Moreover, twenty years of black sites, torture, grim portrayals of Islam through mainstream propaganda, bombing weddings, bombing hospitals, and the bombing of funerals which were elements of a broader “crusade” has now veered into a religious and sectarian war in Europe. At one point, recruits for fighting in the Middle East and Afghanistan were one of the main features or highlights of international affairs. Now, extremists and zealots coming out of Western countries and Western societies are heading to Ukraine to fight in a manner which reflects or parallels the religious and sectarian recruitment which was fostered in the Middle East and Afghanistan over the course of the last few decades as a result of the aforementioned “crusade.”
At the ground level or popular level, the recruitment out of the West and the fighting in Ukraine portrays a religious, social, or sectarian character. But at a higher level, the biggest issue at stake is the issue of control over Eurasia and control over Eurasian resources. Thus, control of Eurasian resources and maintaining a trickle-down system has been the main aim and objective sought out by Western countries over the course of the last five centuries.
As mentioned before, the “Commanding Heights” of the international economy – namely, energy and manufacturing – are concentrated largely in Eastern countries. As Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in “The Grand Chessboard,” Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world’s energy supply, and almost half of the world’s GDP will emerge out of Asia alone in the coming years by virtue of manufacturing. Thus, losing control of the Eastern world – which in turn means losing control of the “Commanding Heights” of the international economy – is the main concern or worry for Western countries, and this concern supersedes the ethnic squabbling and sectarian fighting in Ukraine which is reminiscent of medieval feudal and religious wars.
Because control of Eurasia and Eurasian resources is at stake, the policy out of Western capitals has been centered on military hegemony. Thus, the mindset out of Washington and other Western capitals has been characterized by “either hegemony or defeat” to borrow from Odd Arne Westad. With a mindset characterized by “either hegemony or defeat” out of Western capitals, a diplomatic offramp is quite difficult to pull off when dealing with Eastern countries like Russia, Iran, and China who seek political independence, territorial sovereignty, and control over their own economies. Moreover, control over Eurasia and Eurasian resources is becoming harder to pull off for Western capitals, given the military and economic “equilibrium” which is arising between the Western bloc and the emerging Eastern bloc.
Also, military hegemony aimed at control is a strategy which cannot be sustained over the long run. The fact that not a single dollar will be available for a “global security architecture” in the Pentagon’s budget by the year 2039 demonstrates the fact that military hegemony is a strategy that cannot be sustained over the long run. Although a strategic shift out of Western capitals is long overdue, it is still not too late to make this strategic shift, even though the non-Western backlash against this strategy is now manifesting itself in a number of ways.