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Igor N. Panarin

Igor Ν. Panarin (μετάφραση στα ελληνικά)

Doctor of political sciences, professor of the Diplomatic Academy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia.
Prof. PANARIN is the author of nine books, «Infowar and power”, “Infowar and world”, “Infowar and election”, and others, and of many political essays published in various journals.

Prof. PANARIN often take part in different political discussions on the Russian TV on the main problems of Russian policy, development of relationships between USA and Russia and many others.
His main interests are history, philosophy, psychology, computer science, communication, election technology, conceptual problems of globalization, the theory and practice of infowar.

The Wall Street Journal

As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

In Moscow, Igor Panarin's Forecasts Are All the Rage; America 'Disintegrates' in 2010

MOSCOW -- For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.


Igor Panarin

In recent weeks, he's been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. "It's a record," says Prof. Panarin. "But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger."

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry's academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it's his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin's views also fit neatly with the Kremlin's narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories.

A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

In addition to increasing coverage in state media, which are tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Mr. Panarin's ideas are now being widely discussed among local experts. He presented his theory at a recent roundtable discussion at the Foreign Ministry. The country's top international relations school has hosted him as a keynote speaker. During an appearance on the state TV channel Rossiya, the station cut between his comments and TV footage of lines at soup kitchens and crowds of homeless people in the U.S. The professor has also been featured on the Kremlin's English-language propaganda channel, Russia Today.

Mr. Panarin's apocalyptic vision "reflects a very pronounced degree of anti-Americanism in Russia today," says Vladimir Pozner, a prominent TV journalist in Russia. "It's much stronger than it was in the Soviet Union."

Mr. Pozner and other Russian commentators and experts on the U.S. dismiss Mr. Panarin's predictions. "Crazy ideas are not usually discussed by serious people," says Sergei Rogov, director of the government-run Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, who thinks Mr. Panarin's theories don't hold water.

Mr. Panarin's résumé includes many years in the Soviet KGB, an experience shared by other top Russian officials. His office, in downtown Moscow, shows his national pride, with pennants on the wall bearing the emblem of the FSB, the KGB's successor agency. It is also full of statuettes of eagles; a double-headed eagle was the symbol of czarist Russia.

The professor says he began his career in the KGB in 1976. In post-Soviet Russia, he got a doctorate in political science, studied U.S. economics, and worked for FAPSI, then the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency. He says he did strategy forecasts for then-President Boris Yeltsin, adding that the details are "classified."

In September 1998, he attended a conference in Linz, Austria, devoted to information warfare, the use of data to get an edge over a rival. It was there, in front of 400 fellow delegates, that he first presented his theory about the collapse of the U.S. in 2010.

"When I pushed the button on my computer and the map of the United States disintegrated, hundreds of people cried out in surprise," he remembers. He says most in the audience were skeptical. "They didn't believe me."

At the end of the presentation, he says many delegates asked him to autograph copies of the map showing a dismembered U.S.

He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

"It would be reasonable for Russia to lay claim to Alaska; it was part of the Russian Empire for a long time." A framed satellite image of the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russia like a thread hangs from his office wall. "It's not there for no reason," he says with a sly grin.

Interest in his forecast revived this fall when he published an article in Izvestia, one of Russia's biggest national dailies. In it, he reiterated his theory, called U.S. foreign debt "a pyramid scheme," and predicted China and Russia would usurp Washington's role as a global financial regulator.

Americans hope President-elect Barack Obama "can work miracles," he wrote. "But when spring comes, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

The article prompted a question about the White House's reaction to Prof. Panarin's forecast at a December news conference. "I'll have to decline to comment," spokeswoman Dana Perino said amid much laughter.

For Prof. Panarin, Ms. Perino's response was significant. "The way the answer was phrased was an indication that my views are being listened to very carefully," he says.

The professor says he's convinced that people are taking his theory more seriously. People like him have forecast similar cataclysms before, he says, and been right. He cites French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union -- 15 years beforehand. "When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him," says Prof. Panarin.

