Is America fighting another losing war so certain people get wealthier? The Biden’s have a stake in Ukraine and the Biden family will end up the richer for it!!
All posts tagged Wars
This is from a much longer article.
‘Stating the obvious: Here in the United States, the commander in chief is far past his intellectual prime, and prone to petulant retaliation against those who disagree with him and his policies. Biden is no Kennedy. His administration has jumped Constitutional guardrails in many areas, and increasingly acts as a Globalist lapdog, just as we have seen happen in current WEF-influenced Canadian, UK, Australian, and New Zealand political leadership structures.
US Nuclear saber rattling in Europe will further damage the cohesion of the European Union, NATO, and is adding to the profound geopolitical insecurity and instability of the entire region as it heads into what looks like a truly “Dark Winter”.
One has to wonder, what are the US National interests in Ukraine which merit this level of risk?
If there is not a clear and compelling US National interest in the region, has the US Military and NATO merely become tools for enforcing a Globalist agenda seeking to punish Putin for incursion into what has become a US/WEF puppet territory?
The Belgian people and most Europeans still remember Flanders Fields. I only wish that Joe Biden could.’https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/an-inconvenient-opinion-from-europe?publication_id=583200&post_id=81904344&isFreemail=true
‘In July 2021, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) issued a Press Release that, to date, stands out for its courage and honesty. Rep. Brooks wrote about a meeting he’d attended with Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese medical doctor, Ph.D. virologist, and whistleblower, who fled to the U.S. from Hong Kong in 2020 after being threatened with being “disappeared” for speaking out about the origins of the SARS-CoV-2. Her mission since then has been to warn America and the world about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s offensive Biological Warfare (BW) program.
That program, a seamlessly linked effort directed by the CCP in collaboration with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), dates back to Mao’s 1949 takeover of China. In the wake of WW II, Japan’s horrifying use of BW against the Chinese people became known to the world. The Imperial Japanese Army killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese during the war under the auspices of Unit 731, that had been established in Manchuria in 1932 under the leadership of the notorious Gen. Shiro Ishii, chief medical officer of the Japanese army. Japanese occupiers performed hideous experiments on captive Chinese, including infecting them with cholera, gonorrhea, and plague. Japan’s BW program was also weaponized. Cholera was used to infect water wells and fleas infected with bubonic plague were dropped in aerial bombs over Chinese towns and villages.
What may be less well-known is that Mao’s Communist regime did not eliminate Japan’s BW program in China after the Japanese defeat in WW II, but instead took it over and developed it further. Despite the fact that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) acceded to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1984, the PRC’s so-called “civilian-military fusion” policy directs its offensive BW program to this day. “Civilian-military fusion” means that every medical or biological lab, research center, or even university academic program dedicated to basic biology, epidemiology, or virology is obligated to operate under CCP-PLA orders and to share any and all research with regime officials.
Writing in her 2021 book, What Really Happened in Wuhan, Australian author and investigative journalist Sharri Markson noted that “Intelligence agencies and Western governments have known for decades that China has a bioweapons program…Chinese military-affiliated scientists were discussing the weaponization of coronaviruses publicly and openly—and they did so five years before the Covid-19 pandemic”. Quoting from this author’s own December 2021 piece at American Greatness, we have an example of that openness in the May 8, 2021 edition of The Weekend Australian, in which “Australian journalist Riah Matthews revealed the contents of a 2015 document entitled (in English translation) ‘The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons’ that was co-authored by a group of Chinese scientists, including bioweapons experts and PLA scientists”. Even though the U.S. State Department reportedly has this document, no one from senior levels of the U.S. government has commented on it to date. Given the explicit language used by the Chinese bioweaponeers about SARS coronaviruses as part of a “new era of genetic weapons” that can be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed in a way never seen before”, it might be thought that Congress would have held hearings on this, the National Security Council or State Department would have issued some statement, or the White House itself would have brought this to the attention of the UN Security Council. But none of that has happened.
