Foreign Policy Blogs

The Grand Dereliction

The Grand Dereliction

Discussions surrounding the entrance into a Third World War by some media commentaries take the position that wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East will lead to an inevitable conflict between China and Taiwan without many other options to quell the oncoming conflict. While the War in Ukraine was entering a period of set defensive positions and trench warfare, September of 2023 actually saw an upcoming peace treaty forming in the Middle East between two of its major powers, China attempting to play the role as peace broker between conflicting parties, and India making roads into regions beyond its own to balance the power dynamic abroad. Conflict is never inevitable, but contributing to self inflicted wounds will always have a negative impact on one’s own society.

Russia has been able to renew production in one of its main factories that produce the T-72B3M tank and the newer and more modern T-90 and T-90M tanks due to increased revenues gained during the war. While Russia has been taking old stocks of T-62s and T-55s and putting them into active combat, the revenue it has gained from oil sales since heavy sanctions were placed on them since the start of the war in 2022 has not hurt Russia’s economy as intended. Some analysts claim that while Russian oil exports were cut to some degree to the rest of Europe, a main source of oil from Azerbaijan to Europe could include a good percentage of Russian energy exports. It is claimed that Russia has been able to still sell its energy exports to Europe through third countries, who purchases the oil from Russia and sells it into Europe via their established links. If generally known by NATO and its allies, funds going through a third party to Russia is clearly and knowingly evading sanctions and fuelling not only European energy grids, but Russian tank factories extending the war. Increased military spending to Ukraine thus becomes less effective when funds are also leaking into Russia to support their war economy as well. Quelling further conflict is an economic issue as much as it depends on victories on the battlefield. NATO must secure their energy needs from their allies to end the war. Funding conflict by any means only leads to more conflict.

The result of the oil dependency on Azerbaijan has lead to conflict on the borders of Europe and Russia, where a historic act of Ethnic Cleansing has taken place as a result of the situation discussed above. In September of 2023, the region of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh was taken over by Azeri forces completely, and much of the ancient Armenian population of the region was actively and passively removed from the ethnic enclave they have resided in for thousands of years. Russian treaties establishing peacekeepers in the region was not activated in 2023 due to Russian attention in Ukraine, as well as what some suggest the oil arrangement mentioned above between Russia and Azerbaijan. American efforts to negotiate between the two sides gave few results, while US NATO ally Turkey, enabled much of the military achievements by Azerbaijan over Armenian militia in Artsakh. As recent as September 2023, a major human rights tragedy has taken place, with little to no mention of it in Western media, even though it was against Western strategic interests and values.

The links between Russia, Iran and China are often geographical, and like minded peoples in the region should be welcomed without reservations to bolster a peaceful alliance of nations. The historic neutral position India has taken had always enabled it to be a broker between NATO and the Soviet Union in the past, and had lead to some interesting agreements. An example of this is the Indian military, that uses French aircraft and British equipment while producing under contract Ex-Soviet and Russian weapons for their domestic military. Much of the export focus and infrastructure agreements between Russia and Iran focuses on a path to get Russian export to India, one of Russia’s largest markets. While the West should allow India to take any measures it deems necessary to secure their national interests, it should also stand with India against threats it sees in its own region from fundamentalism and pressure from China. India is set to become one of the most powerful nations in the world, and is the key to many peace agreements by working to end conflicts to its own benefit. India has even sold MLRS systems Armenia, seeing that distant nation as one that should be supported, even when Russia and the United States had let their community suffer another bout of atrocities. Any NATO or Western ally that intends to sour relations with India or enable further conflict will only enable future wars. India and its values are similar to those in the West, and support for those values are what ends future conflicts.

Western countries must be clear and concise in applying their laws equally, and should have zero tolerance for activities in their nations that produce conflict locally and in other parts of the world. This also means that actions in Western countries should have legal and political consequences if they contribute to conflict, terror and atrocities themselves. Funding for groups and the enablement of systemic corruption to foreign nations via systemic loopholes is one of the key sources of financing for many of the security issues we see today. This applies abroad, as well as internally. Allowing illegal funds to flow through a stable community will subject many legal transactions to sanctions due to their links to crimes against humanity abroad. A purchase of a car or even a home can produce a massive loss of assets if it discovered that the asset is linked to nefarious organisations, and a Western or any Government should be liable if it allows extreme elements to benefit or manipulate their economic systems to the detriment of their own populations. Allies must be allies in every sense of the word, or be ejected from NATO and other organisations for negligence and corruption. As we see post Sept 2023, a false ally leads to some of the worst consequences known to humanity.



Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration