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Geopolitical Bank Run
Global forces of light and dark face off. The self-declared moral lightness of the West wobbles as dark Primal Horde storm clouds coalesce to threaten the West's dominance.
Never expecting depositors to all simultaneously withdraw their funds, a bank only holds cash-on-hand to cover a small percentage of its deposits. In the rare event that sudden depositor demand exceeds cash-on-hand, a bank must hastily sell assets to reinforce its cash position to keep from going under. These desperate moves by a troubled bank only reinforce the aura of collapse. What follows is a bank run where crowds of depositors rush to the bank to withdraw their savings. The once powerful institution limps meekly into bankruptcy.
In geopolitics, a global hegemon, particularly in its declining stages, will naturally overextend her security commitments far beyond her military-on-hand’s capabilities. The great power relies on strategies of deterrence to stop several theatres of war from erupting all at once. Just like the Romans did in ancient times, an overextended hegemon promises to launch wars of annihilation against any opponent who dares attack. But once belief in the hegemon’s power to decisively punish an adversary is diminished, as happened after the US failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, opponents become much more emboldened.
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And unlike a bank selling assets at bargain basement prices, there is no quick fix to expand military capabilities. There are long lead times for military procurement—not to mention the time it takes to recruit and train fresh soldiers. The hegemon can force its dependent auxiliaries to help, but these nations are under the thumb of the hegemon for a reason—they tend to be weak and not able to contribute much.
As articulated in Primal Parity, one explanatory concept of current geopolitical events is of a gathering Primal Horde coalescing to attack their violent Primal Father on all fronts at once. This would result in Global War 6, a fight to the death between the US--Collective West against China-Russia-Iran-North Korea-plus others for global supremacy. Often the term “World War 3” is used to describe the potential conflict brewing. This concept is historically short-sighted as it ignores all pre-20th century patterns of global conflict. From a global hegemonic point of view, WW1 and WW2 were two chapters of the same war.
As the Primal Horde intensifies its geopolitical bank run, the US will have to prioritize its security commitments. The US goal is strategic flexibility so they can shift resources to the highest priorities. For example on 27 September, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby basically threw in the towel on Ukraine:
We’re coming near to the end of the rope. I mean today we announced $200 million. And we’ll keep that aid going as long as we can. But it’s not going to be indefinite.
The US being free to disengage from Ukraine is a problem for the Primal Horde. They want to deny any strategic flexibility by keeping the US locked into endless wars of attrition.
One way to keep the US obligated to wastefully expend resources in the European theatre is for Russia to attack the Suwalki Gap or the Baltic States. This triggers an automatic NATO response. The US would then attempt to dump this problem on allies but the European members of NATO have been more or less demilitarized by their donation of arms to Ukraine. Most would not have arms supplies to last a month against the revamped Russian war machine. The US would either have to humiliate itself by renouncing its security guarantees to Europe, or endure an even heavier security burden and be forced to defend Poland and the Baltics.
However, Russia has already made a significant contribution to the primal band of brothers in nearly singlehandedly fighting NATO-proxies and so she may prefer to wait until further events play out around the globe before moving on the Baltics.
Russia’s military industrial complex has been outproducing NATO’s for more than 18 months. So much so that earlier this year the US was forced to beg allies for artillery shells to keep the Ukrainian war machine supplied. From the New York Times:
Artillery constitutes the backbone of ground combat firepower for both Ukraine and Russia, and the war’s outcome may hinge on which side runs out of ammunition first, military analysts say. With stockpiles in the United States strained and American arms makers not yet able to keep up with the pace of Ukraine’s battlefield operations, the Pentagon has turned to two alternative supplies of shells to bridge the gap: one in South Korea and the one in Israel, whose use in the Ukraine war has not been previously reported.
The shipment of hundreds of thousands of artillery shells from the two stockpiles to help sustain Ukraine’s war effort is a story about the limits of America’s industrial base and the diplomatic sensitivities of two vital U.S. allies that have publicly committed not to send lethal military aid to Ukraine.
