New World Order/Disorder
news and articles regarding fundamental changes and transformation processes in the current great power relations having great, relevant impacts in the future world order
By Egon von Greyerz, March 22, 2022
We are now at the end of an era of economic and moral decadence in a debt infested world built on false values, fake money and abysmal leadership. All hell will break loose. The consequences will be fatal for the world.
By Egon von Greyerz, April 5, 2022
“There is gonna be a new world order out there and we’ve gotta lead it!
And we gotta unite the rest of the world in doing it!” That is what Biden proclaimed in a recent speech. But since Biden has a tendency to get his speeches wrong, what he meant to say was: “There is gonna be a new world DIS-order out there and we’ve gotta lead it! Sadly, as the world has heard in many speeches by the US president, he hasn’t got a clue that his “empire” is collapsing around him.
09.04.2022 Author: Vladimir Danilov
Russian oil supplies to the US show that Washington is solving its geopolitical problems at the expense of its European allies, Washington is increasing crude oil supplies from Russia by 43%. The US buys Russian energy at a cheaper price and sells them to Europe at a higher price to serve the interests of domestic oil interest groups. In the end, Europe becomes the victim – European wealth flows to the US and helps consolidate the dollar’s advantage against euro.
This pirate-like policy of the Biden administration leads to even greater impoverishment of ordinary Europeans. But how much longer they will tacitly tolerate openly hostile actions by the United States towards them, only time will tell.
Russia’s war marks the definitive end of America’s unipolar moment and returns the world to a state best explained by realism.
Foreign Policy, April 13, 2022, 5:38 AM Stephen M. Walt
By Stephen M. Walt, a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
Whatever the outcome, many observers believe the war will have a profound effect on the broader condition of world politics. I see it differently. The war in Ukraine is a significant event but not because the outcome will have a dramatic independent effect on the global balance of power or the normative environment that states have constructed (and sometimes adhere to). Rather, it is important because it signals the end of the brief “unipolar moment” (1993-2020) when the United States was the world’s sole genuine superpower and because it heralds a return to patterns of world politics that were temporarily suppressed during the short era of unchallenged US primacy.
By VT Editors April 10, 2022, original text Bruno Bertez, 9 avril 2022
Europe has chosen its fate, and chose the destiny for Russia. What you will see now is the death of Europe (economically).
Lisez ce texte, si vous êtes européen il va vous faire mal, vous allez souffrir, mais il faut le lire , Bruno Bertez, 9 avril 2022
By Lindsey German , Global Research, April 12, 2022
The claim by Ukraine’s foreign minister at the NATO meeting in Brussels that ‘Weapons, weapons and weapons’ are the only items on his agenda, reflects the growing clamour from its government, from the western media and many politicians to pour even more military hardware into the country.
The minister, Dmytro Kuleba, claims that this will save lives and bring the war to a quicker end: “The more weapons we get, and the sooner they arrive in Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved.” In fact, the opposite is true. The more weapons sent to Ukraine, the more likely this war will spill over into an open conflict between NATO and Russia in which the major losers will be the people of Ukraine.
By VT Editors, April 19, 2022,
Geopolitical sketches and the prospect of a Russian century
Geopolitische Skizzen und der Ausblick auf ein russisches Jahrhundert
April 13, 2022, by Dan Mueller
Very interesting, philosophical and realist article of the current world situation turning into something quite surprising direction.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Joined by IISS Senior Fellow and Editor of the Adelphi Series, Dr Benjamin Rhode, Professor Graham Allison will explore the strategic implications that Russia’s war in Ukraine and the US–China rivalry are likely to have for each other.
by Connor Freeman | May 3, 2022
Well, this war in Ukraine will last “months and years.” At least, that is what the leaders of the D.C. foreign policy blob, the media, President Joe Biden’s men, Pentagon and NATO leadership have decided. Their plan is to pour oil on the flames and keep the fire raging. Also, Americans are going to have to cough up the dough for another massive aid package, with $20 billion worth of weapons to keep the blood flowing. In total, this next package will cost the taxpayer $33 billion. With Biden’s proposed $813 billion “defense” budget for 2023, the U.S. is spending more on the military and war now than ever before in the country’s history.
By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor May 6, 2022
POLISH PRESIDENT DECLARED “ERASURE OF BORDERS” with UKRAINE, PREPARING for WAR with RUSSIA. With this news, we see the continuing slow creeping by the West toward WW3. It does not take a genius to see through NATO’s thinly veiled attempt of pretending NATO had not been attacked and hence it has nothing to retaliate for.
The Key Issues within Ukraine. The Big Picture
By Rod Driver
Global Research, May 10, 2022
The key issues within Ukraine
Ukraine is a patchwork of regions, whose people have very different backgrounds and loyalties. In simple terms, in the West of Ukraine, most people are pro-Europe, in the East most people are pro-Russia. The US engineered a coup in Ukraine in 2014 to overthrow the pro-Russian leader, Yanukovych, and replace him with the pro-US leader, Yatsenyuk. The current leader, Zelensky (elected in 2019) is also pro-US. During the 2014 coup, there were protests in Maidan Square which began peacefully but were hi-jacked by violent extremists, who have committed many atrocities.
