Battle tanks delivery decision as the second turning point (Zeitenwende) and China’s new unification strategy with Taiwan?
Very fundamental article in the German green newspaper taz, which takes a look beyond the European battlefield in Ukraine and also relates it to the Indo-Pacific:
„Delivery of main battle tanks to Ukraine: It’s about more than the Leopard
With the tank decision, the West takes over the Ukrainian war aim for the first time. European NATO states are thus binding the USA to the conflict. It is something like a second step of the „turning point“(Zeitenwende). A big one. The announcements made last week in Berlin and Washington that Ukraine would be equipped with M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 heavy battle tanks are a turning point in several respects: for the further course of the war and for internal relations between the USA and the European NATO partner countries. Despite the Ukrainian jubilation over the decision, many military experts have pointed out that it is doubtful that the deployment of a total of around 120 tanks by the USA, Germany and other European countries, which also have the Leopard 2, would have affected the course of the war during a suspected spring offensives – the majority of the tanks will not have arrived by then and the Ukrainian soldiers will not be sufficiently trained. The US Abrams are even still being built in the first place.
But: With the promise, the NATO countries have accepted the Ukrainian war goal for the first time and ultimately taken over the task of throwing the Russian troops out of Ukrainian territory in their entirety. Germany follows the war dynamics The federal government has followed the war dynamics specified by Russia – and is going along with the escalation. In this respect, it seems logically incomprehensible that Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the FDP chairwoman of the Defense Committee who is happy to deliver, now clearly rejects Ukraine’s demand for fighter jets. It is obvious that they are needed to liberate Ukrainian territory from the occupying forces. If the West sticks to its new definition of engagement, it should only be a matter of time before this self-drawn red line falls. Almost more significant, however, is the Panzer decision for the state of the NATO alliance. In the last two decades, across several US administrations, one discourse has dominated the debate: the US demand that the European NATO countries significantly increase their military spending to at least 2 percent of their respective gross domestic product. First formulated in 2002, the year after the start of the Afghan war, it was then decided in 2014 – after the Russian invasion and the annexation of Crimea. However, very few European NATO countries really wanted to fulfill this, and when President Trump rumbled and rudely insulted the Europeans in 2018/19 that it was completely unfair that they simply did nothing, SPD chancellor candidate Martin Schulz expressed what was happening at the time The majority of Germany and most European countries thought: You shouldn’t let Trump pressure you into a senseless rearmament.
The main concern for the USA was to be able to loosen the security guarantee it had given for (at first Western) Europe, which it had given out since the beginning of the Cold War, and to be able to reallocate its military capacities – away from the focus on Europe and the Near and Middle East towards Asia. Because at the same time as the USSR collapsed, the Warsaw Pact dissolved and more and more countries from the former Soviet sphere of influence joined NATO, China rose to become a great power, not only economically, but also with rapid increases in its own military budget and a massive expansion of the arsenal of weapons – and political influence. President Barack Obama formulated the planned geopolitical shift in the USA in his own “East Asia Strategy”.
The fact that a military threat was suddenly back in Europe after the Russian attack on the Ukrainian Donbass and the annexation of Crimea in 2014 made Obama call all the louder for a stronger European build-up. Trump took up the thread in his own way: with his isolationist “America First” attitude, he scolded and threatened the Europeans, but at the same time showed no will to seriously confront President Putin about the illegal annexation of Crimea. The reorientation towards Asia formulated under Obama and the confrontation with China as the most important opponent can also be found in the national security strategy formulated by the Biden government last year. Their publication was actually planned for autumn 2021 and then postponed because of the Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine. It says: Russia, with its attempt to undermine international law and militarily move borders within Europe, is the acute greatest threat. „China, on the other hand, is our only competitor that has both the intention to change the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to get closer to this goal.“
The visit of the then Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy It had only been a few weeks since Pelosi in Taiwan and the subsequent Chinese military showdown. Against this background, at least US military strategists are not exactly happy about the massive shipments of US war equipment to Ukraine. A recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, perhaps the most important US military and security policy think tank, bemoans how few weapons of certain types are still available to the US: For example, by August 2022 alone, so many Javelin anti-tank systems are in been delivered to Ukraine as could be produced in seven years.