This 2015 document from Chinese bioweaponeers is hardly the only source that attests so brazenly to the CCP-PLA BW program. In September 2019, Jeff Nyquist, a deeply knowledgeable analyst of communism and Marxism, posted “The Secret Speech of Chi Haotian” at his blogsite. Chi Haotian served as the PRC’s Minister of Defense until his death sometime after 2003, which is when he addressed a gathering of high-level CCP members. Quoting once again from this author’s December 2021 American Greatness piece, in this speech Chi spoke “in terrifying terms of the need for ‘special means’—biological weapons—to ‘clean up America’ and make room for Chinese to find ‘lebensraum’ [living space]”.
Pre-dating these documents, of course, is the 1999 Chinese military manual, written as their M.A. degree thesis by two Chinese PLA colonels and published as Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America by the PLA. Among the two dozen “methods of operation” listed within is included “Bio-chemical warfare”. On the page preceding that list, the PLA notes that “The American military is naturally inadequately prepared to deal with this type of enemy psychologically, in terms or measures, and especially as regards military thinking and the methods of operation derived from this. This is because they have never taken into consideration and have even refused to consider means that are contrary to tradition and to select measures of operation other than military means”.
To this point, we have discussed the various open sources that attest to the CCP-PLA’s well-developed offensive BW program. The question, scarcely mentioned by senior U.S. or Western officials, that may naturally be posed is “Why?” “Why are they doing this?” The fact that this question as well as the entire topic of China’s BW program is almost never mentioned, even after the massive devastation of the COVID pandemic, is curious at best and will await further discussion for the moment. But here let us delve into the malevolent motivation that drives the current CCP regime to wield such horrific weapons against us in the first place. For if we of what we like to think of as the Free World are successfully to resist being “assimilated” by an aggressive and expansionist would-be global hegemon (as David Goldman put it in his 2020 book, You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-form the World), we must understand and confront those malign intentions.
It may be useful to begin by recalling what the famous Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote some 2,500 years ago in his Art of War. This work, perhaps the most important military treatise of the last couple thousand years, presents a set of skills necessary to waging successful warfare. Among those skills, the most important lessons are those on how to avoid kinetic warfare in the first place, by instead deploying cunning, deceit, and psychological manipulation against an enemy poorly prepared to recognize or counter such measures. The PLA authors of Unrestricted Warfare and the CCP’s Party Chairman (perhaps for life?), Xi Jinping are steeped in the study of such strategies. Recalling the PLA’s all-too-accurate assessment of American military readiness (as written some two decades ago), we must somehow be jolted out of our “woke” stupor in time to recognize that China’s deliberate development of deadly pathogens in its military and civilian labs is being done with the explicit strategic military intent that they be unleashed on U.S. and world populations. The psychological warfare component that preceded the 2019 pandemic was pure Sun Tzu, beginning with what Peter Schweizer has told us is a CCP policy of “elite capture”.
With senior leadership of our government, media, and public health institutions co-opted (wittingly or unwittingly) to CCP stratagems, the American public has had no way of understanding the CCP’s plan to dominate the world, beginning with the development and unleashing of a deadly pathogen that we were pre-conditioned by CCP information operations to fear irrationally. The refusal to challenge the CCP-PLA’s decades-old BW program and an almost hypnotic willingness to lock down and thereby destroy our own economies, is pure textbook Sun Tzu. Almost three years into this organized attack, and except for a few courageous Members of Congress, there still has been little official or public pressure to hold the PRC responsible.
Xi Jinping has just been given his third 5-year term as CCP Party Chairman. The world witnessed on live TV his ruthless display of power when former Party Chairman Hu Jintao was dragged out of the Party Congress hall as Xi looked on impassively. Xi is quickly consolidating power, with the appointment of solid loyalists to the Politburo Standing Committee. Xi now has the power he sought to push ahead with plans to seize Taiwan, but also to continue development of what he considers the PRC’s most powerful weapon, Biological Warfare agents. Over the years, China has weaponized anthrax, cholera, dengue, various coronaviruses (including the SARS family), plague, and tularemia as well as toxins like botulism and ricin. Such pathogens are studied at the PLA’s sprawling network of military labs as well as at ostensible “civilian” labs like the now infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology. U.S. intelligence likely knows about this but chooses to keep silent.
