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In Waiting for the Great Displacement

In Waiting for the Great Displacement

The first recorded loss on an American made M1 Abrams tank in Ukraine was documented around the same time as the 2024 NATO Summit.

In a recent NATO meeting, the territorial losses Ukraine has recently suffered along with documented losses of Western equipment has put NATO and Ukraine’s allies in an anxious position. Claims by some NATO members that NATO troops could be sent to the front in Ukrainian territory would approach a Vietnam like scenario, where young people in Western nations would slowly see their friends and relatives enter live combat, hoping that laws requiring Conscription would not be passed in those countries. With this meeting coming at a time when Russia’s Opposition leader Navalny dying or being murdered in custody, bad policy decisions in the recent past may lead to some significantly terrible consequences for Western allies.

In addressing in the main threats to the West, there should be three different approaches to the three main threats in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. This is based on the actual popularity of the current governments in those regions as well as the relationship those governments have with their population in putting them and keeping them in power. This would affect the outcomes of challenging these actors, as each scenario is different as well as their end goals. The main issue in all three regions is that only half measures have been taken to discourage increased conflict or to abate it. Voting matters more than ever in 2024, as it is affecting everyone personally.

When consumer products mattered more to Western countries than the fate of Hong Kong’s democracy, and an Olympic Games was held close to a region where minority communities were suffering systemic human rights abuses, it was made perfectly clear that relations with China did not include actual human rights issues in its application. Ignoring core values in our democracies when dealing with foreign powers has resulted in eventual tensions with China. This lacking policy has damaged relations to the point where on Feb 27th 2024, the American news program The National Desk did a report on how the Fentanyl crisis in North America is wholly and directly related to China’s Government, even extending to operations in Mexico. With a nation changing foreign interference debate also taking place in Canada at the moment, the policy the West has had towards China is a direct outcome of ignoring our core values and beliefs.

It is difficult to know the popularity of China’s Government by its people, but it is well known that China’s biggest fear is an uprising by its citizens against the current Government. The first generation of the current Government in China is has not been experienced by this generation and has been re-characterized in a positive light in the recent past. A healthy economy is what is keeping China operating, and it is likely best for China to take actions to keep exports high as it is questionable how an open conflict with Taiwan or India would be taken by citizens in China, and what the outcome would be if the Government actually fell to a popular uprising. Since the West will not challenge China and does little to protect itself from China degrading their own youth in the US and Canada, it would be best that the West use China to displace its support for Russia’s war effort, while giving needed equipment and artillery to Ukraine. This of course should be done with an acknowledgment of local crises, and actions being taken to end the crisis, as opposed to policies that extend its destruction.

China and Russia are not natural allies, and have fought wars on their border over still simmering territorial disputes. While Russia can exchange oil for arms, it would be in China’s best interest to not be linked to one side of a conflict far from its borders. China is actively seeking to displace Russia’s arms sales and much of their artillery uses Soviet designed technology that can be used with old Soviet equipment; equipment also used by Ukraine. China also constructs fairly new and updated equipment faster than any other nations, so their retired artillery and anti-air systems from 2008 could be purchased directly or via a third party as China is actively promoting weapons sales abroad. If there is no stomach to challenge China and they are dependant on exports to Western nations, a displacement of arms to Russia as well as an effective policy to protect our own communities is essential to avoiding a larger conflict.

Russia’s long term goals were always plausible due to the high level of support Russia has in their own population as well as a sanctions regime by the West that is more virtue signal than action. While the US and Canada do little to nothing to displace Russian oil and gas export revenues, Russian oil and gas is still being purchased by Western countries via third countries, who themselves have questionable human rights records. NATO and Western allies that are not united in the objectives of ending funds that go to Russia’s war effort have helped produce a scenario where Ukraine is starting to lose territory. These same countries have diminished the support for Ukraine by enabling its support to be used for local political gain in countries that are suffering from high prices and energy costs due to a lack of displacement of energy, along with social crises as described like those above that result in local crime and chaos. Ukraine should consider openly questioning allies who contribute to Russia’s propaganda, energy funding, and military, and request that NATO inquire into these allies that are undermining the war effort directly or indirectly. Policies and stronger sanctions should not come only after we have lost Navalny, and there is little that can be done to change the support Russians have for their Government if we allow people like him to be detained indefinitely. We need to displace the funding to stop the arms factories, and we must end our own contributions as well as external supplies to their war effort.

Iran has famously lost much of its local support from its population, a freedom movement that have been frequently abandoned by the West as is common treatment with most of the pro-Western communities in the Middle East. So lacking is the support for their movement, that several opportunities have been given to abuse and harass those living in Iran, as well as against those in the larger Middle East. It should be noted that the first people to be conquered by the Iranian Regime was the Iranians themselves, and actions that leave them to be brutalised are the same ones that have lead to atrocities in the greater region that will expand abroad.

In the same time period that we found out that ballistic missiles from Iran were purchased by Russia, there was also a story about Western technology aiding in the design of Iranian drones used to murder innocent people in Ukraine, as well as networks in North America seeking to assassinate regime opponents in the United States directly. With so much conflict via proxies, via Yemen and arms exports to Russia, it would be wise to challenge threats to the West and its allies at its source as the passive approach has lead to a NATO that had to debate openly between its own leaders in a display of panic and weakness. When direct threats are oppressing their own citizens, innocents in the near region, and affect the entire global community, ignoring threats or taking half measures only ensured future conflict and the normalisation of brutality. While China can be financially managed and Russia can be fought into debt and attrition, when several incidences of Casus Belli take shape, passive responses will simply encourage a horrific outcome. If the West want to win or simply gain stability, they must take concrete actions to avoid a larger conflict.



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