Finally, China poses a much more severe threat to America’s global hegemony than Russia. The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Navy Adm. Philip Davidson, acknowledged at the Senate Armed Service Committee hearing that the United States is in danger of losing deterrence against China. He further stated that China’s invasion of Taiwan is imminent in the next six years. Washington will face the same dilemma in Taiwan as it is facing in Ukraine. Therefore, the fall of Taiwan to China will mark the official end of American global supremacy. Thus, focusing on defeating Russia in Ukraine is only diverting and stretching the U.S. military power thin in light of the growing Chinese threat.
Unable to prevent Russia from annexing Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 and Crimea and Donbas in 2014, NATO, under Washington’s leadership, provides very little hope for an effective deterrence for Ukraine and its European partners. Grappled with economic and social turmoil, the citizens of NATO members are going to reject any justification that their leaders will present to legitimize a war with Russia over Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The last six years have shown that NATO is, in fact, not a unified front; with European partners drifting away from Washington. That division is partially because most EU members do not define Russia as a foe, but rather an economic partner.
Furthermore, NATO lacks the technical capacity and mobility to mount a rapid deterrence in an event of comprehensive Russian aggression. Finally, an America that is bogged down in a conflict in eastern Europe will expedite China’s ascent to becoming the global hegemon.
Considering these issues, Russia, not NATO or the United States, has the upper hand in Ukraine. For Putin, blinking in Ukraine is tantamount to losing Moscow and he is ready to do everything in his power to keep the gains he has made.
Ali Demirdas, Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina, Fulbright scholar, professor of international affairs at the College of Charleston(2011—2018). You can follow him on Twitter @DrDemirdasEn