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Russia is the one power that can unite rivals India and China

Within the framework of the BRICS alignment of states, Russia can play a crucial mediating role

Andrew Korybko

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(Oriental Review) – Instead of stoking a strategic-security dilemma between the two Asian Great Powers that would only work out to the US’ ultimate benefit, India would do best to cordially compete with China through the BRICS+ format in order to incorporate an implicit rules-based structure to their rivalry and have a chance at reaping the advantages that Russia’s “balancing act” could provide in maintaining stability between them.

BRICS+ is considered a “dirty word” by most Indians, especially their ultra-jingoistic Hindutva ruling class, because it’s understood as a euphemism for institutionalizing China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) global vision of New Silk Road connectivity that New Delhi has been vehemently opposed to since its inception. That’s unfortunate from the perspective of the emerging Multipolar World Order because it strongly suggests that India is predestined to become the US’ premier 21st-century partnerin “containing China”, with destabilizing consequences for the two Asian Great Powers involved. This scenario is disadvantageous to Russia’s stated vision of a Greater Eurasian Partnership in the supercontinent because it challenges Moscow’s efforts to integrate the Eurasian Union, SCO, and OBOR, thereby presenting a large-scale strategic threat to its long-term interests.

Russia’s “Balancing” Role

Russia is uniquely positioned to function as the supreme “balancing” force in Eurasia for the entirety of this century, provided of course that can skillfully leverage its multi-vectored diplomacy to that end, and especially in Asia when it comes to preserving stability between its Chinese and Indian partners. It’s therefore of the highest importance that Russia convinces India that it has more to gain by joining BRICS+ in its own way than to avoid the initiative entirely, since India’s participation in this initiative is integral to Russia successfully pulling off its envisioned 21st-century “balancing” act in promoting multipolarity across Eurasia. This doesn’t just entail the two Asian Great Powers in question, but also has a lot to do with Russia’s fast-moving rapprochement with Pakistan and the need for Moscow to dispel India’s American-encouraged suspicions about its intent.

Another driving factor is the interest that Russia has in becoming the go-to “balancing” party for all of China’s Silk Road partners and adversaries, which in this context includes rival South Asian states Pakistan and India, respectively. Russia understands that the best way for it to attain a higher strategic value to China in its own partnership with the country, and therefore correct whatever real or perceived “lopsided” relations it may have with Beijing, is take on a greater degree of importance along the Silk Roads in becoming an indispensable force to its success and stability. Bearing this in mind, it’s most prudent for Russia’s diplomats to speak to their Indian counterparts in a “language that they know” so as to most effectively convince them of the self-interested benefits that they stand to gain by joining BRICS+, which can be summarized as participating in an implicit rules-based platform for competing with China and from where they can draw upon Russia’s “balancing” influence to their advantage.

To elaborate a bit more in depth, India should conceptualize BRICS+ as a vehicle for expanding its multidimensional partnership with Russia across the entire geographic space of “Greater South Asia”, with New Delhi inviting Moscow to participate in a wide array of joint projects so as to mitigate whatever unpleasant competitive perceptions Beijing may have of them. In addition, Russia could do the same with Indian involvement in its own territory in order to justify “internally balancing” foreign direct investment in strategic locations such as the Chinese-bordering Far East without fear of offending China. If the Russian-Indian bilateral relationship migrates to BRICS+ and accepts this new branding, then it would open up a previously untapped and wide array of mutually advantageous possibilities for each of them such as the proposals that will be discussed below.

Reconceptualizing The Chinese-Indian Competition In SAARC And BIMSTEC

India’s most immediate geopolitical concern is naturally its own neighborhood as institutionalized through the largely overlapping South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), both of which New Delhi believes Beijing is trying to “poach” away from its hoped-for hegemonic influence by using the allure of the New Silk Roads. The Chinese-Indian New Cold War has seen these two BRICS “frenemies” compete with one another all across these regional integration organizations in varying intensities and to different extents, but their rivalry could be managed if they each conducted it through the shared platform of BRICS+. While it might be impossible to dispel the “zero-sum” mentality guiding Indian decision makers at the moment, reconceptualizing their SAARC and BIMSTEC competitions with China as being part of BRICS+ could allow both parties to “save face” anytime they experience a subjective “loss” to the other since the end result would still nevertheless be a “BRICS victory”.

