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Greetings Professor Falken

Greetings Professor Falken

I recently had a discussion with a friend who now lives in one of the countries that is a supposed adversary to my own about how far along we might be into a global conflict in the era past the War in Ukraine. While the focal point has been shifting between Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the response and coordination between those regions and security issues in Asia vary greatly, and reflect either and intentional unexplainable strategy, or simply an uncoordinated security policy by Western Allies.

European strategy currently has three issues that should be focused on in any discussion. The move to have NATO troop operate in an increased capacity via French efforts to internally re-enforce Ukraine comes at a time when Russia is making small gains in the area around Kharkiv. Such a move may escalate the war outside of Ukraine, but could also deplete Russian arms and personnel that have to now be sourced from Asia and Iran. Poland and France look to be the strongest and most well equipped allies in this measure, as strength in such a circumstance may encourage detente in the conflict, as opposed to giving signals to encourage more strife via weak policy measures.

Strikes inside Russian territory has escalated the war recently, as Russian logistical hubs in places inside of Russia like Belgorod have been hit by NATO supplied Ukrainian weapons systems. While the use of these advanced weapons are limited to the region around Kharkiv and the supply network supporting Russia in their advance in the region, the use of NATO weapons to hit targets inside of Russia is a new development that was not previously encouraged by NATO. A strike inside of Russia may produce unwanted casualties, encourage more local support for Russia’s war, and be used to popularise a response by Russia against the rest of Europe. It remains to be seen whether or not Russia would attempt a strike at a logical hub for Ukraine in a place like Poland or Germany, as such responses tend to escalate a situation very quickly.

There has been some discussion of having a ceasefire take place between Ukraine and Russia, as efforts to push Russia out of ceased territories with NATO wonder-weapons has not been successful and Russia could claim that part of their objectives have been met to satisfy their narrative within Russia before losses produce a political upheaval. Such a ceasefire might ease the pressure on budgets in Western nations via military funding in Ukraine, but would also lead to a production race for artillery and other weapons as the next conflict is likely to come about sooner rather than later. If Russia is able to outproduce NATO arms and secure its energy exports in the next few years, there is a chance that the conflict would continue. If weak Western policy allows an arms gap to form in the region, it will likely lead to more conflict, especially if efforts to deter conflict in Ukraine is not married to policies in other parts of the world that supply Russia.

Weakness in policy has already lead to poor policy encouraging more conflict. With the Bucha Massacre, unwavering support was given to Ukraine until their war could be won, but with Western allies in the Middle East, massacres lead to increased weakness and encouragement of Russia’s allies supplying terror weapons to Russia. The response for months was to protect the aggressor in the region, even when rearming Russian forces to the detriment of Ukraine. While international shipping was being targeted, guided and supplied by Russia’s ally, it was met without any response from the massive coalition of NATO allies against such support, being only defensive in nature, even against civilian targets. Weakness in such policy has prolonged the conflict as no real support was given to achieving a victory against a Russian ally in contradiction of NATO’s policy approaches in Ukraine. Weakness in one area rewards aggression in all areas, and such a situation guarantees a larger global conflict.

The contradictory policy between both regions is a signal to China over their threats to Taiwan. China’s intent to take any action against Taiwan surrounds two very important variables, time and opportunity. China likely has five decades to take action against Taiwan, even if they suffer a declining economy in the longer term. China does not need more territory or population, as it is in excess of both. As a trading nation, China benefits greatly from economic trade, and conflict would simply block import routes, or alienate export nations from trading with China. As well, China’s military age population have grown up with more opportunities and luxuries, losses of these young people would not be supported by most families for the gain of Taiwan and a declining trade economy for all citizens. At the moment, the Western world is very content to ignore China’s human rights record and purchase consumer goods from China, a situation that is a win-win for the CCP.

The main catalyst for China to invade Taiwan is weakness in the West. This weakness can take many forms, as a passive response against internal strife in North America and Europe, taking advantage of easily corruptible political movements, and Western policy decisions that reward further conflict as seen in current US policy against Russia in the Middle East. How someone living in China might know a conflict is about to begin would not necessarily be increased negative views on Taiwan, as that is a regular discussion inside of China and abroad, but increased stories on failures of Western democratic societies, more patriotic news and shows, and an information campaign against India as India is the largest current military threat to China outside of US hegemony in the region, and their future economic competitor. Convincing the population to go to war with Taiwan where losses could not be hidden will be seen in conjunction with a larger conflict with India. India would be top of mind for most Chinese citizens, and a victory in that region is not something most people would sacrifice their male kin for in support of their Government. Its simply not worth the cost, but in such a place, policy decisions are made to benefit the Party. That fact should be top of mind when making security decisions in Europe, the Mid East and in Asia as poor responses to a situation are as much of a threat as the situation itself.



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