Israel has consistently refused to supply weapons to Ukraine out of fear of damaging relations with Moscow and initially expressed concerns about appearing complicit in arming Ukraine if the Pentagon drew its munitions from the stockpile. About half of the 300,000 rounds destined for Ukraine have already been shipped to Europe and will eventually be delivered through Poland, Israeli and American officials said.
Israel and South Korea are two crucial fronts in Global War 6. There is no possible solution to the artillery shell shortage through shifting supplies from one hot spot to another. The only solution is a massive production effort. But this takes time and the Primal Horde is not likely to sit back patiently while the Collective West rearms.
Hamas and AirLand Battle Doctrine
Less than two weeks after Kirby’s announcement of Ukraine’s abandonment, Hamas launched a surprise land-air attack on Israel. Ironically, Hamas may have borrowed elements of the US Army’s AirLand Battle doctrine in planning their attack. Conceived in the early 1980’s, AirLand Battle doctrine sought to facilitate a weaker NATO force in their confrontation with far superior Warsaw Pact armies on Eastern side of the Iron curtain. In addition to close synchronization of air and land forces, AirLand battle doctrine sought to stretch the battlefield deep into the enemies rear echelons, and away from the front line where most eyes were focused.
Hamas’s land forces seized the initiative by jailbreaking their way out of Gaza and then rushing unopposed into deeper Israeli territory where they were not expected. Hamas rocket attacks stretched Israel’s Iron Dome to its limits through a geographically deep attack. Hamas’ unorthodox use of hang gliders helped win a moral victory in the information battlefield. Much of the 3rd World and even some in the Collective West saw images of these agile militants escaping their open-air prison as daring symbols of freedom from colonial oppression. While Hamas was far too weak militarily to hold territory, there is no doubt that they won a major victory by imposing a temporary state of strategic paralysis upon the much vaunted Israeli military. They have forced Israel into a position where they must launch a war of annihilation against Gaza. And that is only possible with the United States fighting by Israel’s side.
In response to the Hamas attack and the existing powerful Israeli political influence within the US ruling class, politicians of all stripes, from MAGA to Bernie Sanders and everything in between, are insisting the US fight side-by-side with Israel with no regard to the international damage, or depletion of arms stocks that this intervention will bring. The power of the Israeli Lobby in the US precludes any strategic flexibility.
Over the past 18 months, the US and NATO allies have been providing air defense systems to Ukraine to protect against Russian ballistic missile attacks. There are arguments about how well these systems have functioned, but today all agree that there is now a grave shortage of air defense missiles in Western armories. The US is hastily attempting to reinforce its air defense capabilities on its many bases in and around the Middle East before Israel launches a ground invasion into Gaza. The US has sent 900 troops, most likely air defense specialists, the help protect Israel from an eventual Hezbollah missile barrage. Today, the various insurgent forces are launching waves of cheap, artisanal rockets which the Collective West will be forced to shoot down with dwindling stocks of expensive and difficult to produce missiles. Once the real war starts, Israel and US bases will be facing much more dangerous missile attacks with a depleted defenses.
A recent article appeared in the American online news site Axios entitled Behind the Curtain: Rattled U.S. government fears wars could spread. Relying on anonymous but highly placed government officials, the article manifests a growing realization that the Primal Horde is a clear and present danger to US global dominance:
Never before have we talked to so many top government officials who, in private, are so worried about so many overseas conflicts at once.
Why it matters: We don't like to sound dire. But to sound a siren of clinical, clear-eyed realism: U.S. officials say this confluence of crises poses epic concern and historic danger.
Behind the scenes: Officials tell us that inside the White House, this was the heaviest, most chilling week since President Biden took office just over 1,000 days ago.
The article goes on to list five crises that are engulfing both the Biden Administration and the globe:
1. Israel's response to the Hamas terrorist attack, and growing fear of a spreading war that reaches to Iran and beyond. Officials point to the protests, threats and deadly, anti-American warnings of Arab nations after they thought — incorrectly — Israel struck a hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds. This is a preview of what they fully expect will be a worldwide response to the expected Israeli invasion of Gaza.
