Nearly a decade ago I began warning that NATO expansion and the West’s failure to understand that Russian national security interests not a Russian desire to ‘recreate the USSR’ or ‘former Russian empire’ would lead to a world split apart between the West and ‘the rest’ (Sino-Russian ‘strategic partnership and those states oriented towards it).
In September 2015, for example, I argued: “Therefore, rather than being some grand conspiracy to build a Russian empire and defeat the West in the ostensible ‘new cold war,’ Putin’s actions are actually about defending Russian positions in the region and national security at home. Any failure to realize the latter, real motivations behind Putin’s actions and instead favor a focus on the former, imagined ones is fraught with specter of more gains for the jihadists and the greater likelihood of a world needlessly split apart on this and other key issues” (https://gordonhahn.com/2015/09/29/explaining-putins-counter-jihadi-coalition-proposal-russian-interests-not-a-new-cold-war/).
In the same month I wrote: “(I)t cannot be excluded that in the back of Putin’s mind, held in reserve depending on how talks on the Levant crisis develop, talks on Ukraine could ensue around the Levant talks. In this way, the Ukraine crisis could be addressed in any grand deal. The ensuing talks could even lead to a grand deal on Ukraine. … However, just as likely an outcome as some grand deal is a more polarized East-West divide, a world split apart over the fate of Assad, the war against jihadism, and Ukraine. This has all the makings of a world war” (https://gordonhahn.com/2015/09/10/putins-arab-gambit-just-got-more-bold-the-syrialevant-jihadi-crisis/).
A year later I reiterated the point: “The calamitous Arab ‘Spring’ has justified the Russian critique of American foreign policy to such an extent that some neocons and other conservatives as well as no small number of leftists have bought into it not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and globally, most starkly in the non-West. This risks a new ‘world split apart’…. The coming of that world may well depend on the triumph in Moscow of the radical Eurasianist view; a triumph made more likely by the neocon-neolib hold on the American imagination, regardless of which ideological clan wins the upcoming exercise in the decaying American democracy” (https://gordonhahn.com/2016/10/27/the-russian-american-cultural-ideational-contention/).
In 2018 I continued, noting that “the world is increasingly split apart between the West (plus Japan) and all the rest” (https://gordonhahn.com/2018/03/12/implications-of-pew-study-on-major-threat-perceptions-around-the-globe/). In 2019 I refined the point: “Thus, for our, the American/Western, part–I can only hope that some day we will revive the political culture of tolerance, rule of law, freedom of speech, which is slowly but surely being lost in good part for the sake of our efforts at democracy-promotion and NATO expansion. A failure to do so will result in more overreactive American and Western Russia policies, increasing polarization between the West and Russia (and China), the strengthening of an anti-Western alliance led by China and Russia, an economic war in a world split apart damaging the global economy, and finally more political violence and even war between East and West” (https://gordonhahn.com/2019/01/26/the-wests-alienation-of-russia-the-next-wave/). In 2020 I noted: “It appears that excesses of traditionalism in the east and of anti-traditionalist nihilism in the West continue to split the world apart in this crisis century” (https://gordonhahn.com/2020/03/24/putins-constitutional-amendments-political-balancing-in-an-increasingly-traditionalist-russian-political-culture-divided-world-and-crisis-century/).
My worst fears now appear to be coming true, portending a global catastrophe of war, revolution, and chaos. To be sure, the war for and against NATO expansion is not the only cause of the global schism and catastrophe now before us. The Schwabist-Soros globalist and transhumanist agenda is driving economic collapse and social discontent contributing to the oncoming catastrophe, but that is another topic for another day.
NATO expansion to Ukraine continued with Ukrainian membership replaced by deep Western and NATO involvement in Ukraine’s politics and military and gradually deepening after the 2014 Maidan revolt. In effect if not juridically, Ukraine was becoming a member of the NATO alliance. In this regard, it is important to point out that the famous Article 5 of the NATO Charter is not a blanket, mandatory obligation to engage directly in military action in defense of an alliance member under attack by an alliance non-member state. It merely requires consultations and assistance, which can but does not necessarily have to be the commitment of member-states’ forces directly to the battlefield. Assistance can include the provision of weapons, training, intelligence, and other forms of indirect assistance. This was already happening in Ukraine as a result of NATO policies. Russian President responded with his invasion rapidly both escalating that level of NATO military and intelligence assistance to Ukraine and accelerating the bifurcation of the world between the West and the rest. For all intents and purposes NATO and the entire West are at war with Russia and escalation to a more direct confrontation is just over the horizon. This course of events has deepened and consolidated the Sino-Russian alliance by any other name and that alliance’s efforts to rally to its side the rest of the rest. The world is becoming split apart as never before – an outcome globalization was not supposed to being about. The ‘new cold war’ is driving towards a greater bifurcation of the world into two camps than the confrontation between communism and capitalism ever engendered.
Continuation to follow.
BOOK ON UKRAINE
About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org. Websites: Russian and Eurasian Politics, gordonhahn.com and gordonhahn.academia.edu
Dr. Hahn is the author of the new book: Russian Tselostnost’: Wholeness in Russian Thought, Culture, History, and Politics (Europe Books, 2022). He has authored five previous, well-received books: The Russian Dilemma: Security, Vigilance, and Relations with the West from Ivan III to Putin (McFarland, 2021); Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War” (McFarland, 2018); The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.
Dr. Hahn taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and was a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.