There are two regions in Ukraine which are particularly relevant for understanding recent events. The first region is Crimea, in the south. This is a Russian-speaking area that contains Russia’s only warm-water port in Sevastopol. In 2014 the people of Crimea overwhelmingly voted to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia. The Ukrainian leader, Zelensky, said in March 2021, “we are taking back Crimea”. Since then, the Ukrainian army have increased the number of soldiers in the south and east of the country.
Russian would like to create a peace agreement where Ukraine has no claims on Crimea.
The second region is known as Donbas, around the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east. The extremists mentioned earlier have been fighting with people in Donbas for the last eight years. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) have recorded approximately 15,000 deaths in the region. Residents in the region have been asking for Russian help for years. On 16 Feb 2022, there was a huge increase in the intensity of shelling against Donbas by the Ukrainians. This would normally be the beginning of a large-scale attack.
There is a concept in International Law known as ‘Responsibility to Protect’. This is usually abused by the US and Britain to justify criminal invasions, but it has relevance in this case. The Russian invasion was necessary to protect the people of Donbas.
The International Situation
Many US experts on International Relations, most notably John Mearsheimer, have been saying for many years that the problems in Ukraine are the US’s fault. The main reason is the ongoing expansion of a military grouping known as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). It was set up in 1949 to protect European countries against a communist invasion. (The threat of such an invasion was hugely exaggerated.) When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and the Soviet Union disintegrated, US leaders promised that NATO would not expand Eastwards towards Russia. Unfortunately, the US has broken that promise. More and more countries in Eastern Europe have joined NATO, seriously increasing the militarization of the region. NATO has ceased to be a defensive arrangement. They have actively participated in the destruction of Yugoslavia and Libya.
Whilst Ukraine is not a formal member of NATO, for all practical purposes Ukraine has become a de facto member of NATO. The US, Britain and many other countries have supplied large numbers of weapons to Ukraine, including sophisticated ones such as drones and modern anti-tank missiles. The US has biological weapons labs in Ukraine, many close to the Russian border. Approximately 260,000 Ukrainian troops have been trained to NATO standards[x] by the US military. The Russians have stated since 2008 that NATO expansion into Ukraine is an existential threat, because the US could then put nuclear missiles in Ukraine, pointing at Russia.
Russia’s main goal is for Ukraine to be neutral. This means that Ukraine cannot become a member of NATO, and it cannot have US or other weapons pointing at Russia. More generally, Russia wants the US and European countries to sign a binding East-West security agreement. This would involve NATO ending military and naval exercises in nations and seas bordering Russia, and guarantees that NATO will not deploy missiles in other nations bordering Russia. (They are already in place from Slovenia to Romania, with Poland to follow). One of the early targets of the Russian invasion was a NATO training-base in Ukraine, which was destroyed by Russian missiles.
There have been discussions about both of these issues for years, but the US and Ukraine have been working against peaceful outcomes. The US (and Britain) has a long track record of pursuing violence, when peaceful alternatives are possible. Hillary Clinton did not want peace negotiations before the US, Britain and France destroyed Libya in 2011, and the US ensured that peace negotiations failed in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Similarly, British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, avoided peace negotiations before the Falklands War in 1982. It is the US and Ukrainian refusal to engage in genuine negotiations that forced Russia into the current situation.
There is widespread evidence that public relations companies are active in Ukraine, helping the government put out propaganda. The mainstream media in Britain and the US are also putting out pro-Ukrainian propaganda. The general portrayal of the situation follows the pattern of Ukraine as innocent victims, Russia as the demonic invader, with little discussion of history or context.
It is difficult to know with absolute certainty about specific events during war, but there have been stories about Russian atrocities which have been contradicted by evidence and eye-witnesses. This includes an attack on a theatre in Mariupol, a massacre in Bucha, and an attack on a hospital. The CIA have admitted that they are using fake stories about events in Ukraine. These are all reminiscent of the fake story in 2003 about Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies in incubators. Occasionally, even mainstream British journalists have criticized the BBC for its flagrant propaganda.
In some cities the Russians are being welcomed as liberators, and eye-witnesses report that it is the Ukrainian extremists who have been killing civilians if they try to leave certain cities, such as Mariupol. Russia has presented evidence to the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) about Ukrainian atrocities, where extremists have been murdering and torturing prisoners. Zelensky has had opponents and critics tortured and assassinated, and Ukrainian peace negotiators have been murdered.
The evidence indicates that Russia’s invasion has been much more careful than US and British attacks on Iraq and other countries. The US Department of Defense has leaked information indicating that Russia is trying to avoid civilian casualties and property damage.
The Big Picture – Why the US wanted Russia to attack
It is important to understand the broader context of the world we live in. The US government is the biggest criminal organization in the world, having committed the worst crimes of the 21st century in destroying Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and (with a little help from their Saudi allies) Yemen. Britain has actively participated in these war crimes. The US also overthrows governments in many other countries by funding protests, known as colour revolutions.
