... in the forest consisting of four trees, or four geopolitical entities, if you wish, which are US, EU, Russia and China. In his latest in RT he continues to exhibit all traits of a discredited pseudo-academic field of political "science", in Russia aka politology, and its primary folly--lack of grasp of national power. The whole piece is a typical 4! (exclamation mark being factorial, that is 4 x 3 x 2 x 1= 24) ways, combinations, four things could be rearranged. This is a typical pol-sci approach and here is what especially stands out in Lukyanov's piece.
Thus, when the Biden administration passes the Inflation Reduction Act, putting American citizens in a much better position than Europeans, it is perfectly in the interests of the US. So? Western Europe is caught in a trap and it’s unclear how it can escape. Absolute solidarity with the US on the Russian question implies subordination to a stronger partner. That said, the EU and UK are ready for this, but it means (for objective reasons): 1) that they must bear most of the costs, and 2) they should follow a common strategic position on the other issues of principle for their patron. And the main one here is China. Beijing will be Washington’s strategic rival for decades to come. However, it’s not a threat to Western Europe, and it’s not a challenge. Indeed, cooperation with it is advantageous. But why should the big brother allow his little sidekick to help someone who is at odds with him?
Lukyanov reads here from Washington's "strategic" script, which assumes, wrongly, that China's rivalry to Washington is somehow a preordained affair. I have news for Lukyanov--US IS NOT a strategic rival to Beijing, for all my rather stand-offish attitude towards China and being very far from Beijing's fanboy. The reason the US cannot be rival to China is in a simple fact of the US economy being dwarfed by that of China, even when considering some major structural issues of Chinese economy. The only venue the US can pursue, granted that the process of national degeneration can somehow be arrested, which is a huge question onto itself, is military-political, or, in other words, power politics which AUKUS is one manifestation of. Europe, meanwhile, was always on Washington's menu since 2014. But Washington has own serious digestive problems. Huge ones.
I doubt that Lukyanov really has a grasp of these issues both economically, technologically, not to speak of operational part of them, and he, obviously, continues to reside in 1990s when speaking about modern US. But these are decisive factors which define the dynamics of modern world and power-struggle is NOT just between the US and China, economically the United States long ago lost this competition to Beijing, but between larger Eurasia and the US--the issue which cannot be resolved in the present state of the US military which lost the arms race not to Beijing, but to Russia. And these facts negate all factorial combinations of four entities, because each of them has its own dynamics and is decisively not static. And then comes this purely military issue which is beyond the grasp of graduates of philological faculty of Moscow State University (yes, that is Lukyanov's academic background) who try to comment on geopolitics which is driven by military might.
Per the fate of Europe. Europe is being reduced to what it always was geographically--the appendix of a huge Eurasian continental mass and so will become its culture and economy, much of which, as is the case with the US, is nothing more than assets' inflation, service sector and expenditures which, somehow, are being counted as "product", when in reality detracting from it. But then again, the principle of Ellochka Schukina who was entranced by the gold plated tea strainer in Ilf and Petrov's immortal The Twelve Chairs, seems to be the main driving factor behind Moscow pseudo-intellectual Beau Monde saturated with journos, political "scientists", economists and similar types, thinking about modern West.
Per Merkel. Bernhard penned a good piece on this issue:
I think that Merkel is obfuscating. Her original intent with Minsk II was not to buy time to arm Ukraine. Her intent was to prevent a further war and to make peace. The argument, that it gave time for Ukraine to arm, is only made now and only to save her political ass in the current political climate. The proof for that is in what she also brings up, Nord Stream 2, which has always had her full support. Its intent was to make Germany independent from the pipelines through Ukraine and Poland. But war came before the much delayed pipeline was ready. And any realistic alternative for Germany's current position was gone after the U.S. finally blew it up. Her answer with regards to Nord Stream 2 makes no sense if she, at the same time that Nord Stream 2 was build, had intentionally prepared Ukraine for war.
Read the whole piece. Bernhard makes some valid points. But they do not change the outcome of the whole PR snafu.
In related news: huge congrats to Croatia for outstanding performance against Brazil.