ukraine war peace

There has already been significant criticism of the Ukraine policy of the USA government from a perspective of world peace. The base of US policy is the concept of a proxy war that can bleed and weaken Russia as much as possible (at great cost to the people of Ukraine as well as the peace and stability of the rest of the world). This has been documented at several places. However another important aspect which has unfortunately received very less attention is that the Ukraine policy of the USA government also seriously violates the real, broader interests of the USA government and people.

It is in this context that a recent article by two senior diplomats in Newsweek (September 15) has drawn a lot of attention, both because of what has been written as well as the background of writers. Michael GFoeller is Former Political Advisor to the Central Command. David H. Rundell is former Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia. They got together to write an article titled ‘Nearly 90% of the world isn’t following us on Ukraine’ which, as the title indicates, raises questions that the Ukraine policy of the USA may be seriously harming its own self-interests, including those considered to be crucial.

The two writers start by stating the more obvious but nevertheless significant that 87% of the world’s population has declined to follow the policy of US and close allies of imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russia. The actual results have turned out to be much different from what the USA had hoped for. Saudi Arabia has a close partnership with Russia in the OPECplus  cartel. When the US President requested it to increase oil production, Saudi Arabia publicly declined this. Instead, the two writers point out, the Saudis imported Russian oil for domestic consumption to export more of their own production! In early September they even decreased production, and made clear they may do so again. Further this review tells us that China is selling Europe LNG that originated in Siberia while at the same time importing Russian oil, refining and then exporting it! Meanwhile, helped by large-scale Chinese oil purchase, Iran has used these resources to purchase Russian wheat!

Warned by arbitrary actions on the part of the USA, several countries of the Global South including important US partners have been increasingly eager to join alliances like BRICS and SCO in some capacity or the other. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have shown interest in joining BRICS. Several countries are entering into mutually agreeable bilateral means of meeting trade obligations instead of making payments in dollars.

This brings us to the most important part of what GFoeller and Rundell have to say in their short but important review, which is that the 80 years of dollars dominance are being endangered more by self-destructive US policies than by any hostile countries.

More specifically they say that the dollar reserve currency remains a pillar of the global economic order, but trust in that order has been damaged. “Economic sanctions have weaponized parts of the international banking and insurance sectors including the SWIFT fund transfer systems. Assets have been seized and commodity contracts cancelled. Talks for de-dollarization have become louder. When Russia demanded energy payments in rubles, yuans or UAE Dirhams, China and India complied. Many Asian economies are experiencing the use of bilateral currency swaps which allow them to trade in their own currencies.”

This review reminds readers that 80 years ago the British pound lost its preeminent position among the world’s currencies. Further the review, aimed mainly at American readers, says that this is what American adversaries are trying to do, and “if the Saudis ever stop pricing oil in dollars, they may well succeed.” The two authors conclude by saying that if the rules behind international order fall apart then alternatives are bound to emerge.

Clearly this review has been written from the perspective of two learned, well-meaning writers who want the US dominated international order to remain in place but are worried that by their own actions US policy makers are disrupting the rules of this international order and thereby sowing the seeds of this order getting pushed back more and more and alternatives emerging, not with a bang probably but more gradually, in a number of ways some of which have been mentioned in this review.

Important as this review is, the background of the writers discourages them from taking their questions a little further. Is the disruption of the rules of their own international economic order by US policy makers confined to the limited area pointed out by the writers? What about the repeated US-assisted coups which have ousted so many democratically elected governments in many countries, including Ukraine, generally followed by much violence and repression? Isn’t this also a very serious violation by the USA of the rules of its own international order?

The clear lesson from all this is for the USA to achieve important policy correction as soon as possible in keeping with its own genuine interests as well as the broader interests of peace and justice.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include A Day in 2071, Planet in Peril and Protecting Earth for Children.


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