In addition to the lifeless bodies in the streets, the bombed-out buildings, the sickening sound of gunfire and the terror in the eyes of the miners, which keep the children tight at the top to protect them from this shame of war, the Russian invasion of Ukraine leaves already its heavy imprint on many other aspects of life. The world is changing in terms of politics, economy, society, overturning the flow of history. What could the future hold for us in an even more volatile world?
In the beginning, the war destroyed a country with 45 million inhabitants, Ukraine. Its people roam in the bigger cities, as Lapathiotis would say like “Ghosts, that darkness sows, in the vortex of the Abyss”. How many years will it take for its infrastructure to reopen? Roads, hospitals, factories, crops? It is estimated that around 5-6 million inhabitants will be displaced. Manades rush to protect their children by leaving the country. Of the 2.8 million refugees so far, 2 million are children. Based on the population of the country may make up 12% of young Ukrainians under 18 years. How many of them will return? Political speakers have already begun to create a new culture in the country. The Russian invasion turned the Russian inhabitants of Kharkov, Kiev and Odessa into fanatical Ukrainians. The economic crisis in which the country is sinking, may in the coming decades leave as a dowry a nationalism whose main goal will be revanchism against Russia. Putin managed to plant the snake egg in Ukraine, reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman's film.
Russian citizens are already watching the collapse of their country's project, which has begun to bear fruit in the last 10 years. Russia raised the economic level with all its indicators being positive, became self-sufficient in many goods, became the first exporter of wheat, maintained itself as a strong player in the field of energy, thus starting to create a middle class that could, now, to spend, travel and live comfortably. The children of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky deserved this, who began to move (with the exception of some noble peasant oligarchs) as part of a western society. As we speak, thousands of young Russians are looking for ways to leave the country in an unrealistic brain drain that will leave the future of the country in the hands of some fanatical and schizophrenic militias. On the other hand, how far is the country from a civil war if the economic crisis leads to the impoverishment of the masses?
The war today poses a serious risk of turning the country into the economic data of the Soviet Union. That is, a military superpower, with its inhabitants waiting in line to buy goods in the supermarkets with the dropper. It remains to be seen whether Russia will remain a superpower after the end of the war, as prolonged conflict and the stubbornness of the Ukrainians also cast doubt on the true capabilities of the Russian military.
The worst thing, of course, is that the until recently emerging brand of an entire country is being destroyed because of its alien leader. Who, now, should trust her?
Condemned overwhelmingly by the UN, barred from the Olympics and other sporting activities, Russian students abroad are being unfairly bullied by their fellow students. One night the Ukrainians became nationalists, neutral Finland wants to join NATO, indifferent Sweden sends weapons to Ukraine and Germany triples its arms budget.
Geopolitically, Russia's attempt to remain a strong player in a multipolar system will find bad imitators. Russia has the military power to function as such a player and it has proved it in Syria. What could strengthen her profile was not another invasion of a third country, but the further growth of her economy, which for the size she wants to represent is small. Its GDP is lower than that of South Korea or France. In short, he is making the same mistake as the Soviet Union. The Soviets built a military model of power that they could not support with a strong economy, for & # 8217; this and collapsed. What is left for Vladimir Putin to survive? To become subservient to China, which is a real superpower both economically and militarily?
In Putin's philosophy, if, of course, “Operation Ukraine” is crowned with success, with better chances of success, it is possible that other countries, such as Germany and Japan, will be added in the coming years. Due to the economy, it will not be difficult for them to enter the arms race and thus secure a much more effective position in a multipolar system, in which stupid generals will again have a dominant say. If Germany follows this logic, we will soon witness strong upheavals in the European Union itself. The tripling of defense spending is already signaling – in addition to the insecurity caused by Russia – a resurgence of vital policy, with the aim of becoming the patron saint of the countries of Eastern Europe, the Baltics and the Nordic Republics. Today, its influence in these countries is economic, constituting the Northern League of the EU, vis-στις-vis the European countries of the South.
In a multipolar system, both Turkey and Israel seem to be claiming a position in our region. Turkey is trying to implement this project with similar pathogens and advantages to Russia: Democratic deficit, weak economy, strong armed forces. Its outdated doctrine has so far emerged through the occupation of Cyprus, the invasion of Syria, the intervention in Libya and, of course, the threats and the claim of territories by Greece and Iraq. How far can it go? Israel is betting on its strong defense, its nuclear arsenal and a balanced and noteworthy effort in recent years to strengthen its cooperation and & # 8217; expanding its economy with its neighbors. Until recently isolated Israel improved its relations with Egypt and Jordan. It has significantly developed its relations with the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, normalized its relations with Lebanon and is improving its relations with Turkey. Finally, it expands its investments in the field of innovation and increases its cooperation with China and African countries.
In general, there are many countries on the planet that may attempt in the coming years to move to the logic of regaining a role in a multipolar system. Either autonomously, or as captains and lieutenants of greater powers. We are talking about countries like Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and India. On the other hand, after Brexit, Britain chose to play the role of US lieutenant and China of Iran.
The Brezinski doctrine
Where will the US go? America must make a historic choice: Will it fight to dominate the world or to play a leading role? Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former US national security adviser, reminds Americans in his book The Big Chessboard that their power should not be confused with omnipotence. The prosperity of America and the rest of the world are intertwined. The panicked pursuit of American security alone, the obsession with terrorism, and the indifference to the concerns of a politically troubled humanity do not enhance American security, nor do they reconcile it with the real need of the world to have the United States as its leader. If America does not reconcile its overwhelming power with its undeniable social charm, it can find itself isolated and open to attack within & # 8217; an environment of escalating global chaos.
In a recent interview with a Polish newspaper, Brzezinski showed that he knows very well what he is saying when he talks about Russia and Ukraine. He reminded the world of a doctrine that has been in force since the time of the tsars: that “without Ukraine, Russia is a country. “With Ukraine it is an empire.”
“If the war in Ukraine turns into a military success for Russia, a victory for Vladimir Putin, then we should expect something to happen in the Baltic states,” he said, adding: “This will be the first step. “Further conflicts could erupt in Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan.”
The so-called Brzezinski doctrine of NATO foreign policy has as its main issue the establishment of the United States as a world superpower, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and later in the region of Eurasia. To achieve this, Brzezinski had begun to invest in various political theories through which he would initially cut the hair of the Russian Federation. According to his theories, if the US wants to set China as a regional rather than a global power pole, it must create and control two “shadows” around it. One, he said, was Japan, which would act as an American finger from the East, and the other was India, which, through long-running political and economic disputes with China, could put it in an informal war of continuous destruction.
Where, perhaps, does this doctrine stumble? Κατ & # 8217; first suffers historically, as it considers that the US is in the position found shortly after the B & # 8217; World War I, something that in conjunction with the end of the Cold War in the 1980s further strengthened it.
The United States, however, is not what it used to be in 1945, the one and only nuclear power with enormous potential for financial benefits and global investment. Not even the superpower that later won the Star Wars by financially exhausting the Soviets. The US debt, says the professor of international relations, Vassilis Fouskas, today has exceeded $ 30 trillion, while its deindustrialization has reached alarming levels. The dollar began to come under pressure as a world reserve currency, and US military defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria showed the limits of their political influence. Today, China is a much more competitive economy than the United States, and the global stock market crisis, as well as the eurozone crisis, have shown the limits of the Euro-Atlantic economic expansion globally.
Brzezinski's doctrine, in short, if embraced by the United States, is as outdated as Putin's doctrine of the re-establishment of the Russian Empire.