“The U.S. are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us money for it...if you get smart with us, we’ll go to Russia. Russian tanks will be stationed near Krakow and Warsaw and your NATO will be soiling its pants and buying Pampers.” Igor Kolomoisky
The media tycoon and billionaire Mr. Kolomoisky may be adept at playing the US against Russia in order to extort money to fuel a new WWIII and with members of the Biden family under active investigation, for its financial ties to the Ukraine, President Biden has been all too happy to oblige to support the comedian President and his billionaire financier, who have begun to violate the Minsk Protocol Agreements of a cease fire and have rejected President Putin’s calls of a peace agreement.
As a bit of background, Mr. Kolomoisky’s support of the former comedian as Ukrainian President was most likely inspired by former President Trump’s rise to power in the United States, as a television personality and outsider to politics who suddenly gained traction and power in 2016. It is probable that Mr. Kolomoisky attempted to re-create this scenario into a show for Ukrainian audiences on his network, and by using a personable, likable comedian to eventually oust the old political incumbents.
Since rising to power, the billionaire tycoon and the newly elected Ukrainian President Zelensky quickly consolidated power by dissolving Parliament, and appear to have been actively launching their own agenda to actively woo the Biden administration for promotion of war against Russia in order to fastrack Ukraine’s membership to join the European Union and NATO.
This wouldn’t be the first time an actor became a President (eg, President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s funded by the fossil fuel industry billionaires), after all, the line between entertainment and politics is often blurred. However, as likable as Mr. Zelensky is in his comedic roles, the current situation presents a clear and present danger to the future of NATO, the United States and the European Union.
In recent decades, NATO has been under fire for its actions in the Iraq War, Afghanistan War and its destabilisation of Libya in which horrific images of the assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi surfaced on the internet, sent shockwaves around the world, and which began a domino effect in which other nations, such as China, began building up their own military to counter NATO’s unchecked power. The public perception of NATO is that it is no longer seen as the “liberator of global freedom”, but of a militant force engaged in a perpetual war state without any oversight and compunction. Hence why as of late, NATO has not only faced more doubt and criticism from its European allies, but also through strong public sentiment and calls for its disbanding.
There is no doubt that NATO is going through an existential crisis, with many member nations in disagreement about its future. Its funding is also clearly skewed, with the United States taking the brunt of the funding along with the UK, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria, whilst other member nations have contributed far less such as Germany, Canada, Spain and Italy.
However, what is clear is that NATO’s leadership has been lacking guidance, with some members acting without consulting its allies (eg, Turkey’s recent offensive launch in Syria), and has even been referred to as “brain dead” due to members' lack of foreign policy strategy and also of its overt gender discrimination against women.
NATO currently is a house divided, and in dire need of a restructuring and a Board of Ethics in order to comply with their Code of Good Conduct as delineated in its articles. To maintain its anchor in uncertain times, NATO must also reconsider its perception of the Russian Federation, with its own formidable military, not as an adversary but potentially one of its own members which could help shape its future security. Russia’s membership into NATO could strengthen NATO’s global alliances, build confidence in the EU along with becoming one of its major investors, therefore easing US’s funding requirements in addition to another key strategy: deterring both the EU and China from building up their own military presence which could lead into decades of a new Cold War.
China’s history reveals that it is one of the one most innovative civilisations in the world, comparable to Ancient Egypt, in its proliferation of technology, art, materials, and infrastructure. However, its new ambition to focus on the building of a military comparable to the US would most inevitably launch a new Cold War Era that could span many decades into the future. With Russia’s membership into NATO, it would most certainly transform NATO towards the future, realign its global strategy away from the perpetual war state and implement global stability in a way to mitigate China from becoming the new military force in the world.
HOW VLADIMIR PUTIN AND ELON MUSK COULD ALIGN THEIR INTERESTS TO PREVENT WORLD WAR III AND LAUNCH A NEW WORLD ORDER
At first glance, the two men seem to make an unlikely pair, after all what have they got in common? But upon closer analysis, the two men appear to share a similar philosophy of the world.
It is without doubt that international cooperation is necessary for rapid advances in technology because ultimately an open framework of collaborating researchers always fuels the most innovation.
Despite Russia’s reputation as being technologically closed to the international community, Russia is not a stranger to imported technology: Samsung monitors, Apple iPhones and other devices produced by companies outside of its nation are readily available for public consumption. However, the fact of the matter is that in the contemporary world, all technology is built to spy and monitor the population, from robots to mobile devices to TV monitors and even printers and internet routers.
China has been actively wooing foreign scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs in their 1000 Talent Initiative to give legitimacy to their projects. Opening Russia’s borders to international talent and actively engaging in international collaboration could launch it as the new Eurasian tech capital of the world.
Recently, the Russian government has been considering fining Russians for potentially using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet despite the fact that Starlink offers an opportunity to connect Russia’s vast 11 time zones in remote areas such as in Oymyakon and rural localities where people may not have access to the internet. In addition, satellites communicate with gateway terminal ground stations which must be geographically located in Russia, hence subject to the government for communications monitoring, therefore not being able to bypass Russian monitoring of online activities.
A collaboration between Starlink and Russia’s Sphere programme could be an exciting opportunity for Russian scientists and researchers to work together with the private sector, through SpaceX. Currently, Sphere needs $20 billion in funding and is set to launch in 2025. This is an extraordinary funding amount for Russia, whose GDP is $1.7 trillion and whose scientists only receive an average pay of $250 per month. The Sphere project could potentially bypass this funding criteria by utilising Starlink satellites which have already been deployed; 1000 Starlink satellites have already launched and there are plans to deploy a total of 42,000. Through international cooperation and the sharing of data, Starlink could also be utilised in other areas of Eurasia, such as the Ukraine. It is to the benefit of Russia to be one of the first to integrate satellite internet in order to shape its future development.
