America Created the Sino-Russian Threat

Russia and China are forming a dangerous coalition of powers on Eurasia. This is bad for the United States and the world. The great geostrategist, Sir Halford Mackinder, once cautioned his audience to be on the lookout for the rise of a strong military power or an alliance of powers in Eurasia, as that could negatively impact global trade. Eurasia—the landmass of Europe and Asia (connected by the Mideast)—is the most populous region of the world and contains the bulk of the world’s natural resources. It is a critical engine for global trade and prosperity. The largest powers in Eurasia, Russia, and China, are all land-based powers.

It was only in recent decades that both Russia and then China started becoming maritime powers. Even then, the Sino-Russian relationship was fraught and ultimately created a strategic opening for President Richard Nixon to exploit during the Cold War. When the United States moved China into its camp during the Cold War, the Soviet Union was truly isolated globally, and the end was nigh.

For some time, the United States and China maintained affable relations (though China took advantage of the United States, draining it of economic vitality and coming to threaten it militarily today). Meanwhile, Russia continued its inexorable decline. Today, it is a shadow of its former self, though it retains nominal control over a sizable chunk of land and its military gives Russian leaders the ability to complicate American grand strategy (which it does routinely).

Yet, at the end of the Cold War, the world was made anew—or at least it could have been. The Russians wanted to be embraced in the Western camp whereas the Chinese were looking to craft an alternate power center, but did not at that time have the power to create one. After 30 years of diplomatic mismanagement in Washington, D.C., the Russians have been pushed into China’s camp and China has been allowed to become a real threat to the United States.

Never once did American leaders take the time to ask how their actions (or inaction) on the world stage would propel the Russians and Chinese into a closer alliance. Not only that, most American leaders didn’t even care, believing in the bizarre notion that the United States possessed an otherworldly capability to control events everywhere, all at once with its military. It was geopolitical malpractice of the highest order and it was allowed to continue for three decades. Now, the United States is paying the price.

Presently, the Russian Federation is a weak state with a large nuclear arsenal. It has demonstrated limited capabilities for intervening in nearby states and using superior diplomacy to exercise its will across the world, from the Mideast to Africa. The Russian population is unhealthy and dwindling in size, being replaced slowly by Muslims from the south and ethnic Chinese in the Russian Far East. Meanwhile, in the world of United States Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Russia is a giant gas station masquerading as a country. It sits atop some of the wealthiest reserves of natural gas, oil, and water—Lake Baikal, for instance, is believed to have the largest stores of fresh water beneath its frozen surface.

The Russians have used their position atop this rich vein of natural resources—particularly its access to abundant stores of natural gas and oil—as a geostrategic lever to goad other states into adhering to Russian will. Currently, Europe is heavily dependent on Russian natural gas. The Russians have effectively created linkages with other oil-and-natural-gas-producing states, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, to intensify its standing in the Middle East. Also, the Russians sell their resources to the resource-starved China. In many respects, Russia is the geostrategic linchpin of the world order when it comes to natural resources.

Rather than bringing Russia closer to its orbit, the United States spent much of the last three decades alienating and insulting Russia whenever it could. Today, the United States has strict sanctions placed on the Russian economy for their boorish behavior in Ukraine. Unfortunately, though, all that the sanctions have managed to do is to force Russia to move more closely into China’s orbit. Russia is making energy deals with the Chinese (and Indians) to make up for their losses in Europe and the West. Also, the Chinese are providing diplomatic cover to the Russians, as they run roughshod over neighboring countries and throughout the Middle East. Then, of course, the Chinese are using the Russians to solidify their dream of connecting all of Eurasia with the Chinese-dominated Belt-and-Road Initiative.

As the Chinese move east-west with their “new silk road” project, the Russians are moving from the north-south to link Eurasia together that way. Much of this could have been avoided had the United States simply thought through how it would respond to a weakening Russia. Thanks to America’s draconian moves, Russia is now becoming a “partner” to China’s global ambitions and is providing close cover for rogue regimes, such as North Korea and Iran, as they move further in building arsenals of nuclear weapons.

America’s political class—the so-called foreign policy experts—failed this country royally in the post-Cold War era. The United States and Russia should be running the world. Instead, Russia and China are set to destroy the world order. Just wait for China’s petro-yuan project to take full form. Then even the threat of American sanctions directed against Russia, Iran, or North Korea will no longer hold any weight.

If we were smart, the United States would use what leverage it currently has over Russia with the sanctions to negotiate a longer-lasting settlement with Moscow over long-standing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, and then build off that to stunt the growth of Chinese power in the Pacific. But, time is not on our side and Washington continues to dither.

