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Oracular Talk…

Obviously, prediction is folly. 

But there is value in it nonetheless. 

Because by engaging our minds with possible futures, we must put specific details together and imagine how actions might concatenate, and to the extent, those details and concatenations feel plausible, they can guide our actions.

Similarly, while it is easy and valuable to imagine worst-case scenarios in order to avoid them, it is also important to imagine best-case scenarios in order to try to bring them about. 

This is much harder, since our brains evolved to avoid danger. But in order to stay motivated, we must constantly keep a more positive future in mind. 

We can’t enter an era of transformation without a realistic utopian vision for it. 

So I ask you this: How worried should we be about the future of the World or of even that of the American democracy in light of these current events? 

This is the question at the center of the two party system that America faces right now as we are approaching a new Civil War in our homeland and a renewed World War in Europe and the rest of the world.

Indeed, to avoid the Civil War — breaking the Two-Party system will be necessary. And if we are to discuss the history of the two-party system in American politics, and examine a number of possible structural reforms that could work to get the U.S. out of the morass — it’s in our interest to learn how to grow fast towards the multiparty Democracy that in the Lincoln party we all aspire to. 

And maybe we should be looking to other countries’ democracies for inspiration — because we can’t find the model here at home.

And, if you want to check out just how close we are to political violence, authoritarianism, and democratic breakdown — you can read here about how it all ends.

Breaking the Two-Party Loop, is how we make the case for a multiparty Democracy in America 

But first: “What is Democracy in America?” 

Is it just partisanship, is it polarization, or is it the robustness of support for our two party inimical and civil strife inducting Democracy in the United States? 

We need transformative change in our Political System right now…

Because in many ways, transformation is the most American of all the possible scenarios for our future. 

As indeed the history of American democracy is a story of multiple transformations. 

Over the course of our history, we’ve renegotiated and recreated the basic agreements of our political system. 

We began with an overthrow of the British crown and political independence. 

In the Progressive Era, we expanded the participatory nature of our democracy, introducing direct election of senators, direct primary, initiative and referendum, and eventually women’s suffrage. 

In the Civil Rights Era, we expanded voting rights tremendously and then renegotiated ethics and transparency in a burst of good government activism that followed. 

We are due for another moment of transformation.

However, just like in history, the breakdown and the transformation scenarios may be linked. Unfortunately, it may take a breakdown of the existing order for a true transformation to occur. By contrast, the muddle scenario may offer just enough hope of resolution and enough occasional moments of forward progress, to sap the energy for transformational change.

This is not to say that we should hope for the breakdown scenario, given the human costs it will impose on our society, especially the most vulnerable amongst us. And there’s no guarantee that it will lead to transformation, but just continued breakdown.

Here is one way to reform the House of Representatives: 

Expand it.

If the future of American democracy feels uncertain, that’s because it is. So, what will the rest of the decade look like? It’s always hard to make predictions, especially about our uncertain future, but there are three potential scenarios: breakdown, muddle, and transformation. By understanding how and why each scenario could come about, my hope is that we can collectively steer away from breakdown and towards transformation.

Metamorphosis is our destiny and since we are now squarely in the midst of the liminal space of or Republic — we are heading for a painful yet liberating future phase of our country. 

It is not hard to think about how the breakdown of the government could come, given all the overheated rhetoric about the 2024 election, and the ways in which the “Big Lie” has galvanized many far-right activists into seeking office themselves or pushing their elected representatives to buy into their far-fetched theories and change the voting rules. A disputed 2024 election almost feels like a foregone conclusion at this point, and it is increasingly difficult to imagine that the losing side concedes peacefully. The question is: then what?

Imagine a narrow Trump win, and Republican control of Congress. Democratic protests grow in states Trump narrowly won. Right-wing counter-protestors show up, and street fighting grows. Democratic protests mount after Trump is inaugurated. Now Trump has the powers of the presidency at his disposal. He can mobilize federal resources and declare a state of emergency. He could have the justifications he needs to establish an authoritarian state.

Or, alternatively, imagine a narrow Biden win. Republicans in Congress object. Protests grow. Does Biden send in the troops? Does he crack down on inciters and limit civil liberties? Do Republican states begin to mount a secession campaign?

Or imagine the election winds up in the courts with no clear winner. How does it get resolved? What happens when militia groups are spoiling for a fight?

One could spin out many possible scenarios here, but they would all have three important things in common. First, the losing side refuses to accept the loss, because they are convinced the other side cheated. Second, rather than go quietly, they engage in political violence. And third, violence is met with violence and the force of a federal crackdown, which pushes into authoritarianism.

The specifics of how it happens may vary, but once an escalating spiral of violence begins, it may be very hard to stop. Additionally, states dominated by partisans on the losing side may begin agitating for secession, contributing to even more escalation.

The scenario that allows us to avoid a spiral of violence and the descent into a new Civil War — is that perhaps there is some violence, but it mostly calms down if Trump wins, and the Republicans take charge, and then make an effort to struggle to govern coherently. 

As with the previous Trump administration, they are bogged down by their own incompetencies and petty in-fighting. And because much of the federal government can run on auto-pilot and benign neglect, it continues to do so, though with increasing incoherence and inefficiency.

Meanwhile, policy innovation continues to happen at the state and local level. Fights between levels of government continue to amplify (think about the fights between cities and states and the federal government over masking and vaccination policies, for example), leaving the courts overwhelmed and divided. Despite the authoritarian intentions of Trump and his acolytes, they can only do so much damage, given the many overlapping lines of authority in the layered U.S. system, and the reality that narrow majorities always struggle to govern.

Eventually, Democrats come back into power nationally, and fight the same struggles in steering the rudderless ship of state as it is pulled in all directions.

Or Democrats maintain control after the 2024 election. Maybe Democrats even get unified control of Congress, and Biden makes bold promises again for his second term. But again, he is stymied by fights within his own party, and the difficulties of getting anything done in Washington.

Either way, what distinguishes the muddle from the breakdown is that despite grudging and grumbling, protests do not escalate into widespread violence. Perhaps this is because much of the heated rhetoric around violence is simply rhetoric, or because activists believe they are better off trying to win the next election and don’t wish to risk their lives or winding up in jail. As long as they can still hold their jobs or get their retirement checks, perhaps it is simply easier (and more fun) to complain all the time than to do anything about it. 

