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West Returns To Default Settings By Bypassing Democracy And Adopting Militaristic Strategy – OpEd

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The Ukraine war shattered the stillness of history and forced the world to move toward political and geopolitical tensions. Some countries were even forced to reconsider their foreign and security identities, as well as their role in international relations. Finland and Sweden, for example, are among the countries that are withdrawing from their historic and practical commitment to a policy of neutrality by joining NATO. Germany abandoned conservatism and announced a new defense strategy that will inject 100 billion Euros into its military. Switzerland has turned a blind eye to traditional neutrality and is calling for more cooperation with NATO.

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Austria, along with the two German-speaking countries, has joined the US-led international task force to support Ukraine. London is not satisfied with anything other than the continuation of the war and the defeat of Putin, and France is seeking full cooperation with NATO. The United States and Britain immediately entered the war by sending arms to Ukraine. Even the US Congress, despite disagreements between the Democratic and Republican parties on foreign policy, unanimously approved tens of billions in aid to Ukraine. 

In other words, by returning to default settings, the West turned to militarism by bypassing democracy. By sending advanced military equipment such as Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and stealth drones to Ukraine, they were able to postpone the geo-political changes Russia sought to achieve.

In the midst of the war, Western companies, without the decision or mandate of the United Nations or WTO, suspended their operations in Russia and spread out a punitive financial net, including crippling sanctions, and targeted the country’s defense and technology, as well as the assets of wealthy Russian oligarchs. In return, Moscow’s pressure on Europe intensified. Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria and cut off electricity supplies to Finland, which imported 10 percent of its electricity from Russia. Gas flow from the North Pole to Germany and some European countries have stopped. Only one of the embargoed companies, Europol GAZ SA, is the investor and owner of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. This pipeline could supply 32.9 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Aside from the political and geopolitical consequences of the Ukraine war, there have been strong economic shocks that will intensify as Western sanctions against Russia continue. Problems with global food supply and fluctuations in food costs could undermine the political stability of some countries in Asia and Africa that sought to balance simultaneous trade with the United States, China, and Russia.

Asia accounts for nearly 60 percent of the world’s population and 32 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Political tensions in the oil and gas sector and rising wheat and corn prices have caused many problems for Asian countries. Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, which depend on these imports, are facing severe shortages and struggling with the impact of the shortfalls on their vital services such as transportation, electricity, and fuel. In Vietnam, some gas stations were shut down. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have strengthened relations with Iran and Venezuela to provide alternative oil sources. Rising commodity prices could improve the economies of Southeast Asian countries affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, leading to an increased risk of political and economic instability and the consequent growth of immigration and terrorism in those countries.

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The world today is in a much more complicated economic situation. The Black Sea on which grain trade is dependent has become a war zone. Russia, with 40 million tons, and Ukraine, with 18 million tons, are the world’s largest grain exporters, accounting for 20 percent of world corn, 30 percent of wheat, and, above all, 80 percent of sunflower oil exports in the world. Many poor countries are dependent on Russia and Ukraine, and other producers are unable to fully meet global needs in this area.

The United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and other South American countries cannot export more than they have planned. Rationing food for the use of rich countries will effect food security and political stability problems in populous countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Morocco that import grain and especially wheat. They cannot find alternative ways to import, and their people are vulnerable to price fluctuations in international markets.

Currently, the United States, Britain, and the European Union, as well as Japan and South Korea, are worried that China will be bolder in Taiwan and elsewhere if Russia succeeds in violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial change without paying even a tiny price. Japan and Korea are concerned about China’s expansionist and territorial sovereignty and, as expected, have joined the US side against Russia. In the ASEAN bloc, only Myanmar supports Russia, while Singapore, which has long sought to balance China and the United States in Indo-Pacific, has been forced to condemn Moscow.

Recent political and economic developments will either lead the world to US-led unipolar militarism, or, if Putin’s position stabilizes, to the division of the world into several political and economic blocs and regional security complexes so that the era of American monopoly ends. The multipolar world will likely be pursued through tools such as increasing economic and defense self-reliance and the formation of various regional and trans-regional unions to change the international financial-economic system through China and Russia and create a world based on a system consisting of international organizations and rules outside of US domination.

It can be said that the US attempt to balance regional powers and Russia’s opposition to the unipolar structure of the international system paved the way for the Ukraine War. Moscow sought to maintain its existence by invading Ukraine’s territory. It should be noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has called into question the validity of all Russian-US nuclear and disarmament agreements. All initiatives and agreements in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other documents that de-escalated relations between the West and the East have practically lost their credibility and executive capacity after the Ukraine crisis. The parties in Moscow and Washington have made it clear that the new geopolitical situation must be accepted as soon as possible, even if it leads to World War III.

The war in Ukraine is now entering its fourth month, with no favorable end in sight. Therefore, Europe must understand that the Ukraine crisis has directly targeted the security of the continent. For the first time since World War II, geographical hemorrhage from the continuation of traditional US-Russian rivalries has spread from the Middle East and East Asia to Europe; and its continuation will have irreparable consequences for the future of the European economy and security.

There is no doubt that as long as the United States considers the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty possible only with the withdrawal of Russia, Europe will be at the forefront of current and future threats, and its continuation will ultimately lead to global disparities and the uselessness of international safeguards in protecting the Europe sovereignty. This is while the United States, as a superior power, wants to maintain the status quo and strengthen the rules and structures that are in line with fortifying its leadership.

Greg Pence

Greg Pence is an international studies graduate of University of San Francisco.

2 thoughts on “West Returns To Default Settings By Bypassing Democracy And Adopting Militaristic Strategy – OpEd

  • July 11, 2022 at 5:14 pm
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    So Greg, are you affirming the right of Russia to invade Ukraine? I don’t think the Ukrainians would agree with that. If Russia had any kind of democracy going for it, Putin wouldn’t even be in power. Bashing the USA will get you clicks, but it won’t save any of the lives being lost in Ukraine, both Russian and Ukrainian. The EU and most Western bloc nations will be more menaced by Russia if they don’t stand up to this blatant land grab.

    Reply
    • July 13, 2022 at 3:42 am
      Permalink

      Under the rules based order anyone can attack anybody if they claim they are bad.
      Ignoring the international drone murder program is standard practice but it doesn’t make those people less dead.
      Difficult to find good guys, but others are always worse than whoever is speaking.
      Peace now.

      Reply

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