lunedì 24 Giugno 2024

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The plot of international crises

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For a few months, international tensions seem to have multiplied, involving the Sahel, Gaza, the Red Sea, and elections in Taiwan. However, the underlying logic can be summarized in a few essential elements.

The United States is in full economic and power resurgence, engaging with other players in an attempt to weaken, divide, and align them with itself. Since 2022, the Dollar has successfully thwarted the only serious threat to its hegemony, which had been represented by the Euro for over two decades. The British and subsequently the Russians came to the aid of the Americans in this vital contest, along with the support of sovereigntists in Europe.
Meanwhile, with industrial revitalization and dominance in the energy market, the U.S. has reversed the trend that saw their global economic weight decline steadily from the 1950s until 2022. In just over two years, their share has risen from 21% to 25%. The “de-dollarization” efforts have not worked, as China relies on significant dollar reserves, and the Dollar was present in 88% of international transactions in the past year. Among the BRICS PLUS currencies, only the Renminbi is present, albeit in just 5%.

Those who believe that the Americans are in trouble continue to misunderstand the value of military defeats, direct or indirect. Americans consistently collect these defeats but use wars to bleed others and create conditions for subsequent political-economic gains, as seen in Vietnam. The same pattern is observed in Africa, Ukraine, Taiwan, and possibly Afghanistan.
Only the Russians have not learned the lesson of the irrelevance of muscular force, confusing it with the military superiority accompanying the deterrence and persuasion policies, which are, in fact, American and Chinese. Consequently, in their crudeness, they continue to pursue and display brute force, ending up with little influence, as no one considers them strategic players; instead, everyone uses them as pawns and scarecrows.
Repeated Ukrainian bombings and attacks on Russian soil have called into question Moscow’s credibility, as the doctrine of nuclear deterrence in the face of a threat to its territory has proven to be a bluff or, at least, not a must.

Every current dispute is an attack on the economy and political viability of the European Union, particularly representing a war against Germany and France, with Italy also affected. Germany, more than any other, feels the effects of the Russo-American initiative in Ukraine. Merkel’s imprudent move towards denuclearization now results in the energy rupture with Moscow, ending what was termed the “energy Rapallo.”
The consequences have disproportionately impacted the German economy. Berlin’s choice was nonetheless compelled, as the alternative would have meant complete abdication of political-economic control over Germany’s vital space in the nearby east, marking the end of national and continental aspirations.
The incomprehensible attack of February 2022 was perceived in Germany as a Russian stab in the back. This led to the Zeitenwende, partially echoing Schaüble’s theory, indicating a step-by-step path towards European strategic autonomy.
Defense Minister Pistorius is now the most popular politician in Germany. His rearmament policy, aiming for a strong ground army and a significant increase in military spending, enjoys the approval of 72% of the population. Former Foreign Minister Fischer added that separation from the Americans is foreseeable, and a program for European nuclear armament must be developed.
France has long proposed sharing the force de frappe and advocates more than any other for the overcoming of NATO. American hostility is palpable.

Europe as a whole has had to face the NATO expansion caused by Moscow and the energy supply crisis, compounded by navigation difficulties that mainly affect European trade. Indeed, besides the elongation of transit times, the collapse of maritime traffic in the Red Sea has led to a surge in costs and a reduction in import-export activities. The transport of a standard 40-foot container from China to Northern Europe currently costs over $4,000 compared to approximately $1,500 in November. To provide an idea, about 15% of Italian international trade passes through the Red Sea. Rising maritime prices also result in increased costs on other routes. The escalating tensions in the Middle East also jeopardize the supply of raw materials. Europe is thus under concentric pressures.
The only positive aspect is the realization of the need for at least partial political centralization and a deterrent military capability. In 2022, global military spending increased by 3.7%, but European spending increased by 13%, indicating the determination to catch up.

There is a particular three-way game between the United States, China, and India. The two Asian powers are cunning and careful in their relations, oscillating between cooperation and competition, with the latter clearly prevailing. The contest is played out in the creation of two opposing geopolitical alliance systems in the Indo-Pacific. The Chinese, known as the “String of Pearls,” include Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, and, in recent months, the Maldives. The Indian one, or “Diamond Necklace,” responds with Oman, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Additionally, since 2021, the I2U2 group involves India, the United States, the UAE, and Israel, while the IMEC maritime-rail corridor project competes with the Silk Road for Eurasian access. India has also assertively entered the space race, not only with a successful moon landing, unlike the Russian one but also planning to send a probe to the Sun.
In the backdrop of the Middle East, a game is played between Beijing and New Delhi with the level of partnership authority with the Americans at stake. Beijing has explicitly offered to “help Washington mediate.” It is no secret that, instead of challenging the system, the Chinese seek greater shares in global management and recognition that the Americans, rather than denying, attempt to contain, wearing them down.

