Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Peter Zeihan, The Looming EU Vs Russia Confrontation

Throughout history, the Russians have always held a bad hand. Their geography and climate make the basics of life – food and security – devilishly difficult. Their lack of navigable rivers demands huge rafts of artificial infrastructure, but that costs money that Russia’s brutal winters and vast distances simply don’t generate. Painfully short summers limit food production per acre forcing Russians to spread out to farm the necessary calories. Russia has pretty much always held the record for the fewest people per square mile among the world’s populated zones. Add in wide-open borders that are wretched at blocking marauding Swedes, Germans, Mongols and even Poles, and Russia lives in the worst of pickles. An expensive, low-reward land. Scattered populations who quite reasonably hope that life might be better elsewhere. Looming threats of invasion. Surviving here requires a big army (at a big cost in economic and cultural terms) and a massive intelligence system finely attuned to every whisper of dissent and every footfall at Russia’s edges. The next big one is a looming confrontation between the Europeans and the Russians, now normally the Americans would take care of all of this, that was part of the deal we had during the cold war. We provide your security you side with us against the soviets, deal done. That deal basically collapsed. The united states is going its own way and the Europeans are now on their own.

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