Remember above all that the PRC declared a “people’s war” against the U.S. in May 2019—and it didn’t just mean a trade war to counter then-President Donald Trump’s sanctions. It meant Unrestricted Warfare, which explicitly includes Bio-chemical warfare. It’s about displacing the U.S. as the world’s pre-eminent power. It’s about achieving power dominance for a liberty-crushing totalitarian system of governance. Deployment of BW agents is not necessarily about racking up a high death count, either: getting the U.S. and the world to paralyze our own economies and education systems without firing a shot while simultaneously manipulating us into avoiding any serious attempt to hold the CCP responsible is sheer psychological warfare brilliance.
Time to wake up.’https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/long-history-of-chinas-ccp-and-biowarfare?publication_id=583200&post_id=81704135&isFreemail=true
- Americans may not even know that China has struck the first blow until months after it has occurred… Americans think China’s war planners think like America’s war planners. Unfortunately, the Chinese ones do not. First strikes, despite what former intelligence officials believe, do not have to look like the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
- Chinese doctrine is different, something evident from Unrestricted Warfare, the 1999 book by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, then two Chinese air force colonels.
- So what would China’s first attack on Taiwan look like? Say, six months before an invasion China, violating the Biological Weapons Convention, could release a deadly pathogen on Taiwan.
- China’s National Defense University, in the 2017 edition of the authoritative Science of Military Strategy, mentioned a new kind of biological warfare of “specific ethnic genetic attacks.” Pathogens can now be designed to infect specific groups and even specific individuals.
- A regime monstrous enough to kill millions around the world [with COVID-19: the Chinese Communist Party pressured other countries to take arrivals from China without restriction while locking down Chinese territory] is surely monstrous enough to release, as the first act in a conflict, a disease on the 23.9 million people of Taiwan. It could take the Pentagon months to realize that China had started a war to annex the island republic.
- I suspect Chinese ruler Xi Jinping would not be overly upset if Taiwan were a smoking radioactive slab as long as it were part of the People’s Republic of China.
- “The biggest problem with the ‘China Hands’ of the U.S. intelligence community is their inability to place themselves into the mindset of the Communist Party and its Central Military Commission, in other words, to think like the enemy. There is still too much mirror-imaging going on…..” — James Fanell, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, to Gatestone, in response to the Culver report, October 2022.
- Americans make assumptions about the Chinese style of warfare; some of those assumptions are almost certainly wrong.https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18999/china-attack-taiwan
The following is adapted from a talk delivered at Hillsdale College on October 4, 2022, during a Center for Constructive Alternatives conference on the topic of Russia.
‘According to what we hear from the White House and from the television networks, the issues at stake in the Ukraine War are simple. They concern the evil of Vladimir Putin, who woke up one morning and chose, whether out of sadism or insanity, to wreak unspeakable violence on his neighbors. Putin’s actions are described as an “unprovoked invasion” of a noble democracy by a corrupt autocracy. How we ought to respond is assumed to be a no-brainer. The United States has pledged vast quantities of its deadliest weaponry, along with aid that is likely to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and has brought large parts of the world economy—particularly in Europe—to a standstill.
Now, whenever people in power tell you something is a no-brainer, there’s a good chance that it’s a brainer. And the Ukraine War is more complicated than we’ve been led to assume.
There are reasons why the U.S. might want to project power into the Black Sea region. But we must not ignore that the politics of the region are extraordinarily complex, that the Ukraine conflict is full of paradoxes and optical illusions, and that the theater we are entering has been, over the past 150 years, the single most violent corner of the planet. And unless we learn to respect the complexity of the situation, we risk turning it into something more dangerous, both for Europeans and for ourselves.
Historic Roots of the Conflict
Putin invaded Ukraine after the U.S. rejected his demand for a guarantee that Ukraine not join NATO. We don’t have to excuse Putin, but we should note that, until quite recently, having Ukraine in NATO was a prospect that struck even many American foreign policy thinkers as a bad idea. These included George Kennan, who was one of the architects of the NATO alliance when the Cold War began in the late 1940s. Kennan was still alert and active, at about 90 years of age, when NATO won the Cold War at the turn of the 1990s. And in 1997, during the Clinton administration, he warned that American plans to push NATO borders “smack up to those of Russia” was the “greatest mistake of the entire post–Cold War era.”
