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Analysis Share This Page
The King has Lost his Crown
by Dr. Satish Bendigiri Bookmark and Share

After prolonging a battle in Ukraine, Putin may complete his mission by the 9th of May 2022, as Russia would prepare for the Victory Day parade on that day. Putin has appointed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, his staunch supporter, to finish off the Ukraine invasion, and Ramzan proved his mettle by capturing Mariupol soon after he took over the command. Russia successfully tested its new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on April 20, 2022. The RS-28 Sarmat (NATO name: Satan-II) is said to carry 10 or more warheads and decoys and has a range of 11,000 to 18,000 kilometres, allowing it to fire over either of the earth's poles. It is projected to pose a substantial challenge to western countries' ground- and satellite-based radar monitoring systems, particularly those of the United States.

Will Putin win? His resume says so.

There was a lot of a nationwide uproar in Syria in the spring of 2015, and it was feared that the situation would be so chaotic that civil war seemed imminent. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was in a quagmire of political tumult and was about to be ousted when Russia joined the Syrian conflict. The US and its allies, as well as some Nato countries, were shocked by Russia's action. President Obama predicted that Russia would have to come back humiliated just as the US had come back disgraced from Vietnam and Russia had come back mortified at the hands of the Mujahedin in Afghanistan.

Well, Obama’s prediction failed miserably. Not only was Putin successful in changing the course of the Syrian conflict, but he also saved the Syrian President from a disgraceful defeat, while transforming Syrian military might into diplomatic control, whilst maintaining war costs and casualties at bay. Putin gained a superior regional influence, from Israel to Libya, while maintaining a trustworthy ally in Assad when Russia would consider its expansion of power. True to his words, Assad has provided his army to fight against Ukraine. The Obama-led US administration failed to judge Putin.

On the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last week, Madeleine Albright, former secretary of State of the US, repeated the same words, “Ukraine would be Afghanistan for Putin.” The cost of a full-scale battle in Ukraine would be punishingly high for the Kremlin and would involve huge bloodshed, the analysts opine. A confrontation might jeopardize Russia's economy and antagonize its citizens. Simultaneously, it may bring NATO soldiers closer to Russia's borders, leaving Russia to fight a Ukrainian opposition for an extended period. As this viewpoint suggests, Russia would be ensnared in a tragedy as a result of its own initiatives.

This time it is Albright who may repeat Obama and prove him wrong as Putin does not believe in Mission Impossible. His cost-benefit analysis could topple the European and US calculations. He had controlled Belarus and Kazakhstan, and now he has almost found a foothold in Ukraine.

Why does Putin seem to have an upper hand? That is because, first, his onetime powerful adversary, the undisputed superpower, and self-appointed king of the world the USA is apparently losing its crown. The US is facing international and domestic conditions which are far away from being conducive to its administration. Second, Europe seems to be in unprecedented doldrums after putting sanctions on Putin and now has realized, especially Germany, the strongest economy in Europe that putting sanctions on Putin was in haste as gas prices have soared and inflation is at a historic high.

To begin with, let us start analyzing the US state of affairs from the top, i.e. President to the hierarchy below.

If newspapers in the US are to be believed, they say that Biden knows nothing. There was the pigeon that pooped on the lapel of the eminent person's jacket, the handshakes with the invisible man, ordering a mini-robot to attack a journalist, and calling Mariupol as Metropol twice and being apparently scared of a White House aide disguised as the Easter Bunny on the White House lawn are some of the gaffes. Amid all this, Biden also blithely announces plans to visit Kyiv, which the White House has to deny again.

Biden recently made a statement that Russia is not at the top of the list of reasons for high inflation in the United States. He said on television, "Let's be very clear about why we have such high prices right now. There are two reasons: The first was the coronavirus "..." The second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin "..." When we saw the latest statistics: last month 70% of the increase in inflation as a consequence of Putin's price increases "..." I'm doing everything I can to make sure prices come down,". This statement of Biden received flak.

