Belmont Club

Shifting From Utopia to Survival Mode

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool

Reports that Russia may mobilize one million men to prosecute its faltering war to crush Ukraine means that the great human tragedy and military conflagration there is highly likely to continue. “The hidden 7th paragraph of the Russian President’s decree on partial mobilisation allows the Ministry of Defence of Russia to mobilise 1 million people, a source in Vladimir Putin’s administration has informed the news outlet Novaya Gazeta.Europe.”

No matter how hastily trained, poorly armed or badly led such conscripts are, the introduction of such large numbers will inevitably expand the scale of the current war in terms of death, destructiveness and escalation potential. Instead of winding down, the war is ramping up. There will be enormous pressure on Poland, Finland, the Baltics and Scandinavian countries to respond to the Kremlin mustering on their eastern marches. “Russia will attempt to destroy Ukraine and change its borders, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday commenting on a partial mobilization announced by Moscow. ‘We will do all we can with our allies, so that NATO supports Ukraine even more so that it can defend itself,’ Morawiecki said, urging more help for Kyiv from western allies.”

The stage is set for a race on both sides to reinforce the front. Putin has clearly bet his political and possibly his personal life on asserting Moscow’s prerogatives as he sees them. According to an official transcript provided by the Russian government, he said that nothing less than the survival of Russia itself is at stake.

Today our armed forces, as I have mentioned, are fighting on the line of contact that is over 1,000 kilometres long, fighting not only against neo-Nazi units but actually the entire military machine of the collective West. …

Washington, London and Brussels are openly encouraging Kiev to move the hostilities to our territory. They openly say that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield by any means, and subsequently deprived of political, economic, cultural and any other sovereignty and ransacked.

They have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail. I am referring not only to the Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which poses a threat of a nuclear disaster, but also to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia.

I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.

For Europe, the expanded war means the era of reliance on cheap Russian gas — and the Green Energy house of cards built on it — is over. “Germany has decided to replace all Russian energy imports, most notably natural gas, by as soon as mid-2024, a Herculean effort given Europe’s top economy depends on Moscow for the fuel to power its industry.”

Germany has leased four floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) to quickly start importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly and replace Russian volumes. … Germany is also in talks with Qatar and Canada, among others, to raise LNG imports in the medium term. German utilities have existing supply agreements with Qatar, Australia and the United States.

The lights are going out all over Europe, and they won’t be coming on again for a while, at least not on Green power. The hope in world capitals that the crisis which began with the Covid 2019 pandemic and deepened with Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine would soon blow over was rudely dashed. We will not be returning to a Biden Boom, windmill power and a focus on gender issues any time soon. Those quaint talking points are orphans of another era; the mindset of the second Obama presidency, Biden’s heritage, now gone with the wind. Instead there will be a prolonged crisis. We will have to adjust our goals. For the moment the visionaries will have their hands full just keeping the war from spreading; ensuring the lights stay on, keeping the supply chain connected and making it possible to put food on the table. The generation of politicians that promised us the end of history would do well to just get us to another tomorrow.

Books: The Storm Before the Calm: America’s discord, the coming crisis of the 2020s, and the triumph beyond by George Friedman. Friedman’s analysis covers the size and scope of the federal government, the future of marriage and the social contract, shifts in corporate structures, and new cultural trends based on longer life expectancies. The result is a riveting account of current circumstances and the political upheavals that will pave the way for a new era of American prosperity and power.