Russian intervention in Kazakhstan II (January 7, 2022)

January 7, 2022


1) AFP, “Russia’s ‘mini-Nato’ intervenes in Kazakhstan
Clashes reported in Almaty as govt buildings cleared of protesters,” January 7, 2022(7:43 a.m, Islamabad time);

2) “Russian intervention in Kazakhstan,” The Trenchant Observer, January 6, 2022

We are nwitnessing a military intervention in Kazakhstan like the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

Yet no one is calling out Putin, Russia, and the other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO)–Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan–for their aggression and military intervention.

The dyspeptic and sclerotic foreign policy team of the United States is not nimble on its feet, and apparently doesn’t have the bandwith to deal with Russian military threats against Ukraine and Russian military intervention in Kazakhstan at the same time.

As Lech Walensa once said, “How can the West beat Putin when they are playing checkers and his is playing chess?”

At an absolute minimum, the U.S. and NATO should cancel or reschedule the bilateral negotiations with Russia scheduled in Geneva on January 10), and in the following days parallel negotiations in the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels, and in the OSCE in Vienna.

Will someone please wake Joe Biden up?

Will someone please poke Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and push him to take Russia’s threatened invasion of Ukraine and its current military intervention in Kazakhstan to the United Nations Security Council, and to the General Assembly?

In the Security Council, resolutions condemning Russia for its threats against Ukraine and its military intervention in Kazakhstan, and reaffirming basic principles of the U.N. Charter and international law, should be pushed to a vote.

Forcing a vote on the draft resolutions–notwithstanding Russia’s veto power–would force China and others to take a position on these critical issues. The debates in the Security Council will raise the costs to Russia and Putin of their current actions, while further bolstering solidarity and resolve among NATO and other allies who may be called upon to take firm actions in response to Russia’s actions.

It is time to call in the international lawyers and to call attention to Russia’s weak legal case in both Ukraine and Kazakstan.

Blinken apparently wants to be the top international lawyer in the State Department, having failed to fill the position of State Department Legal Adviser during the entire last year.

But he has neither the time nor the qualifications to fulfill that role. Indeed, he seems quite ignorant of international law, with the U.S. calling mundlessly and by rote for the militarily intervening Russian forces to be careful to observe human rights.

Russia and the SCTO seem to be acting ulta vires, outside both
the terms of the SCTO Treaty itself and the relevant provisions of the U.N. Charter. The latter takes precedence over any conflicting provisions in the CSTO Treaty.

Russia argues that it is sending “peacekeeping troops” to Kazakhstan, despite the fact that there has been no breach of international peace, and certainly no “armed attack” from abroad that might justify a CSTO operation in collective self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.

Rather, what we see is one autocratic state intervening militarily to assist another autocratic state in putting down demonstrations and unrest whose ultimate goal is the protection of human rights and the establishment of democratic government.

This is an attempt to rewrite the rules of international relations with new Putin rules which contradict the fundamental purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

It does not take a giant leap of the imagination to understand how China could use its economic power to force neighboring states to join a security alliance such as the CSTO, and then intervene militarily in one of its neighbors to keep a friendly government n power.

The Trenchant Observer