Or perhaps, and more likely, political leaders do not call for violence, and in fact condemn it.

The muddle best describes our current moment, at least for now.

The optimistic scenario is “Transformation.” In this scenario, the zero-sum partisan death match between Democrats and Republicans breaks down, and American politics enters a new alignment. Under this alignment, participation and inclusion expand, and the promise of multiracial, multiethnic democracy is fully realized.

How could such a transformation happen? First, it happens because a younger generation demands it. Though many of today’s political leaders are in their 70’s and 80’s, they will not be in charge forever. A new generation is now entering politics, and their expectations and demands are very different. They are not attached to the old structures, and are willing to create something new.

To make our system of self-governance more representative and more responsive, a new generation of actors could reform our political institutions by shifting to multi-member proportional districts for the House, allowing more parties to compete nationally. At state and local levels, reformers could explore even bolder forms of statewide, proportional representation to allow more parties to form. Almost certainly, a successful transformation to a multiracial, multiethnic democracy will require more than two political parties, which will allow us to break the two-party loop of hyper-partisan polarization that is threatening our democracy.

Periods of transformations have all taken place at moments of generational change, in which the realities of governing fell well short of the moral expectations of a rising generation. They took place in response to profound failures of existing government regimes. And this is still certainly true today.

Transformation requires the most work. It can only come about when we stop pretending the status quo is salvageable, and reconcile ourselves to the reality that something will need to change, and that those who build the social movements will get to build the future.

Now let us enter another variable into the equation of our future review… Mr Putin and Ukraine. 

Because for many people watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine has felt like a series of “He can’t be doing this” moments, as Russia’s president Mr Vladimir Putin has launched the largest ground war in Europe since the Second World War — this is quite literally, mind-boggling.

That’s why I speak as a clear-eyed Russia expert, because I wanted to know what is going on as I watched the extraordinary footage of Russian tanks rolling across international borders, that makes me think of what Mr Vladimir Putin has in mind and what insights she can offer into his motivations and objectives.

Back in the day, we spent many years studying history, and in our conversations we traced how long arcs and trends of European history are converging on Ukraine right now. We are already in the middle of a third World War, whether we’ve fully grasped it or not.

Sadly, we are treading back through old historical patterns that we should have never permitted to happen again.

Those old historical patterns include Western businesses who fail to see how they help build a tyrant’s war chest, admirers enamored of an autocrat’s “strength” and politicians’ tendency to point fingers inward for political gain instead of working together for their nation’s security. 

But at the same time, it’s not too late to turn Mr Putin back, and it’s a job not just for the Ukrainians or for NATO — it’s a job that ordinary Westerners and companies can assist in important ways once they grasp what’s at stake.

Ukraine has become the front line in a struggle, not just between democracies and autocracies but in a struggle for maintaining a rules-based system in which the things that countries want are not taken by force since each and every country in the world should be paying close attention to this. 

There’s lots of danger ahead, she warned. Putin is increasingly operating emotionally and likely to use all the weapons at his disposal, including nuclear ones. It’s important not to have any illusions — but equally important not to lose hope.
“Every time you think, ’No, he wouldn’t, would he?’ Well, yes, he would,” Hill said. “And he wants us to know that, of course. It’s not that we should be intimidated and scared…. We have to prepare for those contingencies and figure out what is it that we’re going to do to head them off.”

We’ve been Putin watchers for a long time, and when we’ve been watching him over the past week, what we’ve been seeing that other people might be missing…

Putin is usually more cynical and calculated than he came across in his most recent speeches. There’s evident visceral emotion in things that he said in the past few weeks justifying the war in Ukraine. The pretext is completely flimsy and almost nonsensical for anybody who’s not in the echo chamber or the bubble of propaganda in Russia itself. I mean, demanding to the Ukrainian military that they essentially overthrow their own government or lay down their arms and surrender because they are being commanded by a bunch of drug-addled Nazi fascists

There’s just no sense to that. 

It beggars the imagination.

Every time you think: “No, he wouldn’t, would he?” 

Well, yes, he would. 

And he wants us to know that, of course.

Putin doesn’t even seem like he’s trying to make a convincing case. We saw the same thing in the Russian response at the United Nations. The justification has essentially been “what-about-ism”: ‘You guys have been invading Iraq, Afghanistan. Don’t tell me that I can’t do the same thing in Ukraine.”

This visceral emotion is unhealthy and extraordinarily dangerous because there are few checks and balances around Putin. He spotlighted this during the performance of the National Security Council meeting, where it became very clear that this was his decision. He was in a way taking full responsibility for war, and even the heads of his security and intelligence services looked like they’ve been thrown off guard by how fast things were moving.Advertisement

So Putin is being driven by emotion right now, not by some kind of logical plan?

I think there’s been a logical, methodical plan that goes back a very long way, at least to 2007 when he put the world, and certainly Europe, on notice that Moscow would not accept the further expansion of NATO. And then within a year in 2008 NATO gave an open door to Georgia and Ukraine. It absolutely goes back to that juncture.

Back when I was analyzing what Russia was likely to do in response to the NATO Open Door declaration one of our assessments was that there was a real, genuine risk of some kind of preemptive Russian military action, not just confined to the annexation of Crimea, but some much larger action taken against Ukraine along with Georgia. And of course, four months after NATO’s Bucharest Summit, there was the invasion of Georgia. There wasn’t an invasion of Ukraine then because the Ukrainian government pulled back from seeking NATO membership. But we should have seriously addressed how we were going to deal with this potential outcome and our relations with Russia.

But, do you think Putin’s current goal is reconstituting the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire, or something different?

No, absolutely not, because he is only keen on reestablishing Russian dominance of what Russia sees as the Russian “Imperium.” I’m saying this very specifically because the lands of the Soviet Union didn’t cover all of the territories that were once part of the Russian Empire. So that should give us pause.