The US also dominates the global economy. China, Russia and many other countries are trying to find ways to change the global economic system so that it cannot be controlled and exploited by the US. This means ending the dominance of the US$, ending US control of international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and WTO, and creating alternative mechanisms for international payments.
The US wants the existing system to continue. It is trying to weaken Russia, by forcing it into conflict with its neighours. The US wants to stop Germany, and Europe more generally, from developing closer links with Russia. The US particularly objects to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will deliver gas from Russia to Germany. By goading Russia into attacking Ukraine, the US are creating the impression that Russia poses a military threat to Europe. This is intended to encourage NATO countries to have more weapons, and to encourage other European countries, such as Finland and Sweden, to join NATO.
A US think-tank, known as RAND, wrote a report recommending provocations of Russia to force them to invade Ukraine. This included military exercises in Ukraine and in the Black Sea; withdrawing from weapons treaties; and putting offensive weapons in Ukraine. The US has done all of these things. It is quite clear that the US deliberately provoked this war.
During the 1990s, the US imposed extreme economic policies on Russia, with devastating consequences. Parts of the economy were destroyed, millions of people ended up in poverty, and life expectancy was reduced by an amount rarely seen outside of wartime. The Russian leader, Putin, rescued Russia from this situation. The former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, has pointed out that in a US DIA (Defence Intelligence Assessment) in 2015, Russia was convinced that the US was aiming to overthrow the Russian government. Senior US commentators regularly declare that this is their goal.
Invasion is usually, but not always, the worst course of action
There is at least one historical example where the invasion of a neighbouring country was a better course of action than not invading. This was in 1978 when Vietnam invaded Cambodia. Cambodia was ruled by a leader called Pol Pot, and his government was known as the Khmer Rouge. They were committing genocide against the population of Cambodia. The invasion by Vietnam ended the genocide, but it also ensured that the genocidal violence did not cross the border into Vietnam. It is clear when the US and Britain destroy other countries, their motivation is not to protect the people of those countries, or the people of Britain and the US. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is to protect people in Eastern Ukraine, and the people of Russia in the long term.
We must not make the situation worse
It is important that the US and Europe do not make the situation in Ukraine worse by supplying weapons, or sending soldiers to fight. Unfortunately, weapons are pouring into Ukraine. The US is even training ISIS terrorists at a base in Syria and then sending them to Ukraine. When ordinary people call for more weapons or no-fly zones, they mistakenly assume that the US, Britain and NATO have “good intentions”. This is contradicted by the evidence of recent years. There is clear evidence that some NATO members want the war to continue in order to weaken Russia, despite the fact that this will lead to the deaths of far more people.
Rod Driver is a semi-retired academic who writes beginners’ guides to help people understand how the world works, without the nonsense in the mainstream media. All of his other articles can be read on Globalresearch, or on his website at medium.com/ElephantsInTheRoom
Moon of Alabama, May 14, 2022
Yesterday the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu.
The Saker, May 14, 2022
The Saker, May 14, 2022
Three interesting new videos in Youtube:
Scott Ritter on Finland joining NATO says, “You lose right to exist”
Henry Kissinger: ‘We are now living in a totally new era’ | FT
12.5.2022 The FT’s US national editor, Edward Luce, talks to former US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, about Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the spectre of nuclear war.
John Mearsheimer responds to criticism of his Ukraine theory
Putin, game master? – Jacques Baud
Jacques Baud is a former member of Swiss strategic intelligence, a specialist in Eastern European countries and head of United Nations peace operations doctrine. He is the author of several books on intelligence, war and terrorism, and in particular Governing by fake news and The Navalny affair, published by Max Milo.
Based on the files of the intelligence services and official reports, Jacques Baud thus reviews the events of the recent history of Russia, which led to the war with Ukraine; it analyzes the various disputes between the West and Russia, and sheds light on the role that Putin plays today on the international scene.
By Peter Koenig, Global Research, April 15, 2022
After almost four decades of a Cold War from the mid-1950s to 1991, and another 2 decades of Cold War 2.0, since the beginning of the year 2000, when Mr. Putin took over the Presidency of Russia, the US via NATO, and with her European vassals, are now engaged in a hot war with Russia, using Ukraine as a proxy.
By Richard Stengel , May 20, 2022
Is Vladimir Putin losing the information war with Ukraine? Well, it depends on who you ask.
It’s never easy to measure such things, but here are a few numbers. While 141 countries in the UN voted to condemn Russia’s aggression, the number of African, Middle Eastern and South American countries who have imposed sanctions on Russia is 0.Last week, President Joe Biden hosted a summit with eight nations of the Association of Southeast Asian nations, and pressured them to criticize Russia. Their response: silence. When the Russian Federation released an official list of “unfriendly” nations, no country from Africa, Asia, or South America was on the list, and neither was India or China—the two most populous countries in the world—both of which have been pretty chummy with Putin. Yes, Putin is losing the information war in Europe and America, but he’s holding his own elsewhere.