Tina Flournoy, Kamla Harris' chief of staff, is leaving the vice president's team, making her the highest-ranking employee to resign in months. Flournoy is the 12th member of Harris' staff to resign after a series of rumours concerning internal difficulties. Among those who have departed are her deputy chief of staff, speechwriter, chief spokeswoman, security advisor, and other members of her team.

The United States has few ways to track exactly where U.S. weapons sent to Ukraine end up, CNN reported, citing sources in the country's Defense Department. According to CNN, citing a Defense Department source, the risk is that in the long term some of the weapons sent to Kyiv "may end up in the hands of other armed forces and militias that the United States did not intend to arm”. Now that is serious.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. risks severe depletion of weapons stocks due to aid to Ukraine.

Washington has already supplied Kyiv with a third of its stockpile of Javelin anti-tank systems, agency analyst Hal Brands noted.

Russian warship Moskva sank in the black sea last week. If this is a matter of being jubilant by the US naval department, it can not be. There have been a series of reports indicating that the US navy is overstretched, overloaded, and under-maintained, and thus ever more defenceless as it goes about the expensive task of patrolling the world's oceans. There were a pair of collisions separately involving the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald in 2017.

As per Mass Media News Agency, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Cary Lake, a Trump supporter, recently appeared on "Real America" with Dan Ball to discuss the invasion of the southern border in Arizona, where thousands of people come to the U.S. every day.

It was previously reported that massive waves of illegal immigrants are preparing to storm the southern border on May 23, when Biden will terminate Trump's enacted Section 42. 18,000 people a day or more than 500,000 a month are expected to invade the United States. "Many of these people are dangerous criminals and victims of human trafficking," writes one conservative publication in the United States.

Cary Lake said, "When I become governor, we will not emulate Joe Biden. He's an illegitimate president. We're not going to get signals from him and have him tell us what to do. He's driving this country into the ground, and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit back as governor and let him drive this state into the ground. We're going to secure this border. We're going to finish President Trump's wall, and we're going to put an armed Arizona National Guard on the border and keep people from crossing the border and send others back. We have drug terrorists ruling the ball right now, thanks to Joe Biden, and I don't know why anyone listens to this guy. He shouldn't even be in the White House. We're in the epicentre. If we don't have a border and if we don't have fair elections, we don't have a country. And I hate to inform people that we don't have either right now. And that's why I, as governor, will not submit to Joe Biden. He's illegal. That election was a sham, and he's trying to destroy this country. And we need to get all the governors to start ignoring him. And frankly, I think we need to cancel that election."

Greg Abbott, The governor of Texas, began to send illegal migrants from the Mexican border directly to Washington (they have already held a rally there, by the way, demanding to receive them properly) and to negotiate directly with Mexican officials, actually threatening to block the borders.

Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis on the other hand, set a one-week deadline for legal abortions, banned the teaching of critical racial theory in the state's schools, and passed a law to protect children from LGBT propaganda.

The US internal analysis stands as below:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently limping along without enough staff or funding. Congress, especially Republicans, needs to face up to reality. The IRS still manually enters the information on paper tax returns into its computing system because its technology is so outdated. There’s a massive backlog of more than seven million unprocessed individual tax returns from last year, largely. Can you imagine a technology giant such as the US having an outdated computing system?

There have been several incidents of shootings against civilians in the last fortnight in the US: in California, South Carolina and the Brooklyn subway in New York. Subways shooting are on the rise. In Washington, a man was shot in the leg on the Metro train in November 2021, followed by a fatal shot very next month in front of the DC station. In January, a 40-year-old woman was pushed on the track in front of a New York subway train. Robberies have risen 71% in the New York transit system. New York Mayor Eric Adams has suggested screening passengers for guns by adding metal detectors at the entrance. This will only add to the problems and create huge bottlenecks. Last week Two Sikh men were assaulted in an alleged hate crime incident in the Richmond Hill area of New York. Nothing to be mentioned about the regular minor skirmishes. The response of the U.S. leadership to all of this has been practically nil. Law-abiding Americans are deprived of legally purchased weapons.