The US is already on shaky economic ground. A wider war in the Middle East could send oil prices spiralling towards $200 a barrel. Any war involving the US supporting Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine will be exceedingly unpopular throughout most of the rest of the world. There are many Middle Eastern regional powers whose populations will pressure them to intervene. In Europe, after many decades of Muslim immigration, there are substantial minorities, already angry about their underclass economic situation, who will rebel against their governments supporting a ground invasion into Gaza. On the other hand China, Russia, and many of the other BRICS-11 are on the side of global consensus concerning Palestine. This imbalance will only worsen as the conflict escalates and drags on.
2. Vladimir Putin meeting in China this week with Xi Jinping to further strengthen their anti-America alliance. In a new Foreign Affairs article that top officials are sharing, Gates argues that both leaders believe America and other big democracies "are past their prime and have entered an irreversible decline." Putin and Xi sniff weakness and are activating on many fronts, top administration officials tell us.
President Putin recently threatened US naval assets in the Eastern Mediterranean with airborne hypersonic missiles launched from Russian aviation in the Black Sea. Russia and China have a close relationship with Iran. They may be exerting a calming influence on Iran today, but in case of open hostilities, and in particular an American or Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iran, Russia and China will strongly support Iran’s right to self-defense
3. A malicious Iran. It's unclear how involved Iran was in orchestrating or assisting the Hamas terrorist attack — but officials seem certain there are ties. More worrisome: U.S. officials fear Hezbollah — a much bigger terrorist group than Hamas, funded by Iran — will strike the moment Israel gets stuck in Gaza.
Hezbollah is indeed a serious threat to Israel. In the case of a two-front war, the US will be obligated to militarily support Israel. This will involve massive punitive bombing raids on Beirut, which will be militarily ineffective, and will rally the world further into the Primal Horde’s camp.
4. Then there's the unhinged leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, and his frequent testing of long-range, nuclear-capable missiles. As Gates points out, the combined nuclear arsenal of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea "could within a few years be nearly double the size of" America's.
The US has 28,500 troops in South Korea, many are stationed within artillery range of North Korean guns. In the case of a geopolitical bank run, South Korea would not be high on the priority list but if American troops are getting slaughtered under a hail of North Korean shells, the US will be forced to divert very limited resources to the Korean peninsula.
5. A new weapon is being deployed in all these conflicts: a massive spread of doctored or wholly fake videos to manipulate what people see and think in real time. The architects of these new technologies, in background conversations with us after demonstrating new capabilities soon to be released, say even the sharpest eyes looking for fake videos will have an impossible time detecting what's real.
Why wouldn’t the US be the leading player in this type of new technology? What the officials are really complaining about is that the US and allies are losing control of the means of persuasion. This is particularly the case in the Hamas / Israel conflict. The narrative blowback created by years of woke programming is now impacting views of Israel. The two lowest status groups within America—Evangelicals and MAGA—are ostentatiously pro-Israel. There cannot help but be a reaction by liberal good-thinkers who in reaction take the opposite position to their Israel-supporting Trump-voting enemies, who are perceived to be low-rent, low-IQ and stand for everything wrong with America.
The problem is even more acute internationally. From the Financial Times:
With decentralizing aspects of social media in full effect, maintaining narrative discipline through a controlled means of persuasion is to yearn for a lost golden age of media control. Even the modern “current thing” model, which has recently had some success in shepherding public opinion, is breaking down. After masterful manipulation campaigns to get good-thinkers behind BLM, Pfizer, and Ukraine, the latest attempts to turn liberals into ardent Zionists is failing. Social strivers do not want to be tarred with the low-class image of unconditional Israeli supporters in the US.
