Troubleshooting Chechnya, Chapter V
How do you defeat an enemy who looks into the barrel of your gun and sees his paradise?
The Chechnya situation encompasses a centuries-old compilation of vastly intertwined conflicts, further perpetuated by extreme biased and outdated grudges. Conflicts steeped in a clash of ideals so old and compounding that realistically, finding an end all solution that satisfies everyone is undoubtedly naïve and un-realistic. Violence and conflict is genetically engineered into the psyche of all people and as interests and ideals continue to advance, so does the use of violence in the achievement of those goals. People will continue to group around central motives and will continue to justify their actions because of those ideas. Identities will always clash, and groups will repeatedly revenge the extreme actions of others. Moreover, modern international special interests groups persistently influence their respective governments’ decisions. The world has become so internationally connected that motives geared towards positive change are often overshadowed by an underlying political or monetary motivation. Coupled this is the constantly changing political structuring of the world’s major powers and of those regions in the surrounding vicinity of Chechnya. Conclusively, due to the range of possible influences, a comprehensive speculative view must be maintained towards the future of Chechnya in order to provide any form of a realistic outlook.
The future of Chechnya can move in a multitude of directions. Russia, Chechnya’s largest proponent of change, still maintains massive amounts of influence in the region. The possibility still exists for immense, almost Stalinist negative changes, if the communist party happens to gain power again. Also, I believe that Russia will continue to operate in a militaristic manner, justifying their methods through further seemingly successful operations. Through this methodology, Russian forces must continue to walk the fine line of advancing relations with the local populace while not being destructively counter-productive. Also, until a generational shift comes about, many of the old Soviet governmental views towards Chechnya will remain the same. Religious freedom will still be restricted and any opportunity to label Islam as a negative influence will be taken advantage of. Coupled with an enduring western Islamaphobia, any constructive proposals by foreign governments will continually be directed by Russia.
The largest external influence in Chechnya may come from the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon by two supposed Chechen extremists. Although having recently departed Iraq, the United States government, still active in Afghanistan and other far eastern regions, now possesses a high possibility of conducting future operations in Chechnya. Coupled with that is continual threats by separatists, to include threatening attacks at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. These ongoing threats will provide an excuse for foreign governments to employ special interest groups, who will enact influence over operations in Chechnya. If western governments pursue the same knee-jerk reaction as Russia did in the 90s, they could easily expose themselves to similar violent repercussions from the same extremists. On the other hand, if done correctly, joint operations with Russia and the United States could effectively move that ever-strained relationship towards a new level of stability and understanding. Proper cooperation could also provide the much needed integrity check required for dealing with the volatility of Chechnya. Conversely, though, the largest possible influence will come from the future of Russia’s political system.
Massive political changes are possible within the next 10-15 years. If Putin is removed from power, whether legitimately or illegitimately, the entire political structuring and future direction of Chechnya could shift. As mentioned before, massively negative consequences could result from the communist party’s gaining of power in Chechnya. The communist leader could maintain the same views as Stalin and continue to punish the Chechens for past accusations. Also, if Putin is replaced in Russia, Ramzan Kadyrov will be replaced in Chechnya. Regardless of the accused atrocities, the Putin / Kadyrov duo realistically approach the Chechnya situation in the most feasible and effective manner.
Despite the many faults of the Russia/ Chechnya government, no other set of individuals could possibly produce a better result from such a disastrous situation. Quelling vengeful emotions and using rational thought to deal with continual violence presents an understandable difficulty. Both men’s lives have been steeped in conflict, further solidifying their capability to deal with a variety of catastrophic circumstances. They understand the necessity of violence and work to their upmost ability to use that understanding in solving the ongoing conflicts in Chechnya. Many of the world’s enduring conflicts, such as those in Bosnia and East Africa, have no feasible solutions. No great options exist, just bad ones and worse ones, so choices are made with the knowledge that typically, you’re dealing out life and death no matter which way the decision swings. Then, you live with the results and shut up about the whole thing.