Isn’t it a bit hasty and early to claim that THE West has now adopted Selensky’s war goals with the battle tank decision, i.e. the complete recapture of Ukraine. It also seems that preparations are now being made for a conflict with China, and the United States apparently fears that too many arms deliveries to Ukraine and Europe could dramatically weaken their fighting power in the Indo-Pacific and around Taiwan. Is that then possible with Selensky’s war goal, further increasing arms deliveries, which will dismantle and disarm the NATO and US armies and mean a foreseeable armaments gap that the armaments industry of the NATO countries cannot compensate for so quickly? Or do you hope, like Ben Hodges, for a quick victory and liberation of Donbass and Crimea by August 2023, or do you not start negotiations sooner, especially since Trump is still breathing down the neck of Biden and the Republicans, questioning arms deliveries and one hoping for a quick deal with Putin? So is there agreement on the war goal within the EU, NATO general Domroese Jr. also said: “What does winning mean? Borders from 02/23/22 or from 1991? Either way: At some point, Western weapons and ammunition will also be scarce…“.
Meanwhile, the race to the bottom for timing of a Taiwan invasion continues. While Ben Hodges sees this coming in the next 5 years, Robert Habeck „2027 at the latest“, another US military is now undercutting this period and expecting 2025:
“US Air Force General expects war with China in two years Is an armed conflict between the US and China imminent?
An American four-star general describes this as likely to subordinates – and gives specific instructions for target practice. A four-star general in the US Air Force has told subordinates of an imminent war with China. „I hope I’m wrong,“ writes Mike Minihan in a memo from Friday, from which the US broadcaster NBC News and the Washington Post quote, among others. „My gut tells me we’re going to fight in 2025.“ Minihan argues that the US will be „distracted“ by the 2024 Taiwanese and US presidential elections. This gives Chinese President Xi Jinping the opportunity to take action against Taiwan.
The message signed by Minihan is addressed, among other things, to all commanders of the so-called Air Mobility Command (AMC), which has its headquarters in the US state of Illinois. Minihan urges subordinates to report to him by February 28 on any progress made in preparing for a possible battle with China. The AMC is responsible for almost 50,000 soldiers and almost 500 aircraft, it is responsible for transport and air refueling. „Aim for the head“ During February, according to Minihan, all AMC soldiers should “fire a clip into a seven-meter target, fully aware that unrepentant lethality is paramount.
Aim for the head.“
Also, troops should update their records and emergency contacts. A representative of the US Department of Defense confirmed the authenticity of the letter. But it was „not representative of the ministry’s position on China.“ Concerns about a conflict with China relate primarily to a possible invasion of Taiwan. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said earlier this month that „the Chinese armed forces are showing very provocative behavior“. But he „seriously“ doubts that an invasion is imminent.
It is questionable whether THE West has now committed itself to the Ukrainian war goals with the tank deliveries as a whole, that this is the second real turning point (Zeitenwende). It sounds perfectly logical, however, that the USA has no interest in a perpetual war in Ukraine, as that could weaken their forces in the Indo-Pacific and should Trump get his turn again, he will throw himself much more at China than is the case under Biden and on hoping for a quick deal with Putin. Yes, and the USA must also make sure that they don’t run out of gun powder for China, which could mean that Xi could feel invited, although the US 4-star general is loudly announcing the record date of 2025 today (Habeck: „2027 at the latest). The initial unity and resurgence of the West after the beginning of the Ukraine war, could be questioned by Xi due to a lack of US hardware as a result of arms deliveries to Europe, Africa’s defection to China and Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia, the lack of NATO northern expansion, the Greece-Erdogan conflict, US-elections and he could perceive and understand the elections as the last rebellion of the West, which is now being given the push for a new world order. It is true that China is currently practicing a smile offensive, increasingly abandoning wolf warrior rhetoric, speaking of the spirit of Bali, as there have now been meetings with Yellen and will be with Blinken soon, the formula One country, two systems, which has been shelved since Hong Kong at the latest shall be brought into a new formula and a unification strategy, but China is watching very closely what is happening in the EU, the US, Ukraine and the so-called Global South in terms of changes. And the upcoming US election campaign and Taiwanese election campaign could be a catalyst, although a KMT election victory might provide some relief and detente in the meantime.