About Brandon J. Weichert

Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor at American Greatness and a contributor at Asia Times . He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower and The Shadow War: Iran's Quest for Supremacy (Republic Book Publishers). Follow him on Twitter: @WeTheBrandon.

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5 responses to “America Created the Sino-Russian Threat”

  1. Why does Weichert keep writing as if the clock stopped on January 20, 2017 on American foreign policy?
    The U. S. Senate, and American’s ‘pundity’ are America’s worst enemies.
    American Greatness is solely a vanity platform for under-employed ‘experts’.
    Curing my cognitive dissonance one post at a time.
    The USS Canberra, LCS-30, to be built by Australia’s Austal in Mobile, Alabama, just like Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Independence LCS-2 at Naval Air Station Key West, 29 March 2010:
    President Trump and his team, have had energy security as a core strategy in the conduct of foreign relations for a year. Japan. Argentina. Three Seas Initiative: Poland, and eleven other eastern Europe nations. India. Greece. Kazakhstan. From Baku to Georgia to Romania: the Whitestream pipeline that bypasses Turkey and Russia. I could go on, except Weichert never learns anything new. Rather suspicious timing on this post, because, Australia:
    Foreign Policy: Joint Press Release by the United States of America and Australia
    Issued on: February 23, 2018 ★★★
    “Leaders of Australia and the United States to launch an Australia-U.S. Strategic Partnership on Energy in the Indo-Pacific. The partnership aligns the goals of Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper and the
    U.S. National Security Strategy, including to promote regional infrastructure
    and energy cooperation, open and competitive energy markets and improved rules and standards in the Indo-Pacific.
    Core Principles
    •Open and competitive energy markets are indispensable to ensuring secure energy supply.
    •Universal access to affordable and reliable energy from a variety of sources is needed to help eradicate poverty, fuel sustainable economic growth, and increase global security. […]”

    […]•The President and Prime Minister discussed ways to deepen trilateral cooperation with Japan and affirmed the importance of expanding cooperation between Australia, the United States, Japan, and India. […]
    [that’s the QUAD!]
    •As an enduring symbol of our alliance and our history of shared effort and sacrifice to make a better, safer world, the President announced that the U.S. Navy would name a future Littoral Combat Ship the USS CANBERRA.
    […] There are no greater friends than the United States and Australia. For 100 years, since the
    Battle of Hamel [France], when American and Australian troops first fought side by side,
    our two nations have faced every challenge together. We look forward to working ever more closely
    together in these challenging times on the basis of trust, mutual respect, and
    mateship to shape a secure and prosperous century to come.”

    ‘Mateships’ enters the lexicon. The Independence-class littoral combat ships will be useful in checking China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea. The QUAD is an unspoken counter to China’s hegemony. It will make a difference, unlike the wordstreams of ….

  2. As long as China and Russia understand that we still have the necessary nukes to burn them alive, I don’t really give rat’s A what they do. It is no one’s fault but our own that China has prospered the way it has. Old Tricky Dick opened up the trade with them and the imbalance has nearly bankrupted us while giving them money to burn. Just try to buy 100% American products and you will see what I mean. American brands are being bought by foreign businesses like it is a bake sale. The dipsticks in Washington are actually our worst enemies in the world not that we have many friends left either. The leadership in Washington are so hung up on party lines and giving the damned country away to every crack that can sneak across the border that nothing good is coming our of there. Yeah, Trump. Doing the best he can and surrounded by enemies on all sides. With all of the voter fraud and all of the resistance to fixing that he’ll likely be a one term president. If we get Dims as a majority again we may as well surrender or immigrate ourselves.

  3. Tell me again why we have to buy the crap the Silents and Boomers spew? They’re so into either we’re invincible or we’re in terminal decline. Neither is accurate.

  4. WWIII, if it ever comes, would be a conventional one if Russia, China, America do not want to see most their cities destroyed by nukes – if strategic parity exists. With parity, in a large, modern national military fighting a large modern war against a strategic rival nukes matter less than control of theater airspace, and one or two Navies prevailing, and almost as important, concentration of forces vs global disbursal, a dig mainly at the US, that has to many commitments and is disbursed in too many nations, most of no strategic value, most who would be on the sidelines in and Russia or China war against us.

  5. Well blow me down. The homicidal greed of the US Imperial Predator Class has destroyed the US workforce and industrial base, effectively bankrupting the nation. it’s reached a point where the Predator Class now believes the psy-war propaganda used against the US population.

    The world is so ready to move on from US serial genocidal wars and economic exploitation… and so are we in the US