RIAC, Andrey Kortunov, May 21, 2022
The military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine is not an ethnic conflict: ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians are fighting on both sides of the frontline. And radical nationalism is not the main motivation for Ukrainian resistance—contrary to many of Moscow’s statements. Neither is it a fight about religion. Nor is the fight mostly about territory, in my view (though related disputes remain a formidable obstacle to reaching a peace settlement). The conflict concerns a clash between very different ways of organising social and political life within two countries which together once constituted a large portion of Soviet territory. It is also an intellectual and spiritual confrontation between two mindsets: two views on the modern international system and on the world at large; two opposing perceptions of what is right and what is wrong, what is fair and what is not, what is legitimate and what is illegitimate and of what national leadership should entail.
The Saker, June 20, 2022
Western Europe and North America are now in dire economic straits. Four EU leaders, from Germany, France, Italy and Romania, have just been to Kiev to plead with Zelensky to start negotiating again and make territorial concessions. The Western media did not much report on the fourth Romanian/German leader, Klaus Iohannis, and showed few photographs of him; possibly because the racists who work in the Western media despise Romania. What they all forgot to mention is that Russia has no need to negotiate and, given the way that it has been treated since 2014 (indeed, since 1991), it is not going to make concessions.
June 22, 2022 By Pepe Escobar / The Saker, ZeroHedge
The future world order, already in progress, will be formed by strong sovereign states. The ship has sailed. There’s no turning back.
Let’s cut to the chase and roll in the Putin Top Ten of the New Era, announced by the Russian President live at the St. Petersburg forum for both the Global North and South. The era of the unipolar world is over. The rupture with the West is irreversible and definitive. No pressure from the West will change it. Russia has renewed with its sovereignty. Reinforcement of political and economic sovereignty is an absolute priority. The EU has completely lost its political sovereignty. The current crisis shows the EU is not ready to play the role of an independent, sovereign actor. It’s just an ensemble of American vassals deprived of any politico-military sovereignty.
Thursday, Jun 23, 2022 by VBL, ZeroHedge
Russia’s New Rules.
Russia is done with the West. The divorce is nearly complete. In the past few days, we’ve heard from all major Russian leaders the same thing, “The West will play by our rules now.” You can decide for yourselves whether Russia is writing checks they can’t cash, but in the words of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling the BBC bluntly, “We do not care about the eyes of the West.” Lavrov has always been the soul of politeness and discretion when dealing with European media.
The Middle Eastern Chess Game between Biden and Putin: the US is Losing
NEO – New Eastern Outlook, 16.07.2022 Author: Vladimir Odintsov
In the coming days, the world will witness the development of a very interesting chess game in the Middle East between the presidents of the US and Russia – Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, who are going to make significant for both states trips to this region. According to the White House, the very demonstration of the American flag in the Middle East is important as a sign that “the United States is not going to hand over the region to Russia and China.” As for Russia, it has recently significantly strengthened its ties with Saudi Arabia and a number of other nations in the region, without stopping at the results it has achieved.
From July 13 to 16, Joe Biden, as part of the first Middle East tour of his presidency, will visit Israel, the West Bank of the Jordan River and Saudi Arabia, and meet with the heads of nine Arab countries on the Red Sea coast. At a White House briefing, Biden’s national security aide Sullivan said that the US president would travel to the Middle East to discuss assistance to the region in the area of energy security in light of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.
The American president himself was more specific when he pointed to the openly expansionist goals of his visit to Saudi Arabia on July 10, all of which boil down to a confrontation with Russia and China in order to put the United States “in the best position.” As The New York Times noted on June 3, during his visit to Riyadh, Biden will seek to lower world oil prices in the face of the American government’s attempts to “isolate Russia on the world stage.” Biden himself noted that he wasn’t going to separately ask only Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to reduce world fuel prices, but would also call on all the countries of the Persian Gulf to do so.
Per statements in Washington, in order to implement American plans to confront Russia and China, the United States needs the help of Middle Eastern partners in various areas – from energy to weapons. And for the sake of this, Biden even preferred to forget that just recently he angrily denounced Riyadh for human rights violations and announced a boycott of Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman. But today these topics in Washington are clearly not considered important, as the White House has set itself a much more urgent task, that is, global confrontation with Russia.
Yet, even before Biden’s departure from the US, Fox News’ Stuart Varney stressed that the US president’s trip to Saudi Arabia with already stated anti-Russian goals would be a “big embarrassment” for him because Saudi Arabia would have to get OPEC+ (which includes Russia) approval to increase oil production. Varney said that it wasn’t Putin behind the undermining of US energy independence, but Biden himself, having come to power. In terms of persuading Arab partners to increase oil production, as well as to join anti-Russian sanctions, one must not forget that since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, the United States has repeatedly tried to persuade the countries of the Middle East to join, but they have not done either the former or the latter.
Almost at the same time as Biden’s trip, Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran on July 19, where he will take part in a trilateral summit with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who are the guarantors of the Astana process to promote the settlement of the Syrian conflict. The head of the Russian state is additionally expected to have both bilateral and trilateral contacts, and a summit meeting with Erdogan.
