Slow Cooking The Western Alliance

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Despite the fact that Russia’s economy and military would be destroyed, fears over Vladimir Putin’s threat to invade Ukraine are growing. This could also mean that Russia’s foreign relations will be ruined. It makes no sense to swallow a poisoned pawn. Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, believes that Russia’s Putin might be irrational or unable to act in his best interests. It’s not just the Kremlin that gives off a strange vibe. The West’s governments don’t seem to be ready for a European war, despite decrying the severity of the situation. Instead, they focus on masks and mandates and invoke war powers to force truckers to comply with soon-to-be eliminated Covid vaccine requirements. You would expect that the southern border would have been secured and that oil would be stored. STEM, not CRT, would be taught in reopened schools. All of that is not happening.

As in many historical cases, the bite is in what you eat. In this instance, the bark is very real. Putin has made an invasion-into-being. A fleet in existence is an analogous concept to naval warfare. It is a force that projects fear without ever leaving port. It might lose, but it would not be able to influence the rest of the fleet. However, while it is still in port, it can be a threat to other ships. The German battleship Tirpitz was a fleet-in-being for her entire career. Although she did not fire a shot at any enemy ships, her presence in the Norwegian fiords caused the Royal Navy and its allies to allocate powerful warships to defend Arctic convoys. A major convoy [PQ17] was forced to scatter, with huge losses mainly to U-boats.

Putin has done the same thing on land. His armies are in port–inside Russia or the Kremlin’s client states. The West and Ukraine are both in chaos, with their citizens being evacuated, canceled flights, and not enjoying any mental security. Putin can maintain the invasion-instigated and the disruption indefinitely. An invasion-in-being can only be destroyed by staging it, in this instance with sanctions. This will ensure that it doesn’t disperse. It is impossible to tell if this or that stand-to is real.

Putin, a former secret policeman, knows that much of his threat comes from unpredictable events. Because they are familiar with the rules and don’t anticipate being contacted by midnight, ordinary police can be tolerated. The rules of Ukraine and Western society are not the same as those in the secret police. They are hung on the caprices of an apparent madman who curiously keeps going until the end. If he invades in a recognizable manner then the uncertainty is removed. The West now knows how to deal with aging, overreaching dictators who have started something they cannot afford. Putin is keeping the ambiguity, which has Biden reportedly spellbound. According to CBS News correspondent David Martin, the President made it clear that he was convinced by U.S intelligence that the invasion would occur.

Biden, on the other hand, seems to believe Putin can still be talked out. According to the White House, President Biden agreed in principle that he would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Paris, which was mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron. This is provided that Russia does not invade Ukraine. According to an ex-White House advisor, Putin is looking for some sort of deal. They believe that Biden is the type of president who can actually make a deal. Trump has never been able to do so. Putin was perhaps the first to make a deal in the Ukraine crisis. He escalated the geopolitical tension and waited until there was enough sweetener to make it worthwhile.

Putin already has started what the New York Times describes as a meticulously choreographed day of drama building over Ukraine’s fate. It is short-term good for Putin because it prevents war. In the long-term, however, it doesn’t solve anything because Putin will return once he has spent the money he expects to get from the West. Ironically, Putin might even front-load his demands in order to offset the possibility that political checks issued by Biden dated 2023 or 2024 might bounce due to electoral misfortune.

Moscow sent troops to Ukraine’s separatist regions after Putin acknowledged their independence. This highlighted the problem of distinguishing between threat or creeping fulfillment. Is this considered an invasion by Biden? It could be a distinction without any difference. Biden was made to believe that the threat was coming in the future. In one big win for Kiev. The threatened sanctions should have been activated long before the invasion-instigated threat. It shouldn’t have been about Putin getting away with it; it should have been about the threat of invasion-in-being.

The Book, You Will Be Assimilated by David Goldman. China’s empire of 5,000 years has grown to be the largest economy in the world. It plans to dominate the key technologies of the 21st Century, and the United States is at risk of being left behind. America is finally acknowledging China’s quest for global dominance, but we are still losing ground. The next generation of mobile broadband will be the defining moment. China will make you a virtual empire, much like the Borg from Star Trek. China is now in control of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the economy of artificial intelligence (and quantum computing)–just like America did the Third Industrial Revolution.