Blindspot #029 – Cold War 2.0: Eurasia (led by Russia & China) versus ‘the rest’

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Blindspot #029 – Cold War 2.0: Eurasia (led by Russia & China) versus ‘the rest’

Buiteboer // Dr Petrus de Kock 

www.buiteboer.co.za 

2/3/22 

Five segments of observations constitute the content of Blindspot #029, being: 

I – Welcome to Cold War 2.0: Eurasia (led by Russia & China) versus ‘the rest’ 

II – Why start out with Iran, China, Olympics and Taiwan, if the theme of the current Blindspot asks whether Ukraine will descend into a state of perpetual insurgency?

III – Why do we ask whether Ukraine will, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, be turned into a site of perpetual insurgency? 

IV – Wolfstreet on the economic impact of the Ukraine invasion on the Russian market: panic & bank runs 

V – Ukraine-Russia conflict outcome: a re-militarised and dominant Germany in Europe!

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I – Welcome to Cold War 2.0: Eurasia vs ‘the rest’ 

Cold War 2.0 speaks not about the now, but what is to come because it is a multi-domain Cognitive war, Information war, Unmanned war, and conventional take-the-territory and urban counter-insurgency war rolled all into one lean and mean 21st century potentially post-human war by 2023/24. 

It has come to pass, Cold War 2.0 is not that ‘cool or cold’ at all! It is hot and it has hit home in the Ukraine after eight years of this conflict building up in the breakaway regions of the country’s east. 

Blindspot #029 picks up on themes explored in #013 (The rising of Iran, and is AUKUS as braindead as Biden and NATO?), and #027 (Forces of frigmentation at the winter war-game olympics). In #013 the rise of Iran, through its formal ascension to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was explored. 

On its part Blindspot #027 shows how President Putin and Jinping, on the eve of the winter olympics, announced mutual support, among others the Chinese president argued, like Russia, against NATO expansionism. Thus echoing and supporting Russia’s stance on Ukraine – while his Russian counterpart echoed and supported the Chinese position on Taiwan. 

II – Why start out with Iran, China, Olympics and Taiwan, if the theme of the current Blindspot asks whether Ukraine will descend into a state of perpetual insurgency? 

Well, it has absolutely everything to do with it. In #013 we covered how Iran has been patiently waiting in the wings, as observer, for ten years to join the SCO. Behind the AI policed headlines of mainstream media, Iran has stretched its influence into Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other known-unknown hot sites of 21st century proxy wars such as Lebanon (of course), and Yemen.

If anything will be shown by history, it is that the fall of NATO in Afghanistan ushers in the emergence of Iran, as accepted, and strategic partner in the region. Major powers such as China, and Russia understand the significance of the Islamic Republic of Iran – and that, its reach- and influence, has significant sway in the region.

The themes explored in Blindspot #013 and #027 point to the unification of Eurasia, as geostrategic region. China and Russia, together with a landmass of 30 million square km, and more than a billion people in the SCO and Eurasian region is crystallising as Cold War 2.0 opponent to the ‘West’. 

With increased emphasis on the strategic interest Russia has in Ukraine, and China in Taiwan, a serious question has to be asked about the apparently uncoordinated policy response South Africa had to the Russian invasion, as a BRICS member. It is evident that the strategic issues impacting on Russia, and China, are bound to become factors impacting on the inner workings- and inter-relationships between BRICS nations. South Africa’s policy makers better wake up – and smell the fog of war drifting southwards from the perpetual belt of North African, Middle Eastern, and now Neo-European wars. 

III – Why do we ask whether Ukraine will, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, be turned into a site of perpetual insurgency? 

In Libya NATO did exactly what it is doing now: blindly dropping weapons into an extremely explosive conflict zone… 

NATO nations have made it clear that they will not (at least, yet) directly officially commit their military forces to Ukraine, while the USA in this week denied a request by Ukraine to impose a no-fly zone over the country. 

While NATO is not putting boots on the ground, the tons and tons of armaments, munitions, anti-tanks weapons, small arms, etc being donated by NATO nations point to only one outcome: an intensification of Ukrainian resistance, aiming to bog Russia down in protracted, and ugly urban warfare. 

IV – Wolfstreet on the economic impact of the Ukraine invasion on Russian markets: panic & bank runs 

With this in mind, the economic consequences for not only Ukraine, but Russia – and the world has to be noted. wolfstreet.com provides a sobering analysis of the impact recent developments have had on the Russian economy. 

On 28 February Wolfstreet reported that:

Earlier today, the ruble collapsed by nearly 30% to where it took 117 rubles to buy $1, up from about 83 rubles on Friday under the broad range of sanctions, many of them targeting the Russian financial system. The Central Bank of Russia implemented numerous emergency measures to contain the chaos, the bank runs, the frenzied hunt for dollars, and to prop up the value of the ruble. These measures included some capital controls, a promise of unlimited ruble liquidity for the banks, and the mother of all rate hikes: 1,050 basis points, from 9.5% on Friday to 20% on Monday. Which succeeded in softening the collapse of the ruble on Monday, now trading at 103 rubles to the dollar. As the 25-year chart below shows, ruble-collapses and financial crises are a regular occurrence in Russia: The 1998 Russian Financial Crisis, Russia’s part in the Global Financial Crisis, the 2014 Russian Financial Crisis, and now the 2022 Russian Financial Crisis. Over those 25 years, the ruble has collapsed by 97% against the USD.” 

The economic calamities that may yet flow directly and indirectly form this conflict, combined with the financial system headaches in global markets, are creating conducive conditions for financial chaos & mayhem akin to the chaos & mayhem playing itself out in the hot proxy war site of Cold War 2.0, anchored in Ukraine, to hit global markets. 

V – Ukraine-Russia conflict outcome: a re-militarised and dominant Germany in Europe!

Lastly, decisions made in Germany regarding cancelling its policy of not supplying weapons to countries in active internal conflict, paves the way for a dramatic sea change in German strategy. Some analysts are arguing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might inadvertently lead to the re-awakening of Germany as major, and dominant military force in Europe. A report from Foreign Policy magazine (27 February) provides some insight into this.

Key points in the significant policy shifts in Germany from Foreign Policy: 

  • “Scholz announced the creation of a one-time 100 billion euro ($113 billion) fund for the German military this year and committed Germany to spending 2 percent of GDP on defense henceforth. He highlighted Germany’s contributions to NATO and expanded commitments, including its deterrent presence in Lithuania and making German air defense systems available to Eastern European member states
  • “The day before, the government dropped its position as one of the last trans-Atlantic holdouts against excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system, and the Defense Ministry announced that it would provide 1,000 anti-tank systems and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine, reversing the Germany’s long-standing policy against providing arms to crisis zones. (Berlin also lifted key holds on third countries providing German-origin equipment to Ukraine.) Those historic moves came on top of the tough economic sanctions imposed by the European Union on Moscow within 24 hours of the start of the Russian invasion—measures that will hit Germany, too, since Russia is one of its top five export and import partners outside the EU.”
  • “On Feb. 22, that Scholz decided to halt the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”

Economic- combined with indirect kinetic war support against Russia is therefore the German policy going forward. 

For a more detailed blog visit – https://buiteboer.co.za/2021/10/13/blindspot-013-rise-of-iran-and-is-aukus-as-braindead-as-biden-and-nato/

Links: 

https://wolfstreet.com/2022/02/28/russia-in-financial-crisis-again-ruble-collapses-again-central-bank-does-mother-of-all-rate-hikes-again-us-stocks-shrug-again/ 

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/27/putin-war-ukraine-germany-scholz-revolution/