Tug of War

Why war is a possibility in Europe at the moment – and bear in mind that war is not a surety, but a possibility – is because war is largely the outcome of a diplomatic and political process which fails to align the interests of the conflicting parties. In this case, the conflicting parties are Russia on one hand, and the West on the other hand. The West is brought together through a military alliance – NATO – and the major force in NATO is the United States. Thus, the focus is largely on the relations between the United States and Russia, given that these are the two major forces or parties in the conflict. And the reason why war is a possibility between Russia and the West is because the interests of Russia and the interests of the United States do not align at the moment. Bear in mind that America’s key interest is to start wars and sell weapons, given that close to half of American exports are weapons, whereas Russia’s key interest is to keep American weapons and military equipment away from Russia’s borders.

Whereas America’s interests and Russia’s interests do not align, Europe’s interests and Russia’s interests largely align with one another. Thus, Europe is caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between the United States and Russia. Europe receives almost half of its energy supply from Russia, and Germany alone receives somewhere between 50 to 75 percent of its gas imports from Russia. But Europe relies on America for its physical security, even though Europe is highly dependent on the Eastern world for energy supplies and other goods.

Thus, Europe has to make a tradeoff which is difficult, if not impossible to make. Does Europe continue serving as a platform whereby America pushes its weapons and military equipment against Russia in the name of physical security? Or does Europe foster economic and social interdependence with Russia, the Middle East, and China and in turn shoo the Americans out of Europe’s political and social affairs? As mentioned before, Europe is walking a tightrope amidst this renewed ‘Cold War’ between the United States and Russia, which is currently being played out over Ukraine. And it is uncertain as to how long Europe can continue walking this tightrope before it falls off and lands among the crocodiles.

It was quite necessary to call out certain people and to put them in their place and to identify the factors and reasons which led to the current situation in Europe. Calling out certain people and putting them in their place and identifying some of the factors and reasons leading to this current situation is one of two basic elements of a strategy which could possibly resolve the current dilemma. The second element of the strategy is to take the necessary measures – if not the singular measure – which will resolve the current dilemma. It is quite obvious that the West is in a “troubled case” due to what is seemingly a trivial issue, namely, Ukraine. But as mentioned before, trivial things can lead to huge problems. It remains to be seen what will happen next.

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