30.07.2005
Fortress Russia
№3 2005 July/September

Russian society offers a broad array of prospects for the
country’s future, and all of them have one thing in common, namely,
the conviction that Russia must become an active member of the
global community, which includes a profound integration into the
global economy and politics. The idea also suggests that
isolationism from global civilization (in reality, it implies
Western civilization only) will be the equivalent of death.

And yet the fact remains that a policy of isolationism (or
perhaps a systematic vision of the world and not merely policy) is
quite feasible. This article makes an attempt to explain why
isolationism is as much possible as it is vitally important for
Russia’s survival.

Isolationism means a national mode of existence
where the state builds a relatively small number of external
contacts, as well as a relatively limited interaction with it in
all spheres of life – economy, politics, culture, ideology, and
religion. Thus, the influence of external forces is incomparably
smaller than that of the internal forces.
The
definition is somewhat incomplete, yet suggestive of rather
significant phenomena. First, it says nothing about administrative
bans. This is no accident, since contacts may be limited due to
administrative prohibitions of some kind and objectively existing
barriers, such as the geographical remoteness of a country,
language differences, religion, traditions and level of
development, which naturally makes the use of bans unnecessary. The
United States had become quite an isolationist country due to its
geographic remoteness. Its foreign trade accounted for less than
five percent of its Gross Domestic Product in the 19th century
(versus up to 50 percent as compared to present-day Russia), and
the country even lacked special customs barriers. This
isolationism, however, did not prevent the U.S. from taking the
leading position in terms of GDP by the end of the 19th
century.

Second, infrequent contacts with the outside world do not mean
they are nonexistent. Nobody would choose to grow coffee, for
example, in an isolationist country if it does not grow there
naturally, nor will anyone want to drink a substitute instead.
However, if organizational and entrepreneurial talents work to
create a strain of genuine local coffee, the producer will not have
to compete with foreign producers: all imports will immediately
cease, even though the local strain of coffee may be more
expensive. Third, isolationism means ignoring contacts with the
outside world, not ignoring its existence. A normal state, even an
isolationist one, will maintain a strong army, which implies
knowledge of everything about the enemy. And the military sphere is
just one of the instances.

Most Russians are likely to react to this proposal as follows:
endless Soviet-style queues in the shops? Not again! Admittedly, I
fully share their dislike for store queues, and the Soviet economy
was a closed one, indeed. The difference, however, between the
Soviet model and today’s Russian economy is that the Soviet-era
economy was not based on a market economy. There is no full
synonymy between ‘market’ and ‘openness.’ Apart from “open-market”
and ‘closed state-governed’ economic systems, there are also open
non-market economies (like in the majority of oil-producing
countries of the Middle East) and market-oriented closed economies.
The latter type is cherished by most isolationists. In the epoch of
early capitalism, almost all countries (besides the commercialized
republics like Holland) had that kind of economic relations, and it
is noteworthy that all capitalist countries became economic giants
at the time.

It is not economic openness that predetermines the quality,
assortment and accessibility of consumer goods, but rather the
motivation of the owners, competition and natural selection of the
market players. If Russia makes a turn to isolationism while
maintaining the current principles of organization, it will not
turn into an ascetic. It is enough to recall that the Nazi Third
Reich, the breaker of 20th century economic growth records, was
quite far from being ascetic. Despite the bold proclamations that
guns had superiority over butter, German manufacturers were not
restricted to constructing just Tiger and Panther tanks. German
plants produced Volkswagens, an automobile as revolutionary for
their time as affordable for the people, and Maybachs, the auto
grand of all time.

Let us now ask ourselves: What rate of economic growth does
Russia actually need to catch up with the U.S. in terms of GDP per
capita in the next 30 years? This particular time period marks the
necessity of economic planning, while the postwar “economic
miracles” of Germany and Japan also lasted some 30 years. China is
set to take over the world’s leading economic positions by 2010 or
2011, which is also 30 years after the start of economic reforms in
that country.

