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Sunday, July 23, 2017

The canadian intelligence report on Russia is strikingly adequate

The news about the release of the report by the canadian intelligence security media in Ukraine has served as the news that “Russia is preparing for a big war.” This is the propaganda the maximum that could squeeze out the study, is extremely distressing for Ukraine and the West. And thus surprisingly reasonable.

Canadian security intelligence (CSIS, CSIS, SCRS) issued a lengthy, almost sitestranny the report “Review of security – 2018. Potential risks and threats,” about a third of the volume of which is devoted to Russia. Peers from other Western countries, canadian intelligence stands out underlined the adequacy not only in assessing the situation, but also in the characterization of sources for information and analyses which are used to build English-speaking intelligence agencies and private strategic points.

“In CSIS believe that the basic principles and directions of activity of Moscow in international politics in the next few years will not change under any circumstances and it should be accepted”

This report was compiled within the current 2008 program of informing the public is not prepared for open source”, that is supposedly not affecting the secret data. However, it contains some of the characteristics of and conclusions that clearly cannot be obtained from the media, and in some cases require personal contact with the informants or at least a thorough analysis of their statements.

In Canada, several reconnaissance systems, of which only CSIS purely civil status (like the CIA) and very complicated legal framework, especially in matters that separates the intelligence and security. In addition, CSIS is almost the youngest of the major Western intelligence agencies. It is only in 1984, separated from the Royal mounted police, where were the unloved stepdaughter, busy wiretapping foreigners, assessment of the reliability of migrants and “bring-bring” for the CIA. Even now, CSIS is connected in the so-called quadripartite Treaty with the US intelligence, UK, and Australia, and in the framework of the “Quartet” all Canadians receive the information automatically becomes public.

Including and therefore not have a lot of resources CSIS always trailed behind the CIA and MI5, copying approaches and methods in their analytical and advocacy. While the leaders of the canadian intelligence almost always appointed on political and party lines, which also added the service of professionalism and credibility. The situation began to change just three years ago, when a historical event took place – the head of Service, became the first professional – Michelle Pendant, who worked at CSIS since its inception.

But back to the report, more precisely, to the part that is devoted to Russia. It indicates the need for a realistic projection against Moscow and stated the impossibility of long-term analysis. Therefore, the forecast is limited only by the General structural trends until 2018, and the main sources that are used in such evaluations NATO countries questioned. At CSIS believe that the West dominates the “pessimistic view” on the future of Russia even in the short term. Are listed and the fundamental weakness of Russia, they see what the Anglo-Saxons: the problem of demography, which began in 80-ies of the dependence on the raw materials of the economy and deindustrialization. It is considered that in combination with sectoral sanctions, falling oil prices and “civic activity” all this must in the near future or “to overthrow an existing regime, or to force Moscow to change its foreign policy. However, according to CSIS, this forecast is uncritically borrowed from the speeches of the leaders of the “non-system opposition” and not confirmed by the real facts. Why Canadians reject this information as “garbage”, and its approach to the assessment policy of the Russian Federation called “optimistic” – as opposed to prevailing in the West “pessimistic”.

At CSIS believe that the basic principles and directions of activity of Moscow in international politics in the next few years will not change under any circumstances and it should be accepted. Moreover, the relations of Russia with NATO and the EU have begun to stagnate in the middle of zero years, and the war in Ukraine, only allowed this trend to develop into something that can be “touched”. That is, the differences between Russia and the West as a much more fundamental than the dynamics of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and include the deployment of American missile defense in Europe, and the events in the middle East, which began long before the war in the Donbass.

However, and this is particular. The current “megatrend” – a global weakening of the influence of the West, and the basis of Russian foreign policy strategy not tied to regional goals and strategically aimed at strengthening the weight of Russia in the world. Turbulence and instability in this world created in the actions of the West in the weakening of a number of regional regimes, can lead to another war. And Russia is forced to building a military system that must protect her from a strategic impact in the medium and long term, and allows Moscow to project its power.” This is a large-scale military reform, and investment in the defence industry, which, after a slow start, still made and began to bear fruit. According to CSIS, the West’s focus on so-called hybrid war, and whose exact definition is not. In reality Russia is engaged in capacity building in conventional weapons and the creation of new theatres of war. For example, in the Arctic, which is of special concern to Canada, the benefit changes for her strategic landscape.

Moreover, Moscow shows no signs of weakness or softening of their position in the face of economic coercion. The Western world was wrong, being lulled by the regular reports that “Putin’s regime is unsustainable” that the sanctions pressure will grow into popular discontent, divided elites, and even – in a coup, and we only need to wait a bit “liberal” changes in Russia (Yes, in the CSIS report, the word “liberal” in quotes). Meanwhile, both external and internal policy of Moscow, according to the Canadians, aims to preserve and promote their interests in a time of global instability and to defend them abroad. Particular attention is paid to the preservation of stability along the borders of the Russian Federation, to prevent the collapse of regimes in North Africa and the middle East, as well as the development of relations within the CSTO with China in the long term, what Moscow automatically pushes the weakening of the influence of the West. CSIS analysts warn that the government of Vladimir Putin is not going to change its position, on the contrary, are ready to tighten. And in parallel, despite US pressure, a number of large European players are ready to go at the abolition of the segmental sanctions against the Russian Federation before 2018.

Canadians emphasize: Russia is modernizing its armed forces to strengthen the capacity of hackneyed “hybrid war”, and mobilizes to the hypothetical big war. And it is to the defensive war, and not to expand their territories or acquire new areas of influence. The threat of use of nuclear weapons is extremely small, and Moscow is not going to further reduce its level unilaterally.

In General, according to CSIS, the political regime in Russia “consistent, long-lasting and consolidated in its center. Moscow adequately feel themselves in the situation of General chaos, and the internal situation in Russia, despite the obvious dysfunctional management problems and the economic troubles that are strategically stable. Hopes for an economic collapse of Russia, the Canadians are considered “exaggerated”, as “Russia adapts to the situation.”

To summarize: CEB gives a fairly accurate and realistic analysis of the political situation in Russia, from “decay of the liberal protests of 2011-2012 and ending with the prospects of the current parliamentary elections. It is surprising that this was able to give earlier “manual” exploration of Canada. But it would be too, in the terminology CSIS, “optimistic” to believe that the consolidated opinion of the Western intelligence/analysis centers or a “turn.” It is the “parochialism” of the canadian intelligence, its distance from the common Western trends could contribute to this kind of “analytical revolt”. The CIA and MI5 in their assessments much more ideological, they have more “unhealthy romanticism” rolling in the Messiahship, and their staff (both operational and analytical) tend to trust the information that they like or competently presented in a certain ideological way than the actual facts.

There is no reason to assume that this report will influence the position of the government of Canada in respect of the Russian Federation. Rather, it provokes internal debate on security issues and risks, determines what the real political action is. In any case, the adequacy and professionalism in these troubled times deserve special respect.

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