The presidents of Russia, Turkey, and Iran have met annually, according to a tradition that has developed since 2017, to discuss the situation in Syria, and the negotiating platform has constantly moved from one capital to another. The meeting in Tehran was supposed to take place in March 2020, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, in 2020, negotiations between the three leaders took place in a video format, and in 2021 they weren’t held at all. It is possible that this was due to the Iranians being engaged in other matters because they had elections for a new president in June 2021, followed by a change in government and administration. Yet, given Ankara’s planned new military operation in northern Syria, which could change the balance of power in the country, it was impossible to postpone the trilateral meeting.
Another reason for the need to convene the Tehran meeting now is the increased intensity of Israeli attacks on Syrian territory amid reports of an escalation in the Iranian presence in Syria. At the same time, the Israelis have openly begun accusing the Russian military of allegedly giving the Iranians too much freedom of action, although Damascus and Tehran believe that Russia could have resisted Israeli attacks more harshly. It is noteworthy that these actions by Israel take place against the backdrop of increased US activity in Syria.
In addition to discussing the very pressing problems and actions by the international community on Syria, active bilateral contacts will be held during the Tehran meeting. Many experts agree that the Tehran meeting will serve to strengthen Russia’s relations with Turkey and Iran to counter Western sanctions.
Taking into consideration the ardent desire recently shown by a number of countries around the world to join BRICS and the SCO (Iran will be admitted to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this year), the upcoming meeting in Tehran will also serve to form a new axis in international relations, one with the explicit participation of the so-called “Muslim vector.” As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier following talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Tehran will be able to play a significant role in the activities of the SCO as one of the main centers for the formation of a new world order.
Using the example of the BRICS and SCO countries in creating the basis for a new world order, today it is becoming obvious to an increasing number of countries that the US and the West it rules isn’t trying to help developing countries, but to restrain them, and this could lead to a clash between America and 6 billion people and half of the global economy.
In the same context, the obvious difference between the goals of the two trips to the Middle East by Biden and Putin is striking. While the American voyage pursues frankly aggressive goals to strengthen the hegemony of the West over the whole world and further limit the actions of Moscow and Beijing, then Putin’s trip to Tehran demonstrates only constructive intentions: resolving the situation in Syria and developing trade, economic and political cooperation within BRICS and the SCO, as well as between Russia, Turkey and Iran.
Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
Biden’s Mideast Tour de Farce… Bankrupt U.S. Foreign Policy on Display
Strategic Culture Foundation, July 15, 2022
Biden’s top and only priority is to shore up a failing U.S. policy of aggression toward Russia, China and Iran. In a desperate attempt to align Middle Eastern states against Russia, China and Iran, President Joe Biden this week demonstrated with a tour de force – more accurately “tour de farce” – the humongous scale of U.S. hypocrisy and political bankruptcy. The stench of Washington’s hypocrisy and duplicity was at once stomach-churning while also farcical.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey Could Join BRICS
Global Research, July 15, 2022, By Lucas Leiroz de Almeida
The BRICS seem really close to expanding. Now, according to information from the group’s International Forum, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey have expressed interest in applying for membership. Previously, Iran and Argentina had already asked to join the alliance. With this, it is evident that emerging countries around the world see in the BRICS a way to improve their international relations and contribute to the construction of a new world order.
Purnima Anand, president of the BRICS International Forum, said July 14, that three more countries could join “very soon” the group that is currently made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. According to her, representatives of the Saudi, Egyptian and Turkish governments have shown interest in entering the BRICS and are already forwarding the procedural requirements to formalize the candidacy.
“All these countries have shown an interest in joining and are preparing to apply for membership. I think this is a good step, because expansion is always positively perceived; this will clearly increase the influence of BRICS in the world (…) I hope that the accession of countries to BRICS will happen very quickly, because now all representatives of the core of the association are interested in enlargement. So, it will be very soon”, she said.
At another point of her speech, Anand also stated that the access may not occur “all at once”. In this sense, it is expected that one or two accessions will occur each time if the countries are actually accepted to join the group in the future.
In fact, Anand’s words confirm some previous expectations that emerged in recent similar pronouncements made by other authorities of the group. For example, the head of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Li Kexin, had stated on one occasion that not only these countries but even Indonesia had expressed interest in joining the BRICS:
There are several countries currently ‘at the door,’ for example, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina (…) I believe there is a shared understanding that we [the BRICS] need to enlarge, get ‘new faces”.
Indeed, the explanation for why so many countries are interested in the BRICS is simple and can be seen in the words of Argentina’s Ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, during a recent interview:
“We are interested in joining the BRICS because it is a cooperation mechanism composed entirely of emerging economies. There are no strings attached and all cooperation is mutually beneficial”.
While the economic blocs and political alliances led by the countries of the “geopolitical north” are almost always ruled by rigid ideological principles, linked to agendas such as neoliberalism, eco-capitalism and the western model of “democracy”, the BRICS, being a strategic and pragmatic group for the cooperation among emerging nations, is in no way interested in the political agendas followed by its members or in the ideological principles of their governments. What matters in the BRICS is to strengthen the multilateral partnership in order to reach more advanced levels of development, without political interventionism or ideological requirements.
