Conrad Black: The West has crumbled in the face of a belligerent Russia and China
There has been no clear statement from NATO or the United States or any serious source over what response there might be to direct Russian aggression against Ukraine, or Chinese aggression against Taiwan
The increasing shambles in post-Trump great power relations is best illustrated by the Russian threat against Ukraine and the Chinese threat against Taiwan. The United States is in a continuous meltdown of sane government, which will only be resolved when the present administration and its allies in Congress have been decisively evicted. Western Europe is in a deepening torpor, most accurately represented by the addled condition of Germany, which is still trying to assemble a government almost two months after the last election. Apart from some of the countries recently emancipated from the joys of Russian Cold War domination, in Europe, Britain and France are the only countries acting like serious powers.
The only serious problem that Russia could pose to the West is precisely the one that U. This will enable China to make up for its poverty of resources and reposition some of its surplus population by permitting it to exploit some of the resources of Siberia, which, apart from oil, the Russians have generally failed to do. This would put most of the Eurasian landmass in the hands of a hostile anti-western alliance and would enable China to add a giant geopolitical cubit to its stature. The American Democrats, who confected the complete fraud of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia in the 2016 election, have almost managed the astonishing feat of bringing the two natural rivals and ancient foes, China and Russia, together. For good measure, the American military hierarchy, which was given hundreds of billions of dollars by the Trump administration and its congressional supporters to modernize the U. Mark Milley, has decreed the revelation of the Russian and Chinese capability in this field to be «a Sputnik moment.» Milley has a thin combat record but wears more ribbons than victorious Second World War generals and statesmen George C. Milley looks like the senior field marshal of Ruritania as he attempts to explain what he has been doing imposing the nonsense of critical race theory upon the U. There has been no clear statement from NATO or the United States or any serious source over what response there might be to direct Russian aggression against Ukraine, or Chinese aggression against Taiwan.
President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, China undertook not to attack Taiwan as long as the United States accepted the concept of the ultimate and non-coercive reunification of China. administration, the Beijing government, which did not hesitate to tear up a formal treaty with the United Kingdom over Hong Kong, cannot be trusted to abide by the Shanghai Communiqué, as its present belligerent conduct demonstrates. Belarus is still a Russian satellite state and there are substantial Russian minorities in most of the former republics that the Kremlin delights in agitating. Ukraine was the largest of these republics and Russia has already snatched back Crimea, but it was only part of Ukraine after 1954.
Ukraine has not very successfully mastered self-government in the last 30 years, but it is a country of over 41 million people and although it is not in NATO, if Russia were to invade it, the West would have to take serious measures or concede that NATO has become an empty husk and it is now every man for himself. With a little assistance, both Ukraine and Taiwan could give an invader a very nasty welcome. Most of the European NATO countries have allowed their armed forces to atrophy, as Canada has, implicitly relying on the deterrent power of the United States. Russia is no longer remotely comparable in strength to the U. Yet at this point, there is little reason to believe that either the United States or the European NATO countries have the will to respond vigorously to any outrage short of a direct assault on themselves.
The painful fact is that if America had a serious foreign policy apparatus, it could easily conclude that Russia was a more useful ally than Germany. Russia at least has a will to national assertion and is, with India, South Korea and Japan, the greatest single key to the containment of China. The Trudeau government, especially after the inelegant disembarkation of Marc Garneau, is more like a sophomoric club of Greenpeace enthusiasts than the government of a G7 country. We are awash in mediocrity and almost nobody, government or opposition, is saying anything sensible.
The world is paying no attention to us, with good reason.
Source: Conrad Black | NP