A strange contradiction remains. Although many Taiwanese seem to support US arms deliveries, they do not want to follow the confrontational policy of the DDP. Will that resolve if the KMT were elected, i.e. arms deliveries and status quo? The GT also notes that belief that the US would defend Taiwan is waning, citing Academica Sinica and VOA. The reason for this was not Chinese propaganda, but the behavior of the USA in Afghanistan and Ukraine. The US would only see Taiwan as a pawn to contain China and if that was not the case, they would drop Taiwan and, if the worst came to the worst, avoid a direct war with China. For one thing, one wonders why China thinks the US should give up the first island chain and containment of China. Be it under Biden, be it under Trump or De Santis. Secondly, this is a dangerous underestimation of the US willingness to fight in an emergency.
US credibility is falling apart in Taiwan society, thanks to Washington itself
By Global Times Published: Jan 28, 2023 10:20 PM
The US is reaping what it sowed – the seed of devaluing credibility. According to a recent poll conducted by Taiwan island-based academic institution Academia Sinica, doubt in US‘ reliability is bubbling within Taiwan society, with 56.6 percent of Taiwan residents finding the US untrustworthy, VOA Chinese reported on Thursday.
Habitually, VOA looked for a scapegoat. While noting nearly 60 percent of Taiwan people are losing faith in US security assurance, the report also stressed that about the same amount of people are eagerly looking forward to US arms sales and defense assistance. VOA quoted observers and said this contradiction comes from Chinese mainland’s „cognitive warfare“ and „public opinion manipulation.“
There is a growing chorus of credible warnings about Washington’s security promise. Like it or not, this is the fact the US has to face eventually. But if VOA blames Chinese mainland, it is basically taking Taiwan residents as fools. Take the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, provoked by the US-led NATO. Washington pledged support to Kiev time and time again, yet also made clear that US assistance has its bottom line – not being directly engaged in the conflict. The US will apparently not all-in for Ukraine, and pledging support is merely a catchy excuse of exploiting Ukraine to weaken Russia.
And there was the US war in Afghanistan. After 20 years of military presence in Afghanistan, when the US found there was no gain but only losses, it made a hasty withdrawal in an extremely disgraceful and irresponsible way. Within these two decades, the Afghan people’s life has not been improved. Afterward, the US went on to ignore Afghan refugees, including those arriving in the US.
No cognitive warfare or public opinion manipulation is needed. Taiwan residents can see it by themselves.
A 2020 poll by the NGO Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation found that 60 percent of Taiwan residents believed US would send troops if a conflict breaks out across the Straits. In August 2022, 50 percent of people in Taiwan believed that the US would „definitely“ or „possibly“ send troops in a cross-Straits war, according to another survey. Perhaps quite a few people in Ukraine also believe so. But with time, selfishness is becoming more and more obvious in US so-called global leadership. The reason for Taiwan residents‘ doubt in US credibility comes from the US itself.
Taiwan residents are waking up to the truth: the US takes the island as cannon fodder. Washington often says its commitment to Taiwan island is „rock solid,“ yet has never specifically clarified how „rock solid“ will its support be like.
When it comes to the Taiwan question, the US has no nerve to collide head-on with China, because an extreme asymmetry exists in this scenario – China’s determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and the firm will of Chinese people vs US calculation for gains and losses over this overseas conflict and Americans‘ responses to it, Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.
VOA tries to underline that many Taiwan people are still looking forward to US arms sales and assistance to defend the island. This is a fantasy created by secessionist forces represented by the Democratic Progressive Party. Taiwan secessionist forces are dreaming that with enough arms sales and if the US clarifies its plan to defend the island, they will be able to deter the People’s Liberation Army’s any possible action toward Taiwan island. This is nothing but illusion.
Relying on US support is tantamount to quenching thirst with poison. As VOA mentioned, in 1979, official US ties with the island were cut. Now the US is cozying up to Taiwan again simply because Washington rediscovers the island’s value – the value to contain China. If there is no such value, there will be no arms sales and no visits of high-level politicians at all. Taiwan secessionist forces better watch out because they will be dumped once they become useless to the US.
US credibility is at stake. Long before the trend is observed among Taiwan people, a growing number of US allies have started losing confidence in US security guarantee. And the US has no one to blame but itself.