Putin has articulated an idea of there being a “Russky Mir” or a “Russian World.” The recent essay he published about Ukraine and Russia states the Ukrainian and Russian people are “one people,” a “yedinyi narod.” He’s saying Ukrainians and Russians are one and the same. This idea of a Russian World means re-gathering all the Russian-speakers in different places that belonged at some point to the Russian Czardom.

The Russian Empire on a map.

Putin’s been down in the archives of the Kremlin during Covid looking through old maps and treaties and all the different borders that Russia has had over the centuries. He’s said, repeatedly, that Russian and European borders have changed many times. And in his speeches, he’s gone after various former Russian and Soviet leaders

Indeed, he’s gone after Lenin and he’s gone after the communists, because in his view they ruptured the Russian empire, they lost Russian lands in the revolution, and yes, Stalin brought some of them back into the fold again like the Baltic States and some of the lands of Ukraine that had been divided up during World War II, but they were lost again with the dissolution of the USSR.

Putin’s view is that borders change, and so the borders of the old Russian imperium are still in play for Moscow to dominate now.

Dominance in what way?

It doesn’t mean that he’s going to annex all of them and make them part of the Russian Federation like they’ve done with Crimea. You can establish dominance by marginalizing regional countries, by making sure that their leaders are completely dependent on Moscow, either by Moscow practically appointing them through rigged elections or ensuring they are tethered to Russian economic and political and security networks. You can see this now across the former Soviet space.

We’ve seen pressure being put on Kazakhstan to reorient itself back toward Russia, instead of balancing between Russia and China, and the West. And just a couple of days before the invasion of Ukraine in a little-noticed act, Azerbaijan signed a bilateral military agreement with Russia. This is significant because Azerbaijan’s leader has been resisting this for decades. And we can also see that Russia has made itself the final arbiter of the future relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia has also been marginalized after being a thorn in Russia’s side for decades. And Belarus is now completely subjugated by Moscow.

But amid all this, Ukraine was the country that got away. And what Putin is saying now is that Ukraine doesn’t belong to Ukrainians. It belongs to him and the past. He is going to wipe Ukraine off the map, literally, because it doesn’t belong on his map of the “Russian world.” He’s basically told us that. He might leave behind some rump statelets. When we look at old maps of Europe — probably the maps he’s been looking at — you find all kinds of strange entities, like the Sanjak of Novi Pazar in the Balkans. I used to think, what the hell is that? These are all little places that have dependency on a bigger power and were created to prevent the formation of larger viable states in contested regions. Basically, if Vladimir Putin has his way, Ukraine is not going to exist as the modern-day Ukraine of the last 30 years.

How far into Ukraine do you think Putin is going to go?

At this juncture, if he can, he’s going to go all the way. Before this last week, he had multiple different options to choose from. He’d given himself the option of being able to go in in full force as he’s doing now, but he could also have focused on retaking the rest of the administrative territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. He could have seized the Sea of Azov, which he’s probably going to do anyway, and then joined up the Donetsk and Luhansk regions with Crimea as well as the lands in between and all the way down to Odessa. 

In fact, Putin initially tried this in 2014 — to create “Novorossiya,” or “New Russia,” but that failed when local support for joining Russia didn’t materialize.

Now, if he can, he is going to take the whole country. We have to face up to this fact. Although we haven’t seen the full Russian invasion force deployed yet, he’s certainly got the troops to move into the whole country.

He has an adequate number of troops to move in, but does he have enough to occupy the whole country?

If there is serious resistance, he may not have sufficient force to take the country for a protracted period. It also may be that he doesn’t want to occupy the whole country, that he wants to break it up, maybe annex some parts of it, maybe leave some of it as rump statelets or a larger rump Ukraine somewhere, maybe around Lviv. I’m not saying that I know exactly what’s going on in his head. And he may even suggest other parts of Ukraine get absorbed by adjacent countries.Advertisement

In 2015, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was at the Munich Security Conference after the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. And he talked about Ukraine not being a country, saying pointedly that there are many minority groups in Ukraine — there are Poles and there are Romanians, there are Hungarians and Russians. And he goes on essentially almost inviting the rest of Europe to divide Ukraine up.

So what Putin wants isn’t necessarily to occupy the whole country, but really to divide it up. He’s looked at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and other places where there’s a division of the country between the officially sanctioned forces on the one hand, and the rebel forces on the other. That’s something that Putin could definitely live with — a fractured, shattered Ukraine with different bits being in different statuses.

So step by step, in ways that we haven’t always appreciated in the West, Putin has brought back a lot of these countries that were independent after the Soviet collapse back under his umbrella. The only country that has so far evaded Putin’s grip has been Ukraine.

Ukraine, correct. Because it’s bigger and because of its strategic location. That’s what Russia wants to ensure, or Putin wants to ensure, that Ukraine like the other countries, has no other option than subjugation to Russia.

How much of what we’re seeing now is tied to Putin’s own electoral schedule? He seized Crimea in 2014, and that helped to boost his ratings and ensure his future reelection. He’s got another election coming up in 2024. Is any of this tied to that?

I think it is. In 2020, Putin had the Russian Constitution amended so that he could stay on until 2036, another set of two six-year terms. He’s going to be 84 then. But in 2024, he has to re-legitimate himself by standing for election. The only real contender might have been Alexei Navalny, and they’ve put him in a penal colony. Putin has rolled up all the potential opposition and resistance, so one would think it would be a cakewalk for him in 2024. But the way it works with Russian elections, he actually has to put on a convincing show that demonstrates that he’s immensely popular and he’s got the affirmation of all the population.

Behind the scenes it’s fairly clear that there’s a lot of apathy in the system, that many people support Putin because there’s no one else. People who don’t support him at all will probably not turn out to vote. The last time that his brand got stale, it was before the annexation of Crimea. That put him back on the top of the charts in terms of his ratings.

It may not just be the presidential calendar, the electoral calendar. He’s going to be 70 in October. And 70 you know, in the larger scheme of things, is not that old. There are plenty of politicians out there that are way over 70.

But it’s old for Russians.

It’s old for Russians. 

And Putin’s not looking so great, he’s been rather puffy-faced and Botox ladden as of late. We know that he has complained about having back issues. Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else. There seems to be an urgency in his actions, and thus this war in Ukraine may be driven also by personal factors.