Since Russia’s specific GDP is smaller by a factor of 10 to 12
than America’s (16 times formally, since the ruble is underrated),
it is easy to predict that Russia’s economic rate of growth must
outstrip America’s growth by 9 percent annually over the next 30
years. It means that Russia’s economic growth must total 11 percent
if the U.S. economy grows 2 percent, and must be bigger than 11
percent if the American economy grows more than 2 percent. Now, is
a growth rate of 11 percent for 30 straight years at all possible?
Granted, it is hard to attain, but theoretically possible if the
entire nation mobilizes for such a task. In the meantime, an 11
percent growth rate is completely unfeasible in an open economy. An
integrated economy cannot grow like that at a time when other
economies are making a mere 2 percent a year. Today’s global
economy resembles a system of communicating vessels where not a
single element stands out, as the flow of capital and currency
exchange rate fluctuations will level it off all the same. This
does not mean that the global economy shackles the development of
national economies – it simply trims growth rates to size. That is
why the Russian economy, if it remains open, will never grow 11
percent a year, while other countries are experiencing an increase
of just 2 percent. And if those countries slide into a recession or
crisis, Russia will not be able to rely on 9 or even 7 percent
growth rates. Russia will also slide into a crisis, maybe even a
worse one, since the Americans have perfectly mastered the
sophisticated art of relegating their problems to allies, to say
nothing of foes. That is why the prospect of a GDP rate
on the same level with other industrialized nations does not shine
on Russia. If the economy improves in the West, it may also improve
at home, but it will be impossible to narrow the gap in any sizable
way.

Is this a bad thing, though? After all, specific GDP has a
direct bearing on living standards only, while the country’s
political and military might depends exclusively on the general
GDP. This is so because people’s living standards depend on the
share of resources per capita in contrast to the power of the state
that depends entirely on resources concentrated in the hands of the
government. This fact goes far at explaining America’s misgivings
about China’s growth. The latter will never approach the U.S. in
the next century if just the specific GDP is the subject of debate.
However, China’s general GDP – and here we must remember that its
population is four times greater than that of the U.S. – has
reached one-third of the American GDP, while the share of the GDP
at the government’s disposal is much higher.

Meanwhile, a look at Russia’s general GDP suggests that we are
far worse off since our population is 50 percent smaller than in
the U.S. and 80 percent smaller than in the entire Western world.
Our general GDP is smaller than America’s by a factor of 20 to 25
times (30 times formally) unlike the specific GDP, which is smaller
by a factor of 10 to 12. Just consider that our military and
political might would still remain 80 percent below the Western
bloc even if we were to attain the same specific GDP as the U.S.
(this requires not doubling our GDP per capita, as President
Vladimir Putin has demanded, but increasing it by 15 times). Add to
it that the Russian government will not be able to concentrate the
lion’s share of resources in its hands the same way that the Soviet
government did, as this may arouse popular discontent and the
people’s refusal to support the authorities. Thus, the world’s
largest territory and collection of resources, where the military
and political capabilities are far smaller than that of the world’s
Big Brothers, begins to look very appetizing. And it would be vain
to place too much hope on the nuclear umbrella, but not simply
because our nukes are rusting and falling apart. Remember the
eloquent Russian proverb that for every smart lock there is a
crowbar. And we should not entertain any doubts that the crowbar
may appear soon enough in the form of a highly efficient
anti-ballistic missile defense system.

To sum up, an open economy that presupposes the
impossibility of catching up with the West paves the way for
Russia’s disappearance as a state, even under conditions of parity
that are unimaginable in real life.
Recall that our
discourse has not mentioned any inequality of conditions so far.
The brutal reality, however, rouses an uneasy feeling that someday
our export-bound oil pipelines may be shut down under the pretext
of, say, encroachments on the rights of sexual minorities in
Chechnya or some sort of nonsense along those lines. It will
certainly happen should Iraq become too messy, OPEC collapse, or
crude reserves overflow the markets for some reason. That is why
the real situation appears much grimmer for us in an open economy
where the promises for high growth rate may quickly turn into sheer
fantasy in comparison with the scheme discussed above.

Should Russia place its hope in a closed economy? Unlike the
open economic systems, closed economies are isolated vessels, and
have little communication with the outside world. Would it be
possible, then, to pump more water, for example, into a closed
vessel than in a communicating vessel? That depends wholly on the
force of the pumping. No doubt, this is a problematic issue, but
the history of the Russian people should suggest its immense
capabilities for making titanic efforts. The problem is that the
moment Russia opens the hatch of its vessel the water will drain
away elsewhere at supersonic speed and this is what our economy has
been experiencing over the past 15 years. On the face of it, the
people who are urging us to make better conditions for capital in
Russia – so that our own money could return to Russia together with
an increase in foreign assets – seem to be making their suggestions
in a state of confusion. If they want such a thing to happen in a
global economy, they must make the conditions truly superlative,
not just simply favorable. Is it really possible? Even if foreign
investment really began streaming here, the centers of power in
today’s world would quickly block the channels of financial flows
to Russia by non-economic methods. They do not need the Russian
Federation becoming robust at their expense.