The following message from Nikkei Asia is also very important:
| Xi puts top brain in charge of Taiwan unification strategy There was a reason Wang Huning, China’s mysterious ideology czar who has served the past three presidents, stayed on as a Politburo Standing Committee member last October despite October being 67. Premier Li Keqiang and No. 4 Wang Yang, both 67, were shown the door.|
„Wang Huning’s mission is to lay the groundwork for Taiwan unification,“ a source
That does not mean Wang will be drawing up war plans to invade the island. Instead, he would he will be tasked with coming up with a theory that replaces „one country, two systems.“ The formula that was created in the years of paramount leader Deng leader Deng Xiaoping guaranteed a high level of autonomy for Hong Kong, and was long held as the future path for a peaceful unification with Taiwan.
Now that President Xi Jinping’s hard-handed policies in Hong Kong have crushed that city’s freedom, both the people of Taiwan and policymakers in Beijing understand that the formula is no longer viable.
The new theory will be more than just words. It will become the yardstick with which to measure progress and to decide if a military operation is necessary.”
„Analysis: Xi puts top brain in charge of Taiwan unification strategy – Nikkei Asia
In any case, Wang Huning, as a member of the Politburo, has now been tasked with finding a substitute formula for Taiwan and one country, two systems. How should that look? Autonomy? Rollback of “the new normal” and return to the middle line of the Taiwan Straits? Status quo ala 1992 consensus of the KMT? A timeframe like Hong Kong originally and more rights for Taiwan than Hong Kong used to have? Chinese citizenship for Taiwanese (duplicate passport probably not possible). All hard to imagine. Or the opposite. Fewer rights than Hong Kong, more of an ultimatum, accepting the “New Normal” as the new status quo? Request from Taiwan to demand a US withdrawal from the Taiwan Straits or to refrain from getting US arms (which the USA will probably not accept). It is still a mystery what will come next.
Some also see conscious signals from Xi to the USA for a new detente, also in terms of personnel:
“China is sending interesting signals to the US. Is anyone listening?
The key is whether the White House can lose the baggage and take Beijing’s leadership shuffles and recent posturing seriously.
January 30, 2023
Joergen Oerstroem Moeller
Much of geopolitics is about signaling in the expectation that the other party for whom the signal is sent understands the message.
This is one of the major lessons from Henry Kissinger’s voluminous memoirs and, indeed, in the broader history of diplomacy. It requires two to tango, as the saying goes, which in this context means that the other party should be ready to listen and capable of deciphering the underlying message.
The signal lamp on the bridge of Beijing’s diplomatic flagship has been flashing that its captain has changed course and wants the West, particularly the United States, to reconsider its depiction of China as a disruptive force bent on undermining the global economy’s steering system — that it is neither a rule-maker, nor a rule-taker, but a rule-breaker. This is not how China sees itself. Indeed, it has a strong interest in upholding a stable global economy while it struggles with its own economic challenges
China wants to re-enter the global community and, in particular, the global economy after flirting with developing a more self-reliant economy and a closer association with Putin’s Russia. The lessons learned and the conclusions drawn are that this was a blind alley and failed to offer China’s leadership what it wants more than anything else: economic growth.
President Xi Jinping was re-elected China’s leader (Secretary-General of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP) on October 23, 2022. At the same time, the composition of the CCP’s new politburo standing committee was made public and confirmed expectations that its members would be loyal to Xi.
This was taken as a sign of his having won complete control of China’s political system. But that judgment was too hasty.
Since 1949, when the CCP won the civil war, China has been dominated by informal networks that worked behind the veil of official institutions. Very few, if any, of the seminal policies that ultimately determined China’s course were decided by these formal institutions. The most obvious example of this is the reign of Deng Xiaoping whose only formal position for some of the time that he was China’s de facto leader was when he served as chairman of the Chinese Contract Bridge Association.
That President Xi felt the need to institutionalize his power through his reelection as secretary-general may be a sign of weakness rather than strength — a suggestion that the kind of informal power structure on which Deng relied to retain his dominance had become too fragile and uncertain.
