In Russia, sanctions have taken a bite out of the Russian economy, but interviews and data suggest they cannot fulfill the West's strategic motives for imposing them.
Russia will eat grass before it eats anymore Western, read US empire shit. Russia has tried to be a part of the west for thirty years; read Lavrov or Putin; they've given up. China needs ~10 more years to catch up on transport aircraft and the highest digital technology but right now there's almost nothing Russia can't source cheaper and better value than anything in the west. China gets shit done, real shit like infrastructure. The west can't do anything on time, on or below budget. Yes, the transition will be painful but at the end lies better times. Russia is a perfect partner for the vassal States of Europe but for irrational political reasons has chosen to remain a vassal state of a declining empire. Russia is also a perfect fit for China and neither of them need western style over substance and garbage like McDonald's, rap and juvenile entertainment and money engineering over real engineering. Sad, it didn't need to be this way.
Once again, the Biden administration has neglected to account for the long-term and unintended consequences of their decisions. We've seen it time and time again with domestic policy and now with international policy. This is what happens when you run a country based on Twitter feedback rather than a deep understanding of the reality of the situation.
For better or worse, rightly or wrongly, Russia sees the war in Ukraine as an existential struggle.
Biden’s remarks yesterday, although quickly walked back by Blinken and the other court eunuchs, merely confirmed this.
Only "the West" has imposed sanctions on Russia. It really bodes poorly for the West's relations with the rest of the world, not just China.
Good article. Biden is beating the war drums! We are headed toward WWIII with the goal since the 2014 CIA backed color revolution in Ukraine being to depose Putin, then Xi as George Soros recently stated. The neocons in both parties are playing with fire instead of negotiating. Putin's demands are reasonable.--comply with Minsk agreement. Ukraine remains neutral, end Ukrainian/neo Nazi war (trained by CIA) against Donbas which are all ethnic Russians and allow them to be independent. Quit listening to George Soros. This is leading to world war and the destruction of the global economy. Write your Congressional representatives!
Excellent analysis, but the stated strategic objectives are rarely the actual strategic objectives of any nations foreign policy.
Sanctions have rarely if ever successfully led to regime change.
Like this author concluded, sanctions may actually force Russia to double down on military success in the Ukraine - which would then justify US presence and involvement in another prolonged war, this time in a new region of geopolitical significance, thus finally completing Obama‘s pivot to Asia announced a decade ago.
Seen through this lens, the sanctions are achieving exactly their intended (though surreptitious) effect.
Without meaning to dismiss all the claims in the article, some of the more central claims seem weak to me, if not outright inconsistent with the realities on the ground.
First, Russian military rhetoric has recently started to shift towards a radically less ambitious and aggressive set of objectives, from “demilitarization” and “denazification” (apparently to include the Jewish head of state), scaled back to shoring up gains in the Donbass region. It’s hard to read this as anything other than capitulation to battlefield losses and Western economic pressures.
Second, I find it impossible to credit domestic opinion polling on support for the war - er, “special military operation” - at a time when civilians are being jailed by the hundreds under repressive speech control laws directed at exactly this issue. When we see 7 year old children being locked up for laying flowers and signs in front of a building, and journalists facing 15 years in prison for waving signs around, who in their right mind is going to express antipathy towards the war to anyone, much less an organ of state-controlled media?
So like I said, I don’t mean to dismiss the greater point here, and I think there’s more than a little merit to engaging in a long-overdue reexamination of heavy-handed coercive foreign policy, but this article seemed to rest pretty heavily on what I saw as weak support above.
the Ruble has been recovering from it's low and is currently only down about 17% from Feb 24
I imagine that China will chip away at Russia’s independence next…bribing all their public officials like they have in America…
The Ruling American Intelligence State prefers the Chinese model of Communism over the Russian model…
…apparently more Intelligence State operatives get filthy rich with the Chinese brand of Communism
NATO persists in order to maintain the appearance of hostilities, creating the necessity for aggressive actions like the Ukraine invasion. "Sides" only exist because people keep choosing sides. It becomes a self fulfilling prophesy and disasters like Ukraine are the inevitable result, with border areas like Ukraine becoming inevitable victims of the mutual aggression. Peace always begins by one side backing down. The west has the economic and military strength that we are not at significant risk, unless we clumsily stumble into nuclear warfare. There is no downside from unilateral reduction of hostilities, and enormous upside.
Russia is in much the same position as the world's populations against covid tyranny -- no upside to compliance, enormous downside, so resistance becomes entrenched. The same people demanding covid submission are also demanding Russian submission. The Russia reaction is just a distraction by western tyrants to delay the rebellion against their internal oppressions. Western tyranny remains the primary threat to civilization.
How many of those lusting for war ON Russia will feel the same when Russian sun bombs start impacting in America?
Because that's the end game.
"At least !PTUIN! will never interfere in another American election!!" - some stupid warmonger
Great article. Much better than the jingoistic, Neo-liberal war parade in Foreign Policy magazine.
“When I asked Herr Wedekind, the baker, why he had believed in National Socialism, he said, “Because it promised to solve the unemployment problem. And it did. But I never imagined what it would lead to. Nobody did.” I thought I had struck pay dirt, and I said, “What do you mean, ‘what it would lead to,’ Herr Wedekind?” “War,” he said. “Nobody ever imagined it would lead to war.”
― Milton Sanford Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45
'biden' can't even solve the "unemployment problem". Nor does he need to, as everyone today is totally focussed on destroying Russia.
While sanctions against Russia are having an immediate effect, they will fail in the long-term. Sanctions only work against countries dependent on imports, as the Japanese were for oil prior to World War II - and see where they got us. As it is, support for Ukraine is limited to the countries associated with the former Great Britain along with Japan. The rest of the world flat out does not care. As for China and Russia, they share the same continent and Russia is the bridge between Asia and Europe. No other country has such a strategic location. The United States, on the other hand, is separated from Europe by the Atlantic Ocean and from Asia by the Pacific. (Yep, Alaska is only 40 miles from Siberia.) There is potential for real problems if Biden keeps up his saber rattling and pulling of strings.
Sanctions won't force Russia to withdraw, sanctions will simply hasten the demise of the petrodollar. And once the petrodollar is no more, Americans are in for a world of hurt.
To me, the real question is: Is Biden SO bought that he's doing this on purpose, or is it just more administration incompetence?
Very nicely balanced op-ed. Through this whole ordeal recently and longer term I am still waiting for someone to prepare a cogent op-ed framed from a land and resources perspective (I am an ecologist and see things through the lens of the naked ape scrapping for resources). Look at Russia's land mass (holy shit it is huge). More critically, look at Siberia and Canada being the world's bread baskets as desertification engulfs the current North American and Eastern Europe/Asia breadbaskets. Why the fuck would the Kremlin not just patiently wait out the next 30 years when even half of the China mainland will lose its food production capability and the whole of Europe and Central Asia is beholden to Russia's for its Siberian breadbasket. We all know the answer - we are all part of the ratrace to fill our coffers to whatever extent is needed ($70k is the "happiness" number for U.S. incomes) to relieve our little minds of just some of the uncertainty that is an existential part of our weird thought processes combining a lizard brain and some level of functioning gray matter. Just for good measure I will throw into the mix a rant that "ecological illiteracy" has been a fact of human civilizations since settled agriculture began.