Dr Alan Dupont on 60 Minutes
NATO’s game-changing commitment to boost high-readiness forces will transform the European balance of power. The opposite is occurring here.
NATO’s new strategic roadmap is a game changer. Once a strategic partner, Russia is now considered the main threat to the expanding alliance. Equally important is the belated recognition of China as a strategic challenge to the alliance’s “interests, security and values”. The commitment to boost military spending and bolster its high-readiness forces from 40,000 to “well over 300,000” will tilt the European balance of power in favour of democracies. But the opposite is occurring in our strategic neighbourhood, where maritime power will be decisive.
Despite the rejection of his ambitious trade and security deal by Pacific Islands leaders, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s diplomatic road show underlines the strategic nature of Beijing’s unprecedented investment in the South Pacific and the extent of the challenge to our economic and security interests.
The ripple effects of the Russo-Ukrainian war are spreading and intensifying. Deglobalisation will jeopardise the prosperity and welfare of millions.
The ripple effects of the Russo-Ukrainian war are spreading and intensifying. Their impact is being felt in almost every corner of the globe, revealing an international system under duress.
The US-led rules-based order has survived and prospered for 77 years through numerous regional conflicts, terrorist outrages and economic shocks. But this time it’s different. Although not the sole cause, the Ukraine conflict is driving a once-in-a-century redesign of the world’s economic and geopolitical plumbing.
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If an ‘unthinkable’ war can occur in Europe driven by one man’s delusions of grandeur, what is the likelihood of another’s igniting an even more destructive conflict in Asia?
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a seismic geopolitical event. It’s shaping to be more destabilising and consequential than anything the world has seen this century, overshadowing Covid, the global financial crisis and the rise of al-Qa’ida. It has shattered Europe’s long peace; raised the spectre of a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia; widened the divide between the West and Eurasia’s autocratic states; and almost certainly ended Russia’s quest to be a Eurasian great power.
In his vainglorious march to conquest, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to bomb Ukraine back to the Stone Age. He is deliberately and criminally targeting civilians with vacuum, cluster and phosphorus munitions to break
Ukrainian morale in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. Chemical and biological weapons may be next. They are weapons of mass destruction.
Putin’s war of liberation is turning into a war of obliteration. It must be stopped to save lives, maintain Ukraine’s sovereignty, uphold democracy, and prevent eastern Europe and the Baltic States from disappearing behind another iron curtain.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered three stultifying illusions and delivered a rude wake-up call to a complacent and self-obsessed West. Vladimir Putin’s game-changing aggression will lead to a hardening of the systemic divide between democracies and autocracies; increased geopolitical risk; higher defence spending; less globalisation; greater financial market volatility; rising inflation driven by surging energy and commodity prices; and a significant push by Europe to diversify its energy supplies away from Russia.
Russia’s brazen attempt to force Ukraine into submission by threatening its territory and freedoms must be resisted.
If Russian President Vladimir Putin successfully imposes his will on an independent nation by force of arms or a manufactured political coup then the sovereignty of all nations is jeopardised. It would validate the use of coercive power, encourage dictators around the world, destabilise Europe, trigger another refugee crisis and send financial markets into free fall. And you can kiss goodbye to what remains of the rules-based order.
That’s why Ukraine matters for Australia.
The real conflict between east and west is being fought with money, not guns. So why hasn’t China been able to dethrone the almighty dollar?
“Money makes the world go around” sang the incomparable chanteuse Liza Minnelli in her 1972 musical film hit Cabaret. The founder of the storied Rothschild banking dynasty said much the same thing nearly two centuries earlier but in words that have profoundly shaped the structure and power realities of the international financial system. “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws,” opined Mayer Anselm Rothschild in 1790, a year before the establishment of the First Bank of the United States.