This week, Biden had an embarrassing video chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the situation in Ukraine, where Russian troops are massing at the border in preparation for what many expect to be a large-scale invasion sometime early next year.
The details of that conversation between Biden and Putin have begun to emerge:
Administration officials have suggested that the U.S. will press Ukraine to formally cede a measure of autonomy within its eastern Donbas region, which is now under de facto control by Russia-backed separatists who rose up against Kyiv in 2014.
So Donbass now officially belongs to Russia. All this stuff about “autonomy” is hot air. In the very same sentence as the word “autonomy” appears, AP’s article notes that the Donbass region is controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Decentralization of Ukraine and a “special status” for Donbas were laid out in an ambiguous, European-brokered peace deal in 2015, but it has never taken hold.
More autonomy could formally give residents of that region more authority over some local issues. The administration officials made no mention of ceding any territory.
It belongs to Russia now, that’s the bottom line.
Ace of Spades summarizes:
As a face-saving measure — to save Biden’s face and no one else’s — the Donbas will be called an “autonomous region” which is under no one’s control.
Except, you know, the actual Russian troops that actually control it.
Again, this does nothing for the Ukraine, as it cedes their territory to Russia. It does nothing for Russia, as it pretends away their victory.
This would only be a “victory” for Joe Biden, and only a PR one at that.
In addition, while Biden will pretend to refuse Russia’s demand that NATO never admit Ukraine into NATO, behind the scenes he’s telling Ukraine… that NATO will never admit Ukraine into NATO.
Our foreign policy is down to Democrats begging Russia, “Please do not make this too humiliating for us, because we have midterms coming up and we’re already going to lose a lot of seats. And you guys remember — we were always your close ideological allies before we pretended to be your savage opposition starting January 20, 2017.”
Our “foreign” policy under Democrat presidents always, always devolves into a purely domestic policy psyops operation aimed at deceiving the American public for the political advantage of the Democrat Party, begging foreign regimes and the propaganda state media to pretend that everything’s going just swell when things are falling apart and that America is winning when America is being humiliated.
I just don’t really understand why the US is even involved in these negotiations. This is a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. It’s a lose-lose scenario for the US the second we get involved in these talks.
We’re not going to put boots on the ground in Ukraine. Nobody wants that at all. In fact, if it happened, people in this country would be really pissed about yet another foreign war on the other side of the world.
We are setting ourselves up to be humiliated.
Ukraine is not a NATO member. Ukraine will never be a NATO member, because Putin doesn’t want it, and we don’t have any legitimacy to tell him otherwise.
He is calling the shots here.
That’s why I say: why are we even involved here? We have zero leverage. And we have zero direct national interest in this situation.
A lot of the media attention, though, is focused on Russia and Ukraine, but China is doing something similar to what Russia is doing as well.
China is preparing to take over the island of Taiwan, something it has wanted to do for over 70 years now:
China’s military is actively preparing for a potential attack against Taiwan and the Pentagon is working closely with the island’s military to deter a direct assault and develop asymmetric weapons to fight off Beijing, senior Biden administration officials told Congress on Wednesday.
Ely Ratner, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said Taiwan remains a “beacon of democracy” and is a vital outpost in a network of U.S. allies and partners in the western Pacific.
Amid growing military coercion toward Taiwan, China is preparing “to unify Taiwan with the PRC by force while simultaneously attempting to deter, delay or deny third-party intervention on Taiwan’s behalf,” Mr. Ratner told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The hearing was one of the first this year to explore the state of U.S. relations with Taiwan and was held at a time of increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing on a wide range of fronts.
Asked specifically on the timing of a possible Chinese military move against Taiwan, Mr. Ratner said at one point: “Senator, my answer to that is the China challenge is a today problem, a tomorrow problem, a 2027 problem, a 2030 problem, a 2040 problem and beyond. I don’t think there is a date we ought to pick on the calendar.”
The U.S., he added, needs to “make sure we are sustaining deterrence from today and maintaining it going forward.”
For now, however, the Pentagon believes China can be deterred from a direct assault through a combination of strengthened defenses, partnership with the United States and increased backing from like-minded democracies.
Still, recent signs have been worrisome. China’s rapid military buildup for a war on Taiwan includes sophisticated warships and submarines, advanced warplanes, increased numbers and quality of missiles, and cyberweapons.