[Igor Panarin]

Write to Andrew Osborn at andrew.osborn@wsj.com

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A1

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Igor Nikolaevich Panarin (Russian: И́горь Никола́евич Пана́рин, Russian pronunciation: [ˈiɡərʲ nʲɪkɐˈɫaɪvʲɪt͡ɕ pɐˈnarʲɪn]; born 30 October 1958)[1] is a Russian professor, academician, political scientist, writer, intelligence analyst, strategic forecaster,[5] ideologist,[6], and information warfare expert.[7] He is most notable for his hypothesis of possible disintegration of the USA into six parts in 2010, conceived by him as long ago as 1998 but which only gained world attention 10 years later.[8]

Igor Panarin has written 15 books[9] and a number of articles on information warfare, psychology, and geopolitics. He is often interviewed by Russian and foreign (Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNN, BBC, Sky News) media on issues of Russian policy, development of relationships with the USA, etc.[10][11] Panarin also has his own weekly radio programme.[12]

He has led electoral campaigns in Russia and abroad,[4] and his high-profile students have included parliamentary deputies, regional leaders, Kremlin officials, and Foreign Ministry spokespeople.[13] His interests include history, philosophy, psychology, computer science, communication, election technology, conceptual problems of globalisation, and the theory and practice of information warfare.[10]

Panarin graduated from the Higher Military Command School of Telecommunications of the KGB (now the Academy of Federal Security Guard Service of the Russian Federation) in Oryol and the Division of Psychology of the Military-Political Academy (with a gold medal). In 1993 he defended his thesis for Candidate of Psychological Sciences, entitled "Psychological Factors of the Officer's Activity in Conditions of Innovations". His Doctorate in Political Sciences was awarded by the Russian Academy of Public Administration in 1997 for a thesis entitled "Informational-Psychological Support of the National Security of Russia".[1]

KGB emblem
Emblem of the KGB on a badge

Panarin began his career in the KGB of the USSR in 1976. After 1991, he worked in the FAPSI, then the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency,[5][14] reaching the Colonel rank.[15] His field of activity was strategic analysis and integration of closed and open information streams, information stream management in crisis situations, and situation modelling of global processes. He did strategic forecasts for the then President Boris Yeltsin.[5] From 1999 to 2003, he worked as the Head of the Analytical Division of the Central Election Commission of Russia.[14] From 2006[16] to 2007,[17] Panarin was the Press Secretary of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos), the Russian analogue of the U.S. NASA.

Prof. Panarin started his teaching career in 1989 and has taught in the Moscow State University (MGU), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), the Russian Academy of Public Administration, and the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, where he has worked since 1999.[3][18][19] He also carries out activities on his own. On 25 November 2004, he launched his official website.[20] In April 2008, his first training seminar called "Information warfare – technologies for success" was held. It was targeted at top managers of state and business structures, press service managers of authorities and large corporations, anti-crisis management experts, and decision makers in time-deficit situations.[11] On 20 May 2009, Panarin started World politics – his own weekly radio programme on the Voice of Russia radio.[12] On 5 June 2009, he launched his user-generated content blog site.[21]

[edit] Views and ideas

Russian coat of arms (1497)
Russian coat of arms during the reign of Ivan the Great (1462-1505)

As Wall Street Journal writes, Panarin's office furnishing shows his national pride: pennants with the emblem of the FSB (the main KGB successor), many statuettes of eagles – the centuries-old symbol of Russia.[5] Panarin says he is a supporter of Russia as a superstate but nowadays Russia has no imperial ambitions.[22] He also supports Pan-Eurasian nationalism of Nikolai Trubetzkoy.[23] Panarin criticises Lenin and Trotsky but praises Stalin for, as he says, realising a geopolitical project of his own – a synthesised historical Russian geopolitical idea of Volotsky, Philotheus, Danilevsky and Leontiev. In his view, after 1934 Stalin started a process of recreation of the Rus doctrine "Moscow – a Third Rome" in new historical conditions.[24][25]