This is undoubtedly of interest to countries that are somehow “disapproved” by the West for the way they manage their domestic politics, suffering boycotts, sanctions or simply reprisals for accessing some benefits in international society. In the BRICS, what is found is a path focused only on non-ideological cooperation – or, in other words, “no strings attached”, as said by Narbaja.
This non-ideological aspect has an essential strategic advantage: allowing rival nations to join the BRICS simultaneously, despite their conflicts of interests. The group makes it possible for states with divergent interests to overcome their disagreements in favor of a greater common good. This is precisely the case for China and India, for example – and it will also be the case for Iran and Saudi Arabia, if their applications are accepted.
It is necessary to note how the expansion promises to increase the importance of the BRICS in international decision-making processes. Currently, the group already houses 42% of the world’s population and holds 24% of the global gross product. With the possible joining of new members, these numbers will also increase and consequently the group will become even more relevant. Most of the world’s consumer middle classes will be within the BRICS or in some way integrated into it – considering the economic blocs of which the group’s members are part.
In practice, this major economic relevance means bargaining power in the international scenario – which undoubtedly interests emerging states and contributes to the formation of a multipolar world order.
Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.
China’s BRI Shapes a Multipolar Future for Saudi Arabia
Matthew Ehret September 1, 2022
Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia is heralding more tectonic changes in the rules of the Great Game in ways that few have begun to realize.
Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia is heralding more tectonic changes in the rules of the Great Game in ways that few have begun to realize.
While many people are quick to criticize China for having looked the other way while the atrocious Saudi-led offensive in Yemen has continued to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians since 2015, these same people miss the fact that a higher geopolitical reality is being born which will have a much greater benefit to both the people of Yemen and humanity more generally if it is not sabotaged. Just to be clear: Saudi Arabia has a lot of blood on her hands.
However, the monarchy is also not merely the unidimensional player which many often assume whose goal is to simply bask forever in oil profits while spreading wahhabite radicalism across the Arab world while subduing any nation who stands in their way.
There is also an emergent robust young generation in Saudi Arabia (half of the 31 million Saudis are under 25) and a renewed embrace of advanced technological progress as a driver for a post-hydrocarbon age. This more healthy dynamic within the Saudi population and governing class was outlined clearly in the Saudi Vision 2030 program of April 2016 and earlier the January 2016 Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which read: “In the process of jointly pursuing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, China is willing to coordinate development strategies with Arab states, put into play each other’s advantages and potentials, promote international production capacity cooperation and enhance cooperation in the fields of infrastructure construction, trade and investment facilitation, nuclear power, space satellite, new energy, agriculture and finance, so as to achieve common progress and development and benefit our two peoples.”
This positive orientation can be seen by an array of common sense transformations of the Saudi foreign policy priorities over recent years made possible by the smooth diplomacy of both China and Russia who are leading in the creation of a new viable security/financial architecture far outside of the control of western unipolarists. Among the chief of these new priorities is a focus on vectoring east towards a pro-China policy, and improving diplomatic relations with historic enemies within the region.
Rebuilding Relationships and Stability in the Middle East
In November 2020, Saudi Arabia and Iraq re-opened their borders and began restoring cooperative ties 30 years after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait saw a near total cutting off of relations. Saudi Arabia and Turkey (both of whom having suffered from overlapping spheres of interest within the Middle East) have also gone far to reset their relations with Erdogan and Crown Prince Bin Salman announcing a “new era of cooperation” after the latter’s visit to Ankara. In their joint communique, Saudi Arabia and Turkey wrote of “their common determination to enhance cooperation in the bilateral relations between the two countries including in the political, economic, military, security and cultural fields.”
It wasn’t three days after this meeting that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met with the Crown Prince in Jeddah where matters of economic, regional stability, “bilateral relations and opportunities for joint cooperation” was discussed (followed by the Iraqi PM’s meeting with his Iranian counterparts a day later). Iran and Iraq are currently in the final stages of work on the first rail connection between the two states in history with the Shalamcheh-Basra rail line that can easily connect to the existent 1500 km railway across Iraq and could then easily stretch into Syria and Lebanon as part of the Southern corridor of the BRI.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have also sped up their efforts to rebuild diplomatic ties after the disastrous execution of Shiite cleric Nimr-al-Nimr caused the total rupture of ties in 2016. Other gulf states who had also cut ties with Iran such as UAE and Kuwait have already restarted relations. It is this author’s contention that this breakthrough would have been entirely impossible were it not for the fact that both China and Russia have made it clear that Iran is an integral pillar of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, playing a potential stabilizing role in the middle east, as well as a key node in the functionality of both the International North South Transportation Corridor and also the southern route of the Belt and Road Initiative.
This turn towards rationality by Saudi Arabia makes perfect sense.