When the Chinese Communists won the civil war in 1949, Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government fled to the island of Taiwan. Taiwan’s official name is the Republic of China, as it has been under control of the Nationalists since 1949.
This is where the idea of the “One China Policy” comes from, in contrast to the “Two China Policy.” One China is what the CCP wants, and it means Taiwan formally under the control of the CCP government. Two Chinas is what the US has been upholding since 1949: the People’s Republic (PRC) on the Mainland, the Republic (ROC) in Taiwan.
China has now convinced Nicaragua to side with the One China policy:
Nicaragua on Thursday severed ties with Taiwan and established relations with Beijing, further shrinking the island’s dwindling ranks of diplomatic partners as China pressures countries to break off contact with Taipei.
Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it would no longer have any official contact with Taiwan, which Beijing claims is a province of China. Describing Taiwan as an “inalienable part of Chinese territory,” the ministry said it “recognizes that there is only one China in the world.”
In a statement on Twitter on Friday in Asia, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega had “disregarded” a “long-standing friendship.” “It’s with great regret we end diplomatic ties with Nicaragua,” it said, adding that “Taiwan remains unbowed [and] will continue as a force for good in the world.”
The break in ties, which leaves 14 countries that recognize Taiwan, comes amid tensions between China and the United States and aggressive Chinese actions toward Taiwan. The democratic island has close unofficial links with Washington despite U.S. diplomatic ties with Beijing under the one-China policy, which acknowledges Beijing’s claim to Taiwan without formally recognizing it.
Nicaragua’s announcement came after months of worsening relations with the United States, which imposed sanctions on a national security adviser of Ortega and called the president’s win last month of a fourth term a “pantomime election.”
Oh, that’s fucking rich coming from the US.
The Communist government that controls mainland China have since 1949 been trying to finish off the Nationalists for good, but Taiwan has always been allied with the US, so invading and conquering the island is not such an easy matter for the Chinese communists.
But it appears they’re on the verge of doing it now, at long last. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before Taiwan belongs to China.
I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that at the same time Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, China is preparing to invade Taiwan.
I think it’s possible they might launch their respective invasions at the same time early next year, and dare the US to do something about it.
And what are we going to do? Go to war with both of them?
Because now, China and Russia are closer than they’ve ever been at any point over the past 60+ years.
Just last month, Russia and China signed an agreement that would institute closer military ties between the two nations, basically signaling an alliance against the US:
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s defense chief on Tuesday signed a roadmap for closer military ties with China, pointing to increasingly frequent U.S. strategic bomber flights near both countries’ borders.
During a video call, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe “expressed a shared interest in stepping up strategic military exercises and joint patrols by Russia and China,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
“China and Russia have been strategic partners for many years,” Shoigu said. “Today, in conditions of increasing geopolitical turbulence and growing conflict potential in various parts of the world, the development of our interaction is especially relevant.”
Shoigu pointed to increasingly intensive flights by the U.S. strategic bombers near Russian borders, saying that there were 30 such missions over the past month alone.
“This month, during the U.S. Global Thunder strategic force exercise, 10 strategic bombers practiced the scenario of using nuclear weapons against Russia practically simultaneously from the western and eastern directions,” Shoigu said, adding that they came as close as 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the Russian border.
He also noted a rise in the number of U.S. bomber flights over the Sea of Okhotsk where they practiced reaching the points for launching cruise missiles, saying that it poses a threat to both Russia and China.
“In such an environment, the Russian-Chinese coordination becomes a stabilizing factor in global affairs,” Shoigu said.
Wei praised Russia for successfully countering what he described as U.S. pressure and military threats.
Shoigu and Wei hailed a series of maneuvers that involved Russian and Chinese warplanes and naval ships, and signed a plan for military cooperation for 2021-2025.
On Friday, two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers and two Chinese H-6K strategic bombers flew a joint patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, prompting South Korea to scramble fighter jets.
In August, Shoigu visited China to attend joint war games, which marked the first time that Russian troops had taken part in drills on Chinese territory.
They were the latest in a series of war games in recent years, intended to underline increasingly close military relations between Moscow and Beijing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, have developed strong personal ties to bolster a “strategic partnership” between the former Communist rivals as they both faced tensions with the West.
