The challenge

ucrania-acciones militares

In view of the alarming news, the headlines and the nervousness that reigns at the political level in the chancelleries of much of the world, it seems that we are on the verge of starting World War III; when in reality, I do not believe that, in any way whatsoever, that can happen.

For years we have been watching the international arena and the many roosters who seek to rule the only henhouse in the world, because today, due to the rapid expansion of things, globalisation and the fact that everything is too small or too narrow, no one is content with their empire, no matter how big or fruitful it may be or how far it may reach. 

For some time now, perhaps too long, China, North Korea, Russia and Iran have been competing, each in their own way and according to their weapons, political or economic capabilities, to try to displace Uncle Sam from his position as world leader. 

The US, although it has shied away from conflicts for the past decade or more, is not reducing them and, one might even say, is increasing their size, their capacity to cause trouble and the degree of risk they incur if they abandon them, let them become entrenched or try to prevent them from expanding even further than they already are.  

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama went around the world giving ringing speeches and dodging any serious war engagement and involvement in order to once and for all cozy up to whoever wanted to sneeze at him. 

His follower, the loud-mouthed Trump, has filled the international atmosphere by threatening, but never ever giving. He sowed the seeds of shameful withdrawals from the Middle East and Afghanistan and showed once again the true value of Washington's word to those who swear allegiance to them and truly believe them.  

Biden, the lapsed old man; physically weak - no matter how much he rushes in front of the public when he goes to a podium or to the steps of a plane - and perhaps even mentally weak, has had to complete the unfinished botched jobs of his predecessor with two withdrawals that are more than shameful and totally unbecoming of the world's leading power, and now he is determined to cast his eyes and efforts towards the China Sea to curb that country's expansion there and to keep an eye on the Arctic, without neglecting the war of the galaxies or the afterlife. 

A lot of tomato for so little egg, as the classic saying goes, especially when it has been more than demonstrated that engaging in serious combat on more than one front has historically and in the long run never been very beneficial for those who have been engaged or forced to fight

Biden is suffering major and serious internal and personal setbacks, so he must tread carefully if he does not want to end up in the dust and pass the buck early to Kamala Harris. A major setback in the international arena would be fatal for his personal interests. He is well aware that the once proud American population no longer blindly swallows the idea of spreading or imposing democracy around the world at any price and cost.  

In short, the still world leader is in a situation of weakness, and it is no coincidence that all the aforementioned roosters have been making a lot of noise, alone or together, for some time now. 

North Korea is launching missiles every day to show that it is there, that it is improving its capabilities and to warn anyone who wants to mess with them that this could go badly for them. 

Iran, with its new government, governing an impoverished country, full of drug addicts and internal resistance, but demonstrating its strength before the world in general and the US in particular; because it continues to stick to its nuclear programme, no matter how much the dogs bark behind it and the trumpets of Jericho announce the fall of its walls.  

China continues with its expansionism in the China Sea, the African continent and South America, without forgetting space and the Arctic in case it can catch some fish there too. It threatens Hong Kong and anyone who dares to invade what it considers to be its air or sea space, without regard or consideration, and for all its response it is not to complain.  

And all that was missing was the last ingredient in this stew, Putin's Russia, a country that bears its own particular cross, that solves all internal problems by force, that dominates the world of cyber-threats alongside China. Managed by a dictator who intends to remain in power at any price and who must make some noise and/or move some pieces on a chessboard that has long been frozen and receiving veiled threats from the US and NATO on its southern and western flanks at the same time. 

Putin, who is gradually increasing his expansion into American territories and shares many interests with China in Africa, gave Ukraine a big kick in the teeth in 2014 and got no one to lift a real finger over that shameful and blatant invasion and territorial annexation.

Each of the above has issued a challenge to Biden. But Putin wanted to go a little further than the others; he knows that if he moves the mouse box and brings out his old armoured and mechanised means, people will tremble and many weaklings will immediately show their lack of fortitude and almost ruthlessness. 

The EU, which is best left unsaid in these matters, with Borrell at its head, is neither there nor expected, however much its leaders frown and say what they will about the role the Union should play, even if in these matters it is only a stone's throw away. 

The recently inaugurated German chancellor and the declining French president have quickly taken out the white flag and, without a word, are ready to negotiate anything without further ado. Sánchez has not even been called because, after sitting quietly and smilingly in a corner, he will only be chest-thumping and annoying. 

NATO is playing yes, but no; moving ships and planes here and there, because Ukraine is not a member of the alliance and therefore does not have to be defended if it were to be attacked externally and, moreover, because precisely in order not to anger Russia, it has been postponing the country's accession for years in a way and manner that is becoming pathetic and insane. 

Only the party-going British prime minister has got his feet out of the way because he knows that, after so much partying during the pandemic, his ass is on the line and if there is a conflict, his expulsion could even be forgotten. 

I firmly believe that nothing is going to happen, except what is already clear; one more wreck in the economy; that energy will go up another notch; that Putin will have guarantees that he will sell more; that he will not be bothered with his pipelines; that he will be considered a "man of peace" and once and for all, we will stop bothering him with his way of handling the CIS, the accession of Crimea and a few more territories. 

Ukraine will, once again, be left alone, knocking on the door of NATO and the EU. We will have made a fuss, diverted attention from the economic and financial crisis that is upon us, even if we have helped to sink it a little deeper, granted Putin almost anything he asks for, and some parties will once again trot out their outdated and out-of-tune slogans to please their parish, which is already a little fed up.