Moreover, the Western world could take persecutory measures that
are partially economic in nature, including statements about the
heightening risk of investment in Russia and sliding sovereign
borrower ratings. As for Russian money hidden elsewhere, it will
not return en masse under any circumstances. The reason is that a
genuine thief – and there are few innocent people among the owners
of drained capitals – will never believe that they will be fully
pardoned. This would defy common sense, and besides, those
individuals would hardly put themselves in such a situation.
But should Russia take moves to isolate its economy
with clear borders drawn up between state power and capital, then
unparalleled financial liberalism will become possible, thus making
the Russian capitalist system the world’s most
efficient.

What is more, closed economies have recipes of speedier economic
growth, including the issuance of special government bonds, which
are impossible in open economies due to the possibility of amassed
economic crises. It is at the moment of a crisis that Russia’s
finest hour will come, provided our economy is sealed and remains
insensitive to world upheavals. If the economy develops
dynamically, it only stands to gain from others’ problems. That is
how lions, the kings of the animal world, ambush their prey; that
was how the U.S. turned into a superpower after World War II. The
scenario is realistic for Russia too, if it reverts to
isolationism.
Economic growth is nothing more than an instance of
autarchy. It does not take Solomon to prove that a nation grows
into a world power only after a period of isolationism. This
happened to Rome before the Punic wars and to the United States
before World War I.

On the strategic plane, nothing is more important for Russian
economic policy than to declare autarchy its goal and to prepare
for making a turn toward it. Preparations presuppose a development
of ideology explaining the importance of such a turn and convincing
the majority of Russian society of it. This would not prove
particularly difficult, even without allusions to the traditional
‘Russian mentality,’ since the idea of autarchy is based on a
universal value of independence of a nation and state that is
placed above other values. Any interaction with the outside world
means becoming dependent on it, and the stronger the interaction,
the greater the dependence. At a certain moment it develops a
critical mass, and Russia is going through that moment now.

A turn to autarchy includes complex measures to discourage
exports/imports, on the one hand, and the inflow/outflow of
capital, on the other hand, which actually embraces all
export/import operations. An essential move in this direction would
be to declare the ruble unconvertible inside the country and to
tighten up monetary and financial regulations. An accent on
checking the flow of money is much more efficacious than checking
commodity flows at customs offices. This tightening concerns
business transaction with the outside world only, but it must
proceed hand-in-glove with the liberalization of general
regulations for domestic businesses.

The tightening of currency controls must envision mandatory
sales of all hard currency revenues from exports, or even a
transition to exports paid in rubles together with prohibitions for
purchasing hard currency for any reasons other than imports. This
means stringent control over exchange rates and the liquidation of
opportunities to make money on the difference of these rates.
Foreign currencies will be purchased from the government only
(actually speaking, these will come directly from the exporters
only). The exchange rates must be lowered against the ruble, and it
would be most desirable to have fixed rather than floating rates
(the dates of changes of which would be announced in advance).
Establishing the rates outside the market will shield the ruble
and, consequently, our economy from the impact of external forces.
This model will be feasible, however, if a clear and balanced
mechanism is devised; a mechanism free of bribes and useful in
determining who would like to become an importer and purchase hard
currency. And if, for some reason, the plan fails, the exchange
rates will be established through tenders organized by the state. A
direct or indirect revival of multiple rates – through excise
duties on particular groups of commodities and services, or on some
transactions – is also possible.

The principle of the discouragement of imports determines that
the first step is to establish if commodities of a quality
comparable to imported items are manufactured in Russia. If they
are not, we must determine when their production might possibly
begin. For instance, to use the coffee example again, this
commodity does not grow in Russia and the current stage of
technological development does not make its production here
possible. This means the government will always sell hard currency
for buying it abroad and will, at the same time, ensure that the
number of unaffiliated importers is large enough to maintain market
competition. The exchange rate (that is the price of this
commodity) will take account of Russia’s hard currency potential.
If a certain commodity is not produced here, yet businessmen launch
an investment cycle making it possible for the commodity to appear
on store shelves in two years’ time, while covering the entire
demand for the product for four years, then hard currency for
purchasing its foreign analogs will be sold at a low rate during
the first two years, at a higher rate during the third year, and
will cease altogether in the fourth year.

