First off let me just say that more often than not I agree with many of the views of GPS program host Fareed Zakaria on CNN. I both respect his views as well as his efforts at presenting a well balanced/unique perspective on world events. However in this instant I beg to differ on many of the points presented in this clip. So here’s my take in brief (well with hindsight maybe not so brief) because to be honest the points I am making are not rocket science and need no elaborate explanation/analysis – just pure common sense so here goes;
- The Biden Success Story in Responding to Russian Aggression in Ukraine: Any success needs to be backed by some kind of evidence not just in terms of the power of actions but equally important is the resulting reaction. I so no evidence whatsoever of Russia backing down from its invasion of Ukraine; if anything things are escalating in the wrong direction. Remember playing for the long game in instances like this is a wrong strategy and can only allow Russia to turn the tables on these sanctions. As I mention in many previous posts the strategy of sanctions without military intervention is a flawed policy and weakens the western alliance to the point of irrelevance. NATO is even refusing to apply a no-fly zone over Ukraine; if Russian power play using the nuclear card is a deterrent from action then I would suggest we can all stop wasting time/resources on a big chunk of our military assets and dump them into the sea. As mentioned in previous posts, no wants war but there are times when security, long term strategic interests and protecting values and world order necessities taking decisive action however powerful the adversary as JFK once taught us again as mentioned in a previous post. In many ways the story of WWII and Adolf Hitler is being repeated in front of our own eyes and yet we seem to deliberately missing it or worse ignoring it altogether.
- Dividing Adversaries & the Need to Apply a different Strategy with China: Now the term “Strategy” is NOT something developed in an isolated lab somewhere. “Strategy” has to have a strong foundation which are a core set of values; this ethos has once been and for a long time the pride of the western alliance. China is not only seeking dominance on the world stage but it is doing so in a manner that undermines western values and interests around the world while promoting a governance model similar to their own; this not to mention their dismal internal human rights record. As for NOT supporting aggression against Crimea in 2014 and their current statements on the Russian attack in Ukraine one needs to look no further than the CNN website itself that’s talks about how Russia and China are on the same page when it comes to disinformation campaigning on the Russian aggression. In other words to developing a strategy purely on political/strategic grounds where values are taken out of the equation altogether is an own goal so to speak; first one scored by President Nixon and his “genius” strategist so many years ago.
The fact it is that since the Trump presidency in the U.S. the expectations of our adversaries in Russia and China have skyrocketed when they saw in real term the vulnerability of the western alliance; that was a game changer. The only way to reverse such expectations is to use a sledge hammer in defending western values & interests in close coordination with western allies. This is not what’s happening and part of the problem is the weak Biden leadership. The west still has the upper hand but time is running out for action and for an alliance that is being undermined by weak leadership that prioritises stability/safety over the concept of defending values and genuine long term interest. In fact I would say that The War of Ideology is now in full swing/likely to get more serious and unless we’re ready, willing and able to defend our values & ideology from the front line – not sitting on a comfortable couch somewhere on another planet with a set of remote controls – the future of the western alliance however powerful economically at the moment is doomed and in a very short time span.
Just a thought!