Game theoretician Alex Macris shares his perspective on the special military operation in the Ukraine.
In order to maintain hegemony, the United States needs Russia to become a Western satellite before the petrodollar system collapses.
As long as Russia is a pro-Chinese authoritarian state, China can:
1) reliably get food, oil, and gas without needing to worry what the US thinks
2) focus all of its military might on population control (internal) and power projection (vs Taiwan, southeast Asia, and South China Sea) without worrying about its border with Russia
3) develop the Belt & Road initiative into Europe without worrying about Eurasian continental interference
These three factors, in turn, spell doom for the American hegemony. The first factor means that it can detach from the petrodollar, and therefore detach from SWIFT; the second factor means that it can be a one-front power rather than have to be a two-front power like the US, doubling its budget-per-theater; and the third factor means that it can neutralize America’s blue ocean sea power and thalassocracy.
It’s thus no surprise that the US has systematically and methodically worked towards turning the former USSR into a Western client. It has rolled EU and NATO membership eastward. When it has encountered resistance, it has staged color revolutions (twice, in Ukraine’s case). It applies sanctions, propaganda, and soft power. Since 2015 the CIA has been training anti-Russian insurgents.
Since I know this, we can safely assume that Russia knows this, too. Putin knows, for a fact, that his regime is the prime target of the West. Not because they are afraid of Russia, but because they are afraid of China. Controlling Russia is the method to keep China in check.
Moreover, China knows this too. China has Russia’s back. If China is going to unseat America as hegemon, it needs Russian oil, gas, resources, food, and access through its territory. Russia didn’t just get China’s permission to attack Ukraine — it collaborated with it on timing and intelligence.
During the Cold War, the US would not go to war with the Russians directly, but it took every opportunity to go to war with Russia via proxies. What we have now is another such proxy war. The proper lens to understand the Russia-Ukraine War is that it is a proxy war between China and the US.
What makes this a uniquely dangerous situation is that this time the proxy has nukes.
I see it as less a proxy war and more of a nationalist alliance against The Empire That Never Ended. But I completely agree that the conflict is much bigger than Russia vs Ukraine, and I suspect one reason for NATO’s sudden reticence to throw its weight around militarily is that it not only fears the possible consequences of facing Russia’s A-Team and losing Eastern Europe, but that any such direct action would cause China to open a second front against the imperial globalists.
There are, in fact, certain signs that China is preparing for action. While it’s possible that its revived anti-Covid campaign is nothing more than a lingering fear of the virus, in light of the fact that the Chinese authorities have seen Covid disappear in the West, I suspect the campaign is being used as cover for the various preparations now being undertaken for the second stage of what will not be known in the future as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The relative equanimity with which Russia has endured the all-out economic assault of the globalist institutions, and its obvious anticipation of the unrestricted nature of the assault, tends to suggest that it knows it is holding a very substantial ace in the hole. And that ace would appear to be a second front in Asia.