G7 Approves Price Cap on Russian Oil.
That headline, and variations of same recently appeared on several news outlets, inclusive of CNN, Reuters, and PBS.
The West makes its next big move to check Russian aggression.
Wars, economic meltdowns, shortages, and medical crises are pushing this world to the very edge of the abyss. Despite the unbelievable risks to the global community, foreign affairs and strategy nerds will now want to get their popcorn ready, cue up their favorite podcasts, journals, and news outlets and watch this disaster unfurl.
The cliché, "You can’t make this stuff up!" now permeates the ether.
The U.S. national security team, led by Jake Sullivan and Antony Blinken, has yet to prove it can play this game and think four to five moves ahead of opponents in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and Pyongyang.
Early in its tenure, this group fell behind.
Right out of the gate, they were humiliated by China at a U.S.-based dialogue, caught flat-footed on Russian forces amassing on the Ukrainian border and then — evacuating Afghanistan, perhaps the greatest foreign policy disaster in our history.
And here we are.
After near-zero diplomacy and deterrence with Moscow for nearly a year, Vladimir Putin, and his grossly incompetent military, resurrected their 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
The American and European handwringing began in earnest as they consternated over which options could help check Putin’s aggression, while avoiding escalation, hoping to steer clear of a direct, NATO versus Russia war with a nuclear ending.
Threading this needle has meant less-than-decisive support logistically and militarily to the Ukrainians, tens of billions in unaccountable dollars expended, and perhaps the most ill-conceived move of all — sanctions on Russian energy.
Ready, Fire, Aim!
On a warm Brussels day at the end of May, the E.U.’s Ursula Von der Leyen proudly proclaimed that the union would "effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year."
Little detail was imparted on what sources would be online to replace this energy.
The Biden team’s traveling campaign to the Mideast to encourage more production led to an all but predictable result. Apparently Saudi royalty takes name calling seriously.
As the bloody war and summer ground on, American adversaries did not sit idly by.
They understood well that such weakness is a rare window to seize objectives previously thought unreachable.
Terror groups are moving to rebuild in Afghanistan; China has accelerated its agenda to subsume Taiwan while purportedly shipping record levels of fentanyl to our shores; North Korea has resumed its nuclear-backed threats to the region and Iran, months away from having nuclear weapons, threatens all of its neighbors, seeking regional supremacy.
Do we have a chess master? We do not.
For the Biden team and the West, geostrategic chess is actually an inconvenient sideshow. Climate change and new green energy initiatives are where the real action is — nothing else even comes close.
The only way to avoid Vlad making a move to checkmate in Ukraine is for North America to embark on a Manhattan Project-level initiative to back stop Europe’s existential energy needs.
Winter is near and the window is all but closed.
Janet Yellen believes her plan to limit Russian oil prices will blunt their war effort while fighting Western inflation. She may want to look in on how the Chinese and Indian markets have put Russia into the driver’s seat.
The Russian military machine may be nothing more advanced than a grotesque mulching mower, killing tens of thousands and razing a country to create a buffer state.
However, without legitimate alternatives to backfill oil and gas in Europe, the modest arms support, billions in cash and passion filled speeches will not reverse the current arc.
Putin has made his move.
Team Biden and the Yellen/G7 price caps may have the West checkmating itself.
Lose in Ukraine; win on climate.
If the U.S. and the West have higher priorities than the boring, tired great power rivalries, maybe they have planned to lose at these chessboards to get what they really want.
Afterall, their policies have helped usher in economy-destroying inflation, scarce energy supplies, and dwindling food stocks. They seem quite happy that this cocktail is exactly what will fuel a global transition to their utopian, Environmental Social Governance (ESG) great reset dreams.
Sorry Ukraine. Sorry Europe. Sorry freedom loving, free market capitalists.
Perhaps it’s not checkmate at all.
Putin, Xi, Khamenei and Kim can just think they’ve won. The bigger thinkers in the west will laugh, knowing that they have achieved unelected global dominance, all at the expense of liberty and maybe millions, who couldn’t feed or warm themselves.
We had better learn to play this game — and quickly.
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Blaine Holt is a co-founder of Restore Liberty, former Deputy Representative to NATO, lifetime member on the Council on Foreign Relations and Newsmax Contributor. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components. Read Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Blaine Holt's reports — More Here.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.