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Venezuela, Afghanistan and North Korea: 3 conflicts which represent the US vs. China and Russia

In spite of the rapidity or protracted nature of US decline, Russia and China, in speaking in a single voice, have lead to the US being isolated in the elite club of the three superpowers.

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While some pundits continue to downplay the increasingly strong partnership between Russia and China, the reality is that as Russia’s economy continues to grow and as China’s geo-political pronouncements continue to become more wide reaching, the world is witnessing the final stage of a new geo-political alignment that has been many years in the making.

China and Russia are now, not only on the same side of many global issues but they are speaking in a singular voice with a similarly loud volume.

Three areas where this has manifested itself include of Venezuela, Afghanistan and North Korea. In each of these cases, both Russia and China are saying almost identical things at the same time and are doing so forcefully.

By contrast, during the early stages of the Syrian conflict which started in 2011, while China was always supportive of the Syrian government in its battle against terrorists, Russia took a lead in the conflict both in respect of diplomatic announcements and after 2015, in respect of military assistance to the Syrian government.

China’s quiet support for Syria has been replaced by vocal support for Venezuela, Pakistan in respect of the Afghan war and in respect of clearly articulating the Sino-Russian peace plan for the Korean peninsula.

Here are the key statements:

1. Venezuela 

On the 17th of August, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered a statement in which he said war in Venezuela is viewed as unacceptable by Russia.

“We are united in the need to overcome the existing disagreements in the country by peaceful means through a nationwide dialogue as soon as possible, without any external pressure, not to mention the unacceptability of the threats of military intervention in the internal affairs of this count”.

Shortly thereafter, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said,

“The present problem in Venezuela should be resolved by the Venezuelan government and people themselves.

The experience of history shows that outside interference or unilateral sanctions will make the situation even more complicated and will not help resolve the actual problem”.

This was followed by a statement the following day from Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova who similarly stated,

“We are strongly against unilateral sanctions against sovereign states. The recently announced measures of financial pressure on Venezuela and President Maduro were introduced by Washington when that country started showing signs of relative domestic stabilisation following elections to the National Constituent Assembly….

In these circumstances, the announced sectoral sanctions against Venezuela’s financial and oil sectors are clearly aimed at further unbalancing the situation in the country, and exacerbating its economic problems. They embolden the irreconcilables who do not see how they can realise their political potential without removing the Venezuelan leaders from office”.

A SUMMARY OF SINO-RUSSIAN POLICIES: 

In respect of Venezuela, Russia and China are both utterly opposed to military action against Venezuela, both oppose unilateral US sanctions and both continue to trade with Venezuela as well as support the reforms of President Maduro.

There is clear blue water between the mutual Sino-Russian position on Caracas vis-a-vis the position of the United States which has implement sanctions, has threatened war and has tried to de-legitimise President Maduro’s government as a “dictatorship”.

 

READ MORE: Russia is fully opposed to sanctions against Venezuela

2. Pakistan/Afghanistan 

On the 22nd of August, when Donald Trump accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and not doing enough to fight terrorism and instability on its border with Afghanistan, China and Russia offered robust defences of Islamabad’s record in these areas.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry came out first with a strong rejection of Donald Trump’s assessment of its Pakistani ally,

“Pakistan is at the forefront of the counter-terrorism efforts. For many years, it has made positive efforts and great sacrifices for combating terrorism and made important contributions to upholding world peace and regional stability. We believe that the international community should fully recognise the efforts made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism”.

China further stated,

“The Chinese side is actively committed to promoting the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. We always maintain that political dialogue is the only way out for resolving the Afghanistan issue. The international community should support the ‘Afghan-led’ and ‘Afghan-owned’ reconciliation process, support Afghanistan in realising the widespread and inclusive political reconciliation, support the Afghan people in exploring a development path suiting their own national conditions and support the Afghan government in enhancing counter-terrorism capability and combating extreme terrorist forces. We need to attach importance to the important role of Pakistan in the Afghanistan issue and respect the sovereignty and legitimate security concerns of Pakistan. The Chinese side is willing to maintain communication and coordination with the United States on the Afghanistan issue and make concerted efforts for achieving the peace and stability of Afghanistan and the region at large”.

Shortly thereafter Russia’s envoy to Kabul said,

“Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilise the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan”.

Sergey Lavrov furthered stated that Donald Trump’s approach to Afghanistan was effectively useless. Lavrov said,

“The main emphasis in the new strategy, which was announced by Washington, is made on settlement through use of force. We believe that it’s a dead-end approach”.