Most of the U.S. water infrastructure-ports, dams and bridges-requires major repairs and are already causing problems moving goods across the country. The Biden-Harris administration has allocated funds to restore the water infrastructure, but the project will be implemented by the U.S. Army Corps, whose officials have already become famous for laundering a lot of money on "military aid" to Ukraine.

The viral lineage of the newly detected Covid-19 variant called Omicron BA.2 has become dominant and the number of patients hit with the new variant is on the rise. The data provided by the John Hopkins Institute on the morning of April 21, 2022, the number of infections detected is 80,801,713. The mandatory N95 is back again. This is putting enormous pressure on the US healthcare system.

Shares of Netflix, which left the Russian market, fell 25.7% in pre-trade on the loss of 200,000 paid subscribers - the first in 10 years

The aforementioned are not all the domestic problems that the U.S. authorities have to deal with. Natural calamities like tornados and floods have been putting pressure on the US administration.

Last, a very serious statement by Neurologist Angel Boyev on Newsmax. He said,” US President Joe Biden's apparent cognitive decline affects domestic politics and foreign policy."

An analysis of the European continent post-Russo-Ukraine war makes interesting reading as below:

Marine Le Pen, the French Presidential candidate does not support sanctions on Russia. If elected, she would lift the Russian sanctions, she said in her election campaign. Her opponent Emmanuel Macron had faced a debacle as early as 2018 when he had increased taxes on Diesel vehicles which had drawn huge protests. Secondly, he did not keep his promise of raising the pensionable age from 62 to 65 which had caused much distress to senior citizens. With this backdrop, Marine Le Pen seems to be ahead in the Presidential race.

A group of Ukrainian refugees attacked Gendarmerie Nationale (French Police) recently. This has caused a loss of sympathy for refugees from Ukraine.

The Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France said that France does not consider it correct to apply the term "genocide" to the events in Ukraine.

As recently as last week Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic explained why he did not support sanctions against the Russian Federation and did not cancel air links. He said, "If I introduce sanctions against Russia, I will get awards anywhere, I will become a better democrat. But it's immoral to impose sanctions, and besides, it doesn't bring results. Russia has always supported us in the issue of territorial integrity," Vucic told the Serbian TV channel Pink. He also said that from the territory of Ukraine and one EU member country, Air Serbia constantly receives signals about explosive devices in planes that take the route to Russia. According to him, this is done in order for Serbia to block air traffic with Russia. The planes have to be turned around and landed - the national air carrier earns nothing. Serbia leaves these routes only as a matter of principle, thus showing that it is a free and freedom-loving country that makes its own decisions.

Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus condemned examples of Russophobia in Europe in an article for a Czech portal. He suggested that this could be a sign of double standards.

According to him, in the past, Ukrainians did not enjoy the sympathy of Europeans. Now, however, everyone is literally "radiating love" for Ukraine and Ukrainians. "Doesn't this love serve only as a screen to hide 'hatred for Russia,'" the politician expressed an opinion. Klaus stressed that hating someone is a bad and weak motive for loving someone else.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer told NBC television that Austria will probably be able to do without gas supplies from Russia not immediately but only in a few years. "It won't be possible today, tomorrow, but maybe in a few years we will be independent of Russian gas," he suggested. "It will take time because the degree of our dependence on Russian gas is 80%. "Germany has a similar situation," Nehammer said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's statements following talks with Western leaders: NATO will not directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine. Germany has reached the limit on what it can supply Ukraine from its own Armed Forces reserves.

According to Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor of Germany, “Germany will not produce shale gas as it will cause damage to the German environment and so we will refuse an immediate embargo on Russian gas.” The politician further recalled that there is a large amount of gas in the North German lowlands, which can be accessed only by freqing. But, "Freqing is impossible underwater law because it would have negative consequences for our environment. As for an immediate embargo on Russian gas, this would endanger the social order in Germany," the vice-chancellor concluded. Earlier Habek called for the urgent introduction of a total economy regime in the energy sphere. He urged Germans to use rail transport, or, better yet, to switch to bicycles.