At the same time, the government must consider special stimuli
for facilities producing import-substituting commodities if the
volumes of investment make a spontaneous emergence of investors
scarcely possible. The entire cycle of automobile production
provides a good example. The list of stimuli may include
interest-free or low-interest loans, the interest on which will be
equivalent to a certain percentage of the monies invested. Quite
obviously, the principle is easy to implement even in a situation
where corruption has not been fully liquidated but simply
curbed.

That is basically the mechanism for discouraging imports. Those
who claim this sounds something like Marx’s Communist Manifesto
might be surprised to know that super-capitalist postwar Japan
restored its economy in precisely such manner, and perhaps even
more stringently. For instance, the government did not sell hard
currency to importers for purchasing antibiotics during an outbreak
of streptococcal angina, although the country did not produce such
drugs at the time. It did sell currency, however, for buying
equipment and ingredients used in the production of
antibiotics.

The discouragement of exports entails a much simpler mechanism.
In addition to a changeover to ruble transactions, it implies a
revision of effective export duties. While the final objective for
imports is their full eradication, the objective for exports is to
discourage the exporters and reduce the share of export operations
in the general GDP or in separate branches of the economy. What is
so bad about exports, one may ask, especially if we export the
products of high processing to countries that are not considered to
be our foes?

It is not so bad from the economic point of view, and yet it is
important to make the economic entities, as well as other players,
realize at the level of subconscious social archetypes that
everything which happens to them (enrichment or impoverishment, ups
and downs, joy or grief) occurs on the space between Russia’s
eastern and western borders, and nowhere else. And if one day those
borders become too tight for us, we must expand them, not just
cross over to other countries. Only then will Russia turn into a
power from a territory; we will become a nation rather than mere
populace.

As for foreign investment, the story is much simpler
since it only brings us hazards and we must develop a policy toward
it as we would toward a hazardous thing.
No
foreigners have found companies here – or elsewhere – with truly
noble goals in mind. They mostly invest in affiliates of their
corporations which handle the assembling, molding or packing of a
particular product. In other words, this is imports. Foreign
investors will always try to export their profits from Russia, and
the argument that they create jobs here is misleading since the
consumption of any commodity is generated in a market economy by
demand and not by supply. This is to say that if a commodity enjoys
demand, a Russian businessman will build a factory to produce it –
unless foreigners have not built a factory of their own; thus, the
number of jobs will be quite the same. Just look at the number of
Coca-Cola factories in Russia. This phenomenon suggests that the
same number of factories that produce the popular Russian drink
Baikal were never built. Another reason for this heavy presence is
that foreign corporations like moving their operations abroad
because often their production processes are prohibited, or their
products are simply unneeded, at home. Look at reformist China
where Volkswagen and Audi produce very good cars – except that
these are the models of the 1970s.

There is no need to nationalize the foreign factories which have
been already built. It is enough to declare that the government
will not convert the rubles they earn into hard currency, while
currency purchases on the market would be impossible. Of course,
warnings that nobody will invest in Russia for another 100 or 200
years will rock across the world. That will only be music to our
ears. 

I would like to present a few more comments about Russia’s
macroeconomic policies during its transition to isolationism. Since
the ruble has hardly been real money for so many years, a ban on
its exchange for foreign currency will certainly cause serious
psychological problems (which other countries would not see and
actually never saw during the periods of harsh currency
regulations). That is why the package of new laws on isolationism
must have a provision for the introduction of a gold (or
gold-platinum) standard. Simultaneously, the authorities must
declare the content of pure gold in the ruble effective over a
period of no less than 10 years (it would be fine to feature the
content in the Constitution in order to make the reform
unchangeable). Also, there must be provisions for the dual
circulation of bank notes and gold coins (denominated by their
value rather than weight), as well as for a free exchange of paper
rubles for gold.