A SUMMARY OF SINO-RUSSIAN POLICIES: 

In respect of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Russia and China are both opposed to any further attempts by the US to escalate the war. Both countries call for a peace process that involves fostering dialogue between the government in Kabul and that moderate rebel elements of the Pashtun dominated Taliban.

Russia and China equally call for Pakistan’s role in the conflict to be respected and for Pakistan’s legitimate security concerns to be addressed without equivocation.

While China has been more detailed in its opposition to India playing a role in the conflict which would disrupt important cooperative efforts between China and Pakistan, namely the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Russia’s silence on the India issue combined with its vocal support of Pakistan against Trump’s accusations, make it clear that even in respect of Russia’s old Cold War ally in New Delhi, Moscow does not think it is proper for India to intervene in a conflict on Pakistan’s western borders.

China, Pakistan and Russia are therefore reading from essentially the same page in South Asia in spite of historic differences in the region.

3. North Korea 

On the 26th of May, shortly before the far less important G20 summit in Hamburg, Chinese and Russian leaders met in the Russian capital along with leaders of business and media enterprises from both countries. Scores of bilateral deals were signed, thus cementing the importance of the Sino-Russian partnership for the 21st century.

It was during these meetings that the Foreign Ministers of each country, Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi developed a jointly agreed peace plan for North Korea, a plan which both countries continue to pursue.

At the time, Sergey Lavrov said the following,

“We noted that attempts to use Pyongyang’s actions as a pretext to boost military presence in the region, including the deployment of another part of the US’ global anti-missile defence (THAAD), are counterproductive

We are for adopting measures that, on the one hand, would hamper the further development of the North Korean nuclear missile programs, but at the same time would not lead to an increase in tensions in the region, would not block the possibility of a political and diplomatic settlement of the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem”.

Wang Yi then stated,

“We insist on ensuring peace and stability on the (Korean) peninsula, (oppose) any negative actions and statements that contribute to tension, oppose the deployment of the THAAD system in the Republic of Korea under the pretext of the DPRK nuclear problem.

Military actions can only escalate the crisis and bring serious consequences. No matter it was in the past, or in the future, it should not be an option for any country. China and Russia have reached consensus on this issue”.

READ MORE: Foreign Ministers of Russia and China agree on North Korea and Syria (VIDEO)

This was the birth of the so-called ‘Double-freeze’ policy for the Korean peninsula which China and Russia have both restated on the record at the United Nations Security Council multiple times, including when both countries supported increased sanctions on Pyongyang.

However, while Russia and China continue to discourage further missile tests from the DPRK, both countries stood resolutely opposed to further unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on North Korea. These sanctions also targeted foreign businesses conducting commerce with North Korea.

READ MORE: China joins Russia in condemning new US sanctions over North Korea

A SUMMARY OF SINO-RUSSIAN POLICIES: 

China and Russia remain committed to their ‘Double-freeze’ which calls for North Korea ceasing to conduct missile tests while calling on South Korea, the US and Japan to cease their own missile launches and military drills in the region. Additionally, Russia and China continue to jointly call for direct talks between Pyongyang and Washington while reiterating that the UN Security Council is the only proper forum to discuss the matter.

Both countries are totally opposed to war anywhere on the Korean peninsula.

READ MORE: Russia and China can and should work together to bring peace to Korea

CONCLUSION: 

The aggregate effect of these news developments means that China has finally come out of what many perceived (however simplistically) to be Russia’s geo-political shadow while Russia continues to pursue global economic projects around the world, marking a sharp contrast to the 1990s and early 2000s when the Russian economy was reduced to chaos and collapse.

With the Syrian conflict about to end and Russia and China both being vindicated by being on the winning side, it will be unlikely that there will be any future global conflict where a joint Sino-Russian voice will not be heard in a manner that is loud and clear. The NATO powers will have no choice to but to listen to the Sino-Russian opinions on future conflicts as China and Russia are both stronger than ever and more united than ever.

With Russia and China standing together on major global issues, the US will not be able to act with the unilateral ease it exercised during its wars on Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011).

Additionally, while Russia continues to expand positive relations with its Cold War adversary Pakistan, India and Vietnam appear to be stuck in a Cold War mentality (albeit with pre-Cold War antecedents) whereby both countries trust Russia but not China. With China and Russia speaking increasingly as one, Vietnam and India both face a decision which will in time amount to choosing both Russia and China or choosing neither.