Advancing The “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor”

Opening up SAARC and BIMSTEC to BRICS+ could also allow India to call upon its Russian partner to more deeply involve itself in these regions through Indian-led joint projects that function as part of its “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” (AAGC), which is being hyped up by the country’s media and their Western partners as New Delhi’s “response” to OBOR. While that appears to be a gross over-exaggeration of its future potential for self-serving domestic political purposes, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the idea itself does indeed have a certain degree of promise inherent to it, especially if it manages to develop “soft infrastructure” in the Greater Indian/African Ocean Region in parallel with the “hard infrastructure” that China is constructing through OBOR. An exciting detail about the AAGC is that it expects to rely on Japanese capital for most of its projects, though this is a double-edged sword of sorts because it invites China and others to frame the initiate as a unipolar-backed obstacle for obstructing the Silk Roads.

So long as the AAGC remains a mostly Indo-Japanese undertaking, then it will continue to be viewed with suspicion and inevitably contribute to the New Cold War between China and India. The entire paradigm could suddenly shift, however, if Russia was invited to participate in the AAGC and openly announced its support for endeavor, as Moscow’s multipolar credentials would lend a large degree of trustworthiness and credibility to its associated projects and could go a long way towards easing China’s suspicions. Moreover, just as China is expected to use BRICS+ to promote OBOR, so too could India do the same with the AAGC, possibly even double-branding its investments in Russia’s Far East as being under the banner of both BRICS+ and the AAGC. Not only that, but Moscow might finally have found its gateway for returning to the “Global South” in a tangible trade-worthy sense by carving out its own niche in the AAGC in cooperation with its Indo-Japanese partners, which would also strengthen its ongoing rapprochement with Tokyo too.

Bringing Shadow Partners Into BRICS+

As can be surmised from the above, India’s formal involvement in BRICS+ would allow it to indirectly incorporate shadow partners like Japan into the platform via their participation in the AAGC, thus enabling it to boost its competitive potential vis-à-vis China without openly drawing its consternation. Since the aforementioned section described Tokyo’s role in this structure, it won’t be redundantly reiterated in this part, with the focus instead shifting to how Iran and Israel could fit into this framework. Both entities are located in the Mideast and are accordingly included in India’s “Link West” policy of West Asian (“Mideast”) engagement, and each of them has their own special relationship with Russia. Iran is an important party to the Astana peace process while many Israelis share civic, linguistic, and/or ethnic ties with Russia. In consideration of this, Russia could help India make more pronounced and rapid inroads with each of them, possibly in exchange for New Delhi opening up the door to Moscow in the “Global South” regions of ASEAN and Africa via the AAGC.

Russia and India already cooperate with Iran through the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) that’s expected to one day facilitate South Asian and EU trade via Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia, but the inclusion of this project into BRICS+ as a signature undertaking of the AAGC could draw Tehran even closer into the multipolar institutional fold. Furthermore, since Russian businessmen could theoretically use the NSTC to trade with Pakistan just as much as with India, it’s to Moscow’s interests to convey to New Delhi that its nationals have no “zero-sum” intentions in doing so and are merely chasing their own “win-win” economic solutions, and this could best be achieved by integrating the NSTC into BRICS+. As for Israel, a joint report recently authored by some of Russia and India’s most prominent think tanks calls for them to commence trilateral relations with the Mideast entity that’s already one of Moscow’s closest regional allies. By utilizing the two-way patronage network that exists between Russia and Israel, Moscow could help New Delhi make lightning-fast progress in diversifying its partnership with Tel Aviv.

Concluding Thoughts

This policy proposal is intended to advance Russia’s grand strategic interests as they relate to its tacit desire to “balance” Eurasian affairs across the current century, taking into account the nuances of Moscow’s multidimensional relations with its partners in New Delhi and Beijing in order to craft the most realistic suggestions for how Russia could become the arbiter of the Chinese-Indian New Cold War. There is no state besides Russia that’s capable of managing the growing competition between these two Asian Great Powers, and it is absolutely imperative for Moscow to craft mechanisms for controlling their rivalry so as to guarantee the stability of the emerging Multipolar World Order. The best way to do this is by convincing India to join the BRICS+ platform after opening its eyes to the benefits that it stands to attain by doing so, speaking to its decision makers in a “zero-sum” language that they understand but recognizing that the end result would be to the “win-win” benefit of all Eurasian parties regardless, though so long as Russia successfully sustains the “balance” between them.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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De-Dollarization Tops Agenda at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok on Sept.11-13. Founded in 2015, the event has become a platform for planning and launching projects to strengthen business ties in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Via Strategic Culture

This year, the EEF brought together delegations from over 60 countries to discuss the topic “The Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities”. A total of 100 business events involving over 6,000 participants were held during the three days.

