I’ve gathered up what seem to me to be some very interesting views. Along with some news.
Directly below is an oped. I don’t agree with it entirely, but, the author has put forth some ideas that are very interesting to consider. I will bold that which is most interesting to me. Kaz might find this one of interest.
As China challenges the West with Eurasian integration, the biggest geopolitical change of this conflict is not Kyiv’s alignment with its neighbours, but Berlin’s
Endless wars in Western Asia and the return of competition between the US, China and Russia have challenged the West’s confidence in its ability to set the rules for the global order.
It has proved unable to build states in its own image. The fourth wave of the global industrial revolution will not be exclusively western-led, and democracy will not conform to a neoliberal model. The war in Ukraine is one of the latest manifestations of history coming back to bite us – and there are fears of more to come, particularly with regards to Taiwan.
The media tends to oversimplify and personalise conflicts. Russian President Vladimir Putin is portrayed as the main villain for sending thousands of troops into Ukraine and attempting to take over the country. But history is more complex than the simple decisions of a leader, regardless of how ruthless or powerful he might be. The war in Ukraine is the sad epilogue of an unresolved conflict stretching back three decades, nurtured by an abysmal lack of common sense on both sides.
The biggest problem is that Putin does not care about this anymore, if he ever did. By deciding to attack, the Kremlin has clearly shown that it does not nurture any interest in global public opinion, particularly that of the West. Putin surely factored into his planning the likelihood of harsh western reactions and sanctions.
The biggest geopolitical prize of this conflict is not Ukraine’s alignment with its neighbours, but Germany’s
Chief among them is Germany – which has indicated it may extend the lives of its nuclear power plants and keep coal-fired power plants online for longer than anticipated.
The news comes as Europe’s biggest economy finally acknowledges it needs to wean itself off cheap Russian gas.
“For the next winter, we would take further measures.—————————————————————————-
From Russia’s perspective, ensuring its security interests in Ukraine prevailed over any other consideration. There was probably a decision in Moscow that it was better to “normalise” Ukraine now than to await further developments, amid the risk that Ukraine could formally become a Nato member.
It would be reasonable to assume that China had prior warning of Putin’s project. The Russian leader takes pains to condition the environment before acting, and he would not have issued a historic, overly ambitious joint communique with China on 4 February while leaving his chief ally in the new world order in the dark about Ukraine. And China has already rejected western sanctions against Russia, calling them illegal.
Crucially, the conflict in Ukraine is redefining Europe and transatlantic relations. For decades, Germany has tried to navigate European foreign policy, aiming to be a faithful Nato member and EU powerhouse while simultaneously maintaining close economic relations with Russia and China.
This game is now over. Berlin has frozen the Nord Stream 2 gas project, agreed to cut Russia out of the Swift global payment system, and sent lethal weapons to Ukraine. Any of these moves could place Berlin on a collision course with Moscow. It is too early to say whether the new German leadership is fully convinced of the soundness of these decisions, or whether it felt there was no choice.
Curbing Chinese plans
The biggest geopolitical prize of this conflict is not Ukraine’s alignment with its neighbours, but Germany’s. Ukraine will be probably be “normalised” in one sense, but Germany, too, in another. Ukrainians may soon discover that they have been used – perhaps even sacrificed – for a more pressing concern than Nato or EU membership.
German “normalisation” is an extreme attempt to disrupt or weaken the Eurasian integration that China, Russia and other like-minded countries are pursuing within the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. This is an ambitious project of economic and trade integration outside the US-led global economic order.
A Eurasian bloc would be far less threatening if it was cut off from German and European markets. An alternative to the western economic order would have been tamed.
As China’s rise is considered the primary threat to the US in the 21st century, it is essential for the American leadership to disrupt Beijing’s landmark geopolitical and geo-economic project of Eurasian integration. While attempting to curb Chinese plans, the US has wisely opted to withdraw from costly trouble spots, including Afghanistan and possibly the broader Middle East region.