Naturally, such an exchange would be possible inside Russia and
for Russian citizens only, while foreign countries would be unable
to present illegally exported rubles for exchange. The gold
standard seems to be quite a practical move for Russia. The main
reason behind its abolition in the West was the shortage of gold,
the global output of which was smaller than required by the money
supply and increasing along with economic growth. In Russia, the
per capita reserves of gold and especially platinum are much
greater than elsewhere in the world, and their production can
easily be boosted to meet the objectives. Initially, Russia may
wish to purchase some amounts of gold from other countries, and
this will be a convenient way of using our huge foreign exchange
reserves. We should exclude the misgivings that everyone will rush
out to exchange bank notes for gold, since this metal can only be
stored in a safe (if it returns to the bank, it loses the functions
of gold and becomes ordinary money in circulation). When kept in a
safe, gold does not generate interest – an untypical scenario in a
market economy, which is known for its tendency of slashing the
circulation of cash, something which we are now witnessing.
The gold standard will be a serious psychological
counterbalance to the abolition of currency
exchange.

This begs the question: How will Russians travel abroad for
vacations? – Since Russia’s climate is not at all one of God’s
blessings; the very impossibility of crossing the border would
create the effect of a forbidden fruit, as it was during the Soviet
era. Each Russian citizen should have the right to purchase foreign
currency at a high official rate in proportion to the taxes he or
she pays over the year. That is, by spending a percentage of wages.
The government may consider, of course, the sale of currency above
the established limit but at a much lower ruble rate. Traveling
abroad then will be as easy as now, yet much more expensive. As for
the numerous business trips and sabbaticals, these would be done
away with. Isolationism means ending any contacts with the outside
world, not just in the realm of imports and exports. Trips fully
financed by foreign hosts should be banned altogether.

Microeconomic policy during the transition to isolationism
should also facilitate the closing of the economy and the country
in general. Imports and exports can be efficiently discouraged by a
variety of non-tariff barriers, such as standards of technology,
sanitary and food industry norms, and tougher language
requirements. The best possible option would be to revert to the
old Russian system of measurements and weights, including the verst
(1,067 meters) and the pud (16 kilograms). These measures would not
block imports, but would make them more problematic and expensive.
Incidentally, this is the way that the United States, a nation
where everything differs from the rest of the world, protects
itself. From the standard of measurements, to the voltage of the
outlets, everything is different in America. Thinking along these
lines, we must ban the sale of computers, mobile telephones, and
other electric appliances that contain any letters beside the
Cyrillic, even if each button has two types of letters on it. Let
those who need the Latin script use “Anglicized programs.” All this
may be done, but it would create additional costs and
inconveniences.

In the meantime, the microeconomic features of the transition to
isolationism must not differ very much from the features of today’s
economy. The main difference is that there must be much greater
responsibility. This is necessary in light of different antitrust
policies, which would become one of the major objectives contrary
to the current situation where imports still exist. It concerns the
toughening of approaches and changes in legal norms. The market
monopolization limit set at 35 percent is enormous for an isolated
economy and should be reduced to no more than 20 percent. Making
competition inside the country more intense than is the case across
the world must take precedence, and that is why the seizure of more
than 20 percent of the market by groups of affiliated companies
should be banned regardless of their future business scruples,
fairness in pricing and so on (as opposed to the way the current
antitrust law regulates things).

The main thing, however, is to stimulate the establishment of
new factories or expand the old ones. This move would help to break
up the monopoly of other producers and increase competition in
general. In 2003, a budget surplus windfall of several billion U.S.
dollars was generated. Why not spend half of that money to build
several state-of-the-art automobile factories?

The most important microeconomic task for the government is to
ward off any factors that may impede the growth of businesses. The
most glaring factor in that sense is administrative and criminal
pressure. A gangster or government official who comes to a shop to
extort bribes from the owners must be treated as a person impinging
on the vital interests of the state (defense interests in the final
run), not simply as an individual who is covetous of another
person’s private property (since this will never be really treated
as a crime in Russia). A governor, who builds his own business in
the region by stifling all other businesses, must be “enfettered in
iron and delivered to Moscow for investigation and execution,” as
czarist decrees would advise in the old days. Such practices shall
be viewed as the equivalent of high treason.

