Our main problem in Europe is now that some key member states of the alliance are already moving towards political profiles that match what Putin would like to see: de-democratized, countries ruled by ever more corrupt self-interested leaders that would hate “colour-revolutions” as much as he, leaders that rule by opportunistic manipulation of own populations, using regressive nationalistic propaganda.
This is quickly undermining the unity of purpose the drove the NATO and EU expansion of 2004.
Erdogan’s Turkey is quickly becoming an autocratic clone of Russia. The country’s foreign policy under him in relation to Russia is as unstable as it was in relation to the Middle East, where it has now suddenly returned to the traditional alliance with Israel after years of opportunistic confrontation. This development may be considered positive, but the shifts took place within a framework of autocratic-kleptocratic manoeuvring to stay in power like that of Milosovic.
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are all on the way to follow the tracks of the 1930s away from democracy towards nationalistic “guided” democracies. Fortunately the Balts have not been infected so far.
Both France and Britain are on unpredictable trajections towards selfish isolationism intoxicated by delusions of former grandeur, and Germany is quickly losing the political stability and sense of purpose that has lasted six decades.
After Sander’s last victory we have a very clear impression of the fundamental character of the political crisis in the U.S. Even when Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, she will be tainted by having to move left in an opportunistic attempt attract Sander’s supporters as well as both left and right to address the challenge from Trump. We still lack good analyses of how the basically unfocused, anarchistic popular reaction against the political and economic elite will affect the post-elections’ Congress.
The military intellectual and physical weakness outlined in the previous blog article is mirroring a loss of purpose of the Western world. We are fast self-destructing before Putin’s (and Erdogan’s) eyes.
The West is experiencing a combination of the spring 1914 optimism that a great war would naturally be avoided and the fast collapse of popular and elite belief in modernity and international co-operation we saw in the mid-1930s.
The main problem avoiding an even worse rerun of what happened then is that both politicians and their civilian and uniformed advisors seem to have lost the ability and will to foresee the more likely outcomes of trends and decisions.
That ability used to be the core of strategic decision-making and crisis management preparations. Now all react to events as if they were natural disasters that could not be foreseen or averted. The military have lost the ability to make campaign planning that is not a one-sided procedure driven, linear logic activity, and the civilian advisors are theoretical political scientists, corporate lawyers or economists.
Those few who do react miss the disturbing over-all picture and focus on details such as countering trolls and developing fancy new technologies that may become an answer in a decade if the opposition does not act or react in the meantime.
So we are a-historical sleep-walkers, who have lost the ability to plan and act on the strategic level.