Czar Vladimir, may also have a sense that time is marching on, because he has been at the helm of his nation for 22 years after all, and thus the likelihood of a Russian leader leaving after that length of time voluntarily through democratic elections — is understandably, pretty slim, because Most leaders leave either like Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko thought that he might leave, as the result of massive protests, or they die in office.

The only other person who has been Russian leader in modern times longer than Putin is Stalin, and Stalin died in office.

Putin came to power after a series of operations that many have seen as a kind of false flag — bombings of buildings around Russia that killed Russian citizens, hundreds of them, followed by a war in Chechnya. That led to Putin coming to power as a wartime president. The annexation of Crimea in 2014 also came at a difficult time for Putin. Now we’re seeing another big military operation less than two years before he needs to stand for election again. Am I wrong to see that pattern?

No, I don’t think you are. There’s definitely a pattern here. Part of Putin’s persona as president is that he is a ruthless tough guy, the strong man who is the champion and protector of Russia. And that’s why Russia needs him. If all was peaceful and quiet, why would you need Vladimir Putin? If you think of other wartime leaders — Winston Churchill comes to mind — in peacetime, Winston Churchill got voted out of office.

Speaking of Chechnya, I have been thinking that this is the largest ground military operation that Russia has fought since Chechnya. What did we learn about the Russian military then that’s relevant now?

It’s very important, that you bring this point up because people are saying Ukraine is the largest military operation in Europe since World War II. The first largest military action in Europe since World War II was actually in Chechnya, because Chechnya is part of Russia. This was a devastating conflict that dragged on for years, with two rounds of war after a brief truce, and tens of thousands of military and civilian casualties. The regional capital of Grozny was leveled. The casualties were predominantly ethnic Russians and Russian speakers. The Chechens fought back, and this became a military debacle on Russia’s own soil. Analysts called it “the nadir of the Russian army.” After NATO’s intervention in the Balkan wars in the same timeframe in the 1990s, Moscow even worried that NATO might intervene.

What have we learned about NATO in the last two months?

In many respects, not good things, initially. Although now we see a significant rallying of the political and diplomatic forces, serious consultations and a spur to action in response to bolster NATO’s military defenses.

But we also need to think about it this way. We have had a long-term policy failure going back to the end of the Cold War in terms of thinking about how to manage NATO’s relations with Russia to minimize risk. NATO is a like a massive insurer, a protector of national security for Europe and the United States. After the end of the Cold War, we still thought that we had the best insurance for the hazards we could face — flood, fire etc. — but for a discounted premium. We didn’t take adequate steps to address and reduce the various risks. We can now see that that we didn’t do our due diligence and fully consider all the possible contingencies, including how we would mitigate Russia’s negative response to successive expansions. Think about Swiss Re or AIG or Lloyds of London — when the hazard was massive, like during Hurricane Katrina or the global financial crisis in 2008, those insurance companies got into major trouble. They and their clients found themselves underwater. And this is kind of what NATO members are learning now.

And then there’s the nuclear element. Many people have thought that we’d never see a large ground war in Europe or a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, because it could quickly escalate into a nuclear conflict. How close are we getting to that?

Well, we’re right there. Basically, what President Putin has said quite explicitly in recent days is that if anybody interferes in Ukraine, they will be met with a response that they’ve “never had in their history.” And he has put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert. So he’s making it very clear that nuclear is on the table.

Putin tried to warn Trump about this, but I don’t think Trump figured out what he was saying. In one of the last meetings between Putin and Trump when I was there, Putin was making the point that: “Well you know, Donald, we have these hypersonic missiles.” And Trump was saying, “Well, we will get them too.” Putin was saying, “Well, yes, you will get them eventually, but we’ve got them first.” There was a menace in this exchange. Putin was putting us on notice that if push came to shove in some confrontational environment that the nuclear option would be on the table.

Do you really think he’ll use a nuclear weapon?

The thing about Putin is, if he has an instrument, he wants to use it. Why have it if you can’t? He’s already used a nuclear weapon in some respects. Russian operatives poisoned Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium and turned him into a human dirty bomb and polonium was spread all around London at every spot that poor man visited. He died a horrible death as a result.Advertisement

The Russians have already used a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok. They’ve used it possibly several times, but for certain twice. Once in Salisbury, England, where it was rubbed all over the doorknob of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who actually didn’t die; but the nerve agent contaminated the city of Salisbury, and anybody else who came into contact with it got sickened. Novichok killed a British citizen, Dawn Sturgess, because the assassins stored it in a perfume bottle which was discarded into a charity donation box where it was found by Sturgess and her partner. There was enough nerve agent in that bottle to kill several thousand people. The second time was in Alexander Navalny’s underpants.

So if anybody thinks that Putin wouldn’t use something that he’s got that is unusual and cruel, think again. Every time you think, “No, he wouldn’t, would he?” Well, yes, he would. And he wants us to know that, of course.

It’s not that we should be intimidated and scared. That’s exactly what he wants us to be. We have to prepare for those contingencies and figure out what is it that we’re going to do to head them off.

So how do we deal with it? Are sanctions enough?

Well, we can’t just deal with it as the United States on our own. First of all, this has to be an international response.

Larger than NATO?

It has to be larger than NATO. Now I’m not saying that that means an international military response that’s larger than NATO, but the push back has to be international.

We first have to think about what Vladimir Putin has done and the nature of what we’re facing. People don’t want to talk about Adolf Hitler and World War II, but I’m going to talk about it. Obviously the major element when you talk about World War II, which is overwhelming, is the Holocaust and the absolute decimation of the Jewish population of Europe, as well as the Roma-Sinti people.

But let’s focus here on the territorial expansionism of Germany, what Germany did under Hitler in that period: seizure of the Sudetenland and the Anschluss or annexation of Austria, all on the basis that they were German speakers. The invasion of Poland. The treaty with the Soviet Union, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, that also enabled the Soviet Union to take portions of Poland but then became a prelude to Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Invasions of France and all of the countries surrounding Germany, including Denmark and further afield to Norway. Germany eventually engaged in a burst of massive territorial expansion and occupation. Eventually the Soviet Union fought back. Vladimir Putin’s own family suffered during the siege of Leningrad, and yet here is Vladimir Putin doing exactly the same thing.