Generally speaking, Russia’s rampant corruption stems from
ideological or, rather, psychological factors. U.S., Italian or
Chinese officials have as many weighty reasons for taking bribes.
They engage in this illegal activity every bit as willingly, albeit
more cautiously. Further, the problem of bribing is just the same
as in Russia, especially in Italy and China. And yet 999 out of
1,000 corrupt officials in those countries would never do things
that would damage national interests regardless of the bribes,
because they have not crossed their countries out of heart; the
same thing cannot be said about Russia’s bureaucrats. As we declare
this country “Fortress Russia,” and as we rehabilitate the original
national idea coupled with trust in Russia’s powerfulness (that is
the only hope during isolationism and the essence of the latter),
rampant corruption will subside without any especially bloodletting
measures. As a result, we will reduce it to the limits, within
which it has always existed in Russia and in all other countries,
including Western ones.

Changes in the foreign policy must be even more resolute. Our
foreign policy has evidenced just two modalities over the past 50
years – the bitter confrontation with the West during the Soviet
era, and the policy of “common human values,” that is, full
capitulation and servility to the West, launched in the late
1980s.
Once autarchy is established, the need for whatever foreign policy
measures will decrease, as it will be reduced to intelligence and
defense policy built upon intelligence data. Foreign policy,
however, must be different even during the transition period. We
must say in a clear voice that we will not support any countries’
standoffs with the West, nor will we support the West in standoffs
with those countries. We will support neither international
terrorism nor the fight against it. We will not support violations
of human rights or the struggle against those violations. We will
not support any of the above issues materially or morally – by
diplomatic resources, finance, materiel, natural resources or
military force. At the same time, we shall avoid discussions about
such topics.

We will generally pull out of any multilateral
relationships, as we believe the world community has not yet
matured into a real community and will not do so for many
years.
Hence we will pull out of all
multilateral organizations – European and international – and will
crown the process with the abandonment of the UN.

We will make the formula of “Do it as you like and we will react
as we find it necessary” the guideline of our foreign policy. If
Britain, Spain or Israel once again refuse to extradite our
criminals, we will tell them: “Well gentlemen, you owe nothing to
us.” But we will also tell them: “You are welcome to flood us with
requests if people on your wanted lists come here. Your papers will
not be considered, or they may, but the possibility of denials will
be very high.” This rule would apply to Irish, Basque, and
Palestinian terrorists, among others.

Was it not the Americans who said they would not observe the
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty any longer? Fine, they have a right
not to. On our side, we have a duty before our country to pull out
of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Intermediate range
missiles are fairly inexpensive and more valuable for Russia as a
less affluent country. Also, we have the right to pull out of
Missile Technology Control Regime and later from the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty. The time of treaties is over, although it
may come back again during a future new world order. But as for
now, the Americans are right to say that treaties are out of
place.

At the same time, we must avoid Cold War-era mistakes and deny
our enemy the chance of making us search for burdensome solutions.
The Soviet Union let itself get involved in an unbearable arms race
“to catch up with them,” while it might have settled for
inexpensive asymmetric options.

It is important to ban the registration of all public
associations and non-commercial partnerships where foreign
organizations or individuals are co-founders. Previously registered
organizations should be given a few months to disband or reorganize
themselves so as to meet the new requirements. All purely foreign
organizations shall be told to wrap up their activity and leave
Russia, and the foreigners entering Russia shall fill out
questionnaires concerning their membership in public associations
with international activity. If they are, they shall file formal
recognizance not to propagate it while visiting Russia. All
foreigners working in the political sphere (the list of activities
may be shorter or longer) shall enter Russia only on diplomatic
visas that are received upon exchange of notes between Foreign
Ministries. All types of grants from abroad – either benefits for
works or contracts for works tantamount to exports of non-material
resources – shall be forbidden. Naturally, no government or
budget-receiving organizations will be able to issue contracts to
or employ foreign legal entities or individuals, except for
operations outside Russia. Russian companies with more than 25
percent stakes held by foreigners would also fall into this
category.

Ideology is the most problematic area, as overt bans are
unproductive against it. Nor do we have a unifying idea like
Soviet-style Communism to maintain an opposition to the West.
Let us remember that the ideological support of
isolationism through the establishment of insurmountable
civilizational barriers is solved not so much through the
imposition of bans, but through devising new
concepts.
  The concept of a Fortress Russia,
with its inherent revision of economic, social, foreign, and – if
need be – internal policy, should stay in place over several
decades to enable us to win another Cold War, or perhaps even a Hot
War. After the threats are gone, it will be time to drop the
concept or, at least, its version described herein.