Russia — the Only Path Forward

by Mark Sleboda

This [the February 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which occurred one week ago] is the Great Decoupling between the West and Russia. Economic linkages will be cut down to only energy and a few other commodities & chemicals that Europe is dependent on Russia for. The West controls and has weaponized their entire economy in their war to break Russia.

Political, social and cultural linkages will also be severed to a high degree. Weaning Russia off this dependence will be hard and immiserating. But with Chinese and some other Eurasian support, Russia may just weather it. The entire global economy will suffer as well.

But once the dust has settled and new domestic and import substitution formed, Russia will at least be economically & financially independent from the West, which will never again be able to weaponize its economic hegemony to coerce, blackmail, or wage war on Russia.

The same weaponized economic war too will also soon be turned [by the US] on China and the Rest of the world's holdouts from US-led Western Hegemony. The Unipolar World will truly be over, but the Multipolar World will be stillborn by US attempts to hang on to their hegemony. Instead US/Western pressure will directly result in the formation of an anti-Western bloc led by China and Russia for survival and independence. Neutrality will be difficult to maintain. A new Bipolar World is coming into being, just decades after the last ended.

The Golden Age of the Global Internet is also now over resulting not from Russia closing itself off, but by censorship and exclusion by Western and the social media platforms and the internet fixtures they control — because they don't trust their own people to hear alternative perspectives and narratives and judge on their own. The world's internet will now break down into regional spheres with limited connectivity. It will be a new, much smaller, less connected, more localized and divisive world.

We are of course already seeing the physical connections around the world break down — with closures of entire swathes of the globe's surface to each others' airlines, and global shipping connections being severed one by one as we speak. Global distribution networks will be disrupted & chaos result for months. Because Russia & Ukraine are primary sources of so many of the world's commodities — energy & food — costs around the world will skyrocket. In the First World prices will go up, in the Third — starvation.

Ultimately the cause was the US‑led West trying to maintain and extend their Hegemony, while they can, and Russia resisting it. NATO expansion east in waves, US meddling and hybrid warfare to bring into power pro-Western/anti‑Russian governments in formerly neutral, unaligned, national identity‑divided post‑Soviet states was the endgame of this NATO expansion to geopolitically consolidate all of Europe under US‑led Western Hegemony up to Russia's borders.

Russia resisted this geopolitical flipping by color revolution in Georgia, Belarus & Ukraine. And now the ultimate target of this economic war on Russia is attempting to forced regime change in Russia itself for having the temerity to resist the Hegemon's geopolitical expansion right on her very borders.

The great Realist International Relations scholar John Mearsheimer foresaw all of this. As did Kissinger, George Kennan, US Ambassador John Matlock and many others. They tried to warn what the consequences of the US trying to geopolitically flip Ukraine would be, but to no avail.

For Russia the only path forward, the goal to survive is, must be, separation, autarky (self‑sufficiency) and independence from US‑led Western Hegemony.

Mark Sleboda is a U.S.‑born U.S. Navy veteran (Nuclear Engineering) and in 2012-14 was a Senior Lecturer in International Relations & Security Studies at Moscow State University. His comments and analyses have appeared frequently on The Saker's Blog, from which this article is taken.
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