So, similar to Hitler, he’s using a sense of massive historical grievance combined with a veneer of protecting Russians and a dismissal of the rights of minorities and other nations to have independent countries in order to fuel territorial ambitions? 

Correct. And he’s blaming others, for why this has happened, and getting us to blame ourselves.

If people look back to the history of World War II, there were an awful lot of people around Europe who became Nazi German sympathizers before the invasion of Poland. In the United Kingdom, there was a whole host of British politicians who admired Hitler’s strength and his power, for doing what Great Powers do, before the horrors of the Blitz and the Holocaust finally penetrated.

And you see this now.

You totally see it. Unfortunately, we have politicians and public figures in the United States and around Europe who have embraced the idea that Russia was wronged by NATO and that Putin is a strong, powerful man and has the right to do what he’s doing: Because Ukraine is somehow not worthy of independence, because it’s either Russia’s historical lands or Ukrainians are Russians, or the Ukrainian leaders are — this is what Putin says — “drug addled, fascist Nazis” or whatever labels he wants to apply here.

So sadly, we are treading back through old historical patterns that we said that we would never permit to happen again. The other thing to think about in this larger historic context is how much the German business community helped facilitate the rise of Hitler. Right now, everyone who has been doing business in Russia or buying Russian gas and oil has contributed to Putin’s war chest. Our investments are not just boosting business profits, or Russia’s sovereign wealth funds and its longer-term development. They now are literally the fuel for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Just like people didn’t want their money invested in South Africa during apartheid, do you really want to have your money invested in Russia during Russia’s brutal invasion and subjugation and carving up of Ukraine?

I gather you think that sanctions leveled by the government are inadequate to address this much larger threat?

Absolutely. Sanctions are not going to be enough. You need to have a major international response, where governments decide on their own accord that they can’t do business with Russia for a period of time until this is resolved. We need a temporary suspension of business activity with Russia. Just as we wouldn’t be having a full-blown diplomatic negotiation for anything but a ceasefire and withdrawal while Ukraine is still being actively invaded, so it’s the same thing with business. Right now you’re fueling the invasion of Ukraine. So what we need is a suspension of business activity with Russia until Moscow ceases hostilities and withdraws its troops.

Ordinary companies should make a decision. This is the epitome of “ESG” that companies are saying is their priority right now — upholding standards of good Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance. Just like people didn’t want their money invested in South Africa during apartheid, do you really want to have your money invested in Russia during Russia’s brutal invasion and subjugation and carving up of Ukraine?

If Western companies, their pension plans or mutual funds, are invested in Russia they should pull out. Any people who are sitting on the boards of major Russian companies should resign immediately. Not every Russian company is tied to the Kremlin, but many major Russian companies absolutely are, and everyone knows it. If we look back to Germany in the runup to the Second World War, it was the major German enterprises that were being used in support of the war. And we’re seeing exactly the same thing now. Russia would not be able to afford this war were it not for the fact that oil and gas prices are ratcheting up. They’ve got enough in the war chest for now. But over the longer term, this will not be sustainable without the investment that comes into Russia and all of the Russian commodities, not just oil and gas, that are being purchased on world markets. And, our international allies, like Saudi Arabia, should be increasing oil production right now as a temporary offset. Right now, they are also indirectly funding war in Ukraine by keeping oil prices high.

This has to be an international response to push Russia to stop its military action. India abstained in the United Nations, and you can see that other countries are feeling discomforted and hoping this might go away. This is not going to go away, and it could be “you next” — because Putin is setting a precedent for countries to return to the type of behavior that sparked the two great wars which were a free-for-all over territory. Putin is saying, “Throughout history borders have changed. Who cares?”

And you do not think he will necessarily stop at Ukraine?

Of course he won’t. Ukraine has become the front line in a struggle, not just for which countries can or cannot be in NATO, or between democracies and autocracies, but in a struggle for maintaining a rules-based system in which the things that countries want are not taken by force. Every country in the world should be paying close attention to this. Yes, there may be countries like China and others who might think that this is permissible, but overall, most countries have benefited from the current international system in terms of trade and economic growth, from investment and an interdependent globalized world. This is pretty much the end of this. That’s what Russia has done.

He’s blown up the rules-based international order.

Exactly. What stops a lot of people from pulling out of Russia even temporarily is, they will say, “Well, the Chinese will just step in.” This is what every investor always tells me. “If I get out, someone else will move in.” I’m not sure that Russian businesspeople want to wake up one morning and find out the only investors in the Russian economy are Chinese, because then Russia becomes the periphery of China, the Chinese hinterlands, and not another great power that’s operating in tandem with China.

The more we talk, the more we’re using World War II analogies. There are people who are saying we’re on the brink of a World War III.

We’re already in it. We have been for some time. We keep thinking of World War I, World War II as these huge great big set pieces, but World War II was a consequence of World War I. And we had an interwar period between them. And in a way, we had that again after the Cold War. Many of the things that we’re talking about here have their roots in the carving up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire at the end of World War I. At the end of World War II, we had another reconfiguration and some of the issues that we have been dealing with recently go back to that immediate post-war period. We’ve had war in Syria, which is in part the consequence of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, same with Iraq and Kuwait.

All of the conflicts that we’re seeing have roots in those earlier conflicts. We are already in a hot war over Ukraine, which started in 2014. People shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that we’re just on the brink of something. We’ve been well and truly in it for quite a long period of time.

But this is also a full-spectrum information war, and what happens in a Russian “all-of-society” war, you soften up the enemy. You get the Tucker Carlsons and Donald Trumps doing your job for you. The fact that Putin managed to persuade Trump that Ukraine belongs to Russia, and that Trump would be willing to give up Ukraine without any kind of fight, that’s a major success for Putin’s information war. I mean he has got swathes of the Republican Party — and not just them, some on the left, as well as on the right — masses of the U.S. public saying, “Good on you, Vladimir Putin,” or blaming NATO, or blaming the U.S. for this outcome. This is exactly what a Russian information war and psychological operation is geared towards. He’s been carefully seeding this terrain as well. We’ve been at war, for a very long time. I’ve been saying this for years.

