Small Wars Journal

Coronavirus: China, Russia Make a Play for a New Order

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 12:34am

Coronavirus: China, Russia Make a Play for a New Order by David Kilcullen – The Australian

Academic publishing timelines being what they are, I finished The Dragons and the Snakes — the book about how adversaries have evolved since the Cold War — a year ago, well before the coronavirus crisis. Yet that crisis, along with the oil shock triggered by Moscow’s sudden exit from its OPEC-Plus deal with Saudi Arabia and the resulting collapse in global oil prices, reinforces several of the book’s arguments.

It shows how dangerously dependent on communist China our manufacturing base and supply chains have become, and how overly reliant Western nations are on Russian oil and gas. It illustrates how our narrow definition of warfare (which does not consider strategic supply-chain man­ipulation, health-system destabil­isation or the “oil weapon” as acts of war) contrasts with the understanding in Beijing and Moscow, where strategists include these actions and others in a much broader conception of conflict.

And the chaotic pandemic response highlights how the international community — once relatively unified under the leadership of Western democracies, co-operating through institutions such as the UN and the EU — has fractured. Lockdowns, travel bans and border closures have thrown globalisation into reverse…

Read on.



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