On 3 July 1941 when Stalin addressed the Soviet people as "Brothers and sisters",[26] this doctrine became the dominating geopolitical idea of the USSR-Rus and replaced the Lenin-Trotsky's idea of world revolution that was an external (imported) geopolitical project. The Pan-Eurasian nationalism of Trubetzkoy, joint with the "Moscow – a Third Rome" idea realised in the conditions of the Soviet order yielded a result – the USSR won a victory in the global skirmish with Fascism. And the Trotskyist ideas won at the end of the 20th century in the USA and brightly manifested themselves in the ideology of the liberal globalism of a part of the contemporary American political elite (globalists).

—Igor Panarin, [24]

Panarin condemns the activity of the last General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet UnionMikhail Gorbachev. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the latter's rise to power (on 11 March 1985), Panarin called him "the Antihero of Russia".[27] On Panarin's initiative, an action called a Public Tribunal against Gorbachev for the downfall of the USSR and crimes against its peoples was carried out at the web portal KM.ru from 2 to 22 December 2005, resulting in 56,298 people condemning Gorbachev.[25]

Panarin opposes the Houston programme of 1990[28] and criticises the Russian finance minister Alexey Kudrin for following it, saying the the 2008 financial crisis in Russia is a part of it. He recommends selling old and gas to Ukraine only for roubles (which in his view would automatically block its process of integration in NATO) and withdrawal of all Russian funds from the American "financial Titanic", buying gold and creating powerful Russian banks.[29] He also recommends granting credits only in roubles.[30]

[edit] New British Empire

In 2005, Panarin coined the term "New British Empire", which in his view started forming in 1945 and consists of 7 levels, with the following structure (subordinate from top to bottom):[31]

  1. American-British transnational capital: Control centres – London and New York, analytical centre – RAND Corporation (USA, California).
  2. USA: Control centre – Washington DC, analytical centre – the State Department of the USA.
  3. British Commonwealth: Control centre – London, analytical centre – the BBC.
  4. Trojan horse states: Poland, Saudi Arabia
  5. Economically controlled states
  6. Politically controlled states
  7. Destabilisation states: Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Yugoslavia

Panarin writes that the 11 September attacks may have been aimed at replacing levels 2 and 3 of the New British Empire with China and the Chinese Commonwealth, respectively (see also his book "Information warfare and geopolitics"), accelerating the U.S. collapse, or preventing it.

Panarin's U.S. breakup map
Panarin's prediction of the USA's disintegration (original map).

[edit] Prediction of the USA's collapse in 2010

In the summer of 1998,[32] based on classified data about the state of the U.S. economy and society[33] supplied to him by fellow FAPSI analysts,[5] Panarin forecast the probable disintegration of the USA into six parts in 2010 (at the end of June – start of July 2010, as he specified on 10 December 2008),[34] following a civil war triggered by mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation. He forecast financial and demographic changes provoking a political crisis in which wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government, effectively seceding from the Union, leading to social unrest, civil war, national division, and intervention of foreign powers.[5] Panarin sees the task of the world elite as not letting the USA follow the Yugoslavian model of disintegration; it is desirable that it follows the Czechoslovakian model of disintegration so that everything goes calmly and peacefully.[35]

This hypothesis gained world attention a decade after its initial announcement due to the 2008 financial crisis and has been widely criticised since.[36][37]

[edit] Other ideas

Panarin conceived a number of other ideas, given below in chronological order, which also reflect his views on the respective subjects. One of them (the rouble-denominated oil-trading exchange) has already been implemented.