Benjamin Netanyahu is not helping things by resorting to rhetoric that many a college professor might find more than slightly racist:
"We are the people of the light, they are the people of darkness. And light shall triumph over darkness”
But Netanyahu, while resorting to the rhetoric of dehumanization and genocide, has yet to unleash a ground invasion by his “army of light.” From his point of view, the best “light supremacy” move would be a blank slate policy of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from all occupied territory. He could follow the example of 19th century America in its treatment of Native Americans. But can he get away with forcing all of Gaza onto a “trail of tears” towards refugee reservations in Egypt’s Sinai Desert? Can he force the population of the West Bank into Jordan? Some US and European politicians are already discussing the possibility of taking large numbers of Palestinian refugees. But will the Muslim regional powers just stand to the side as the “Messiah of Light” Netanyahu cleanses the occupied territories of all “people of darkness?” Will a Dark Lives Matters movement spring to life to support the Palestinians?
The wildest scenario would be NATO-member Turkey intervening against Israel. Turkey has a standing army of 450,000 with another 400,000 reservists. Would Israeli counter-strikes against Turkey trigger NATO’s Article 5 clause which in theory would force the alliance to go to war against Israel? No, but this drama would weaken and embarrass NATO and may entice Turkey into quitting the alliance.
Primal Father’s Strategic Paralysis
In the wake of the slaughter of World War 1, Basil H. Liddell Hart developed a concept of strategic paralysis, “it is thus more potent, as well as more economical, to disarm the enemy than to attempt his destruction by hard fighting—a strategist should think in terms of paralyzing, not of killing.”
Seven years after the “war to end all wars,” Basil H. Liddell Hart published the first of his many books on military strategy and modern-day war. Its clever title, Paris; Or the Future of War, recalls the mythical defeat of Achilles by his opponent Paris, via the surgical strike of a well-aimed arrow. As the title further suggests, attacking enemy vulnerabilities (instead of strengths) could and should serve as the role model for the conduct of war in the years ahead.
There are three primary strategic approaches to war. A strategy of annihilation is the clearest conceptionally: the enemy must be totally destroyed. The Israeli government is proclaiming that they will launch such a war in Gaza. A war of annihilation against murky insurgent groups is a very challenging prospect as the guerrillas are not obligated to stand and fight.
In its special military operation in Ukraine, Russia has chosen a strategy of attrition to defeat NATO and their Ukrainian proxies. This entails the exhaustion of both Ukrainian manpower, the West’s arm production capabilities, and the moral will of both to wage war.
The third option is a strategy designed to induce paralysis within enemy leadership groups:
[Strategic paralysis] bypasses battle with enemy armed forces in favor of attack upon the sustainment and control of those armed forces. Strategic paralysis is neither pure battle nor pure maneuver but a unique melding of the two—“maneuver battle” against war-making potential.
To summarize, we note that strategic paralysis is a military option with physical, mental, and moral dimensions that intends to disable rather than destroy the enemy. It seeks maximum possible political effect or benefit with minimum necessary military effort or cost. Further, it aims at rapid decision through a maneuver battle directed against an adversary’s physical and mental capability to sustain and control his war effort in order to diminish his moral will to resist.
The “Five Crises” Axios article indeed describes US decision making centers as increasingly falling into a state of strategic paralysis:
Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates — who ran the Pentagon under presidents of both parties, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — tells us America is facing the most crises since World War II ended 78 years ago.
He explains the White House's system overload like this: "There's this gigantic funnel that sits over the table in the Situation Room. And all the problems in the world end up coming through that funnel to the same eight or 10 people. There's a limit to the bandwidth those eight or 10 people can have."
Geopolitical Checkmate: Taiwan
Where all this ends is with a Chinese takeover of Taiwan, whether militarily or through negotiations. If a major war breaks out in the Middle East which ties down US forces, expect the next Primal Horde move to be a massive artillery attack by North Korea on South Korea. This will force any reserve forces from the US, and perhaps even Japan to rush to put out that fire. The resulting force vacuum will allow China to issue an ultimatum to Taiwan: immediately surrender your military forces and avoid the fate of Ukrainians, Israelis, and South Koreans or fight all by yourself and lose. The geopolitical bank run on US security commitments will be in full effect. Taiwan doesn’t even have an official agreement with the US for military protection. But the US desperately needs to keep high-end production of microchips out of Communist Chinese hands. If the Primal Horde act in concert, we will soon approach a point where the US and her Collective West proxies will be out of options and face a devastating defeat.
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