A SpaceX x Sphere collaborative research centre in Russia’s Siberian region of Akademgorodok could potentially launch the Eurasian tech capital of the world by attracting talent from many different countries during a time when Russia has had trouble accessing international financing of its space programmes through imposed sanctions.
Despite its innovative past achievements, one of the problematic features of the Russian space programme has been said by critics that “for experts in the Russian space community, Russia has no longer the means to streamline a sector that is now in survival mode. Without major commercial and scientific achievements, it is difficult to remain at the forefront of space technology and industry on the one hand, and to compete with other powers on the other.” One of the key reasons why this may be so is that the private sector has bypassed national space agencies in development. Companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have amassed funding that dwarfs the world’s national space agencies. Startups in Asia, mainly in China and India have gained traction in recent years and are contended to become the top innovators in space exploration and research. It is also difficult to attract talent from all around the world when the salary of a position is significantly lower than that at private corporations, which has consequently isolated Russia from technological innovation in recent years.
For Russia, a collaboration with SpaceX could regain Russia’s standing in the world as a leading nation in space research and exploration, just as when Yuri Gagarin’s flight in April 1961 gained international recognition and captured the hopes of the Russian people.
Russia connects Europe with Asia - the ideal location as the tech capital of the world, bridging together and integrating many different cultures. Russia also has an astounding 190 different ethnic populations within its geography. While Vladimir Putin has promoted preservation of its diverse ethnic populations, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been criticised to have done the exact opposite - wiping out Uighur Muslims from the population, not rectifying the invasion of Tibet and insisting Taiwan is part of its territory, despite the latter’s declaration of independence. China appears to have an unspoken mandate of transforming all of contemporary Asia into “Han Chinese exceptionalism”, instead of preserving the ethnic diversity of the Asian continent, making its neighbours nervous and seeking protection from NATO.
An international cooperation and exploration of space is the key to preserving future peace, and presents an opportunity for Vladimir Putin and Elon Musk to come together and finally put an end to the lingering Cold War sentiment of a past era and to bridge the divide between the United States and the Russian Federation.
CHINA’S ULTIMATE WEAKNESS: THE RISE OF HAN CHINESE NATIONALISM
There is no doubt that China is a superpower to be reckoned with. President Xi Jinping has become an iconic figure who has lifted China out of poverty into a new era of becoming the future energy distributor of the world whilst focused on revitalising a new trade route that would resurrect the Ancient Silk Road. However, China ultimately suffers from a weakness in that its long history of “landgrab”, oppression of human rights activists, censorship of its own citizens and invasion of other nations have made its neighbours suspicious and unlikely to gain European supporters of its infrastructure projects.
Although the United States might have made similar missteps in foreign policy, including the genocide of Native Americans at the onset of its history and its numerous wars in the Middle East, the biggest critics of the US have always been its own citizens, Americans who are working to build a fairer, more inclusive society and to keep their politicians in check.
Japan, India, South Korea et al have made alliances with its most prolific trading partner, China, whilst paradoxically also seeking the US for protection against China’s growing military presence.
President Xi Jinping can rectify this negative perception of a “globalist, militaristic China” by recognising Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong as independent and autonomous nations, in addition to coming to an amicable agreement on the multiple disputed territories within the Asian continent. A rebranding of China as the epicenter of ethnic and cultural diversity as it had been during the Ancient Silk Road Era could further its One Road One Belt Initiative without diverting their investments into the development of a formidable military power.
The Russian Federation has one of the most ethnically diverse populations on the planet, all with each own ethnic identity, culture and language. President Putin recently addressed his ministers in a video call on interethnic relations that it was imperative that they must preserve and protect the ethnoculture and linguistic diversity of all members of the Russian Federation.
NATO’S GROWING PAINS
Despite that this may be a transformative era for NATO, in which deep divisions exist on its future trajectory, NATO has also been a stabilising force in the world, bringing down the Berlin Wall and accelerating the decolonisation of Africa and Asia from a long history of imperialism. However, in recent decades, NATO has also been subject to numerous criticisms of its foreign interventions in the Middle East which have been characterised as wanton war profiteering if not entirely inhumane. It is ultimately time for NATO to realise that its ambitions upon the world stage cannot maintain a perpetual war state nor exist without Russia.
For a future NATO to prevail, it must integrate Russia into its alliance; Russia can no longer be considered an adversary but one that can enhance stronger security within the world. NATO’s actions in recent decades have degraded trust of its European allies, in addition to igniting China’s own military ambitions.
The Ukraine has been under the auspices and control of a comedian President and media tycoon who wish to pit the US against Russia, in order to access a fast-tracked membership into the European Union and NATO by exploiting the US’ rivalry with Russia’s Nordstream II project which would provide gas directly to Germany and the rest of Europe, bypassing the Ukraine.
It is up to the individual members within NATO’s factions to prevent this paradigm leading to more unnecessary conflict. Another foreign conflict resurrecting the old Cold War mentality would surely further damage NATO’s reputation and could lead into the final days of its dissolution. The Biden Administration and the leaders of the European Union must ask themselves, is the subversion of Russia’s Nordstream II worth launching another World War?
By Sierra Choi