Stratfor – the “Shadow CIA” – has attracted some attention with its recent prediction that Russia will break apart in the next decade.
But Stratfor is very late to the party – the CIA, back around 2005, predicted that Russia “could fall apart at the seams in a decade and split into as many as eight different states”. Summarised here by The Independent.
The report, Global Trends 2015, has sparked a lively debate in Russia about the country’s territorial integrity and triggered passionate denunciations from some of Russia’s leading politicians. Its unflinchingly bleak assessment of Russia’s prospects has angered many at a time when the Russian government is doing its best to talk up the economy.
The fact that the gloomy prognosis comes from its old Cold War enemy makes it all the harder for Russia to swallow. But many ordinary Russians seem to share the CIA’s pessimism.
Blah blah blah, et cetera et cetera.
Oh, and Russia’s population is 13 million more than the CIA said it would be.
But, unfortunately for the CIA’s reputation, 2015, instead of being the Year of Russia’s Collapse turned out to be the Year of the Russian Threat Redivivus. Loudly trumpeted from all corners.
There will not be an uprising against Moscow, but Moscow’s withering ability to support and control the Russian Federation will leave a vacuum,” Stratfor warns. “What will exist in this vacuum will be the individual fragments of the Russian Federation.”
We expect Moscow’s authority to weaken substantially, leading to the formal and informal fragmentation of Russia” the report states, adding, “It is unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form.”
The breakout of Russia’s nuclear weapons stockpile will be “the greatest crisis of the next decade,” according to Stratfor.
And the US will have to figure out what to do about it, even if it means dispatching ground troops to secure loose weapons, materials, and delivery systems.
Note the quaint assumption that the USA will be in any sort of condition in ten years to do anything much anywhere.
So, I guess that Stratfor’s claim to the title of “Shadow CIA” mostly comes from its use of the CIA’s old, discarded and worn out crystal balls.
Either that or we have to believe that Russia breaks apart every decade and miraculously re-assembles itself without anyone noticing.