The relationship with Iran is telling. China claims to agree with rejecting the nuclearization of Tehran and declares its willingness to mediate for a new agreement with the United States. However, Iran is the main oil supplier to India. Chinese diplomacy trying to reconcile Saudis and Iranians, thereby gaining considerable authority, is viewed with suspicion by New Delhi and is not well-received by Washington and Tel Aviv. Therefore, the current tensions in the Gulf and the Red Sea drag Tehran into a difficult position, forcing it not to disavow its inconvenient allies, thus hindering Chinese ambitions.
The victory of nationalists in Taiwan is another thorn in the side for Beijing. However, imagining a scenario of world war is premature, as the White House has reiterated for the umpteenth time its unwillingness to defend the independence of Taiwan.

The game is always the same: fueling, or more often, allowing tensions fueled by others to escalate, to wear them down and have bargaining chips.
There are not many doubts that the U.S. will abandon Taiwan, just as they did with Ukraine. As we wrote from the first day, Washington was pleased with the Russian aggression in Kiev, an invasion that several intelligence analysts (Chinese, Indian, Italian, and Iranian) immediately defined as coordinated. Which, at most, is secondary.
Russian infantry and artillery, however, accomplished the task that interested the Americans, who have essentially offered Donbass to Russia for the past ten years and are using Moscow against Europe for economic warfare and to curb its strategic ambitions.
For the Americans, the war should have concluded with the Ukrainian partition before the upcoming presidential elections. So, they did not support Kiev’s counteroffensive with tanks or planes and even prevented the Poles from providing their aircraft. Now that the Ukrainians must respond to the new Russian offensive, Washington has denied them Patriots and additional funding.
The Americans did not expect such a significant delay in the Russian military operations and have realized that, without blatantly helping Moscow, they risk not being able to impose the partition before the next autumn.

However, the American abandonment has brought back the third wheel, the United Kingdom, which had already played a leading role at the beginning of the conflict. The fresh commitment reached with Kiev for intelligence sharing, cybersecurity, medical and military training, industrial cooperation in defense, and financial assistance can shake things up.
Meanwhile, this allows London to practically re-enter the EU, while negotiations continue for a comprehensive agreement that allows it to nullify or at least mitigate the devastating economic, ethnic, commercial, and strategic effects of Brexit, which over 80% of the British population would like to leave behind. But purely in terms of warfare, this can have unforeseen effects, as Moscow was already celebrating a favorable conclusion arranged by Washington.

There is obviously much more, especially the massacres of hostage populations. The strategy of tension at the international level has the same effects as those experienced in Italy, but to an even greater extent. There is a “license to kill,” so various interests come into play, including stock and speculative markets, which soar with naval blockades and in conflict zones; there are new divisions of underwater gas. In such a scenario, expansionist aspirations and even genocide feel encouraged. Then there are clashes between factions for the dominance of militias and the assertion of influences of a mafia-like nature. All of this gives us a fairly accurate picture of what has been happening since October 7, which we have termed Hamasrael.
Moreover, medium-sized players, such as Russia or Turkey, following the Sino-American lead, seek to impose their influences with a mix, not always well-balanced, of politics and military power.
And there are other medium powers in strategic reorganization (the United Kingdom) or rearming (Japan) ready to make their voices heard.

In any case, we are talking about the same system everywhere, that of wild capitalism. In Europe, it is tempered by welfare and some forms of participation, but third-world competition and Wasp logic are causing European sociality to regress day by day.
It is noteworthy that this sociality often connects with the ostentation of the decadence of customs and values, much less prevalent outside the West. Not the decadence of customs and values, which, on the contrary, are almost always worse elsewhere, but the ostentation of this “progress.” This ostentation is more of a whim of a debauched bourgeoisie, a result of progressive Gramscianism and the Frankfurt School. Faced with this decadence, one can understand the instinct for reaction and the exaltation of other models, which, however, have nothing to teach even to the worst West. The issue is solely ours, and we will resolve it ourselves. But the real problem is not this cultural drift that will be corrected; it is the demographic drama in which we find ourselves.

All these diverse elements together make up the general fragmented and seemingly unstable framework: it is on the apparent instability that the true stability of a disunited but still unified system in all its important “geopolitical” variations is founded.
But the guiding lines are as we have summarized. The U.S., with an update of the Brzezinski Doctrine teaching to encourage disputes among other players by ensuring they are always indispensable to each of them, move against Europe and for an agreement with China on the most favorable terms possible. This intensifies the contest between India and China and disrupts the excessively presumptuous plans of those who want to ascend concretely.
The rest (Good versus Evil) is smoke in the eyes or ultra-support projected onto a scenario that has little to do with reality but only with its inaccurate and often psychotic representation.


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