Russia has sought to expand ties with China as its relations with the U.S. and its allies sank to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, accusations of Russian hacking attacks, interference in elections and other disputes.
Even though Russia and China in the past rejected the possibility of forging a military alliance, Putin said last year that such a prospect can’t be ruled out. He also has noted that Russia has been sharing highly sensitive military technologies with China that helped significantly bolster its defense capability.
This brings the two nations one step closer to a formal military alliance, which would tilt the balance of power in the world significantly. At that point, there is no way you could say the US is the global hegemon.
In the early 1960s, the two formerly allied communist nations the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China had a falling out (you can read about it here) known as the “Sino-Soviet Split.”
Nixon and Kissinger exploited the split in 1971 by opening US relations with China and forging an economic partnership, with the ultimate goal being to gain an upper-hand on the Russians.
China and Russia normalized relations once again in 1989, long after the death of Chairman Mao in 1976, and shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union. But the nations haven’t exactly been “friends” until now.
Basically, since the end of World War II, the main powers in the world have been the US and Russia. It took a while after the Communists won the civil war for China to join the ranks of the superpowers, but China is now firmly there, if not the top dog in the world already.
Most world affairs are determined by the relationship between the US, Russia and China.
I have always thought that we should try to forge an alliance of some sort with the Russians, given that prior to the Cold War, we were allies with Russia historically (even when Russia was communist, during WWII). I think Trump actually wanted to forge an alliance with Russia, but the media and the Democrats made this basically impossible by painting him as a Russian double-agent.
The lies about Trump and Russia did enormous damage to American foreign policy, and that is already apparent. Instead of forging closer ties with Russia and isolating the Chinese, we’ve pushed the Russians into China’s arms, leaving ourselves out in the cold.
At a time where America has never been weaker on the world stage, we now have the Russians and Chinese banding together against us.
We’re pretty much being forced into a position of less power and less global influence.
We are no longer the top dogs in the world.
If we went to war with Russia and China, we would not win. In fact, we’d probably get our asses handed to us.
This is who we have leading our military:
This is who Russia has leading their military:
Yeah, we’re gonna get crushed.
We no longer call the shots.
China and Russia have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and now they’re doing what they’ve always wanted to do.
For Russia, that’s annexing Ukraine.
For China, it’s conquering Taiwan.
Look, in many ways, I think this is a good thing.
It’s neocon propaganda to want America as the world’s sole superpower. It’s their excuse to be the World’s Polieceman, aka go invade a bunch of other countries.
We don’t need to do that. And more Americans are realizing it.
This country has been just fine not being the sole superpower of the world. Really, we’ve only been the undisputed #1 in the world from the end of the Cold War to now. We started slipping under Obama and Bush, made a resurgence under Trump, but now we’re clearly no longer the top dog in the world. There’s no doubting it anymore.
Just because we’re not #1 anymore doesn’t mean we can’t be a strong nation that nobody fucks with.
Russia and China still wouldn’t dare come near our homeland.
All they’re doing now is taking advantage of the fact that American power no longer has a global reach. The whole world is no longer under the American umbrella. Parts of it still are, of course. But not all of it.
China is now asserting its power in its region, Russia is doing the same, and America can do the same as well.
We can all have our own turf.
There is no need for us to go to war with each other as both nations are oceans apart from us.
It’s nothing but arrogance on our part to believe that Russia’s disputes with Ukraine are our business, and that China’s disputes with Taiwan are also our business.
Americans are isolationist by nature. We instinctively realize that we are sandwiched between two oceans, and that so long as we don’t start any trouble with the rest of the world, they won’t start any trouble with us.
Even two-plus years into World War II, Americans were something like 88% against joining the war. We didn’t want any part of it. The Pearl Harbor Attack changed that, of course, and gave the government the support for the war that it wanted all along.
But prior to Pearl Harbor, Americans were strongly opposed to the war.
We need to get back to isolationism. Let the Russians and Chinese do as they please in their regions.
I don’t think they want trouble with us. I really don’t. Why would they want to go to war with America? It makes no sense.
They are merely settling long-running historical regional disputes that should not involve America at all.