The subject of the silk road project has been broached countless times here. This is part of the reason for the push to create Greater Kurdistan– Covered at my big tech censored blog. Extensively.
yes, we’ve agreed to disagree on this topic-
“The west want’s to push Russia away from the black sea, at least that is what it looks like to me. Which is not only a threat for Russia, but also for Turkey and perhaps China”
And to me it looks so much bigger then that. There has long been a plan by the US to break up Russia. And they have inched ever more closer to the border. Perhaps the US should have respected the territorial integrity of this nuclear power? But they haven’t.
This is the problem.
The taking of the Black Sea would be a problem for China and Turkey.
This goes back to MacKinder and his heartland theory
who controls the heartland controls the world-
The new silkroad -directly challenges US global dominance
etc., US monopolization of global resources etc.,
Back to the original linked piece
It is better to focus energies on Europe. The old continent will be far more crucial to US attempts to maintain its leadership and hegemony in the 21st century. By invading Ukraine, Moscow has done Washington a massive favour by rallying Europeans against the threat of an Oriental autocracy. Now, the immediate threat is Russia – but China will follow soon. The list of grievances against Beijing (Taiwan, the South China Sea, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, cybersecurity, etc) is constantly growing.
Someone could thus ask: why has Russia made such an apparently stupid move? To reiterate, Moscow does not care anymore, believing that its relationship with the West – Europe included – is beyond repair. Beijing is probably approaching the same conclusion.
From the US/western perspective, a Russia severely bogged down in Ukraine is an ideal outcome to hit the weakest link of the Russian-Chinese Eurasian partnership. The coming weeks will reveal whether this calculus is correct.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen for how long Europe will maintain its newfound unity. The economic impacts on Russia may have dramatic consequences for Europe’s own economic recovery.
Russia will scrutinize the hostile actions of other countries when choosing a response to their sanctions, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
“The response to these unfriendly…hostile actions, of course, must be analyzed. No one is going to shoot themselves in the foot to spite someone else. We will do what we need to do, what’s advantageous for us, and [we will do it] with a sound mind,” the Kremlin spokesman assured.
Yet another interesting read:
Simple-minded media propaganda – like the claim Russia’s Putin is deranged – is precisely what brought us to the crisis over Ukraine
Just two days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Department of Defense briefers were quick to claim that failing to take Kyiv in the opening days of the war amounted to a serious setback.
DoD briefers implied that Russia’s offensive was well behind schedule or had even failed because the capital had not fallen.
A look at the Russian military offensive demonstrates there was a plan for a full-scale invasion, which Russia is now executing.
Conventional, mechanized warfare is a time and resource consuming enterprise, and an operation of this scope isn’t cobbled together in days.
If Russian forces can take Kyiv and push southward to link up with forces on the Crimean front, thus splitting Ukraine in two, it would be a major blow to the Zelensky government.
What matters more than (an alleged) a handful of setbacks is that Russian forces have pushed 70 miles into contested terrain in less than a week and are on the outskirts of the capital.
This is not a sign of a disorganized, poorly assembled, and failed offensive.
The southward push from Belarus to Kyiv is supported by another Russian column, launched from the east in the vicinity of Kursk.
If this column can link up with Russian troops near Kyiv, it will envelop Ukrainian forces in most of Chernihiv and Sumy provinces, depriving the Ukrainian military of much needed soldiers and war material needed elsewhere, and cutting off the government from two northern provinces.
Further east, Russian forces have launched a broad offensive aimed at Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which is now under siege.
In the south, Russian forces, supported by amphibious assaults from the Sea of Azov, have poured into Ukraine from Crimea.
On this front, Russian forces have branched out along two main axes, one northwest along the Pivdennyi Buh River, and another northeast along the coast and inland towards the Donbas region, which Russia declared independent shortly before the invasion.
If Russian columns from either southern front can link up with forces further north, they would cut off many Ukrainian troops from reinforcement—one of the two columns has already advanced roughly 160 miles.
Russian generals have often chosen to bypass towns and cities that are putting up stiff opposition and isolating them to deal with later.