And while Western analysts interpreted the election of a standing committee consisting of Xi loyalists as a demonstration of his domination, it remains unclear whether its members are loyal to the policies adopted by him —including enhanced state control over society and the economy, a more anti-western and assertive stance in global affairs, and closer ties with Russia — during his last five-year term or whether they are loyal to him personally and not necessarily to those policies.
Regardless of which interpretation is correct, President Xi Jinping, probably already in October 2022 if not before, saw the need to change course.
It didn’t take long before China’s strict zero-COVID lockdown policy was not only reversed, but completely lifted. While it was not officially stated, the reversal could not be seen as anything other than an admission that lockdown no longer was sustainable (maybe even that it had been unsuccessful) in the face of public demands that it be lifted.
Besides the popular discontent, it seems reasonable to believe that a major reason for the abrupt policy revision was the assessment that the economy was shifting to a lower-growth trajectory. For the leadership, that prospect was intolerable. The CCP has long legitimized its monopoly on power by its ability to deliver high economic growth. Indeed, as seen through the lens of ancient Chinese philosophy regarding the “Mandate of Heaven,” rulers could retain their power only by improving the people’s wellbeing, and it appears that the CCP has concluded that the best way to do so, at least for the time being, is to repair relations with the West.
Similar messages are sent out regarding relations with Moscow. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February last year, western media have repeatedly reminded its publics that Xi and Putin, meeting just a few weeks before, had described their friendship has having “no limits.” Any serious assessment of China’s position toward the war in Ukraine, however, would concluded that there are indeed limits.
On December 21, the chairman of Putin’s political party, Dmitry Medvedev, visited Beijing at the CCP’s invitation. The Chinese news agency Xinhua subsequently reported that Xi affirmed to his visitor that Beijing “decides its position and policy based on the merits of the matter concerned, upholds objectivity and fairness, and actively promotes peace talks. Hopefully, relevant parties will remain rational and exercise restraint, carry out comprehensive dialogue, and address joint security concerns through political means.” Not a word about “understanding,” let alone supporting Russian policy in Ukraine.
China did not impose sanctions on Russia after the attack on Ukraine but neither did it substantially step up economic cooperation with Russia to alleviate the effect of Western sanctions. It is the second biggest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds and could easily have made life difficult for Washington by selling some. It didn’t do so.
In a remarkable signal of policy change already last summer, then-vice foreign minister Le Yucheng, who was in charge of relations with Russia and who had repeatedly stressed the depth and warmth of the bilateral relationship, was removed from his post and now serves as deputy head of the National Radio and Television Administration. Until then, he had been seen as one of the top candidates to replace Wang Yi as minister for foreign affairs. When the name of the new foreign minister was announced at the same time, the ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, got the nod.
For some years, the world has heard about China’s what was labelled Chinese “‘wolf warrior”’ diplomacy, characterized by strong and sometimes even threatening statements issued by Chinese envoys, that marked an abrupt change from the style set by former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who was known for greeting everyone with a broad smile and almost irresistible charm. Earlier this month, the most visible “wolf warrior,” Zhao Lijian, who served as the foreign ministry’s chief spokesperson, was moved to the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs as one of three deputy directors.
The Biden administration, to its credit, has not appeared to be impervious to these signals. It is heard on the grapevine that a visit of Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China is expected to visit Beijing next month as part of an anticipated “step ladder” of meetings between top U.S. and Chinese officials.
Indeed, it will follow the meeting between Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen and her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He during the World Economic Forum in Davos two weeks ago — their first face-to-face meeting after a couple of virtual meetings.
China is also knocking on Europe’s door. Wang Yi, who was promoted from foreign minister to membership in the Politburo (not, however, the standing committee) to oversee foreign affairs, is now scheduled to visit Europe.
The new Chinese ambassador to the EU, Fu Cong, has recently given an interview coming out strongly in favor of enhancing bilateral relations. He mentioned specifically the stalled ratification process over the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, which has been blocked by the European Parliament over human rights concerns and in retaliation for sanctions recently imposed by Beijing on several European individuals and entities, including five MEPs.
The ball is now in the court of the U.S. and the EU. The risk is that they prioritize their demands over changes in Beijing’s policies, including human rights, over the colossal geopolitical advantages, including China’s position on Ukraine and its relationship with the Kremlin, that could accrue from a more positive response to Beijing’s signaling.