Luckily for both Hanoi and New Delhi, because of Russia’s relaxed and fluid approach to alliances and because of Moscow’s policy which does not prohibit good bilateral relations with multiple countries, including those engaged in local disputes with one another, India and Vietnam have the ability to move gradually in one direction or the other.

The choice will ultimately be left to both India and Vietnam as neither Russia nor China seeks to impose a partnership on either. In the end this will mean that a pragmatic approach to economic realities will guide both India and Vietnam towards thawing relations with China, that is unless ideology trumps economic considerations, something which is the reality in Modi’s India but may not be the reality in the hearts and minds of future Indian leaders.

The unity between two of the three world’s superpowers means that while the decline of the US will not be as rapid as some expect, American isolation among the elite club of superpowers is already a fact of life, whether Washington acknowledges this or not.

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There is too much hype and toffee (over blown nonsense) throughout this Op Ed, so had a good laugh, LoL:))) Russia is a midget in terms of Global Trade or Power Projection apart from Putin’s whinging and Lavrov talking to deaf ears and would not qualify as a Super Power and neither does China which is only interested in Soft Power related to Global Trade and Infrastructure Projects. Thus the best word bite from this Op Ed is: “…American isolation among the elite club of superpowers is already a fact of life…” Of course the US is an isolated Super… Read more »

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

To return the compliment Mr. “More,” your remarks earn a 10-star LoL from my side. Admittedly, however, Mr. Garrie has drawn the geopolitical map using diplomatic statements and I believe that is not sufficient. There are many other factors, including in-depth economic relations between the aligned powers. But the main thing missing is Syria, for the following reason, which is addressed to your invoking Super Power sttus for the US of A. As you undoubtedly know — and this is official language — US Super Power status, the accompanying claim to exceptionalism and indispensability, means “we can hit and attack… Read more »

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

GeorgeG very well done my friend, I much enjoyed reading your logical summation!!!

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GeorgeG In the Wild West, it used to be “Gun for Hire”, nowadays journalists like Adam Garrie are a “Pen for Hire”. Just keeping to Syria and leaving out NK as this reply may become too cumbersome. Trump just like the US is controlled by the Neoconservatives, they do not care what the UN says or does, they do what they want in stages. Both Syria and Iran are long term Geopolitical threats to Israel as well as Russia for different reasons, Putin will help to keep them destabilized and assist in their economic and infrastructure destruction in accordance with… Read more »

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Mr. Moore, As you say, being cumbesome is a danger. So, for the sake of debate, I’ll merely contribute three assertions (for now, not “points,” because it would be cumbersome to argue them): 1. For some people, the praxis of intelligence work really does reduce to “connecting the dots.” If the resulting lines seem to sketch the contours of some real, living creature, the analyst will have the creature against which to check and verify the accuracy of the sketch. The analyst will be as happy intellectually if the verification-attempt does not pan out as he would be if it… Read more »

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GeorgeG There is no bias, the dots fit because the opposing sides are getting some of their “needs”, goals met. The success of the Khazar nation has to be accepted, denying it would be like an Ostrich burying its head in the sand. Regarding points 1 – 4 partly fit both the US – Israel goals as well as Putin – Russia’s goals. This is how: Putin – Russia and Netanyahu – Israel consider themselves to be “Best Friends” and “Partners” in all spheres including Business and Military. Putin is interested in preventing the Geopolitical threat of Oil and Gas… Read more »

XRGRSF
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XRGRSF

With proper counseling, and the support of your friends, and loved ones you should be able to live with your delusions. Also, never doubt the positive power of prayer combined with the effects of mind altering drugs.

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XRGRSF
You looked at yourself in the mirror and wrote what you saw, LoL:)))

Freethinking Влади́мир
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Freethinking Влади́мир

Disappointing that China agreed with continuous sanctions against North Korea. They play their own game.

SVESAMSHVATIO
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SVESAMSHVATIO

Russia is a miserable, corrupt country that has GDP at the level of one Belgium, but it is very dangerous. China is the product of Wall Street globalists and their greed. Unique opportunity to settle where they belong together with that pig and its banana state – the largest concentration camp in the world of 25 million people. It’s a good thing Trump is NOT Obama that local dictators from Russia to NK or Venezuela can do whatever they want.