John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago, is a forceful representative of Kennan’s viewpoint. Mearsheimer is skeptical of “idealist” crusades, like the one in Iraq that George W. Bush drew the country into in 2003. He thinks President Bush dramatically overestimated the degree to which the U.S. could spread its values and its institutions. In light of present events, he especially faults Bush’s push to bring the former Soviet Republics of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO in 2008.
A lot of Americans in government at the time felt the same. One was William Burns, then President Bush’s ambassador in Moscow, now President Biden’s Director of Central Intelligence. In a memo to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Burns wrote the following:
Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all red lines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two-and-a-half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests. [It would be seen] as throwing down the strategic gauntlet. Today’s Russia will respond. Russian-Ukrainian relations will go into a deep freeze. . . . It will create fertile soil for Russian meddling in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
In thinking about why this would be the “brightest of all red lines,” consider why it was that the Ukraine problem didn’t get resolved at the end of the Cold War.
Russia is a vast country—the largest in the world. It’s not so much a country as an empire. Even today it has dozens of ethnic republics in it. Maybe you’ve heard of Chechnya or Tatarstan. But have you heard of Tuva? Or Mari-El? Or the Republic of Sakha? Sakha is four times the size of Texas, but it disappears inside of Russia. Back in the day, of course, this vast Russian empire was part of another empire, famously referred to by Ronald Reagan as the Evil Empire—that is, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. There were 15 Soviet Republics, including Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Armenia, and Turkestan. And that bigger empire was part of an even bigger empire, which included the Eastern European “captive nations” of Poland and Hungary.
When Communism collapsed in the early 1990s, all these countries found their way to independence, most of them peacefully, some of them bloodily. But Ukraine, while nominally independent, remained bound to Russia in a number of informal ways—sometimes willingly, sometimes reluctantly. Russia kept its Black Sea fleet in Crimea, unmolested by Ukraine. Ukraine got cheap gas and desperately needed financial assistance.
Why wasn’t Ukraine able to make a clean break? Not because it forgot to. Not for lack of can-do spirit. It was just a really hard problem. With the possible exception of Latvia, Ukraine was the most Russian of the non-Russian Soviet Republics. Russian has for a long time been the language of its big cities, of its high culture, and of certain important regions.
If you had to give a one-word answer to what this Ukraine War is about, you would probably say Crimea. Crimea is a peninsula jutting out into the middle of the Black Sea. It’s where the great powers of Europe fought the bloodiest war of the century between Napoleon and World War I. It is a defensive superweapon. The country that controls it dominates the Black Sea and can project its military force into Europe, the Middle East, and even the steppes of Eurasia. And since the 1700s, that country has been Russia. Crimea has been the home of Russia’s warm water fleet for 250 years. It is the key to Russia’s southern defenses.
Crimea found itself within the borders of Ukraine because in 1954, the year after Stalin died, his successor Nikita Khrushchev signed it over to Ukraine. Historians now hotly debate why he did that. But while Crimea was administratively Ukrainian, it was culturally Russian. It showed on several occasions that it was as eager to break with Ukrainian rule as Ukraine was to break with Russian rule. In a referendum in January 1991, 93 percent of the citizens of Crimea voted for autonomy from Ukraine. In 1994, 83 percent voted for the establishment of a dual Crimean/Russian citizenship. We’ll leave aside the referendum held after the Russians arrived in 2014, which resulted in a similar percentage but remains controversial.
Enter the United States
With the end of Communism, Ukraine was beset by two big problems. First, it was corrupt. It was run by post-Communist oligarchs in a way that very much resembled Russia. In many ways Ukraine was worse off. In Russia, Putin—whatever else you may think of him—was at least able to rebuff those oligarchs who sought direct political control.
The second problem for Ukraine was that it was divided between a generally Russophile east and a generally Russophobe west. It was so divided, in fact, that Samuel Huntington devoted a long section in his book The Clash of Civilizations to the border between the two sections. But Huntington did not think that the line dividing them was civilizational. He wrote: “If civilization is what counts . . . the likelihood of violence between Ukrainians and Russians should be low. They are two Slavic, primarily Orthodox peoples who have had close relationships with each other for centuries.”