As pointed out by DPA Agency, the Association of German Trade Union of Germany does not agree with the ban on natural gas supplies from Russia. They note that it would lead to a shutdown of production, further de-industrialization and job cuts in the country.

Last week a day began in Sweden with riots by reportedly Islamist rioters who attacked police and set fires. Many police officers were injured. Earlier, Saudi Arabia condemned the "deliberate abuse of the Holy Quran" in Sweden, as well as provocation and incitement against Muslims by Swedish extremists. Sweden is thus facing internal troubles. Therefore, most citizens of Sweden, about 45% are against giving shelter to refugees.

40% of Austrians and 39% of Italians are against giving shelter to refugees.

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilitsa turned down Kyiv’s request to sell MiG-29 fighter jets: there are better-equipped countries to provide Ukraine with such assistance, she further added.

British PM Boris Johnson and other senior British politicians have been banned from entering Russia. Moscow has recently put similar bans on US, Canadian, and EU leaders.

Conclusion:

Victory in Ukraine might take several shapes for Russia. Victory may not lead to a long-term solution, as it did in Syria. It could involve the installation of a submissive government in Kyiv or the country's divide. The defeat of the Ukrainian military and the negotiation of a Ukrainian surrender will mean Ukraine is a failed state. Russian cyberattacks and disinformation techniques, backed by the threat of war, might be used to damage the country and compel regime change. With any of these results, Ukraine will be effectively cut off from the rest of the world.

A Russian triumph would have far-reaching implications for the United States' realpolitik in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. To begin with, Russian victory in Ukraine would necessitate a shift in Washington's focus to Europe. There will be no more ambiguity about NATO's Article 5 than there was under Trump. Only a strong US commitment to European security will prevent Russia from separating European countries. This will be challenging given competing objectives, particularly those that the US faces as its relationship with China deteriorates. However, the interests at risk are critical. In Europe, the United States owns a large commercial stake. With commerce in goods, the European Union and the United States are each other's top trade and investment partners.

If Russia uses military force to achieve its political goals in Ukraine, then Europe will not be the same as it was before the war. Not only will the United States' primacy in Europe be questioned, but any belief that the European Union or NATO can maintain peace on the continent will be questioned. Instead, Europe's security will have to be confined to safeguarding the EU's and NATO's core members. Except for Finland and Sweden, everyone outside the clubs will be on their own. Ending enlargement and association policies may not be a conscious decision, but it will be a de facto policy. The EU and NATO will no longer be able to pursue ambitious goals if they believe they are under siege by Russia.

A new era for the US and Europe will begin if Russia gets control of Ukraine or succeeds in destabilizing it on a large scale. Leaders in the United States and Europe would be faced with the combined issue of reconsidering European security while avoiding being pulled into a bigger conflict with Russia. All sides would have to consider the possibility of a direct conflict between nuclear-armed rivals. These two responsibilities—vigorously preserving European peace and prudently avoiding armed confrontation with Russia—will not always be mutually exclusive. As a result of Russia's military activities in Ukraine or tensions with China or Russia, the US and its allies may find themselves woefully unprepared to construct a new European security system. If Europe becomes unstable, the position of the United States will be like the king who has lost his crown and will be much more alone in the world.

References:

The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, The BBC News, Bloomberg, Deutsche Welle (DW), France 24, RT TV Network, Le Monde, and various websites, and YouTube channels.

Share This:
23-Apr-2022
More by :  Dr. Satish Bendigiri
 
Top | Analysis
 
Views: 295      Comments: 1

Comments on this Article

Comment The geopolitical analysis of US and Europe made by the author is by and large seems to be correct. I agree with the statement that Russian President is all set to finish the mission Ukraine by 9th of May as rehearsal of the Victory Parade was under way in Moscow when armoured tanks drove along the Garden Ring.Adding to the domestic woes of US, former President Donald Trump is on a spree of criticism of Joe Biden
putting doubts in the minds of citizens about the way the President functions.

Kiran Tagare
04/25/2022 22:47 PM




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