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Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

Ukraine has in recent years begun entertaining the possibility of returning to the nuclear fold, especially in light of North Korea’s recent actions. Kim Jong-un’s lesson seems to be that a nuclear deterrent remains the only way of guaranteeing complete protection against a regional hegemon. The situation in Ukraine, however, differs from that of North Korea, including in terms of alliances and power relations. Kiev’s government came into power as a result of a coup d’etat carried out by extremist nationalist elements who seek their inspiration from Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. The long arm of NATO has always been deeply involved in the dark machinations that led to Poroshenko’s ascendency to the Ukrainian presidency. From a geopolitical point of view, NATO’s operation in Ukraine (instigating a civil war in the wake of a coup) follows in the footsteps of what happened in Georgia. NATO tends to organize countries with existing anti-Russia sentiments to channel their Russophobia into concrete actions that aim to undermine Moscow. The war in the Donbass is a prime example.

However, Ukraine has been unable to subdue the rebels in the Donbass region, the conflict freezing into a stalemate and the popularity of the Kiev government falling as the population’s quality of life experiences a precipitous decline. The United States and the European Union have not kept their promises, leaving Poroshenko desperate and tempted to resort to provocations like the recent Kerch strait incident or such as those that are apparently already in the works, as recently reported by the DPR authorities.

The idea of Ukraine resuming its production of nuclear weapons is currently being floated by minor figures, but it could take hold in the coming months, especially if the conflict continues in its frozen state and Kiev becomes frustrated and desperate. The neoconservative wing of the American ruling elite, absolutely committed to the destruction of the Russian Federation, could encourage Kiev along this path, in spite of the incalculable risks involved. The EU, on the other hand, would likely be terrified at the prospect, which would also place it between a rock and a hard place. Kiev, on one side, would be able to extract from the EU much needed economic assistance in exchange for not going nuclear, while on the other side the neocons would be irresponsibly egging the Ukrainians on.

Moscow, if faced with such a possibility, would not just stand there. In spite of Russia having good relations with North Korea, it did not seem too excited at the prospect of having a nuclear-armed neighbor. With Ukraine, the response would be much more severe. A nuclear-armed Ukraine would be a red line for Moscow, just as Crimea and Sevastopol were. It is worth remembering the Russian president’s words when referring to the possibility of a NATO invasion of Crimea during the 2014 coup:

“We were ready to do it [putting Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert]. Russian people live there, they are in danger, we cannot leave them. It was not us who committed to coup, it was the nationalists and people with extreme beliefs. I do not think this is actually anyone’s wish – to turn it into a global conflict.”

As Kiev stands on the precipice, it will be good for the neocons, the neoliberals and their European lackeys to consider the consequences of advising Kiev to jump or not. Giving the nuclear go-ahead to a Ukrainian leadership so unstable and detached from reality may just be the spark that sets off Armageddon.

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Mike Pompeo lays out his vision for American exceptionalism (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 158.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Mike Pompeo’s shocking Brussels speech, where the U.S. Secretary of State took aim at the European Union and United Nations, citing such institutions as outdated and poorly managed, in need of a new dogma that places America at its epicenter.

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Speaking in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unwittingly underscored why nobody takes the United States seriously on the international stage. Via The Council on Foreign Relations


In a disingenuous speech at the German Marshall Fund, Pompeo depicted the transactional and hypernationalist Trump administration as “rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” He did so while launching gratuitous attacks on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—pillars of the existing postwar order the United States did so much to create. He remained silent, naturally, on the body blows that the current administration has delivered to its erstwhile allies and partners, and to the institutions that once upon a time permitted the United States to legitimate rather than squander its international leadership.

In Pompeo’s telling, Donald J. Trump is simply seeking a return to the world that former Secretary of State George Marshall helped to create. In the decades after 1945, the United States “underwrote new institutions” and “entered into treaties to codify Western values of freedom and human rights.” So doing, the United States “won the Cold War” and—thanks to the late President George H. W. Bush, “we won the peace” that followed. “This is the type of leadership that President Trump is boldly reasserting.”

That leadership is needed because the United States “allowed this liberal order to begin to corrode” once the bipolar conflict ended. “Multilateralism has too often become viewed as an end unto itself,” Pompeo explained. “The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done.” What is needed is a multilateralism that once again places the nation-state front and center.

Leave aside for the moment that nobody actually believes what Pompeo alleges: that multilateralism should be an end in itself; that paper commitments are credible absent implementation, verification, and enforcement; or that the yardstick of success is how many bureaucrats get hired. What sensible people do believe is that multilateral cooperation is often (though not always) the best way for nations to advance their interests in an interconnected world of complicated problems. Working with others is typically superior to unilateralism, since going it alone leaves the United States with the choice of trying to do everything itself (with uncertain results) or doing nothing. Multilateralism also provides far more bang for the buck than President Trump’s favored approach to diplomacy, bilateralism.