The western overlord of the Middle East who have used Saudi Arabia and other regimes as weapons in their geopolitical arsenal of oil geopolitics and the creation/deployment of terrorism have made it clear that the “post-Great Reset” rules based international order sees little room for hydrocarbon fuels which have been deemed “enemy #1” to be destroyed at all cost in the pursuit of “global net zero” by 2050. As such, even on a practical level, there will be very little role which Saudi Arabia or any other oil-reliant state will play within this utopic new order.
A Sane Energy Policy
China, on the other hand, has no such delusional green visions and instead offers a more rational energy vision with its partners outlined in the August 2022 Memorandum of Understanding signed by Saudi’s Aramco and China’s Sinopec to vastly expand cooperation on petrochemical integration, engineering, construction, up and downstream technology and hydrogen production. The head of Aramco even said: “Ensuring the continuing security of China’s energy needs remains our highest priority – not just for the next five years but for the next 50 and beyond.”
Ever since Saudi Arabia first floated the idea of selling oil to China in yuan rather than U.S. dollars back in March 2022, it has become increasingly clear that the age of the U.S. dollar as the sole reserve currency is quickly coming to an end. Since 2016 Sino-Saudi trade has expanded massively with China becoming Saudi Arabia’s primary trade partner with bilateral trade hitting $87 billion in 2021. Meanwhile China purchases over 25% of all the oil Saudi Arabia produces.
On a deeper level which touches on the substance of long term successful survival (vs mere momentary pragmatic tactical survival), Saudi Arabia has increasingly come to the realization that it needs a new way of doing things. The age of oil geopolitics shaped by speculative spot and futures markets as it was played since 1973 is by all intents and purposes over and anyone wishing to continue playing by those rules will not survive for long. The new reality setting the tone for the Middle East is based upon real, measurable growth with a focus on interconnectivity, rail, and industrial corridors. The prices of oil and other commodities is increasingly being set by the measurable needs of nations and people, instead of the myopic impulses of speculators obsessed with making money and no concern for the real world.
As such, it makes perfect sense that China has worked so hard to help Saudi Arabia become the second nuclear powered gulf state (following the UAE’s recent leap into the 21st century with 2.7 GW of energy now constructed as of this writing).
As early as 2016, China signed an MOU to help Saudi Arabia build 4th generation gas cooled reactors and in 2020 Chinese companies signed an agreement to help Saudi Arabia not only utilize its vast uranium resources but also become proficient in all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. This would be vital not only to help Saudi Arabia successfully transition off of its reliance on hydrocarbons, but would also create vast new reservoirs of oil for the global markets now desperately in need of fuel. The vast opportunities for mass desalination is yet another reason why nuclear is the obvious choice for any nation seriously thinking about overcoming water scarcity in sustainable ways.
Besides the $500 billion NEOM megacity on the Red Sea which Xi will be visiting shortly, the Saudi Vision 2030 has also made the construction of several megaprojects a high priority such as the 450 km high speed Haramain Railway completed by China Railway Construction Corporation linking Mecca to Medina. This project provides a solid extension to the 2700 km north-south railway completed in 2015 which connects Riyadh to Al Haditha on Jordan’s border. An additional 460 km of railways connecting various GCC members is also being built.
Additionally, the $200 billion Persian Gulf-Red Sea high speed railway (aka: Saudi Land bridge) received full support from all six Gulf Cooperation Council members in 2021 which will see a 2100 km high speed railway stretch across the Arabian Desert with branches that could easily extend north into Egypt where similar projects are already underway and south into Yemen and beyond through the 26 km Bal el-Mandeb Strait across the Red Sea into East Africa. If a successful peace process can endure between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and if Iran can be brought into a mediating role, it is entirely feasible that this project dubbed “The Bridge of the Horn of Africa” when it was first unveiled in 2009, may finally see the light of day.
During the 14th century, European artists noted that oil and water cannot be mixed without a third element of egg tempura serving as a medium whereby an array of pigments arriving from as far as Arabia and even Asia, could be turned into paint. In this same way, China and to a large extent Russia have become this “third medium” which has made antagonistic political interests across the Middle East harmonize under a new paradigm of cooperation and trust. A potentially beautiful new future driven by the re-awakening of the spirit of the Silk Road is being painted before our eyes.
Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review.
Nouriel Roubini November 09, 2022 08:56
A variety of megathreats is imperiling our future – not just our jobs, incomes, wealth, and the global economy, but also the relative peace, prosperity, and progress achieved over the past 75 years. For four decades after World War II, climate change and job-displacing artificial intelligence was not on anyone’s mind, and terms like “deglobalization” and “trade war” were on nobody’s lips. Fast-forward to late 2022, and you will immediately notice that we are awash in new, extreme megathreats that were not previously on anyone’s radar. The world has entered what I call a geopolitical depression
New Eastern Outlook, 07.11.2022 Author: Salman Rafi Sheikh
The start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine was supposed to give the US a hitherto unavailable opportunity to re-unite the Western alliance under its leadership and maintain the US-dominated post-Second World War global order. While the Biden administration has got some success in forcing Europe to renew its allegiance to Washington – and drop its ambitions of strategic autonomy as an independent player in the international arena – it has not really had any powerful impact on Russia and China in terms of deterring them from pushing for their core objective of alternative world order. As it stands, the leading factor is that Washington’s success is itself largely limited to the West – a fact not lost on Russia, China and other countries outside of Europe. Outside of the occident, Washington’s ability to control anti-US forces has considerably decreased. This is especially evident in the Middle East, a region long known for its ‘deep’ alliance with the West but increasingly following a path that does not converge with the US.
