The war in Ukraine could create Sri Lankas in Europe

The overconfidence of NATO’s upper echelons in destroying Russian capabilities could be put to the test in a relatively short time.

Each event has a trigger. In Sri Lanka, in addition to declining tourism revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, President Gotabaya’s abrupt decision to ban chemical fertilizers has affected crop yields, especially in the country’s other major foreign exchange earner. Sri Lanka, tea. Although not the sole cause, the effects of the fertilizer ban dented the popularity of the Rajapaksas among the Sinhalese farming community, until then a reliable base of support. If the Rajapaksas had handed the post of Prime Minister to a loyalist outside the family, such as GL Pieris, he would have served as both a lightning rod and a scapegoat for the political mistakes made which caused the current unrest. The Rajapaksa clan’s 2019 takeover of the Sri Lankan government has left them the sole owners of the current crisis, and the mood of protesters is such that even after Mahinda Rajapaksa steps down as prime minister, chants of “Go Gota” against his younger brother have not decreased in frequency. It is unclear what practical benefit this would bring, as the crisis facing Sri Lankans will not be alleviated at all by the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Indeed, such a resignation could put the whole family at considerable physical risk, unless they all leave the country, thus nullifying any future return, which must be one of the reasons why such a decision by the Sri Lankan president is not an option. As for the outside actors involved, it is unlikely to be China, as several members of the Rajapaksa clan are exceptionally close to Beijing, which cultivated sections of Colombo’s elite from the 1960s. of the opposition Sajith Premadasa is not a friend of India, he cannot participate in the “Close to China” competition with Basil Rajapaksa, whose links with the PRC have long been exposed. Alternatively, had there been an American hand in the protests that have become so deadly for the elected government, there would have been a hero and a villain in the narrative. Like Bollywood films, US-inspired efforts for regime change typically involve a “good guy versus bad guy” contest. In the current ordeal of guns and blood set in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is clearly the hero as far as the White House is concerned, and Vladimir Putin is in the familiar villain role. Earlier, in Venezuela, the role of the idealistic hero was played by Juan Guaido, who (according to the story) was fighting to protect human rights and freedom which were under attack by President Nicolas Maduro. The Venezuelan leader was not the only target of US-led efforts for regime change among oil producers, a list that includes Iran, Iraq, Libya, Venezuela and now Russia . The list of oil and gas producers affected by geopolitical tensions caused by US regime change efforts is growing. The consequence of each of these spats is higher oil prices and lower supply. Good news for countries that have a surplus of oil and gas, but bad news for everyone else.
After the shock of Covid-19 came the conflict in Ukraine, and this could cause a severe recession in several economies. This could be the case for many countries in Europe, especially Germany. Chancellor Scholz, who is from the SPD, seems determined to slow down the German economy by working to unbundle gas and oil supplies from Russia to Germany. In the United States, while a few sectors such as armaments and petroleum products could benefit from the way the war in Ukraine is managed by NATO, the global economy could, as a result of the upheavals, sink into recession. and even worse. President Biden seems as oblivious to the economic consequences of his strategy towards Russia as Chancellor Scholz. Cutting off Russia’s resource supply will economically hamper Europe to a degree that would reduce its geopolitical footprint even more than has already happened due to the rise of parts of Asia. NATO leaders are already blamed by their public for soaring energy prices and declining economic growth. This despite the incessant messages of imminent success for NATO and its Ukrainian partner. Every day, the message is the same: that Putin is about to breathe his last, that Russia is defeated and that Ukraine will regain all the territory it has lost. The Victory Day parade in Moscow has been derided for its perceived downscaling. Retired and serving NATO military officers have been unanimous since the early days of the war that the Russian military has exhausted its capabilities. That Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu can save more advanced weapons and stockpiles for what he and President Putin believe will be an inevitable confrontation with NATO does not seem to have entered these Western prophets of a catastrophe. impending Russian. They recall the information minister of Saddam Hussein’s government. Al Sahhaf, who during the 2003 war spoke every day about the upcoming defeat of US forces until he was captured by the “defeated” enemy. President Putin may not wish to reveal at the Victory Day parade some of the more advanced systems he intends to use not against Ukraine but against NATO. Overconfidence has led to disaster in past situations where European countries were concerned, and the visible overconfidence within NATO’s upper echelons in the destruction of Russian capabilities can be tested for accuracy in a relatively short time. The cliff edge of a direct war between NATO and Russia appears to be near, and the momentum that has been generated by the Biden-Johnson duo’s tactics seems unstoppable. If such a catastrophe were to occur, several countries in Europe could follow the path currently traversed by Sri Lanka. They wouldn’t be the only ones. There will be other countries in Asia and Africa that would be collateral damage in Europe’s race towards disaster.

Mary I. Bruner