So just as the world didn’t see Hitler coming, we failed to see Putin coming…

Yet, we shouldn’t have. 

He’s been around for 22 years now, and he has been coming to this point since 2008. I don’t think that he initially set off to do all of this, by the way, but the attitudes towards Ukraine and the feelings that all Ukraine belongs to Russia, the feelings of loss, they’ve all been there and building up.

What Russia is doing is asserting that “might makes right.” Of course, yes, we’ve also made terrible mistakes. But no one ever has the right to completely destroy another country — Putin’s opened up a door in Europe that we thought we’d closed after World War II.

Yours,

Dr Churchill 

PS: 

Dr Churchill Political Science CV

Dr Pano Churchill leader of the Lincoln Party of independents in the United States of America — is a renown political leader, a realist scholar, and teacher/researcher of international relations.

Dr Churchill is a gentle diplomat and a great practitioner of the Exercise of Power, Diplomacy and Politico-Economic Leadership.

Dr Pano Churchill is a quiet speaker who has always preached the Art of RealPolitic that has served the cause of the Democratic Republic, the US represents in our turbulent world. 

Dr Churchill made an all out effort to serve the Cause of World Peace – stoutly & faithfully in many geopolitically important roles throughout this Earth and for the length of his life. 

He has been called a “peacemaker” in the world and the pivot or the kingmaker in American politics — because the Lincoln party has always turned towards the best a 

Dr Churchill has always been a humble and political party leader, a resolute Conflict Resolution, a Mediator, a United Nations Ambassador, a Peace Envoy, a UN elections and fairness Reporter, a UN Raporteur, a Democracy advocate, and also a serious, just and honest Peacemaker.

Dr Churchill, is a renown bridge builder and has served as an international security and geopolitical expert adviser to the US government, to the European Union, to successive  UK governments, as well as to the former King of Saudi Arabia — Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Dr Churchill, has been a protege of King Abdulaziz, for whom he served as an advisor for the Environmental progress of Saudi Arabia and also for the creation of the desalination plants near Jeddah and Mecca, and as the first advisor and advocate for the creation of KAUST — the first advanced Research University of the Arab world, and certainly the main advanced knowledge base amongst the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Dr Churchill is credited as the force behind the decision to create KAUST, as well as for the facilitation of its economic and financial endowment that perhaps will keep KAUST alive for the many future generations to come. 

Dr Churchill also served as a secret Envoy to the various warring parties of the Middle East during King Abdullah’s administration. 

Dr Pano Churchill has made many contributions towards the maintenance of international order, peace and stability, since the tumultuous years of the Détente at the chaotic times of the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the immediate proliferation of nuclear weapons systems throughout the World. 

This was the time when the Nuclear Club was enlarged by several new members unacknowledged as of yet, from the 1980s to the 2020s, when a sense of anarchy enveloped the former nations of the Soviet Union and all kinds of weapons of mass destruction could be found in the dank warehouses and in the military depots of Eastern Europe under the control of rapacious profiteers. 

These nuclear weapons of mass destruction — eventually found their way into the souks and the bazaars of the Middle East and beyond, and this is where today we still encounter the danger of proliferation of weapons of Mass Destruction and thus the enlargement of the Nuclear Club is now a de facto reality all around the world. 

Dr Churchill always emphasized the importance of recalling the role of history in the foreign policy arena of today and viewed all international relations with a deep understanding of geopolitical history, Realpolitik relativism and philosophy. 

Dr Pano Churchill’s lectures offer five main channels of insights that all prospective Global Leaders would be well advised to study herewith if they are to serve the People honestly, humbly and effectively:

  1. History is the key to understanding all the nuances of our Political present and our own future. 
  2. All understanding of Realpolitik and the successful management of rivals and allies alike – hinges on our knowledge of their past behavior as well as the use of the psychology of inducements and pressures known in rewards and punishments or as the Carrot and the Stick.
  3. A leader has to confront the problem of conjecture, with its asymmetric payoffs.

4. Most all Realpolitik and Foreign Relations decisions that lead to the formation of long term Foreign Policy are choices between lesser and greater evils. 

5. Leaders should be wary of the perils of a morally vacuous realism. 

It is worth noting that the following example of Dr Churchill’s expertise stems from his involvement in Politics since the last part of the twentieth century, many years after the horrors of WWII when humanity experienced the two most devastating world wars, and certainly well after the Civil Wars that followed the beginning of the Era of Peace from 1945 to the present. 

A peace that was fraught with proxy wars all over the place and an uneasy détente that came to be called Cold War that under the terror of Nuclear annihilation has allowed the world to enjoy an unprecedentedly long peace during this small time in the long purview of world history.

Yet it is this time of meekness and grandeur at the same time, that is a period of long fields of Peace, interspersed with various localized proxy and regional conflicts which have served as “release valves” in the science of biomimicry played out in World Politics. 

Imagine that this Biomimicry functions in the same way that small eruptions in the volcanic nature of the world mimic the explosive firmament of our earthly existence that needs to be frequently “vented” if we are to avoid the big eruptions like the Cracatoa volcano that spewd ash into the atmosphere causing global cooling, or the tsunami inducing and civilization ending floods resultant from major volcanic eruptions like the Santorini volcano that was the biggest “bang” of antiquity.  

Today, in the same way these periodic eruptions like the Great Global Wars that resemble genocidal Acts of God, or Nature, are all delivered by human hands because since the advent of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of most all major countries – we have been turned into Gods of War and not Supplicant Leaders or Political Mendicants of Peace as we ought to be in the context of our Christian, Greco-Roman and Anglosaxon civilization, of the Western Liberal Democracies.

Yet, it is exactly because these “Acts of War” resemble the Natural phenomena – we can see the signature of man’s wrath and hubris, such as in the Second World War, when although many Japanese lives were lost, it was actually the devastating effects of the two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that finally ended the killing fields of World War II and the impossible tally of many more millions of dead people. 

And of course, since then, there has been interstate conflict, to include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the African wars, and the wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as the Syrian and Yemen wars – it was these very crises that required brinkmanship, such as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that sobered up our belligerent militaries and brought our people to their senses, in order to negotiate and thus find a lasting peace…

The art of International Leadership includes a good deal of knowledge of Brinkmanship, but the Good Leader knows that the world as a whole has been stable for a long period – and that stability has to be protected as sacrosanct. 

