Wednesday, 9 November 2022 — The Van Says…
The US, the Ukraine and Taiwan are three sides of a problem that becomes more acute as we go forward.
Matters are coming to a head in a number of ways across the globe this week, yet there is a common denominator between them all. This article will examine three events of global importance and explore how their relationship may shape things to come.
Tuesday saw the midterm elections in the US and whilst they do not carry even half the weight of the presidential elections themselves, a Republican majority will cause a myriad of problems for Biden and his associates. Despite the Republicans gaining the upper hand in the House of Representatives, for the next two years at least, there will always be a veto from the Oval Office should the president choose to use it. In real terms, this means we shall see a largely stagnant administrative apparatus blundering on until 2024, internecine strife slowly tearing Washington apart. This is hardly news, one only having to recall the complete farce of the last presidential election of 2020, but in contrast to two years ago, as Biden suffers cold turkey, two rather hot potatoes are facing the US government.
One of the central issues facing the White House over the last year or so has been the situation in the Ukraine. A country that has been broke and corrupt since independence in 1991 is now broken and corrupt, even in spite of Washington meddling wherever it saw fit. A fortune has been spent supporting the government in Kiev, yet in spite of this, the fortunes of the Ukrainians have gotten worse by the day. With the US taxpayer effectively throwing money down the toilet just as fast as Kiev is going down the pan, without a Democrat majority, the Ukrainians are facing the fact that their master may to a very great degree stop funding to the country, an already shocking situation turning into a nose dive.
With that, it is effectively game over for any hope of anything except an absolute Ukrainian defeat. There will undoubtedly be a ceasefire followed by a truce, but with the country largely cut free from the umbilical cord of American assistance, Kiev is going to face the same fate as Kabul did last year. With Uncle Sam standing aside, it shall be local forces that define the status quo to come. Moscow and only Moscow will draw the lines and dictate the conditions of surrender for Kiev, a dominance from Russia and an American absence meaning that the terms and conditions, whatever they may be, will not be unlike the security demands made by the Kremlin immediately before present hostilities began. With that said, we now need to look at the third pressing matter to concern global affairs in the near future.
Ahead of the Game
The president of Taiwan was yesterday quoted as saying that ‘China’s invasion of Taiwan may happen in the very near future and these are not just words,’ her statement aggravating an already tense situation between the two nations. With China having made repeated claims to the island and the current US administration having recently formed the AUKUS alliance in order to counter China in its own backyard, just as one of Uncle Sam’s fires might just burn out, another potential inferno could be about to catch fire.
In the case of Taiwan, both the political and geographical landscapes are very different to that of the Ukraine. Whilst there are still national forces that can fight, Washington would find it extremely difficult to aid and abet as it has in its Eastern European proxy war. Being an island, Taiwan has neither the proximity nor the logistics advantages that the West has enjoyed with the Ukrainian conflict. With that, both supply and further resupply become insurmountable challenges, China being far closer to Taiwan and better equipped than any American base in this region. Moreover, as an island, there will be far fewer gung-ho idiots willing to make their way there and fight someone else’s battle with no hope of being able to run away when things go awry. There is more to this, however. From an economic standpoint, should China move south, exports to the US from the world’s largest chip supplier will likely be interrupted, this causing even greater difficulties than certain American industries are already suffering. In short, if the US wishes to influence affairs in Taiwan, it will have to involve itself, yet how American men and machines would be able to even reach the island in case of an all-out war is a very interesting question indeed.
In spite of all the talk concerning wars, there is another prospect ahead of us. With Washington, Taipei and most importantly Beijing knowing how capable they all are, there is an outside possibility that China and Taiwan may reunite. Some may scoff at this idea, yet as the world looks on in horror at the destruction currently under way in Eastern Europe, it is not beyond the bounds of reason that a leader in Taipei would not at least consider a more peaceful settlement in light of what could happen to their nation and people. This would come as a double blow to Washington’s Pivot to Asia; one of the West’s Asian darlings would be taken away without a shot being fired, there being no casus belli for the West to consider.
A Lost Game
At the same time as Biden might be losing power in Washington and his puppet in Kiev loses his funding, should the US attempt to play wargames in Taiwan, it would be a lost game from the outset. Notwithstanding, in spite of the the American public being tired of forever wars and money being paid to fight them, the US administration is doggedly sticking to its guns and supporting Taipei. Just as with the Ukraine, DC is willing to fight its created enemies to the last foreigner, unwavering aid being given to far-flung fights until the day when the consequences land back on the White House doorstep.
Therein lie three nations, one of which binds itself to the other two, yet as its useful idiots slowly render themselves useless, it will be both the US and its government that finds themselves cornered.
A Triangle of Troubles is likely to face the US as a doddering president has to pussyfoot around the new realities which will undoubtedly face him over the next two years. With the American people displeased with his politics, nobody wanting to pay for his puppet show in Kiev and Beijing closing in on Taipei, the challenges facing Washington, both at home and abroad are mounting.
The next few months will shape the years to come, yet with the new administration in Washington now being effectively hamstrung, ongoing operations may need to be adjusted at the same time as the world in general is adapting to some huge changes. This in turn will affect the presidential elections in 2024, yet in the meantime, today’s triangle of troubles will put a new angle on both current affairs as well as Washington’s position on the world stage…