov.
According to him, the Russian system is more centralized than the American, and this, of course, affects the decision-making process, but the human factor has not been canceled. Similarly, the former spy is sure: with all the trends of further digitalization and technological development, the role of the “personality” in intelligence continues to be significant.
«Probably, the same question arose at the time of printing: why do you need to eavesdrop on conversations, if you can intercept documents? But the human factor will never disappear. People make decisions, and all processes are built around people. Interaction methods can be anything you like, but intelligence is one of the oldest professions, and only the surroundings change in it“- he is convinced.
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