For Russia and China, this is an encouraging sign – not only because visible and deep cracks have emerged in the wider US-led alliance, but also because countries outside of the Transatlantic Alliance are showing greater acceptability of the Sino-Russia bid to establish a multipolar world order not vulnerable to US manipulation. The initial success in charting the alternative course means that both Russia and China have every reason to continue illuminating this path.
This was also at the heart of Vostok drills held in Russia in September. This was a military exercise that, apart from Russia as the host country, included China, India, Tajikistan, Belarus and Mongolia. Whereas the decision of India and China to participate in these drills shows the drastic limits of the extent to which Washington can dictate global politics, the fact that these drills were held despite US sanctions on Russia and its politics of imposing “isolation” on Moscow shows, once again, that the politics of alternative world order is fast gaining traction.
How this exercise is tied to global politics can be understood from the way Russia’s Vladimir Putin contextualised it. A day before China confirmed its participation, Putin called for, in a speech he delivered to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security, “a radical strengthening of the contemporary system of a multipolar world.” This is necessary, as Putin stressed, to stem the Western tide to “expand its bloc-based system to the Asia-Pacific region, like it did with NATO in Europe.” Putin’s remarks were precise enough about US geopolitics around Taiwan as well. To quote him, “The US escapade towards Taiwan is not just a voyage by an irresponsible politician, but part of the purpose-oriented and deliberate US strategy designed to destabilise the situation and sow chaos in the region and the world.”
Putin’s views are not idiosyncratic. In fact, the Chinese are echoing the same in a powerful fashion. Global Times, an official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, recently said that,
“The US has been spiralling upward in its all-encompassing containment of China, and there seems no high point at which it will stop and take a break. It is like a runaway horse running wildly to the precipice of war.”
The conclusion that this commentary drew is that the ultimate aim of Washington is to establish its own hegemony in the region – and ultimately in the world – by “squeezing” China out. This conclusion is strikingly similar to how Russia sees the US bid to expand NATO to Eastern Europe – in particular Ukraine – to squeeze Russia in Europe. This conclusion is resonating globally now – from the Middle East to Africa and the Pacific.
The reason why this is spreading is that the idea of a multipolar world is attractive to many other states as well. The emphasis on multiple power centres means that the centre of gravity will neither be Washington nor Beijing or Moscow. In fact, the idea of a multipolar world order underpins a system that is fundamentally different from today’s misweighted and misguided rules.
In this context, India’s decision to participate in the multinational military exercise shows how close New Delhi is to the idea of a multipolar order that this drill represents. India is a country that has always aspired to global power status. For years, it has been striving for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council. Its ambitions are unlikely to be realised in a system dominated, unilaterally, by Washington. Within this system, New Delhi is likely to remain a player following, uncritically, the US in its footsteps. It is only by stepping out of this system – which New Delhi partly did by refusing to condemn Russia and/or deciding to buy Russian oil despite US sanctions – that New Delhi can push for its great power status more freely than has been the case.
There is no dearth of states in Asia and elsewhere aspiring to play a bigger role. Turkey, for that matter, is another prime example, with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Arab world emerging as the latest champion of strategic autonomy. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s refusal to exclude Russia from the G20 summit has proven, yet again, that exercising unilateral hegemony in today’s world is not the same as it was in the 1990s.
Given the scenario, what can Washington do? First, it can continue to ignite conflict and hope to attract more and more allies. This will, however, continue to backfire, as more and more countries are likely to fall out with Washington’s geopolitics of conflict. Secondly, it can safely reach the conclusion that the world has already changed, and that Washington needs to adjust itself to the changing global structure and the possibility of multiple power centres. Washington cannot fight everyone. Period. With more and more countries seeking to trade in currencies other than the USD means that the US ability to macro-manage global economics through its financial control is diminishing fast as well. It cannot sanction everyone and everything. Period.
Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
November 18, 2022, By Tom O’Connor, the whole article is available on the brics information portal
An economic bloc led by five emerging economies, including the United States’ top two rivals, appears set to expand as Washington struggles to promote its global agenda beyond traditional allies and partners around the world.
The group, known by the acronym for its five core members, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), consists of more than a quarter of the world’s GDP and about 40% of the global population. Though BRICS is not a formal alliance, and significant geopolitical differences exist between members, their common interest in shoring up economic and trade mechanisms outside the Western framework has demonstrated growing appeal abroad.
Tom O’Connor is an award-winning senior writer of foreign policy at Newsweek, where he specializes in the Middle East, North Korea and other areas of international affairs and conflict.