If so, the emerging opportunity will be lost. Even more so, if China’s overtures are seen as a sign of weakness that can be exploited to the West’s advantage. That would be a pity and move the world farther from a more stable geopolitical and geo-economic balance.
But three personalities can also be seen as swallows that have not yet made spring. Spirit of Bali , Smile offensive instead of Wolf Warrior rhetoric, Yellen/Blinken. Only the 3 personal details are new. But it can also just be a tactical maneuver to play for time while China continues to build up and strengthen itself. More important will be China’s new unification strategy for Taiwan and the substitute formula for 1 country, 2 systems and any arms control proposals by China, as well as concessions in the economic area, before the area of symbolic politics can be taken seriously.
Despite all the new tactical niceties from Beijing and also Xi’s rejection of the Russian threat to use nuclear weapons, the following incident makes it clear that the CCP is not only interested in de-escalating the Ukraine war and the situation in the Taiwan Straits, but also still unilaterally blames the USA and NATO for everything, including the Ukraine war, while not condemning Russia and demanding de-escalation measures from it or even the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in accordance with UN international law, also in order to make offensive demands in the Tawian Straits and a possibly non-peaceful “solution” of the conflict by force. Here, too, the USA is blamed unilaterally for the tensions and warned against crossing „red lines“:
“ China allegations Beijing blames US for Ukraine war
The Chinese government has never condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Beijing now sees the trigger for the war in Washington. The accusation comes ahead of a sensitive diplomatic visit. 01/30/2023, 05:06 p.m
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected in Beijing in a few days. Shortly before the visit, China has now sharpened its tone, blaming the United States for the war in Ukraine. „The United States are the ones who triggered the Ukraine crisis,“ said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning in Beijing. They are also “the biggest factor fueling the crisis”. By supplying Ukraine with heavy and offensive weapons, the US only prolonged and intensified the conflict. The Russian war of aggression against neighboring Ukraine has now lasted more than eleven months. The People’s Republic of China has never condemned Russia’s actions. Mao Ning made the allegations in response to a question about American allegations that Chinese companies might be supporting the Russian side. The spokeswoman spoke of “unfounded suspicions” and “unfounded blackmail”.
China will not stand by if the US harms the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies. „If the US really wants to end the crisis soon and is concerned about the lives of the people of Ukraine, they must stop supplying arms and profiting from the fighting,“ Mao Ning said. Relations between the US and China are strained. Blinken is expected in Beijing on Sunday and Monday. Most recently, a US Secretary of State was a guest there in October 2018. The State Department spokeswoman warned the US not to talk about communication and cooperation with China while interfering in internal affairs. The Taiwan issue is at the center of China’s core interests. The USA should not cross any »red lines« here .China’s leadership regards the democratic island republic as part of the People’s Republic and is threatening to conquer it. On the other hand, Taiwan has long seen itself as independent. The US is supplying weapons so the Taiwanese can defend themselves.”
But as I said, one must not only see the poor nuclear powers Russians and Chinese as victims, but also their own imperialist goals, the underlying concept of a new multipolar world order, Gerasimov’s hybrid war and Chinese „Unrestricted Warfare“, which also conceptualizes non-military warfare , be it „only“ through the support of pro-Russian politicians like Le Pen or Trump, or be it through a 40 million loan from a Putin oligarch to the Front National when he was already bankrupt, in order to smash the Franco-German axis and by this the EU and the euro, exit from NATO and push through a Russian-French military alliance, perhaps also a Eurasian axis including China along with BRICS and SCO as an extension, as Putin already called for a Russian-European military alliance and not just the Eurasian economic area in his peace speech at the German parliamnet in 2001. THAT is missing in all these considerations. There has always been biased talk about American geopolitical goals and past misdeeds by the US, but not about Russian or Chinese imperialism , and if so only as unrelated individual misdeeds and not as the future war program of a new multipolar world order, which is now clearly reflected in the Ukraine war and the threat against Taiwan and other Asian and European countries by which the dawn of the hoped- for new multipolar world order under Russian- Chinese hegemony manifests itself in the beginning not only about the New Silkraod, but its military chain of pearls from artifical islands the South Chi nese Sea including the 9 dash line, the Pacific islands to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Cambodia and other new hoped- for naval bases, the arments programms for future power projection, etc.
