Tarik in the Vineyard for the Saker Blog

I’m not sure even a NATO mosquito could cross the Russian border unmolested. And when a bear is lethally threatened, it doesn’t posture; it charges in a mighty roar. So why the Russian ultimatum? There are many plausible motives, many of which are not mutually exclusive. I’d like to focus on an aspect that hasn’t been discussed yet.

The last ten to twenty years could be characterized as a rivalry between China’s desire to re-balance the world’s economy, and the US’s effort to maintain the Dollar’s supremacy. China rose on the back of Western consumerism. There is only that much the West economy can absorb of China’s growing production, and that limit has clearly been exceeded. If China is to pursue its economic development, it needs additional “advanced” export markets to sustain its growing middle class. This is the Chinese necessity underlying the BRI, it cannot grow without the world growing with it.

Until recently it was content with a simple strategy: Enter several disparate countries at a time and start economic projects. Soon enough the US intervened to discipline the offenders; but they cannot strike all at once, choices must be made. Meanwhile, China approaches another bunch with still more economic projects. The US gets slowly overwhelmed, while the projects advance two steps forward, one step backward. On paper, it looks like an expensive proposition, but that is the beauty of it, it’s all paid for with US paper, while gold is accumulated. This entire period is comparable to the early and middle stages of a Go game

There is a point however when all these mini economic hubs must consolidate into a unified stream of connections to realize their full potential. That means no more US military interference and economic/financial disruptions. It seems we are now entering the late stage when “eyes” must be locked and linked.

There is little question the latest Russian move was long prepared and discussed with China. We may assume a common goal, and that none of the recent events are coincidences.

China and Russia favor and promote inter-currency settlement of trades. The Digital Yuan (E-CNY, electronic China Yuan) is designed for this purpose and has just completed successfully its live trials. It is reasonable to expect its official announcement in the near future. There are rumors this will be done during Putin’s visit to the Olympics. Regardless of the exact launch date, preparation must be made against the predictably harshest US resistance to its international deployment. There’s little doubt in my mind that many, if not most of East Asia will readily incorporate the new crypto iteration of the Yuan. However the Kazakhstan events, which were clearly foreseen with great precision, essentially opened up the entire Central Asian economies to its eventual use. With the recent 400bn commitment to Iran and the ongoing Pakistani projects, one may merrily add them to the bunch. India is free to join whenever they deem it in their best interest. This brings us right to the doorsteps of the Middle East.

Let’s now briefly revisit the US’ choices taken during the middle stage game. Since East Asia was growing to displace the US and EU as China’s main trading partner, Washington initiated their “pivot East” strategy to disrupt their momentum. Because of the sorry state of both their economy and military, they had to “delegate” the task of containing Russia on its western border to the EU. The Ukraine, in this context, can be seen as the “pretext” for the EU to activate NATO in Eastern Europe. However, as “pivot East” was floundering, they further needed to draw on their middle east assets (it’s becoming increasingly difficult not to laugh at what I must write). To this effect, they devised the Abraham Accords to similarly delegate the task of containing the “Shiite Axis” to Israel and the Golf States. The first “casualty” of these infamous Accords was probably Pakistan’s definite defection to the BRI, which further precipitated the Afghani debacle. To correct that mistake they then tried another formation with India, Japan, and a few others, followed by AUKUS, which both turned into flops, guided by the same imperative to relieve the strain on their military in an attempt to remain relevant on all fronts.

To control the Middle East, the US needs control of Europe, if only to secure their supply line. And to influence Central Asia they must control the Middle East. Until now Washington was essentially calling the shots, while Russia and China adapted their plans to whatever was thrown their way. By submitting their security demands, Russia is signaling unequivocally it is now taking the initiative. While the reinforcement of the Ukrainian Army was first designed to pressure some Russian reaction so as to increase the European nations’ commitment to toe the anti Russia line, the resulting Russian built-up of forces and large scale exercises have effectively reversed the pressure. The bulk of NATO forces are now bogged down on the eastern European front in a self induced paranoia, severely restricting their possible redeployment elsewhere.

With the Russian ultimatum the US is now basically faced with the following choices. Sign the documents, which by extension will mean the Minsk agreement and opening of NS2, but would free NATO reinforcement to the Middle East, no matter how futile this would ultimately prove. Because if this happens Europe will quickly “organically” link to the Asian network and recover most of its sovereignty from the US. At that moment, the Middle East is lost.

By not signing, the choice becomes loosing the middle East or release the pressure in East Asia, in both cases China wins.

If they don’t reinforce the Middle East, Pakistan is soon to be followed by the entire region. Though there could be some fireworks in the process, once the dust settles the BRI will be staring straight at Africa, throwing its full weight at European and American interests on that continent. If that happens, Europe falls.

Finally if they do “save” the Middle East at the detriment of East Asia, the Asian power house will become such that no one will escape its gravitational pull for long.

It is not very difficult to see, in this context, that whichever region the US decides to forsake, it’s only a matter of time before they lose the rest. Of course, this all assumes they don’t first crumble under the weight of their debts. Will they turn nuts and try blow it all up? I can only attest that the one thing greater than their evil idiocy, is their cowardice.

“Russia plans to engage its nuclear weapons not against those countries where it was launched against Russia, but against the mastermind cities where the decisions were made. To be exact, it is Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other American cities. Please fully understand, in case American nuclear weapons are launched from, eg. Taiwan, or Poland, the response will hit New York or Washington.”  Russian Duma deputy, Yevgeny Fyodorov.


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