How the world is being redefined by the Ukrainian battlefield

Author: George Friedman

The war in Ukraine is certainly a humanitarian tragedy, but it is not so that it attracted the attention of the world. After all, as I write this there are humanitarian crises in Yemen, Syria and other countries. From a geopolitical point of view, war is a possible turning point – more precisely, the question is whether it will create a new model for Europe, redefine the functioning of the global system and oppose European political-military unity. Another question is whether China’s view of the world will change, whether it wants a new deal with the United States, or whether it will withdraw from it.

The Russians have so far fought surprisingly weakly in Ukraine, especially when it comes to their goals: to turn Ukraine into a buffer zone against the West and to prove that Russian power is a force to be reckoned with. So far, the war has shown the opposite. In some cases, this may go unnoticed. In countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam, for example, the United States failed to achieve its goals and was seen as a declining power. The difference is that those countries are not important to the security of Americans. However, Ukraine is essential to Russia.

So Russia is now looking for reinforcements from Syria, Belarus, the Wagner group and more. Even if the people of Moscow see that they are ready, it will take time to load up the army, get them used to the battlefield, and introduce them to the battlefield. Although Moscow has succeeded in doing all this, the protracted conflict is still to be expected. For many, the need to recruit foreign troops demonstrates the failure of Russian commanders, weakness in military training and motivation, and logistical problems.

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If Russia wanted to create the impression in Europe that it could invade at any time – perhaps it would not have done so, but pushed Europe to make a deal with Moscow or reconsider its relationship with the United States – it failed. At least for now, it has brought the United States closer to Europe than ever before. The ongoing fighting and brutality, as Russia believes it must defeat Ukraine, further strengthens this (US-Europe) relationship. It is difficult for Russia to imagine a solution – other than the use of weapons of mass destruction – that would make the West perceive Russia as a major threat.

This is not just because of Russia’s poor performance on the battlefield. The status of high authority is obtained for economic and military reasons. Russia’s GDP in 2001 was $ 1.6 trillion, ranking 11th in the world after South Korea. Since then, Russia has been paralyzed by volatile energy prices, the 2008 financial crisis, the Kovit-19 epidemic and now sanctions in response to the invasion. In other words, it can no longer be considered an economic power. It changes our perception of a world that was seen as a major power due to Russia’s military might, but with a weak economy.

A few weeks before the start of the war, China wanted to make friends with Russia because it needed friends in the face of the US alliance structure that started in Japan and arrived in India. As I mentioned, China has no major allies other than Pakistan. China knew it would not support Russia economically – it has its own problems – but at least China needed relief, hoping it would gain by seizing Russian military power to force the US and Europe to recalculate the threat. Representation against him.

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Beyond the military, Russia has enjoyed the opportunity to receive financial assistance from China, or at least the intention given to its borrowers by the Chinese government to support the Russian economy. It was clear that Russia’s ability to make a significant contribution to a Chinese battlefield was limited, as was China’s desire to embrace a weak Russian economy. Their alliance can only create fear for those who fear it.

The coalition is still rhetorical, but real support is unlikely. Russia has already been hit hard by the United States and its allies, and China cannot fall into Russia’s trap. Any military support would have turned the blockade upside down. In simple terms, Russia is an obstacle to China.

I believe that Beijing’s decision to announce its alliance with Russia was based on its knowledge of the details of the Russian invasion. This would force the West to reconsider its position on China, which could repeat Russia’s strategy, which, in theory, made the alliance attractive to China when it believed that Russia could achieve a quick and easy victory.

Russia’s incompetence is forcing China to do whatever it takes to recover, and to reconsider its relationship with the United States. Is in a severe economic downturn. His alliance with Russia is neither fruitful nor fruitless. The United States and Europe have created a kind of economic war that, if applied to China, would be extremely harmful. Thus, China’s short-term strategy is to look confident, to maintain verbal support for Russia, and to criticize the United States for thinking of the next step.

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It should be noted that Taiwan is not the next phase. China has seen wars fail, so an invasion of Taiwan must now be avoided.

When we think of the great powers of the world, we are usually reminded of the United States, Europe and Russia. If Russia does not do something surprisingly effective, it will be difficult to demand such a position. Europe is a great power if it is united militarily and economically. It is now, but as fears about Russia dissipate, old tensions resurface. China is still a major power, albeit with an untested military and a tough economy. For now, the United States alone is an undeniable economic and military power.

Dr. George Friedman was the founder and chairman of the Geopolitical Future (GPF) and the founder of the Stratfor analytics firm, which he led until 2015. George Friedman is the author of several papers on geopolitics, including “The Next 100 Years”. Forecasts for the 21st Century ”(included in the NYT bestseller list).

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