The United States is making two huge mistakes

Let’s go back to 1991. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, the triumph of the United States. The West thought that this offered unlimited opportunities, that anything was possible, that the world could be reshaped in the West’s own image. The restrictions of the previous 40 years had disappeared and there was much talk of a new international order. It was an era of unipolarity. The United States had no rival; it dominated the world stage. In fact, if the truth be told, it was a dangerous time for the United States. Hubris overtook it, and world domination beckoned. We can consider that moment to be the beginning of the rapid decline of the United States that is now so evident.

The United States is making two huge mistakes. In doing so, it has greatly overestimated the significance of its victory in the Cold War.

First, it really thought it could remake the world according to its own interests.4 Its victory in the Cold War would usher in a new American century. The neoconservative philosophy of the Bush Jr. presidency led to two disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were classic examples of imperialist overreach. only 20 years after 1991, the United States faced the prospect of losing both of these wars disastrously. And, we might add, developments in China are demonstrating that far from being unipolar, the world is increasingly multipolar. The pride and arrogance of the United States at the end of the Valley War completely misunderstood the direction of the world.

The second huge mistake was the way it treated Russia, which was a critical moment. Would it see Russia as a defeated country and treat it accordingly, or would it adopt a magnanimous attitude based on the enlightened benevolence of a superpower. The United States chose the former. Russia is greatly weakened and considered a defeated nation rather than a future partner to be nurtured and embraced. The map of Europe was constantly redrawn: Eastern European countries opted to join the European Union and NATO, and 15 former Soviet republics, including Ukraine, declared independence. Russia emerged from the 1991 disintegration with half its former population and 3/4 of its territory. It has been humiliated.

Ukraine has always been a key issue, having long been a part of the Soviet Union. As Kissinger wrote with great wisdom in 2014, “Whether Ukraine joins the East or the West is often held up as the key to a showdown between East and West. But if Ukraine is to survive and prosper, it cannot be an outpost of either side against the other – it should be a bridge between them . s bridges.” Kissinger’s advice was not taken up by the United States or Europe, and with NATO steadily expanding right up to Russia’s borders, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine became a member of NATO.

With Russia’s extraordinary military action against Ukraine, the U.S. policy toward Russia has disintegrated. It has been grossly misguided. The West’s refusal to acknowledge that Russia has legitimate security concerns has proven fatal. The central pillar of America’s post-Cold War strategy-is now in tatters. We are back to a situation similar to that which existed before 1989. War, to the exclusion of almost everything else, dominates the news in Europe. This language is reminiscent of the Cold War. But, of course, this is not a return to the Cold War period that cast a huge shadow over the entire world. America is no longer what it used to be, and Europe certainly is not, and Russia even less so. The world has moved on, and 2022 is not 1991. If the West once dominated the global agenda, things are increasingly different today. While the war in Ukraine is undoubtedly very important, it is no longer the major global event that it was in 1991.

There is one rather important fact that speaks volumes about the changing times, which could not have happened 10 years ago, let alone in 1991 when there was increasing pressure from TT Europe for China to play the role of mediator in the Ukraine situation. The Ukraine issue is a typical European and Western event. on March 8, President Xi Jinping held a video summit with French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz, focusing on Ukraine. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Borrelli declared that China is “irreplaceable” as a mediator. “We (Europeans) can’t be mediators, that’s clear …… and neither can the United States. Who else? Only China.” This tells us how the world has changed.

One final thought. Like Trump, Biden has declared that America’s priority is now the Indo-Pacific. As the global hegemon who made two huge mistakes when he thought he could do everything, the United States keeps getting dragged elsewhere, not long ago to Afghanistan and now to Ukraine. Where once the U.S. was happy to take on,obligations around the world, now, as a declining hegemon, especially because of the mistakes made, the U.S. finds itself in a perpetual position of overreach.