- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Russia’s declining population will require Moscow to import foreign workers in the future, increasing racial and religious tensions in the former superpower, according to Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the CIA director.

Gen. Hayden also warned that differences between the U.S. and European governments over the Iraq war and the war on terrorism could divide the traditionally strong Atlantic alliance system.

China’s national goals and its military buildup also poses a challenge for the U.S. in coming years and China will turn “adversarial” unless Beijing plays a more constructive role in world affairs, Gen. Hayden also stated in prepared remarks for a lecture today at Kansas State University in Manhattan. A copy of his speech was released in Washington.

On Russia, Gen. Hayden warned that Russia is facing “demographic stress” with a population that will decline by 32 million in the next 40 years, almost one-fourth its current population of 141 million.

“To sustain its economy, Russia increasingly will have to look elsewhere for workers,” he said. “Some immigrants will be Russians from the former Soviet states. But others will be Chinese and non-Russians from the Caucasus, Central Asia and elsewhere, potentially aggravating Russia’s already uneasy racial and religious tensions,” the general said.

Russia is facing an increase in racially motivated crimes against those considered non-Russians. Groups of nationalist and neo-Nazi groups have been blamed from killings of Uzbeks and other workers from former Soviet republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The human rights group Sova Center stated that some 53 people were killed and 160 wounded in hate crimes in Russia already this year. By contrast, only 17 such killings were recorded in the first four months of 2007.

Critics say the extremist sentiments are the result of Moscow’s turn away from democracy and toward authoritarian rule, under Russian President Vladimir Putin and his successor Dimitri Medvedev.

On Europe, Gen. Hayden said in his speech that a “trans-Atlantic divide” could emerge over disagreements between Europe and the U.S., which he called “only symptoms of an underlying shift brought about by the end of the Cold War.”

As an example, he cited the differences between the U.S. and Europe on terrorism and related matters of intelligence and law enforcement systems — subjects on which the U.S. and Europe share a common liberal democratic tradition.

“The truth is, nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America and Europe still are grappling with how best to manage the security risks of the post-Cold War world,” he said. “So, for example, while we share the view that terrorism is an urgent danger, we disagree on how best to confront it.”

“The United States believes it is a nation at war — a war that is global in scope, and requires, as a precondition for winning, that we take the fight to the enemy, wherever he may be,” Gen. Hayden said.

In contrast, most of Europe views terrorism as an internal problem with solutions to be narrow matters on domestic security.

“When there is a direct threat to their people or interests, European governments work with each other and their allies, including the United States, to disrupt it,” he said. “But they tend not to view terrorism as we do as an overwhelming international challenge. Or if they do, we often differ on what would be effective and appropriate to counter it.”

Divergent views on threats and tactics will likely impact U.S.-Europe relations for the rest of the century, Mr. Hayden said.

“Managing the disagreements and tensions that arise in the absence of a unified vision will complicate what has traditionally been America’s easiest relationship,” he said.

On China, Gen. Hayden said that while differing views exist on China’s direction and motivations, his is that China is a competitor but not an “inevitable enemy.”

“There are good policy choices available to both Washington and Beijing that can keep us on the largely peaceful, constructive path we’ve been on for almost 40 years now,” he said.

China’s rapid and large-scale military buildup is based on Beijing’s understanding of U.S. military action in both Persian Gulf wars, and the development of advanced weaponry, he said.

“While it’s true that these new capabilities could pose a risk to U.S. forces and interests in the region, the military modernization is as much about projecting strength as anything else,” he said, noting that China is “determined to flex its muscle” through military power.

The buildup is “troubling,” he said, “because it reinforces long-held concerns about Chinese intentions toward Taiwan.”

China’s global behavior is “focused almost exclusively on narrowly defined Chinese objectives,” Gen. Hayden said.

“We saw that in the country’s dealings with Sudan, where protection of its oil interests was paramount,” he said.

Also, China’s aid to Pacific island nations also is undermining U.S. efforts to promote “good governance.”

“Whether China begins to engage the world in ways that are less narrowly focused will greatly influence the U.S.-China relationship in the new century,” he said. “If Beijing begins to accept greater responsibility for the health of the international system — as all global powers should — we will remain on a constructive, even if competitive, path. If not, the rise of China begins to look more adversarial.”

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