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2015: A Global Assessment

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By:Srdja Trifkovic | January 02, 2015

It is futile to make any but short-term predictions on world affairs: there are just too many variables in the equation, too many unknown-unknowns. The escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and the rise in U.S.-Russian tensions could have been forecast a year ago, in general terms at least, but the explosive rise of ISIS could not.

It is nevertheless possible and often useful to outline the contours of probable developments on the basis of existing structural vectors and recent dynamics. “Time is not heterogeneous,” Raymond Aron correctly noted half a century ago, when writing on Max Weber’s approach to historical causality. If time is homogenous, then – in theory at least – “the possibility of causal explanation is the same for the past and for the future.” In practice, we can expect two key developments to make an impact on the global scene in 2015:

  1. The government in Kiev and its handlers in Washington will not settle for a long-term frozen conflict in the east of the country. Armed, trained and equipped by NATO, Ukrainian forces are likely to launch a major military assault against Donetsk and Lugansk in late spring – I’d put the odds at 3:1. If the attack is successful, the regime would use it to compensate for the adverse effects at home of the ongoing economic and financial collapse, while the U.S. would show the world that Putin is not invincible. If Russia intervenes openly to prevent the two self-proclaimed republics’ collapse, Putin would finally enter the trap which he has been avoiding ever since the massacre in Odessa eight months ago. If the Novorossiyan forces defeat the attackers, thus repeating the feat of last August – obviously the least desirable scenario from Washington’s and Kiev’s point of view – there is still the fallback option of another Minsk-like ceasefire agreement, which leaves the military option open for 2016.
  2. Russia’s pivot to Asia will gather momentum, reflecting Moscow’s strategic decision to abandon the elusive quest for a neo-Gaullist long-term partnership with the EU. That decision was made symbolically public in Ankara last November with the abandonment of the South Stream pipeline project. China and Russia are long-term economic, political and – increasingly – military partners now. Putin’s recent visits to Modi in India and Erdogan in Turkey indicate his ongoing efforts to build a massive Eurasian bloc and his growing indifference to the Brussels connection. This means the end of the “Europe from the English Channel to Vladivostok” idea, but my notion of a Northern Alliance never had a chance with the Duopoly so firmly in charge. The implications are serious for the Beltway global hegemonists, primarily because progressive de-dollarization of financial transactions among those countries has the potential to bring the Empire down without a shot being fired. That is a long-term, rather than immediate danger, however.

Those two issues matter the most in geopolitical terms. On other fronts, in the Greater Middle East the Islamic State will not be defeated, Bashar will continue to hold on, Egypt will remain stable and peaceful under Sisi, and there will be no progress in Israel-Palestine; everything else is up in the air. The Eurozone will struggle on, just, but recent oil price collapse means deflation and continued sluggish growth in 2015. We can expect oil prices to bounce back somewhat, settling at or near $70 per barrel for a long while. Russia is and will continue to be badly hit, but this may prompt her long-overdue economic diversification. The most vulnerable exporter is Venezuela, where social and political unrest against the Maduro government – aided and abetted by the NED et al – is a distinct possibility. (Nigeria is in the same boat, but sub-Saharan Africa is irrelevant to the rest of the world.)

The only thing I am willing to predict with some certainty is that 2015 will be worse than 2014 and better than 2016.
 

Comments

 

 
Hans
Stamford, CT
1/3/2015 03:45 PM
 

  "China and Russia are long-term economic, political and – increasingly – military partners now." And how ironic would THAT be--considering that it was not too long ago, during the Cold War, when these two countries were at each others throats! Strange bedfellows indeed.

 
 
Harry Heller
San Francisco
1/5/2015 02:43 AM
 

  Dr. Trifkovic is almost always correct in his assessments, so I would enjoy his more speculative prognostications wrt the "farther future". The "West"'s approach to Russia has been civilizationally insane. From the moment the USSR imploded, I have thought the paramount goal of US foreign policy should have been to integrate Russia into a closer alliance with Europe (though not necessarily with the EU, and not only because of the general cultural evil of the EU; I had thought it important to prevent Russian mobsters from gaining unlimited travel rights throughout Europe, though apparently my concern, while justified, is now mute, given that many European countries have welcomed the mobsters and their money with open arms). The West needs Russian land, resources, and, perhaps, some "un-PC-reconstructed" ethnonational chauvinism and essential toughness. We ought to have done all we could not to promote Russian democracy, but a revivified Russian conservative/Orthodox nationalism (of course, that is about the last thing the liberal Democrats and predominantly non-Christan neocon Republicans who run our foreign policy would want!). We need Dr. T's "Northern Alliance" very much, though, to cast the first of two sour notes, I would hope that Dr. T. acknowledges the original source for that idea (or at least one which long predated his own musings in CHRONICLES), namely, Wilmot Robertson's 1972 work THE DISPOSSESSED MAJORITY - surely the greatest political work produced by an American since WW2. Robertson foresaw the RACIAL collapse (for that is what Dr. T is really talking about) decades ago, and wrote TDM to awaken his fellow white Americans to where the race trends inaugurated in the 60s were ultimately leading (ie, white extinction). The other sour note I must strike concerns the observation "recent oil price collapse means deflation and continued sluggish growth in 2015". Nonsense! Most of Europe are huge net oil importers. An oil price collapse is a godsend to them.

 
 
Svar
Ft. Worth
1/7/2015 02:50 AM
 

  Mr. Heller, let's be honest, the so-called "Russian" mobsters are of the same ethny as many of the liberals and neo-cons you speak. Even if the Ostjuden couldn't leave Russia, what about the numerous hostile, destructive, and subversive Jews that are spread throughout the West? Of course, not all Jews are like that but my ire and disdain is for those that are(I would say the vast majority are hostile to the West's native people and native faith). I overall take a more Spenglerian/Yockeyian view on the whole matter of race(as opposed to a purely biological/Darwinian one) but I am starting to see that the West, as a civilizational organism, is headed toward the same path of the tiny island nations of Hawaii and the Philippines: constant invasion by disparate cultures that leave an indelible mark on the original one. I will say the changes are for the worst.

 
 
Letters From Canada
Toronto
1/8/2015 02:02 PM
 

  Dr Trikovic, I would also add a global violence as another major development that may make an impact in 2015. During my first visit to Paris France in 1986, I was amazed that almost any third bystander on a street was black or Muslim. The numbers have been exponentially and steadily increased during next visits, ending with news from my sister, a long time French resident, a month ago that they have to move out of their Saint Dennis neighbourhood because of Muslim threats to their grand children in school. Shortly after we have news all over the media, the Muslim empire struck again on this Wednesday, and it will continue striking it again and again. Millions of Muslims have already occupied a significant part of Europe's countries a long time ago, and they become predominant threat to the Christian Europe we used to know. Not that we have a single grain to wallow over the fate of western civilization, since in every occasion- starting with the Crusade in 1204 till Ukraine these days, they never accepted open hands of their orthodox brothers. One can make an easy estimate that LGBT-led western elites will fall to the Muslim threat because the Western world is not physically or mentally prepared to fight the enemies rising up to destroy it.

 
 
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