Brics and Mortars

“‘One of the most important tasks is to create a new world order,’ one of the documents dated April 3, 2023, states. ‘Western countries led by the United States have tried to impose their own structure, based on their dominance.'” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hamas, Iran, the Middle East crisis, China’s threat to Taiwan. These are very different stories in very different places. But they’re also all connected to a goal shared by many countries around the world: Knocking America from its superpower position, remaking the world order, and reversing the spread and supremacy of democracy. The divisions in America and the craven politics of self-interest are also part of this story, and represent a key (and perhaps the most pressing) threat to the country. In WaPo (Gift Article), Catherine Belton provides a very interesting look at the bigger picture overlaying many of the world’s current hotspots. Russia projects confidence as it pursues alliances to undermine West. “Russia has been buoyed by its success in holding off a Western-backed Ukrainian counteroffensive followed by political stalemates in Washington and Brussels over continued funding for Kyiv. In Moscow’s view, the U.S. backing of Israel’s invasion of Gaza has damaged Washington’s standing in many parts of the world. The confluence of events has led to a surge of optimism about Russia’s global position. Officials in Moscow point to growing trade with China, military cooperation with Iran, diplomatic outreach in the Arab world and the expansion of the BRICS grouping of major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — to include Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Ethiopia.”

+ In many ways, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a massive strategic failure as they continue to suffer great losses and see their military might set back years. But that’s changing because of America’s failure to firmly back Ukraine—something that is music to Putin’s ears. Anne Applebaum in The Atlantic (Gift Article): Is Congress Really Going to Abandon Ukraine Now. “Were [Ukraine’s] front line to fall back dramatically, the horrific violence alone would trigger a shock wave through the rest of Europe. Russian occupation of more territory would continue to mean what it has meant for the past two years: torture chambers, random arrests, and thousands of kidnapped children. But an even deeper, broader shock wave would be triggered by the growing realization that the United States is not just an unreliable ally, but an unserious ally. A silly ally.” Until we get serious, the Western world will be sh-tting brics.

+ These challenges aren’t getting any simpler. An Iran-backed militia launched a drone attack on a base known as Tower 22 in Jordan. 3 US soldiers were killed and many more injured. Drone that killed US soldiers in Jordan followed American drone onto base, causing confusion. “The attack on Sunday marked a significant escalation after roughly 165 attacks on US and coalition forces since October 17, further raising concerns over a broader conflict breaking out in the Middle East while the US and its allies navigate rising tensions on multiple fronts.”

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