This is in large part due to the United States of America’s contributions toward the establishment and the maintenance of a liberal and democratic international order, by relying on global alliances such as the ASEAN and NATO and it is here that Dr Pano Churchill’s role in the process is noteworthy. 

Because history teaches us that during World War II, the English speaking people having fought side-by-side with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, the United States, Great Britain, the Commonwealth of Nations  and all of our Western allies had vast delusions about the Soviet Union. 

But when the war ended, and the Soviet Union began its communist expansion, Winston Churchill was the first to be able to recognize the threat and speak publicly against it. This insight played a decisive role in the Korean conflict, where the invasion of South Korea from the North was seen as a bloody work of the Communist Soviet Union and China who were providing armaments, munitions, airplanes, tanks, and huge numbers of personnel to serve as machine cannon fodder for the North Korean bloody conflict and its awful battle fields. 

As a result, the West finally recognized the nature of the Communist threat and the PRC as well as of the Soviet Union, and the Cold War was set in motion. 

During the early years of the Cold War, there were serious tensions between the Communist bloc and liberal democracies. However, a balance of terror was achieved through the nuclear forces amassed by the two sides in the late 1960s. As the United States and Soviet Union realized the danger of major conflict which could be caused by excessive arms races, proxy wars and economic and sociopolitical antagonism round the world — the United States and the Soviet Union began to adopt a strategy of coexistence. 

This was the birth of Détente, which meant “easing tension” or “rest.” With Détente beginning in the late 1960s, the balance of nuclear annihilation and the resultant psychological terror of erasure of human existence form this planet – has prevented our people from engaging in a major clash between the United States and Soviet Union. The very fact that another World War  did not occur is testament to the success of a delicate balance in weaponry, as well as in international relations and brinkmanship. 

Dr Pano Churchill today posits that as the contributions of his grandfather Sir Winston Churchill helped the cause of World Peace greatly, by first winning the Second World War, by then identifying the threat of Communist overreach in Europe and around the world and speaking about the “Iron Curtain” and then by creating the conditions for the development of nuclear weapons that won the war in the Pacific and kept the Peace thereafter. 

Winston Churchill’s involvement in the development of our present day Nuclear arsenal — from the English “Tube Alloys” to the Manhattan project’s completion and to the “Windscale” nuclear enrichment plant – have been pivotal because not only he was the first to speak after identifying the threat, but he also mapped out the path towards implementing a worldwide Détente during his second term as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1950 to 1955. 

And because it was under his period of leadership that the most beneficial Détente between the two Superpowers, the United States and Soviet Union existed – Sir Winston Churchill was able to create and place the founding stone to the global institutions necessary to achieve Peace, Stability and Security throughout the world, during his “Summits at Sea” in the various meetings of leaders that he hosted aboard famous yachts like the Royal Navy’s and Aristotle Onnassi’s vessels plying the waters with famous leaders aboard. 

This is the method by which the notable and emulation worthy arms control treaties, like the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) has come to define the Safety of our World today. The basis for this “Jaw-Jaw” instead of “War-War” and “parlez-parlez” negotiated peace treaty, has began with the understanding that nuclear competition between the United States and Soviet Union would lead to mutual annihilation. 

The Reagan-Gorbachev joint summit statement in 1985 confirmed that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” 

As World War II was coming to an end, on August 9, 1945, a week before Japan’s surrender, the Soviet Union unilaterally broke the Japan-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. The Soviet Union started a war against Japan, which was on the verge of surrender, and took over half of the Korean Peninsula. Four years later in 1949, Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang government were exiled to Taiwan and mainland China fell under communist rule. 

Even though the communist forces were on the road to rapid expansion in the vast Eurasian landmass, the U.S. special envoy Mr Dean Acheson, announced the Acheson Line which declared the United States intention to defend the Far East centered on Japan and the Philippines, thereby excluding South Korea from the U.S. defense perimeter in the Far East. This is evaluated as a critical mistake which practically “invited” North Korea’s invasion of the South. 

It was then that the Policy Planning staff of the U.S. State Department, stated that the U.S. “policy of physical containment” to deter Soviet provocations in all regions would be too defensive and inadequate in deterring Soviet aggression, which suggested that the United States should focus on key regions by using its superiority in power to counter the Soviet threat, served as the basis for future countermeasures to communist provocations. 

In 2010, Dr Pano Churchill stated that, “the relationship between Korea and the United States has a long history, and the American people are well aware that more than 50,000 U.S. soldiers died in Korea during the Korean War. The United States has also stationed American troops in Korea for a long time. No country can defend every corner of the world at the same time. However, South Korea can trust the U.S. security commitment.” 

One of the key achievements of Dr Pano Churchill was the opening of our eyes to China’s global supremacy ambitions after its full integration into the international economic community that made her the Economic and Political as well as Military Superpower that is today, and the imminent threat to World Security that she represents tomorrow, due to its “urgent need” to become the World’s Hegemon power seeking to replace the United States as the ultimate Global Power and Empire, and rubbish its’ much vaunted Pax Americana. 

The core premise of Dr Churchill’s work is to balance the New “Soviet Union” that is China, which is in the midst of ideological and border disputes with all of its neighbors, and the world – with the compendium of the Western Liberal Democracies led by the Confederation of all the United States of the World, as a means of maintaining the global peaceful co-existence. 

This vision is the only one that does not destabilize the international order and does not destroy the long held peace we all strive for, and whose benefits are considered the greatest Public Good all over the World today. 

Yet, we must be very wary of China and its autocratic leadership because as you might recall back in 1956, at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev started a movement to degrade Joseph Stalin with a speech criticizing him. This led China to criticize the Soviet Union for its ‘revisionist’ stance of seeking ways to coexist with capitalism and reject orthodox communism. The ideological dispute between the Soviet Union and China developed into a border dispute in 1969. 

This is still the story today with China and its neighbors… albeit now it is a global neighborhood we have come to call the Belt & Road intiative.