  • Informational-psychological subunits in government and military directorates: proposed in 1997; would develop strategic and operational measures to prevent or neutralise attempts to control the psyche of Russian society (i.e. a strategy of psychological defence). A Chief Directorate in Support of Psychological Security would ensure the psychological component of Russian national security.[15]
  • Information Service for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with headquarters in Moscow: proposed in his book Information warfare and the world (2003) for more effective information-analytical support of SCO activities and more reliable presentation of analytical information to the leadership of SCO countries.
  • Reforms of Russia's foreign policy propaganda system: proposed in February 2005. First steps – introduction of the post of Foreign Policy Propaganda and Informational Counteraction Advisor of the President of Russia, creation of a State Commission for Public Diplomacy of Russia (later renamed to a Council for Public Diplomacy; in December 2008 he amended an Information Security Committee and an Information Counter-intelligence Service among the others within it).[38] Panarin also proposed the submission to Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Voice of Russia radio and the RIA Novosti press agency (further, based on the so created structure, formation of a Foreign Policy Media Holding within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia) and creation of non-governmental organisations of Russia, acting on the territory of the CIS countries, the EU, and the USA.[39]
  • Media and terrorism: later the same month Panarin proposed imposition of severe limits on the media on showing violence acts and during terrorist acts, when the media and the authorities must cooperate. He said that the media must never give the terrorists a tribune or help them acquire operational information, and double media standards are intolerable. He proposed a contract on anti-terror between the authorities and the media with a behavioural codex of the journalists and the creation of a special state body for informational counteraction organisation and coordination of the information activities of all state structures operating to counter terror.[40] In his view, the media are to a certain degree a catalyst for terrorism because terrorist acts of such a volume would be impossible without them; also, the press induces panic in the organs of state authority and affects the public negatively.[16]
  • Eurasian Union: proposed in January 2006 as Eurasian Rus – an interstate formation modelled after the European Union on the territory of the post-Soviet area headed by a Prince (after Machiavelli) that would restore and strengthen the economic integration, with gradual incorporation of a series of Balkan and other countries.[25] He proposed Putin as the first Prince of the formation, which he renamed in 2009 to Eurasian Union and proposed St Petersburg as its capital by 2012, when in his view only 3 planetary centres of force would exist – the European Union (EU-1), the Eurasian Union (EU-2), and the Chinese Commonwealth.[13][41][42] In April 2009 he proposed a second, Southern capital – Alma-Ata[43][44] and in May 2009 – two more capitals: Kiev in 2014 and Belgrade in 2020.[24]
  • Rouble-denominated oil-trading exchange in Russia: proposed in February 2006. Such an exchange was opened in St Petersburg on 24 September 2008, and as soon as in March 2009, Rosneft (the leader in the Russian oil field and one of the largest public oil companies in the world) sold by auction 7.6 thousands of tonnes of oil products for 97 millions of roubles. For March, the auction volume amounts to 15–20 thousands of tonnes of oil products monthly. Besides Rosneft, other major Russian oil companies like Gazprom Oil, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and TNK-BP also plan to go to the exchange, and crude oil trade is expected to start in a few months.[45]
  • Information-ideological geopolitical development concept: proposed in 2008 in his book Information warfare for the future of Russia,[9] where he develops the basic ideas of Eurasian integration. In his view, by 2012 Russia will have made a transition from sovereign democracy to a geopolitical project of Eurasian Integration.[46]
  • Quintilateral Commission (5 sides from the 5 continents; compare with the Trilateral Commission): proposed in January 2009 as an expert mechanism for international consultation on seeking ways out of the world crisis.[35] In March 2009 he said that the commission's task would be to create powerful instruments of national and international forecasting.[47]
  • New world currency – ACURE: proposed in March 2009. To be based on the three leading world currencies: the Asian Currency Unit (a regional currency basket that was first proposed in 2006 based on the currencies of Japan, China, and South Korea along with the ASEAN group), the rouble, and the euro.[41][42][48] In his view, the coordinated introduction of the ACURE in 20 countries would allow a painless transition to a new model of world development.
  • Bi-currency basket to replace the USD for the SCO: in April 2009 Panarin proposed integration of Eurasia and a new development model to faster overcome the global crisis, including working out a new Joint Anti-Crisis Programme for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and dropping the U.S. dollar in favour of a rouble-yuan bi-currency basket as the SCO currency. He proposed 3 mutual payment levels for the SCO: 1) national currencies, 2) rouble or yuan, and 3) bi-currency basket, and offered the SCO to propose the ACURE as the new world currency on the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit.[49]
  • Russian-American information-analytical anti-crisis centre: proposed later the same month, with expert-analytical and project-prognostic divisions, to offer the Russian and U.S. leaders joint proposals for finding the way out of the global financial crisis. Consisting of scientists, analysts, journalists, and civil society representatives, whose special analytical reports and prognoses would be systematically brought to the notice of the leaders of the UN Security Council member countries.[44]