1,357 media personnel worked to cover the forum. Last year, the number of participants was 5,000 with 1,000 media persons involved in reporting and broadcasting. The EEF-18 gathered 340 foreign and 383 Russian CEOs. Nearly 80 start-ups from across South-East Asia joined the meeting.

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This year, a total of 175 agreements worth of 2.9 trillion rubles (some $4.3 billion) were signed. For comparison, the sum was 2.5 trillion rubles (roughly $3.7 billion) in 2017.

They included the development of the Baimsky ore deposits in Chukotka, the construction of a terminal for Novatek LNG at Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka and the investment of Asian countries in Russia’s agricultural projects in the Far East.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Mail.Ru Group, Megafon and Chinese Alibaba inked an agreement on establishing AliExpress trade joint venture. Rosneft and Chinese CNPC signed an oil exploration agreement.

The Chinese delegation was the largest (1,096 people), followed by the Japanese (570 members). The list of guests included the president of Mongolia and prime ministers of Japan and South Korea.

It was also the first time Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the event to meet his Russian counterpart. The issue of de-dollarization topped the agenda. Russia and China reaffirmed their interest in expanding the use of national currencies in bilateral deals.

During the forum, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of RDIF, said the fund intends to use only national currencies in its transactions with China starting from 2019. It will cooperate with the China Development Bank.

This “yuanification” is making visible progress with Shanghai crude futures increasing their share of oil markets up to 14 percent or even more. China has signed agreements with Canada and Qatar on national currencies exchange.

READ MORE: Eastern Economic Forum opens new chapter in US-Russia dialogue

De-dollarization is a trend that is picking up momentum across the world. A growing number of countries are interested in replacing the dollar. Russia is leading the race to protect itself from fluctuations, storms and US-waged trade wars and sanctions.

Moscow backs non-dollar trade with Ankara amid the ongoing lira crisis. Turkey is switching from the dollar to settlements in national currencies, including its trade with China and other countries. Ditching the US dollar is the issue topping the BRICS agenda. In April, Iran transferred all international payments to the euro.

The voices calling for de-dollarization are getting louder among America’s closest European allies. In August, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US.

According to him, Europe should not allow the United States to act “over our heads and at our expense.” The official wants to strengthen European autonomy by establishing independent payment channels, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent SWIFT system.

Presenting his annual program, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Sept. 12 for the European Union to promote the euro as a global currency to challenge the dollar.

According to him, “We must do more to allow our single currency to play its full role on the international scene.” Mr. Juncker believes “it is absurd that Europe pays for 80 percent of its energy import bill – worth 300 billion euros a year – in US dollars when only roughly 2 percent of our energy imports come from the United States.” He wants the raft of proposals made in his state of the union address to start being implemented before the European Parliament elections in May.

70% of all world trade transactions account for the dollar, while 20% are  settled in the euro, and the rest falls on the yuan and other Asian currencies. The dollar value is high to make the prices of consumer goods in the US artificially low. The demand for dollars allows refinancing the huge debt at low interest rates. The US policy of trade wars and sanctions has triggered the global process of de-dollarization.

Using punitive measures as a foreign policy tool is like shooting oneself in the foot. It prompts a backlash to undermine the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency – the basis of the US economic might. The aggressive policy undermines the US world standing to make it weaker, not stronger.

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Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ

What the Putin-Erdogan DMZ decision means is that the 50,000 Turkish troops occupying Idlib will take control over that land, and have responsibility over the largest concentration of jihadists anywhere on the planet.

Eric Zuesse

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As I recommended in a post on September 10th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan jointly announced on September 17th, “We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide,” which compares to the Korean DMZ’s 4-km width. I had had in mind the Korean experience, but obviously Putin and Erdogan are much better-informed about the situation than I am, and they have chosen a DMZ that’s four to five times wider. In any case, the consequences of such a decision will be momentous, unless U.S. President Donald Trump is so determined for there to be World War III as to stop at nothing in order to force it to happen no matter what Russia does or doesn’t do.

What the Putin-Erdogan DMZ decision means is that the 50,000 Turkish troops who now are occupying Idlib province of Syria will take control over that land, and will thus have the responsibility over the largest concentration of jihadists anywhere on the planet: Idlib. It contains the surviving Syrian Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters, including all of the ones throughout Syria who surrendered to the Syrian Army rather than be shot dead on the spot by Government forces.

For its part, the U.S. Government, backed by its allies and supported in this by high officials of the United Nations, had repeatedly threatened that if there occurs any chemical-weapons attack, or even any claimed chemical-weapons attack, inside Idlib, the U.S. and its allies will instantaneously blame the Syrian Government and bomb Syria, and will shoot down the planes of Syria and of Russia that oppose this bombing-campaign to conquer or ‘liberate’ Syria from its Government. The U.S. has announced its determination to protect what one high U.S. official — who is endorsing what Trump is doing there — “the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.” He admits it, but he wants to protect them from being bombed by Syria and by Russia.

