John Mearsheimer, American political scientist and the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago:

“USA is tending to be more aggressive country, than Russia.” – The theorist in international relationships, John Mearsheimer declared. He says, that USA participated in seven wars after the end of the “Cold War”. By the help of statistics, he confirms that USA takes part in war overall 2 years in every 3 years. When talking about Russia, he admits that Russia has already shown their military power only in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria.

  • “They are internally involved in conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine as those countries represent border countries and that means that they are in a scope of strategic interests of Moscow. Russia assessed political movements of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 as a hostile and representing threat to Russian strategic interests.”

Regarding NATO enlargement this specific question in frequently raised: Should Russia has a right to put veto on alliance decisions? – Mearsheimer answers that such representation of question in irrelevant.

  • Belief that Georgia and Ukraine have a right to become members of NATO is tend to be an example of impropriate and silly understanding of rules of international relations. If you are Georgian and Ukraine and border such a strong country as Russia, you should always keep in mind her strategic interests. If you think that you have a right to become member of NATO whatever Russian Fed thinks about it, you place your state in a grave danger.

Mearsheimer proclaimed, that Georgia should forget about will of becoming member state of NATO, it should put maximum effort to stabilize relationships with Russia and only after think of integration in European structures, regarding economical aspect only.

VERSUS

Davit Darchiasvhili, Professor at Ilia State University, International School of Caucasian Studies (Tbilisi, Georgia):

Such analysis is too mechanistic and flavored with primordialistic attitudes towards nations and international relations. For the professor states look like clock mechanisms and their universal essence is unchangeable since the biblical times. Though a genuine primordialist would better appreciate cultural and moral factors, which are apparent in politics too: If we take the region, Dr. Mearsheimer addresses, in historical perspective, it may be relevant to bring examples of indigenous political debates taking place in 6th century A.D., narrated by byzantine scholarly tradition. According to Agatha’s Scholasticus, the nobles of the kingdom of Colchis (contemporary Georgia) decided to ally with Romans against Persians on purely civilizational grounds. Solidarity in values outweighed all other arguments.

I think that in the given international/geopolitical circumstances, the main independent variables, determining the strategic choice of Ukrainians and Georgians is not stability for any expense, but democracy, rule of law and the human rights. Defending and strengthening these values is possible only through the alliance with NATO and the European Union. If the professor disagrees on that and equalizes Washington with Moscow, I can only regret that he does not fully take into account Russia’s political economy. Closeness with Putin’s Russia more equals to the hypothetical alliance with Pablo Escobar or Al Capone.

As to the aggressiveness of the United States, Dr. Mearsheimer stresses, the quantitative analysis, he suggests, could be misleading.  Of course, the so called Liberal Crusading is not something unknown in the US foreign policy. We are also free to talk about American mistakes in the Middle East. But if the professor sees any value in interdependence of democracy and security, he should also notice some differences between the NATO intervention in Kosovo, for instance, and Russian behavior in Chechnya or Georgia.

If my arguments are irrelevant than any dictatorial regime is right in its own way. Though I do not think that the kind of moral relativism in international politics, professed by Dr. Mearsheimer, is better ground for international security, than struggle for certain principles and international law – despite the controversial behavior the West projects from time to time.