Much of Pompeo’s address was a selective and tendentious critique of international institutions that depicts them as invariably antithetical to national sovereignty. Sure, he conceded, the European Union has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the continent.” But it has since gone badly off track, as the “political wake-up call” of Brexit showed. All this raised a question in his mind: “Is the EU ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats and Brussels?”

The answer, as one listener shouted out, is “Yes!” The secretary, like many U.S. conservative critics of European integration, is unaware that EU member states continue to hold the lion’s share of power in the bloc, which remains more intergovernmental than supranational. Pompeo seems equally unaware of how disastrously Brexit is playing out. With each passing day, the costs of this catastrophic, self-inflicted wound are clearer. In its quest for complete policy autonomy—on ostensible “sovereignty” grounds—the United Kingdom will likely have to accept, as the price for EU market access, an entire body of law and regulations that it will have no say in shaping. So much for advancing British sovereignty.

Pompeo similarly mischaracterizes the World Bank and IMF as having gone badly off track. “Today, these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private sector actors.” This is an odd, hybrid critique. It combines a shopworn, leftist criticism from the 1990s—that the international financial institutions (IFIs) punish poor countries with structural adjustment programs—with the conservative accusation that the IFIs are socialist, big-government behemoths. Both are ridiculous caricatures. They ignore how much soul-searching the IFIs have done since the 1990s, as well as how focused they are on nurturing an enabling institutional environment for the private sector in partner countries.

Pompeo also aims his blunderbuss at the United Nations. He complains that the United Nations’ “peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace,” ignoring the indispensable role that blue helmets play in preventing atrocities, as well as a recent Government Accountability Office report documenting how cost-effective such operations are compared to U.S. troops. Similarly, Pompeo claims, “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations simply as a vehicle to redistribute wealth”—an accusation that is both unsubstantiated and ignores the urgent need to mobilize global climate financing to save the planet.

Bizarrely, Pompeo also turns his sights on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the African Union (AU), for alleged shortcomings. Has the OAS, he asks, done enough “to promote its four pillars of democracy, human rights, security, and economic development?” Um, no. Could that have something to do with the lack of U.S. leadership in the Americas on democracy and human rights? Yes. Might it have helped if the Trump administration had filled the position of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs before October 15 of this year? Probably.

Equally puzzling is Pompeo’s single line riff on the AU. “In Africa, does the African Union advance the mutual interest of its nation-state members?” Presumably the answer is yes, or its members would be headed for the door. The AU continues to struggle in financing its budget, but it has made great strides since its founding in 2002 to better advance security, stability, and good governance on the continent.

“International bodies must help facilitate cooperation that bolsters the security and values of the free world, or they must be reformed or eliminated,” Pompeo declared. Sounds reasonable. But where is this “free world” of which the secretary speaks, and what standing does the United States today have to defend, much less reform it? In the two years since he took office, Donald Trump has never expressed any interest in defending the international order, much less “returning [the United States] to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” as Pompeo claims. Indeed, the phrase “U.S. leadership” has rarely escaped Trump’s lips, and he has gone out of his way to alienate longstanding Western allies and partners in venues from NATO to the G7.

When he looks at the world, the president cares only about what’s in it for the United States (and, naturally, for him). That cynicism explains the president’s deafening silence on human rights violations and indeed his readiness to cozy up to strongmen and killers from Vladimir Putin to Rodrigo Duterte to Mohammed bin Salman to too many more to list. Given Trump’s authoritarian sympathies and instincts, Pompeo’s warnings about “Orwellian human rights violations” in China and “suppressed opposition voices” in Russia ring hollow.

“The central question that we face,” Pompeo asked in Brussels, “is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today—does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?” The answer, of course, is not as well as it should, and not for nearly enough of them. But if the secretary is seeking to identify impediments to a better functioning multilateral system, he can look to his left in his next Cabinet meeting.

“Principled realism” is the label Pompeo has given Trump’s foreign policy. Alas, it betrays few principles and its connection to reality is tenuous. The president has abandoned any pursuit of universal values, and his single-minded obsession to “reassert our sovereignty” (as Pompeo characterizes it) is actually depriving the United States of joining with others to build the prosperous, secure, and sustainable world that Americans want.

“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” the secretary of state declared in Belgium. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat.” How true. Pompeo’s next sentence—“President Trump is determined to reverse that”—was less persuasive.

 

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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