Wednesday, September 29, 2021


The world is on the brink of a paradigm shift. The first signs of this new constellation have become visible in the bankruptcy of old alliances and the beginnings of new alignments. There are a number of catalysts: the dawn of authoritarian Communist China as the world's production center based on slavery, and Turkey's aggressive expansionism in the East Med. Yet the Abraham Accords in parts of the Middle East have opened up opportunities that were hitherto unthinkable.

Sep. 22, 2021 Caspian Report: India's masterplan to counter China.

President Trump's vision of peace and prosperty in exchange for political Islam (watch his momentous speech in Riyadh) culminated in the Abraham Accords between the US,  Israel, the UAE, Bahrain. Morocco and Sudan subsequently joined the pact. This enabled the US to withdraw from the Middle East and pivot towards the Pacific with the establishment of a joint Australian and UK naval partnership only last week, auspiciously named AUKUS. 

While the substantial matter centers on the delivery of US/UK built nuclear propelled submarines to Australia to bolster its defense against Chinese expansionism it stops short of involving the other two Anglo-Saxon states, socialist led New Zealand and Canada, that are currently part of the Five Eyes Security Pact. Is it now extinct? 

The UK for its part, post Brexit, is looking for a new role on the world stage and may see in the AUKUS deal a golden opportunity to reconstitute itself as the power player it once was. Much has been said in the media on the ethnic aspect of AUKUS, but this is entirely the by-product of mutual trust rather than narrow nationalism.

Although closely aligned to the Quad alliance (the US, Australia, Japan and India) the AUKUS pact leaves France in the lurch, the European nation with its perpetually frustrated imperial ambitions. France had originally  contracted with Australia for the delivery of diesel powered submarines. (Watch is Caspian Report video why the French deal no longer made sense for Canberra.)

Not only has France a huge defense industry; it also has a number of strategically located footholds in the South Pacific, just north of Australia: 7,000 troops, nearly two million French citizens, including island territories such as New Caledonia and French Polynesia. That would have made France into an ideal ally in the Pacific. So what is AUKUS actually up to?

Far from France lamenting the loss of the submarine deal, it has immediately pivoted to Europe as a market for its military production. France is the driving force behind the European Army as a rival defense pact of NATO, although President Macron has stressed the EuroCorps would be complementary to NATO. (Watch Brad Johnson of Americans For Intelligence Reform on the subject.)

France and Greece just concluded a major mutual defense agreement that not just includes 23 Rafale fighter jets, 3 to 4 fregates and 3 corvettes, but also mutual defense assistance. Both parties see the pact as the basis for a comprehensive European fighting force. 

Which brings us back to the Abraham Accords, providing new opportunities for the Middle East and East Med countries as well as India (watch the video above). 

New cultural, economic and military alliances are compacted in the region on an almost weekly basis. Between France and Greece, between Libya and Greece, between Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Greece and India, and so on. 

  • Greek City Times: Greece and Cyprus to connect with India via West Asian states in ambitious new project.

And then there are the huge gas fields in the East Med between Israel and Cyprus. While Turkey's neo Ottoman ambitions are certainly creating constant provocations and challenges in the region, particularly in Syria and Libya, there are also plenty of opportunities. 

So, what does it all mean? In this page we are trying to make heads or tails of the fluid situation, following the developments for signals of what it all portents.

We are used to a the very clear cut geopolitical situation of the Cold War in which any country aligned itself with either the one or the other super power. 

The new situation is reminiscent of the geopolitical situation before World War One in which Empires vied with one another for tipping the balance of power in their interest. 

Given the capacity of the current cohort of politicians to turn everything they touch into dog's breakfast, we are in a very precarious situation indeed. With the weak, fast fading President Biden at the helm, the USA is no longer the global guarantor of Pax Americana.

Until President Trump gets back in power in 2024 to reassert his doctrine of peace through strength, we must hope and pray for the best while the Great Powers that be are playing war games on the world's chess board.

UPDATE: Securing and holding Bagram Air Base would have cost deploying an extra 5,000 troops. But Biden wanted to hold a speech on 9/11 that it was him that got the US out of the Afghan war. So he cut and ran, resulting in the death of 13 US service members, an untold number of other victims and hundreds of Americans left behind enemy lines. 

As if t
he loss of the strategic air base to the Chinese is not bad enough, imagine being this dumb and incompetent, you think that admitting on French national television that your boss doesn't know he's alive, is a good idea! 

External reading

The founder of modern geopolitical theory, Halford Mackinder, had something to say about this in his last paper, written for the Council on Foreign Relations in 1943. Mackinder anticipated this development, though the actors and their roles at that time were different. In particular, he foresaw the economic emergence of China and India and the importance of the Pacific region. This article discusses the current situation in Mackinder’s context, taking in the consequences of green energy, the importance of trade in the Pacific region, and China’s current deflationary strategy relative to that of declining western powers aggressively pursuing asset inflation. (More on Gold Money)

  • AUKUS, the Quad and India's strategic pivot
Friday is another Indo-Pacific day for U.S. President Joe Biden. After meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks, he will host the first in-person summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—or Quad—with the leaders of Australia, India, and Japan. Taking place barely a week after the stunning announcement of the new AUKUS military and technology pact joining Australia, Britain, and the United States, the new set of meetings underlines the growing urgency with which Washington and its partners seek to reconfigure the Indo-Pacific balance of power. Progress is likely in both meetings on Friday. Biden’s talks with Modi are expected to deepen cooperation as New Delhi aligns more closely with Washington, including in security, health, energy, and education. (More on Foreign Policy)

Assigned reading