News / Government
Ramtanu Maitra, Head of the South Asia Desk for Executive Intelligence Review, explores the concept of the New Great Game and how Western nations are ironically focused once again on Russia as the biggest global threat in the post Cold War world.
“Russia is definitely the greatest worry of geo-politicians in Washington. Simply because Russia is about three times the size of the United States, it has about 70 percent of its mineral reserves still not explored.”
He notes that Russia also has a relatively small population in relation to is huge geographical territory, and is strategically located near other major powers including India, China, Japan, and Central Asia.
“This Russia, if it goes into developmental mode – like the way Abraham Lincoln’s United States did, or later Roosevelt’s United States did – if they go into that kind of developmental mode, Russia doesn’t need anything from anywhere, for it to be imported. It has got oil, gas, it has got everything. It has got science, technology. So Russia is the real giant that exists, China has to import anything and everything, in order to keep going.”
Maitra said Russia is poised to become a “mighty power,” but not before some nations try to affect this rise by getting groups to stir up trouble in the region. “The only way this giant can be stopped is by keeping it off balance, by creating little revolutions all along its borders – if possible inside like Chechnya – so Russian will stay busy trying to put out fires,” he said. “Whereas the real work that is necessary is for Russia to explore its wilderness, build up its infrastructure, and then become a mighty power.”
Maitra believes one way to accomplice this is for Western nations to funnel drug money to criminal gangs and militia-type groups on the ground so that they can go into the countries like Russia, or others in the Middle East, to destabilize the regions and allow Western exploitation later.
Since much of the world’s drug supply originates in Afghanistan, he also talks about the rise of opium production that began under the Taliban, which then coordinated the global export of drugs to finance arms.
But the opium production was significantly ramped up after the U.S. led coalition military strikes that began in 2001 in retaliation for the Taliban regime’s harboring of terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
“In 2013, the U.N. reports that (opium) cultivation was the highest, area-wise, and production is 50 percent more than it was last year.” He said the latest figures indicate a total production of 9,000 tons of opium. “This is a huge amount of money, which when it gets into the street level, it is more than a trillion dollars.”
Maitra said the majority of this drug money is then laundered offshore through Western-based banks and ultimately used to finance Islamic militant groups.
“This is real cash, drug money is real cash, it’s poor addicts putting out money – they’re not putting out IOUs – they are putting out cash in order to buy the drugs on the street. “So this is the only real money the city of London really has. That is the only money that is real, the other money is on paper.”
He cites the top U.N. official responsible for drug combat operations as telling him in an interview that these drug funds were the only real money left over after the financial crisis of 2008.
“It was the drug money, it was this drug money that was laundered through offshore banks that kept things alive, there was nothing else that existed. But this drug money is not handled by the CEO of HSBC or Goldman Sachs, people like that. This drug money is run on the ground by various types of criminals.”
Maitra also speaks about his view that Mideast states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are secretly supporting Sunni Muslim groups like ISIS to preserve their own existence.
“They know that if they don’t push the extremist Sunni view, and don’t fund it, these extremist Sunnis will turn around and kick them out, and throw them into the salty waters of the Persian Gulf.”
He goes on to say that Britain is heavily involved in these operations as well, since a lot of the money from Saudi oil profits ends up in London, which then provides certain materials to support extremist activities. “(Britain) is serving the extremist Sunni interest that is exhibited by Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis,” he said.