With dialogue between Moscow and Washington over Eastern Europe having come to an end, we have to look at the broader picture if we are to understand what this could mean for the rest of the world.
Ever since the Iron Curtain fell and the Cold War came to an end, as the only existing superpower, the US has had a free hand to do as it has wished. This would have been all well and good had this status been governed responsibly, yet three decades of American politics have seen the one existent superpower in the world turn into an existential threat.
Fast forward to today, and we see the previously unstoppable military machine pushing the immovable Russian bear, this being a far more profound situation than most appreciate.
US foreign policy with NATO in tow had already vastly overreached its remit before the events of 2014, yet the complicity of a puppet government installed by Washington has meant that a country that not worthy of consideration as a NATO member state has over the last eight years sunk to great depths at the same time as it is not only fighting a war against the Donbass Republics, but gearing up for yet another conflict it has no hope of winning. With diplomacy now being impossible in the face of relentless NATO (US) expansion, conflict may be the only way to prevent a bad situation becoming much worse in the future.
Moscow is now wise to who is doing what and on whose behalf, meaning it is ready for whatever tricks either fake diplomacy or real actions may spring. After three decades of salami tactics, any further move eastwards may mean taking the chop from Russia.
The mere fact that for the first time in decades the US has been brought to a halt is most worthy of mention. Not only that, whilst this whole affair is apparently concerning NATO activities, for all the presence it has in the matter, it might as well not exist. The fact that every American politician is crawling over this standoff whilst Stoltenberg says so little gives superb testament to the Atlantic alliance merely being Uncle Sam’s Foreign Legion. There are however some problems within the ranks of Uncle Sam’s merry men. For all the supposed might that NATO has, there are already some very visible cracks in the unity between certain members and the Washington-led narrative. With Romania and Bulgaria not wanting hostilities with Russia regarding a non-member state, Berlin not allowing German-manufactured weapons in-theater and most of the European public wise to America’s tricks, a cohesive effort by the West becomes a very difficult task. There are a lot of holes and cracks in the western plan, yet for all the talk of the Bear, there is an unseen elephant in the room.
One only has to look at the early stages of the Second World War to know that if US entered the conflict, its manufacturing might would help the allied side win. That eventually came to pass, the power of American industry changing the course of history forever. What we see today is subtly different. Russia does not have the power that the Soviet Union once did, yet that was due to Gorbachev believing the lies he was told by the West. In fact if he had chosen to follow a different path, the issues we see today would never have arisen. A reborn Russia is however capable of standing up to DC, this having been weakened by the same politics that have led warhawks and corporations to spread NATO across Europe since 1991.
The elephant in the room is China. China is the manufacturing giant that America once was, yet this has happened to a degree as a result of a western decline. A consequence of that is the increasing consternation seen amongst US lawmakers, yet in spite of tariffs, sanctions and manipulation, Washington has failed to slow China’s growth. Notwithstanding all the bluster regarding Washington’s Pivot to Asia, the US in Europe has been halted in Europe by a nation that is economically and militarily small in comparison to what Beijing can field. If the US, in the neighborhood of so many NATO member states can neither talk the talk nor walk the walk, it would simply be wasting its time and breath walking into a situation regarding the destiny of Taiwan. Much has been made of the new AUKUS alliance formed between Australia, the UK and US, yet if Uncle Sam has run out of steam facing Russia, he’d get steamrolled should he try anything in the South China Sea.
There is yet another dimension to this however. Many have looked from afar and seen the US opposing Russia or China. With the current global climate being what it is, recent agreements between Moscow and Beijing mean that by facing off against one, Washington is opposing Russia AND China at the same time that it has reached an absolute stalemate against the smaller one of the two. For all the might that the West and NATO claim to have, the states themselves have been in a slow decline for a number of years now, them resting on their laurels rather than being competitive against those they oppose. This from a western perspective could not have happened at a worse time as the star has been rising very fast in the East, western governments not wanting to admit to either themselves or the general public the realities which lie in the future. This would usually be of little concern, yet with so many western nations having built their dominance upon military conquest and that this dominance absolutely relies on maintaining the status quo, Washington’s current failure paints a very bleak picture for the future in the West.
This inability on the part of the West to do as it wishes has great implications for the century ahead. The majority of the world’s wealth has for a millennium been held in western hands, and with it the global balance of power. The great wars that have occurred were largely between western powers, the consequences and subsequent gains remaining in situ. The imperial superpowers and today US have only achieved what they have by sowing problems in someone else’s garden. With the sun now shining from the east, centuries of fruit are beginning to ripen, yet for the West, there will be no windfall, only the bitterest of gatherings being the fruit of centuries of toxic politics. Today the harvest is beginning, some reaping from their efforts, yet those who sowed the seeds of greed and war face a very barren future indeed.