Russia's Latest Battlefield Antiques and the New, New World Order

(Screencap courtesy of Twitter.)

The establishment of a new New World Order races along as some of Russia’s oldest tanks creak their way towards battlefields in Ukraine. Making laws or sausages has nothing on how messily history is made, so join with me as I show you how two seemingly unrelated stories are reshaping the world.


It was barely two weeks ago that I wrote about the appearance of Russian “museum pieces” being readied for frontline combat in Ukraine. Having lost more than 3,000 capable main battle tanks from the late-’60s vintage T-64s through fully modernized T-90s, Moscow was pulling far less capable T-62 medium tanks out of storage.

Well, if the T-62 is a museum piece, then the T-54/55 series — whose development began before the Cold War officially began — is practically an archeological exhibit. And yet those very same tanks, first built when toddler Boomers were grooving on the first season of Howdy Doody, have been spotted on railcars moving west towards Ukraine from Soviet-era depots in the east. The Soviets built a crap ton of them, too — more than 60,000 between 1946 and 1981.

The New World Order, built with T-55s.

But you know what? Firepower is firepower. If a 75-year-old design can be used for infantry support (it wouldn’t last a hot minute in the main battle tank role), then those foot soldiers are better off with a T-55 nearby than without one.

Sending in T-55s certainly appears desperate, and maybe it is. But it’s one more indicator — in case we actually needed one — that Vladimir Putin is committed to his stupid war for the long haul. So is Communist Chinese strongman Xi Jinping, which brings us to the second element in the new New World Order.


Xi was in Moscow this week for high-level talks with Putin, and those talks have already gone a long way towards establishing that new New World Order — one very friendly to Chinese interests. Much more important than the phony-baloney peace plan Xi put on the table earlier this week is the trade deal just announced between Beijing and Moscow.

Reuters reported Wednesday that the summit “produced 14 agreements on topics from soybeans to atomic energy.” Chinese tech will help Russia ride out Western sanctions and carry on the war in Ukraine, and Russian natural resources will help make China less reliant on vulnerable sea lanes. However, Reuters said, the agreement “did not yield the big prize Russia wants: a deal on a new gas pipeline.”

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“There are two likely sticking points: who will build the 2,600 km pipeline and how the gas will be priced. China is well placed to drive a hard bargain, as Moscow needs the deal more,” and so the bottom line is that “China has powerful leverage to secure advantageous price terms.”

A Financial Times report quoted Maria Shagina, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies: “It’s hard to hide the fact that Russia is now a junior partner.” China has two kinds of foreign relationships: Trade partners and vassal states. Putin’s stupid war is demoting Russia from partner to vassal.


The longer the Ukraine War drags on, the more the anti-American, China-Russia axis/dependency becomes real. And where is Joe Biden in the peace process? AWOL.

China is securing its overland access to vital resources while building a navy that will soon be capable of preventing the U.S. Navy from operating west of Midway or Wake. The Navy has always been our first line of defense, and our current force is too small, the ships are too old, and the leadership is far too Woke.

The old New World Order was based on American hard power and soft power, combined with a global system of alliances powerful enough to prevent World War III. It wasn’t perfect. Certain trade deals needed to be renegotiated after we won the Cold War and no longer needed to follow the post-WWII strategy of “giving away any economic advantage, no matter how large, for any military advantage, no matter how small.” Other deals, such as allowing China into the WTO, should never have been made at all. Still, we did keep the peace between the major powers and between the major states of Europe.

The new New World Order is a China-Russia-Iran axis with violent designs to upend the old one and establish something much less orderly — but much less in our interests, much more in theirs.

We aren’t just late to react to the threat. We barely acknowledge it’s real. Donald Trump came closest with his never-finished plan for a larger navy.


This is how major wars begin, when upstarts sense weakness in the established power.

I’m only barely kidding when I tell you that we’re so deep into imperial decline that I hope in 15-20 years Americans will be allowed to get tourist visas when we want to visit Hawaii. Meanwhile, I expect the Army will be kept busy trying to pacify northern Mexico and possibly California.

Did I say 15-20 years? Maybe 5-10.

Maybe I’m just grumpy because of our current leadership. But China has started the clock ticking, and change can’t come soon enough.


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