And it is interesting that Western media didn´t bring a geopolitical analysis of the Russian security structure, e.g. its main naval bases, but the interference of Russia in Syria was not seen in one line with its invasion of Crimea, but as seperated events which had no connection. My God, every high school student can bring this together. The very simple Russian backbone of its naval forces: Ice-free ports in the Black Sea at the Crimea, Kaliningrad and Syria with the military bases in Tartus and the other in Laktatia as the third mainstay and backbone of Russian Mediterranean and Middle East policy alongside former support for Saddam. Vladivostok in the Far East. Therefore Putin tried to prevent that this security architecture was smashed by the Arab spring and the Maidan revolt and this was foreseeable. You don’t need a highly paid expert in a think tank to be or a security expert to understand that. But not even that was understood in the media and apparently by some of the political representatives. And during Putin’s Bundestag speech in 2001 and the call for a Eurasian military alliance, they ignored it, even though he spoke in German. The only one listening was Emmanuel Todd, who immediately afterwards, in view of Bush jr.´s disastrous wars of aggression in Iraq 2003 published his book „America – an obituary“ with the demand for a Eurasian alliance as an alternative, which also envisaged a military alliance with Putin and Todd centrally quoted Putin’s Bundestag speech. Only Harld Schmidt ridiculed the ideas of Eurasianism at the time, but at least mentioned them, albeit not as a military alliance but as a parody of a Eurasian soccer team.Nope, were and are those important aspects and frameworks just blind spots and wishful thinking? And even if some experts mentioned it, they mostly didn´t perceive it in the framework for a war program for a new multipolar world order under Russian- Chinese hegemony.
Talk show at Anne Will. Interesting the dialogue between Marianna Weissband, Janine Wissler (Left Party), and Kevin Kühnert. Weissband argued that the West itself does not know exactly what the war aim is. If Biden and Scholz wanted to freeze the war, then they should say so. The consequence would be that Putin-Russia, after previously having 4% of the area and 10 km of front line, would be granted 20% of the area and 1300 km of front line, he then would refresh his military war machine and then after some time would start the next offensive to get even more of Ukraine. In addition, one must clearly state that there will then be hundreds of massacres in the occupied territories like in Butcha, which already exist, including a kind of North Korea in the occupied territories, and the mass deaths will continue. Wissler said that one had to break out of the military logic and come to a negotiated solution in small steps, especially since negotiations on grain agreements and prisoner exchanges had already been conducted and one could reach the larger negotiating goal with small steps, especially since mediators such as India or China should also get involved. Kühnert tried an intermediate position. If the WEst had acted like the Left Party without arms deliveries and delays, Putin would still be standing in front of Kyiv or already in Kyiv. In addition, Scholz acted correctly, on the one hand involving mediators and the international community, as demonstrated recently by China’s position against Russian nuclear weapons use, on the other hand he had always tried to unite NATO and involve the USA, even if some wanted to act faster and more comprehensively. Furthermore, the Ukraine will continue to be supported in order to get the best possible negotiating position. SPIEGEL correspondent Mascola saw only a never-ending war of attrition and a stalemate, and with the delivery of warships, combat aircraft and long-range missiles and in the event of a Ukrainian offensive, the danger of World War III if Russia were cornered too much, which is why negotiations should be held soon. However, nothing else was specifically discussed, e.g. a Korean solution ala Chief of Staff Milley with US or NATO troops in the rest of Ukraine including a demarcation line and an Iron Curtain, which prevent Putin from starting another offensive as Marina Weissband fears. Or Domroese’s proposal to secure the rest of Ukraine with security guarantees based on Israel’s model and to send in rotating US and NATO troops from time to time. But there is also the question of whether this can be enforced in the West and whether the USA will physically exercise these security guarantees in the long term if Trump gets reelected or there is a conflict between the USA and China and the USA no longer can or will engage in Europe, NATO, and above all in Ukraine, especially since the Baltic States remain the next sensitive area, as described in Michael O Hannon’s book The Senkaku Paradox- Great Power Wars on Small Stakes or in the CSBA study Rethinking Armaggedon.