British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that his regime will increase his country’s nuclear arsenal.
He did so while speaking against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
At the same time, Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a ‘murderer’ while shielding Saudi crown prince for chopping up Jamal Khashoggi into pieces.
This past week could, therefore, easily be called NATO’s hypocrisy week.
In practical terms, there is nothing new about NATO rulers indulging in double standards. It’s their trademark.
What is different is that the contemporary world is now multipolar and NATO regimes will face political and economic consequences for their customary arrogance.
Let us, therefore, look at some key policy implications from the latest US-Russia spat.
First, Biden’s amateurish bravado against Putin was a cultural miscalculation.
According to US thinking, hostility and cooperation can go hand in hand.
In Russian culture, sincerity is cherished and given much greater weight in the societal hierarchy of values.
Thus, it means that for the next four years we can forget about any genuine strategic policy breakthroughs between Russia and the US.
While Biden’s insulting remark about Putin was directed primarily for internal political consumption, the days when the US could utilize other nation states as pawns without any consequences are gone.
Thus, while Biden may have garnered some domestic political mileage, he caused significant damage to US foreign policy.
The most serious frictions are likely to appear in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Moscow will become a lot more sensitive to any increased US activity in those regions.
Biden made it quite clear that Russia is an adversary. Attacks on an adversary occur where it hurts most.
In fact, the US has made no secret of its intention to challenge Russia in the regions which are widely known as its geopolitical redline.
As early as 2019, the RAND Corporation that is closely linked to the US Defense Department, published a policy outline titled ‘Extending Russia’, identified the region of the former Soviet Union as one of the key pressure points against Moscow.
The study also highlighted that “Russia’s greatest vulnerability, in any competition with the United States, is its economy, which is comparatively small and highly dependent on energy exports.”
Thus, Washington’s leverage against Russia will be its economy and its immediate neighborhood.
In both areas, Moscow has significant pushback capabilities.
If Russia chooses to ignite tensions in Ukraine and Moldovia, EU leaders will be calling the White House 24/7 to scale down its actions against Russia.
Europe will bear economic, political and social fallout from tensions in both Ukraine and Moldavia.
On the economic front, Russia has already started to emphasize that its economic strategy is tied to China and developing countries in Asia and Africa.
Contrary to headlines in the Western media, the Russian economy does not need the West to continue growing.
The West’s economic sanctions on Russia for more than five years have achieved few results.
Washington’s capabilities remain limited in shaking up Russia’s satellite regimes in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
Moscow, through its close partnership with Iran, can respond to the destabilization of its satellite regimes in a much more effective manner.
It can destabilize US-backed autocrats in West Asia.
Imagine what would happen if Russia were to begin supplying the Yemeni people sophisticated weaponry.
The entire security architecture of the Persian Gulf will change drastically.
It seems that the Biden regime still lives in the world of the late 1990s.
It might go down in history as the regime that committed grave foreign policy blunders.
Good luck taking on China and Russia at the same time!