[edit] Bibliography

Books by Panarin
  1. Psychological security of the army, Moscow, 1996 (Russian)
  2. Psychological aspects of ensuring the national security of Russia, Moscow, 1995 (part I), 1996 (part II) (Russian)
  3. Information warfare and Russia, School aid of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2000, (Russian) (at Google Books)
  4. Information warfare and authority, Security World, 2001, ISBN 5-89258-033-4 (Russian)
  5. Information. Diplomacy. Psychology, Izvestia, 2002, ISBN 5-206-00606-8 (Russian)
  6. Information warfare technology, KSP+, 2003, ISBN 5-89692-084-9 (Russian)
  7. Information warfare and the world, OLMA-Press, 2003, ISBN 5-224-04397-2 (Russian) (at Google Books)
  8. Information warfare and elections, Gorodets, 2003, ISBN 5-9584-0002-9 (Russian) (at Google Books)
  9. Information warfare: victory in Bashkiria, Gorodets, 2004, ISBN 5-9584-0021-5 (Russian)
  10. Information warfare and diplomacy, Gorodets, 2004, ISBN 5-9584-0032-0 (Russian)
  11. Information warfare and the Third Rome, Cyril and Methodius, 2005, on-line book, (Russian)
  12. Information warfare, PR, and the world politics, Hotline – Telecom, 2006, ISBN 5-93517-297-6 (Russian)
  13. Information warfare and geopolitics, Generation, 2006, ISBN 5-9763-0001-4 (Russian) (at Google Books)
  14. Information warfare for the future of Russia, Hotline – Telecom, 2008, ISBN 978-5-9912-0039-4 (Russian)
  15. The crash of the dollar and the disintegration of the USA, Hotline – Telecom, 2009, ISBN 978-5-9912-0113-1 (Russian)
Articles by Panarin
  1. Psychological security of military personnel, Landmark, issue No. 8, 1995 (Russian)
  2. Information security problems in modern conditions, 1997 (Russian)
  3. Strengthening of the role of the informational factors in Russia's national security system, Authority, issue No. 1, 1998, ISSN 2071-5358 (Russian)
  4. Information warfare and financial crises, VIP, issue No. 1, 1999 (Russian)
  5. Is a collapse of the USA in 2010 possible?, Authority, issue No. 6, 1999, ISSN 2071-5358 (Russian)
  6. Unoccupied heights. Public opinion as an object of influence and struggle in the contemporary armed conflict, Security World, issue No. 7, 1999, ISSN 1813-1034 (Russian)
  7. Is Russia ready for the 21st century information warfare?, Authority, issue No. 2, 2000, ISSN 2071-5358 (Russian)
  8. Nontraditional view on the problem of foreign debt, Banking in Moscow, issue No. 3, 2001 (Russian)
  9. Information warfare: theory and practice, Human Resource Policies, issue No. 2, 2002 (Russian)
  10. An instrument of foreign policy, Military-industrial courier, issue No. 32, 2008, ISSN 1729-3928 (Russian)
  11. Secrets of 11 September, Military-industrial courier, issue No. 37, 2008, ISSN 1729-3928 (Russian)
  12. A system of informational counteraction, Military-industrial courier, issue No. 41, 2008, ISSN 1729-3928 (Russian)
  13. The Dollar as a world currency will vanish in the autumn of 2009, Metal buildings, issue No. 3, 2009, ISSN 0005-9889 (Russian)