Thursday, May 18, 2017

Observations From the Back Row

By Rich Kozlovich

On May 18, 2017 Karman Kokhari posted post The Downfall of Chechnya on Geopolitical Futures saying:
Russia has gone to great lengths since the Soviet Union’s collapse to keep Chechnya, the majority Muslim, restive, semi-autonomous state in the Northern Caucasus, under control. Around the turn of the century, Moscow was able to link up with a family, the Kadyrovs, capable of restoring a semblance of order. But now the Kremlin’s grip on power at home is slipping away, and allocating the time and resources needed to ensure Chechnya’s stability is becoming untenable. The Kadyrov regime has had to find its own solution: letting Islam trickle into Chechnya’s politics. It’s a solution that will work to the advantage of jihadists.
Like so many of the previous Soviet Union countries Chechnya declared it's independence, which ultimately launched the 1994-1996 Chechen War.  Then it took another in 1999 for Moscow to regain control. All this devastation created factions involving three groups with the same agenda - overthrow Moscow - and as the author notes: "Russia is in a state of decline. One of the immediate implications of this trend is a diminished ability by the Kremlin to manage its territories and influence countries in its periphery. Chechnya, which is already a major challenge for the Russians, is the most significant area poised to descend into chaos." Which is an obvious opening for the jihadists.

So here we have Putin sticking his nose into a lot of international stuff he's incapable of handling while his national weakness and his internal problems strengthen, and his support among the ruling class weakens.

As you read the article you will see what seems to me to be an obvious conclusion emerges along with a couple of hidden insights.

First, the obvious conclusion - this is going to turn into a major religious and social issue for Chechnya and Russia over Islamic law and practises. Russia is breeding itself out of existence and at current rates of growth Russian ethnics will most likely be an ethnic majority in their own nation by 2040 and Russia's continued existence as an independent nation my be called into question, and that population is being replaced with Muslims.

End result - Putin and Russia lose.

Secondly - This is another example of how weak Putin and Russia are in every sphere of national and international activity. Ignore all the pablum over their new jets and tanks. These advanced military systems COST - big time. Not just for the development, design and production - they cost BIG TIME to maintain, and only a nation that's a natural capital generator like the United States can afford it. Russia isn't a capital generating nation.

Russia's technology overall is 25 years behind. Just because they can build a couple of great tanks and jets doesn't alter the fact his military is incapable of being properly manned and equipped. His demographic pyramid is so bad he can only man three of Russia's defensive gaps. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

End result - Russia get poorer and weaker.

Third - Russia is in a major economic downturn, and it's only going to worsen as the elite continue to demand more and more while the nation is economically incapable of meeting the needs of their society and their military. Chechnya is just the tip of the iceberg of where Russia is going and what's going to happen to Putin and his corrupt cabal. Putin's two big goals are to save Russia and himself, which he considers one and the same.

End result - both are doomed.

But they won't be alone. Europe and China will be right there with them, and the Middle East will fall right back into being Medieval tribal societies they've always been with no economy or hope. Civil war will be the norm - not the exception - in Europe, China, Russia and the Middle East - and they will all be impoverished with the only hope for any of them will be to appeal to the United States for aid, and that may not come because we're broke and as Peter Zeihan notes over and over again - "the Bretton Woods era is over".

They will be on their own and we don't need them.  The United States is a capital generating nation that can fuel itself, feed itself, arm itself and defend itself.  They can't, and the only other country in the world that comes closest to that is Argentina, which in the 1920's was one of the richest nations on the planet - then the socialist took charge - and of course - nothing has been the same since.

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