I have struggled with composing a blog post since my last contribution. It’s not that there is nothing to write about, of course. There is an abundance of concerning developments. In fact I am leaning towards the belief that this is fatigue of the developments. Most concerning to me, I suppose, is how the reach of the far west and the far east is seeking to extend to the centre ground, not just politically speaking.
In my head I imagine an octopus as the product of Putin and Trump, with its tentacles grasping at different goals. Ink obscures its action, employing misdirection to aid its objectives. Too many at once and the grasp is tenuous, but when focusing on just a few and they could tear apart principles and choke
The last week in current affairs has looked like this:
- The Czech Foreign Ministry said its email servers had been hacked by a “statelike actor,” in a manner similar to the breach of the Democratic National Committee’s servers.
- Mr. Trump’s brand of nationalism is playing well in some of the world’s more autocratic countries. Leaders in Russia, Egypt, Turkey and even North Korea are eager to engage with an America less inclined to criticize their human rights records.
- Donald Trump’s chief trade adviser Peter Navarro has told the FT (£) that the “grossly undervalued” Euro is giving Germany an unfair advantage in international trade. Angela Merkel responded, saying that Germany cannot influence the independent European Central Bank.
And to pre-empt a foreign undermining by supporting wildcards, such as Geert Wilders for instance, you find traditional politicians pivoting to the direction that these populist figures typically inhabit.
Trump has said he will help in the Ukraine, where Russia directly has troops on the ground. To me this opportunity will be the proof to show how far the two will cooperate on their new world order. Who controls the octopus’ brain? I can’t predict what will convince me that they are working together, as the situation is volatile, but as it unfolds we will know whether this is coordinated or two separate agents of chaos who cross over significantly.
(Photo credit goes to Cliff)