The Ukraine Crisis; Costly Western Game in the Territory of Eurasia

Introduction

Although the current situation in Ukraine can be considered as a regional crisis in the territory of Eurasia, it is clear that its multiple consequences will affect all actors in the international system. The West, primarily the United States, is largely responsible for what is currently happening on Ukrainian soil. Although an erosive conflict may have tactical benefits for the West, it will be fraught with unpleasant strategic consequences: Complete destruction of Ukraine’s social and economic infrastructure, intensification of Ukraine’s radicalization, growing risks including transition to nuclear level, threatening gradual erosion of Western unity, and the prospect of a global economic slide into a new cycle of crisis. These are just some of the consequences.

The goal of the United States and Europe since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis has been to impose a geopolitical defeat on Russia. The strategy for achieving this goal is also clear; as the conflict continued, Moscow had to be militarily, economically and politically trapped in Ukraine. Today, almost three months after the start of the military crisis in Ukraine, it is becoming increasingly clear that Western calculations have been erroneous, with the West’s comprehensive strengthening of the Ukrainian government and the consequences of the military conflict.

The Prospect of a Slump in the Global Economy

The negative economic impact of the Ukraine crisis is now far beyond the borders of direct participants in the conflict. In early March, world oil prices reached $ 130 per barrel. (Ryan Dezember, Kenny Jimenez, 2022) And any increase of $ 10 per barrel, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), would mean a 0.5 percent slowdown in the global economy per year. (The Impact of Higher Oil Prices on the Global Economy, 2000) 

According to the IMF, the events that have been taking place in Ukraine since February 24, 2022, have become one of the main factors hindering the recovery of the global economy after the crisis caused by the pandemic. IMF was forced to cut its forecast for economic growth this year to 143 countries, which together account for 86 percent of global GDP. Food insecurity will become a serious concern in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and some Latin American countries. Perhaps this event, along with inflation in the United States reaching a 40-year high and in the UK a 30-year high, could shed light on the importance of the issue for the West. (Giles, 2022)

The announcement of a political stance by Western leaders has called into question the construction and operation of previously agreed energy transfer projects, which are likely to come at a cost to the West. Given European demand, rising hydrocarbon prices require large-scale and long-term investments in fossil fuels, not just oil and gas but even coal. According to the CEO of BASF[1], the world’s largest chemical producer, Germany imported 55% of its natural gas from Russia, which plunged the country into its most catastrophic economic crisis since the end of World War II. (Greyerz, 2022)

The economies of EU countries in the wake of the Ukraine crisis may face a combination of recession and record inflation. At present, there is a significant increase in the level of consumer prices, which has exceeded last year’s figure by seven and a half percent, and this trend will continue if the previous positions are emphasized. (Евросоюзу предсказали стагфляцию из-за кризиса на Украине, 2022)

The Crisis in Ukraine, the Beginning of a Chain of Crises

The conflict in Eurasia seems to have become a catalyst for escalating crisis in other parts of the world. It could influence Turkey’s decision to launch military operations in northern Iraq, indirectly help escalate the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, and encourage the North Korean leadership to resume missile tests, with far-reaching consequences. A military focus in Europe on geostrategic regions with significant Russian military and political presence, such as in the Middle East and North Africa, will have fragile consequences. (The Impact of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine in the Middle East and North Africa, 2022) There are many reasons to believe that in the following months we will see an intensification of regional and domestic political crises. (Ghitis, 2022)

This conflict has had a clear negative impact on the negotiation process of the Vienna talks, as well as the consultations between Russia and the United States on strategic stability and the control of strategic offensive weapons. Ultimately, the radicalization of Ukraine itself is a major threat that, in addition to Russia, will target countries that have pursued a strategy of silence and “disgusting blindness” in the wake of the “revival of neo-Nazism” in Ukraine. (Нарышкин заявил, что очаг неонацизма на Украине несет угрозу для всей Европы, 2022)

Supporting the Third Actor, a Repetitive American Game

For the past eight years since the Crimean crisis, Ukraine has been militarily and ideologically supplied by NATO. The United States and the North Atlantic Alliance have extensive experience training and equipping armed forces in third actors. (Алкснис, 2022) However, this experience has a certain historical memory, and to refer to a part of it, we can refer to certain conditions that occurred in the Middle East in 1980-1988. US decision to help Baghdad in the early days of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980-1988 came after US intelligence warned that Iraq was on the verge of invading Iran. The Reagan administration secretly decided to provide top-secret information to Iraq in the spring of 1982, while also allowing the sale of US-made weapons to Baghdad in a successful attempt to help Saddam Hussein. Former intelligence officials and the State Department have blamed the support on preventing Iraq from imminent defeat in the war with Iran. (Hersh, 1992)