The U.S. didn’t see things that way. It backed the Russophobe western Ukrainian side against the Russophile eastern Ukrainian side. This orientation took hold in the Bush administration, during the democracy promotion blitz that accompanied the Iraq War. And in 2004, the U.S. intervened in a crooked election, helping to sponsor and coordinate the so-called Orange Revolution. But the pivotal moment—the moment when the region began to tip into violence—came in early 2014 under more dubious circumstances.
The previous year, Ukrainian diplomats had negotiated a free trade deal with the European Union that would have cut out Russia. Russia then outbid the EU with its own deal—which included $15 billion in incentives for Ukraine and continued naval basing rights for Russia—and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signed it. U.S.-backed protests broke out in Kiev’s main square, the Maidan, and in cities across the country. According to a speech made at the time by a State Department official, the U.S. had by that time spent $5 billion to influence Ukraine’s politics. And, considering that Ukraine then had a lower per capita income than Cuba, Jamaica, or Namibia, $5 billion could buy a lot of influence. An armory was raided, shootings near the Maidan left dozens of protesters dead, Yanukovich fled the country, and the U.S. played the central role in setting up a successor government.
That the U.S. would meddle with Russia’s vital interests this way created problems almost immediately. Like every Ukrainian government since the end of the Cold War, Yanukovich’s government was corrupt. Unlike many of them, it was legitimately elected, and the U.S. helped to overthrow it.
That was the point when Russia invaded Crimea. “Took over” might be a better description, because there was no loss of life due to the military operation. You can call this a brutal and unprovoked invasion or a reaction to American crowding. We cannot read Putin’s mind. But it would not be evidence of insincerity or insanity if Putin considered the Ukrainian coup—or uprising—a threat. That is what any military historian of the region would have said.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the strategist H.J. Mackinder called the expanse north of the Black Sea the “Geographical Pivot of History.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as Secretary of State in the Carter administration, used the same “pivot” metaphor to describe Ukraine in his post–Cold War book The Grand Chessboard. “Without Ukraine,” Brzezinski wrote, “Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”
The danger to Russia in 2014 was not just the loss of Russia’s largest naval base. It was that that naval base would be acquired by the world’s most sophisticated military power—a power that had shown itself to be Russia’s enemy and that would now sit, with all its weaponry, at Russia’s gateway to the world. When Russians describe Ukrainian membership in NATO as a mortal threat to their country’s survival, they are being sincere.
American and European leaders, although they deplored the Russian occupation of Crimea, seemed to understand that a Russia-controlled Crimea created a more stable equilibrium—and was more to the natives’ liking—than a Ukraine-controlled Crimea. President Obama mostly let sleeping dogs lie. So did President Trump. But they also made large transfers of advanced weaponry and military know-how to Ukraine. As a result, over time, a failed state defended by a ramshackle collection of oligarch-sponsored militias turned into the third-largest army in Europe—right behind Turkey and Russia—with a quarter million men under arms.
Then, on November 10 last year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed a “strategic partnership” with Ukraine. It not only committed the U.S. to Ukraine’s full integration into NATO but also stressed Ukraine’s claim to Crimea. This was hubris. Now the Black Sea region’s problems, in all their complexity, risk being thrown into our lap.
Our Problems in Ukraine
When Russia invaded, the U.S. stood by its potential future ally, but without much sense of proportion and seemingly without much attention to the stakes. Let us conclude by discussing the complex military, economic, and political problems we face in dealing with the Ukraine War.
I’m not competent to predict who is going to win this war. But given that Russia is much more powerful than Ukraine—both economically and militarily—the need for U.S. assistance will be immense and indefinite, no matter the war’s outcome. Keeping Ukraine in this war has already come at a high cost in weapons for the U.S. and a high cost in lives for Ukraine.
The U.S. is not just supporting Ukraine. It is fighting a war in Ukraine’s name. From early in the war, we have provided targeting information for drone strikes on Russian generals and missile attacks on Russian ships. Since this summer, the U.S. has been providing Ukraine with M142 HIMARS computer-targeted rocket artillery systems. Ukrainians may still be doing most of the dying, but the U.S. is responsible for most of the damage wrought on Russia’s troops.