We Americans have been so bombarded by neocon propaganda that we believe if the Russians and Chinese get stronger, for some reason they’ll want to start a war with us.
Why would they want that? That is ridiculous.
They have no reason to want to go to war with us, unless we do something that they feel directly threatens them–you know, like flying bombers 12 miles away from the Russian border. Stuff like that.
Why are we doing that? Why are we provoking them?
Historically, Russia has only really ever gone to war with Europe and other nations that are either neighbors or very close to Russia. There is no reason for Russia to want to go to war with the US–unless the US meddles too much in Europe.
The only reason the US and Russia could ever cross paths is in Europe.
The NATO alliance is the only way we could ever really end up in a war with Russia. Europe basically relies on America’s military. You attack Europe, it means you go to war with the US. That’s the way it has been since 1945. There is no way the UK, France and Germany could hold off the Russians if America ever left Europe.
Russia has 3.4 million active military personnel, the UK, France and Germany have a combined 831k active military personnel. They would stand no chance against Russia.
The US NATO military umbrella over Western Europe is a healthy deterrent to Russia if they get any ideas about invading any of those countries.
But Russia also wants to make sure it has a buffer zone between NATO territory and the Russian motherland.
Russia feels pretty boxed in by how far east NATO has crept:
Blue is NATO.
Russia wants Ukraine so that, A. Ukraine never joins NATO, and B., so that they have a buffer between NATO turf and their own turf.
It’s important to remember how far west into Europe the Soviet Union’s territory went prior to 1991:
It basically went all the way to Poland’s eastern border. Russia views the Baltic States, Ukraine, Belarus (a country whose name derives from the same word, “Rus,” that Russia’s name does), Moldova–Russia views all those countries as, in a historical sense, belonging to Russia essentially.
If not belonging, then at least under their umbrella in the way the US views the NATO countries in Europe.
NATO is our turf, the former Soviet satellite states are Russia’s turf. And they feel like we’re encroaching on their turf and pushing too close to the Russian motherland. They want to push us back a little bit and give themselves some breathing room.
It’s totally understandable.
I doubt Russia is going to feel “emboldened” by this and then by 2023 they’re invading Poland and Germany. That’s not going to happen.
Well, maybe Poland, but that would be an extreme move.
But it’s not completely out of the question. If you look at the map of the old Russian Empire from before WWI, Russia had basically all of Poland:
Russia used to be way, way bigger than it is now.
Russia lost a lot of turf after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Who knows if Russia has plans to re-annex Kazakhstan and all the other Central Asian “-stan” countries. I don’t think that’s the case, at least right now. I think Russia is primarily focused on the Ukraine.
Anyway, we need to get out of this dumb mindset that the US “Must Act” if Russia decides to redraw its borders.
It doesn’t matter to us.
It wasn’t our business 100 years ago, 200 years ago–it’s not our business now. That is their part of the world, their history, their former territory–there is no reason for us to risk war with them over those lands.
It doesn’t impact us.
And China and Taiwan? While technically it doesn’t affect us as at all, I do have a lot of sympathy for the Taiwanese people who have been thriving for over 70 years, and simply don’t want to be under communist rule.
I think it would be a sad day in the world if Taiwan gets taken over by the Chinese Communists. I really do.
But if the choice is war with China or letting Taiwan be taken over by the Chinese, I’m sorry but I’d have to choose the latter.
I wish some agreement could be reached where Taiwan would cease calling itself the Republic of China and cease claiming to be the legitimate government of China, and the Chinese Communists would cease calling Taiwan part of Communist China.
It would be great if they could just reach an agreement that Taiwan is it’s own country, not part of China at all, just an independent Taiwan, and then go their separate ways.
I’m sure there’s many reasons why that can’t happen, though. The biggest one I can think of is that China would be seen as caving. It would be a sign of weakness. But perhaps they could be compensated somehow. I don’t know. I’m sure it has been tried by diplomats in the past.
Okay, this post has gotten too long. It’s late.
Bottom line: Russia is going to take over Donbass soon, possibly more. And China will probably end up taking over Taiwan.
America is powerless to do anything about it, really. This nation has no appetite for more foreign wars and, more importantly, no appetite to be the world’s policeman anymore.
We are entering a state of affairs that will be dominated by a multi-polar world order, and America no longer sits at the top of the heap.