Successive support for Saddam led to Iraq conducting meaningless military operations after the end of the war, most notably in the invasion of Kuwait. Finally, the United States intended to realize the existence of a radical in the Middle East when the terrorist threat leads to a catastrophe in the heart of the country. Finally, under Bush administration, US forces began their military operations in Iraq: “This is the beginning of a large-scale, coordinated campaign. An initial attempt to “destroy” the Iraqi leadership by air strikes failed, paving the way for a ground invasion.” (Timeline The Iraq War, n.d.)

Regardless of the review of the cost of the military operations in Iraq and the emphasis on endangering the lives of millions of Iraqis over the past two decades, today, if US efforts to support Ukraine continue to stop Russia, Saddam Hussein’s fate will be repeated in Ukraine. The difference is that this time the threat will be to the citizens of European countries.

Domestic Dissatisfaction, the Cost of American Role-playing across Borders

By default, Washington’s $ 40 billion aid package to Kyiv is certainly significant, but it certainly could not be without significant side effects for US and European populations. US economy can no longer afford the costs of such an irresponsible policy, and its continuation undermines the very stability of the Western system that citizens feel. Attempts to blame what is happening on “Putin’s invasion” have not been very successful, and most Americans blame the authorities for the deteriorating socio-economic and financial situation. Under this circumstance, injecting large sums of money into a corrupt and threatening country on the other side of the world can turn into a host of unpleasant surprises in the homes of Westerners. The first case occurred two days ago, when Senator Rand Paul blocked the $ 40 billion bill and called for the appointment of an inspector general to oversee budget allocation, saying: “We can’t save Ukraine by destroying the US economy.” (Алкснис, 2022)

Conclusion

The Ukraine crisis was intensified by the United States and its NATO allies with the aim of stopping Russia within its borders. US role playing thousands of miles away from its borders in the territory of Eurasia has led to huge costs, first for the US and then for its allies, and this trend will intensify if the current trend of Western support for Ukraine continues. In addition, the continuing military crisis in Ukraine will lead to series of crises around the world, examples of which are examined in this report.


- Ghitis, F. (2022, 4 7). Putin’s War on Ukraine Is Spreading Global Shockwaves. World Politics Review. Retrieved from World Politics Review: https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/30454/with-inflation-global-impact-of-ukraine-war-is-spreading
- Giles, C. (2022, 4 14). Ukraine war is ‘massive setback’ for global economic recovery, says IMF chief. Retrieved from The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/945d68f2-dca6-4198-8475-fa254ad79545
- Greyerz, E. v. (2022, 4 5). THERE IS GOING TO BE A NEW WORLD DISORDER. Retrieved from GoldSwitzerland: https://goldswitzerland.com/there-is-going-to-be-a-new-world-disorder/
- Hersh, S. M. (1992, 1 26). U.S. Secretly Gave Aid to Iraq Early in Its War Against Iran. Retrieved from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/26/world/us-secretly-gave-aid-to-iraq-early-in-its-war-against-iran.html
- Ryan Dezember, Kenny Jimenez. (2022, 3 6). Oil Tops $130 a Barrel as Russian Attacks Escalate. Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-buyers-paying-record-premiums-for-prompt-deliveries-11646518865
- The Impact of Higher Oil Prices on the Global Economy. (2000, 12 8). Retrieved from International Monetary Fund: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/oil/2000/?msclkid=78a35628ac0c11ec881e7e8987a61fce#III_B
- The Impact of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine in the Middle East and North Africa. (2022, 4 14). Retrieved from International Crisis Group: https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/impact-russias-invasion-ukraine-middle-east-and-north-africa
- Timeline The Iraq War. (n.d.). Retrieved from Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/timeline/iraq-war
- Алкснис, И. (13 5 2022 г.). Запад создал на Украине военного титана, который его погубит. Получено из РИА НОВОСТИ: https://ria.ru/20220513/ukraina-1788166881.html
- Евросоюзу предсказали стагфляцию из-за кризиса на Украине. (9 5 2022 г.). Получено из Лента.Ру: https://lenta.ru/news/2022/05/09/stagflyatsiya/
- Нарышкин заявил, что очаг неонацизма на Украине несет угрозу для всей Европы. (13 5 2022 г.). Получено из ТАСС: https://tass.ru/politika/14614467?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com

[1] BASF is a German chemical company headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany

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