This is a war with no natural stopping point. One can easily imagine scenarios in which winning might be more costly than losing. Should the U.S. pursue the war to ultimate victory, taking Crimea and admitting an ambivalent Ukraine into NATO, it will require a Korea-level military buildup to hold the ground taken. It will also change the West. The U.S.—for the first time—will have expanded NATO by conquest, occupying territories (Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine) that don’t want it there.
American policymakers have launched an unprecedented type of economic warfare against Russia. They expect it to be just as effective as battlefield warfare, but to generate none of the hard feelings. At American urging, Russia has been cut off from the private-but-universal Brussels-based SWIFT system, which is used for international financial transfers. And the U.S. has frozen the hard currency reserves of the Russian central bank—roughly $284 billion.
Long-term, these actions carry risks for the U.S. Our economic power—particularly the dollar’s status as a reserve currency, which permits us to sustain deficits that would bankrupt others—depends on our carrying out our fiduciary responsibilities to international institutions, remembering that the money we are managing is not ours. If you are a banker who pockets his depositors’ money, those depositors will look for another bank. The danger to the United States is that not only Russia, but also China and India, will set up alternative systems through which to move their money.
Finally, we should have learned from the latter stages of George W. Bush’s administration that it is hard to build a forceful foreign policy on top of a wobbly domestic mandate. This is especially true of the Biden administration, which seems unable to distinguish between domestic policy and foreign policy. At the one-month mark after the Russian invasion, for instance, the White House sent a message in which President Biden proclaimed his commitment to those affected by the Russian invasion—“especially vulnerable populations such as women, children, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons, and persons with disabilities.”
President Biden seems to view Russia’s conflict with Ukraine as one of autocracy versus democracy—the same framework he used to describe “MAGA Republicans” in his militaristically choreographed Philadelphia speech in early September.
We should not overestimate how much Americans know or care about Russia and Ukraine. In August, the Pew Center published a study listing the top 15 issues motivating voters in the 2022 elections. Here are those issues in order: the economy, guns, crime, health care, voting rules, education, the Supreme Court, abortion, energy policy, immigration, foreign policy, big government, climate change, race and ethnicity, and the coronavirus. Ukraine doesn’t appear on the list, and generic foreign policy didn’t make the top ten. That doesn’t look like a level of voter buy-in sufficient for running such big economic and military risks.
A dispassionate and honest discussion of Vladimir Putin’s conduct through the years would find much to criticize. Unfortunately, Putin’s name has been dragged into American politics primarily for the purpose of discrediting the presidency of Donald Trump. And the main thing Americans were told about Putin—that he and Trump colluded to steal the 2016 U.S. election—turned out to have no basis in fact. Since then, Congress has become as much an investigative body as a legislative chamber. Should Republicans end up with a majority in one or both houses of Congress next January, it would not be surprising if they investigated the allegation that President Biden’s family enriched itself by trading on his name with corrupt foreign elites—most prominently those in Ukraine.
The largest problem America faces is distrust, both at home and abroad. Thus far the war’s most important world-historical surprise has been the failure of the U.S. to rally a critical mass of what it used to call “the world community” to punish Russia’s contestation of the American-led world order. In the past few decades the U.S. has developed a method of intervention against those it considers ideological adversaries. The U.S. first expresses moral misgivings about a country and then tries to rally other countries to pressure it economically and to isolate it until it relents. This time, India and China did not join us in isolating Russia. It seems they fear that this same machinery can easily be cranked up against them if they’re not careful. And in fact it is being cranked up against China.
Another factor is surely that, after the Iraq War, other countries have less trust in the judgment of the U.S. as to which territories are likely to be suitable candidates for “spreading democracy.”
Finally, the big transformation that has been predicted for a generation now—that power would shift from the U.S. and Europe to Asia and other places—is now measurably underway. In the 1990s, between the Gulf War and the Iraq War, the U.S. and its Western European allies controlled 70 percent of world GDP; that number is now 43 percent. The West still does relatively well, but not so well that it can count on the rest of the world to rally behind it automatically. Whether in victory or defeat, Americans may be about to discover that you cannot run a twentieth century foreign policy with a twenty-first century society. ‘