During recent weeks, the U.S. military has increasingly said that even if the jihadists they’ve been assisting to assemble the materials for a chemical-weapons attack fail to carry it out or to stage one, any attempt by Syrian and Russian forces to destroy the jihadists (which the U.S. side calls ‘rebels’) in Idlib will be met with overwhelming U.S.-and-allied firepower. That would spark WW III, because whichever side — Russia or U.S. — loses in the Syrian battlefield will nuclear-blitz-attack the other side so as to have the lesser damage from the nuclear war and thus (in military terms) ‘win’ WW III, because the blitz-attack will destroy many of the opposite side’s retaliatory weapons. In a nuclear war, the first side to attack will have a considerable advantage — reducing the number of weapons the other side can launch.

If, on the other hand, the DMZ-plan works, then Turkey’s forces will be responsible for vetting any of Idlib’s residents who try to leave, in order to prohibit jihadists and their supporters from leaving. Once that task (filtering out the non-dangerous inhabitants and retaining in Idlib only the jihadists and their supporters) is done, the entire world might be consulted on whether to exterminate the remaining residents or to set them free to return to the countries from which they came or to other countries. Presumably, no country would want those ‘refugees’. That would answer the question.

America’s Arab allies, the oil monarchies such as the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia and the Thanis who own Qatar, and which have funded Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, would then be put on a spot, because if they say “Exterminate them!” then their clergy who have provided the moral imprimatur upon those families’ ownership of those nations, will either be in rebellion or else will themselves become overthrown either by their own followers or else by their monarch — overthrown from below or from above.

Alternatively, after Turkey’s forces in Idlib will have allowed release from Idlib of all who will be allowed out, Syria’s and Russia’s bombers will simply go in and slaughter the then-surrounded jihadists and take upon themselves the responsibility for that, regardless of what the leaders of the U.S. and its allied governments might say.

On the night of September 17th in Syria, there were missile-attacks “from the sea” against several Syrian cities; and those attacks could have come from either Israel’s or America’s ships, or from other U.S.-allied ships. Russian Television bannered, “Russian plane disappears from radars during Israeli attack on Syria’s Latakia – MoD” and reported:

A Russian military Il-20 aircraft with 14 service members on board went off the radars during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Air traffic controllers at the Khmeimim Air Base “lost contact” with the aircraft on Wednesday evening, during the attack of Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia, said the MOD.Russian radars also registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on the evening of September 17. …
The attack on Latakia came just hours after Russia and Turkey negotiated a partial demilitarization of the Idlib province

If the missiles were authorized by President Trump, then WW III has already begun in its pre-nuclear stage. However, if the attacks were launched by Israel’s Netanyahu, and/or by France’s Macron, without U.S. authorization, then the U.S. President might respond to them by siding against that aggressor(s) (and also against what he used to call “Radical Islamic Terrorists”), so as to prevent a nuclear war.

Late on September 17th, Al Masdar News bannered “NATO warships move towards Syrian coast” and reported “The NATO flotilla cruising off the Syrian coast reportedly consists of a Dutch frigate, the De Ruyter, a Canadian frigate, the Ville de Quebec, and a Greek cruiser, the Elli.” Al Qaeda and ISIS have influential protectors.

Ultimately, the decision will be U.S. President Trump’s as to whether he is willing to subject the planet to WW III and to its following nuclear winter and consequent die-off of agriculture and of everyone, in order to ‘win’ a nuclear war, such as America’s aristocracy has especially championed since the year 2006. The nuclear-victory concept is called “Nuclear Primacy” — the use of nuclear weapons so as to win a nuclear war against Russia, instead of to prevent a nuclear war. That concept’s predecessor, the “Mutually Assured Destruction” or “M.A.D.” meta-strategy, predominated even in the U.S. until 2006. Trump will have to decide whether the purpose of America’s nuclear-weapons stockpiles is to prevent WW III, or is to win WW III.

In Russia, the purpose has always been to have nuclear weapons in order to prevent WW III. But America’s President will be the person who will make the ultimate decision on this. And Idlib might be the spark. Netanyahu or Macron might be wanting to drag the U.S. into war even against Russia, but the final decision will be Trump’s.

The ultimate question is: How far will the U.S. go in order to continue the U.S. dollar as being the overwhelmingly dominant global currency?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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