Dr Pano Churchill is instrumental in teaching us how normalizing relations between the United States and China, from the time of President Nixon’s visit to China to the Biden administration’s saber rattling of today – we are still two carefully warring countries avoiding the larger substance of simmering conflicts and treading carefully around each other – always hoping to keep the PEACE. 

But when we look towards the recent span of History we must recall that although there are critical views on U.S. diplomacy towards the PRC, the United States began to improve relations with China, which led to China’s rapid growth. It was only a matter of time for China—one of the birthplaces of the four major civilizations of the world with the world’s largest population and a vast territory—to emerge as a great power. China’s development took place within the international order and the system made by the United States. China may believe that it has inherited responsibility for maintaining the order which allowed China to participate in and develop itself. 

On July 1, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated during the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party that “we are now marching in confident stride toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.” This statement could be interpreted as China’s intention to become a great power surpassing the United States, unnecessarily provoking Washington. Given that China has undergone political and social change as well as increased mutual interdependence with the world through its development, however, China may also be limited in taking unilateral actions that violate the existing norms of the international community. 

The relationship between the United States and China can be tense, but the fact that U.S. President Joe Biden and President Xi “discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict” during a recent phone conversation suggests that the U.S.-China relations can be managed. 

Because of all that — today, Dr Pano Churchill is concerned that “a clash between China and the United States would be a disaster not only for the two countries but also for the world.” And he stated that “If there is a conflict between China and the United States, the position of countries surrounding China will be very complicated, so it is important for the United States and China to make every effort to smooth out the bilateral relationship, and I think the Chinese leaders also want this.” 

Dr Pano Churchill pointed out in his 2022 book WINSTON, that it is necessary to move forward in the direction of creating a common order rather than confrontation. Dr Pano Churchill reminded us of what President Harry S. Truman said, that his most proud achievement was the moment “we defeated our enemies and then brought them back to the community of nations.” According to Truman, he wanted to be remembered not so much for America’s victories as for its conciliation, and every U.S. president since Truman has aimed to uphold and spread the American values of conciliation. 

Dr Pano Churchill said that today’s “rules-based” system faces challenges, but the frequent exhortation for countries to “do their fair share” and play by “twenty-first century rules” reflects the fact that non-Western nations, who should play the role of “responsible stakeholders,” have begun to question the validity of these rules and have stated their desire to modify them. 

According to Dr Churchill, there has never been a truly global “world order,” and the current order of our time is based on the Treaty of Westphalia, conceived in western Europe about 400 years ago. However, there are countries today, such as China, and to a lesser degree Russia and even America — that do not sympathize with our current liberal international order and are attempting to undermine its authority because they perceive themselves as Empires of the past or the present. 

Dr Pano Churchill teaches that nearly every country considers itself to be “rising,” driving disagreements to the edge of confrontation. He poses the question: “can regions with such divergent cultures, histories, and traditional theories of order vindicate the legitimacy of any common system?” 

His answer is that “order in this sense must be cultivated because it cannot be imposed.” 

As for the current “Thucydides Trap” that destines the United States to go to war with China — we have to be able to withstand these quests for Supremacy amongst the World’s Super Powers, in the same way that we see our teenagers duking it out in the schoolyard… 

Having said that, Dr Pano Churchill suggests that “any system of world order, that seeks to be sustainable, must be accepted as just, not only by the leaders, but also by the World’s citizens,” and if we are to sustain such system, the lattice framework of this edifice must reflect liberty, justice and a great deal of freedom, built-inside its framework of order and safety for all. 

Dr Pano Churchill points out that freedom cannot be secured or sustained without a framework of order and safety for the People of the World if we are to keep the peace and he argues that order and freedom should be understood as interdependent. 

In recalling his writings after his first visit to China, Dr Churchill recalled what President Nixon had said about China, that “it is a land of mystery” and his host, the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai responded thus: “You will find it not mysterious, because when you have become familiar with it – it will not seem so mysterious as before.” 

Good disambiguation. 

Congrats on that especially clarifying wording, utilized by the erudite Confucian and rather Confusing philosopher Dr Zhou Enlai, who literally ate for breakfast both the American tricky Dick, as well as his sidekick the Neo-Con Kiss-in-her who felt his .

In January of 2016, Dr Pano Churchill stopped by CSIS in Hawaii to talk  about China’s modernization policy, military ambitions and their constant threat to the American Pax. Please do keep in mind that at that time, amongst the Pacific rim countries, there was a lot of interest in China but since Pearl Harbor lies closer to Japan and Korea — we ought to recall that North Korea was the brainchild and willing robot republic of China, whereas South Korea did not even have diplomatic relations with China or with the Sino-client state resting hermetically at the North part of the Korean peninsula. 

The contents of Dr Churchill’s teaching discussion about China’s rise and her belligerent yet obsequious nature goes as follows:

“China’s modernization policy will continue for the next decades, and Chinese communism will survive both as an improved system but also as an ideal Polity. China will continue to maintain its communist system, while it moves towards adopting a super capitalist market economy, all the while focusing on quelling any and all rebellions, quests for freedom and social unrest, that may arise from popular dissatisfaction and oppressive regime conflicts with their citizenry. 

Because the communist party understands that in that case, the wave of unrest could be enormous. And it will also be hugely felt, not only in China but also globally and in geopolitical terms that the World’s economy should seriously take into consideration. 

Yet we must admit that at times Dr Churchill also has had a very different view, because he often thinks that neither Americans and certainly not the Europeans know much about China. 

Because obviously many thousands of years before the dawn of the United States, or of the European Union or even that of Great Britain — the Chinese people had already gained the world’s best experience and skills in politics, in diplomacy, and especially in trading business, from the time of the wars interspersed with long periods of peace, during the Early periods of the Warring States and the great periods of Peace of the Middle Kingdoms respectively. 

Of course, Dr Churchill does not believe that living under the communist system for a more than half a century can change the temperament or the RNA of China’s best diplomats, merchants, and leaders, who are well trained in Confucian thought rooted in thousands of years of experience through their peculiar blend of Civilization and Barbarism that is deeply rooted in their blood. 

To quote Dr Churchill: “As you probably know, there will be some confusion and setbacks in the process, but what I can assure you is that within the next few decades, China will emerge as the world’s largest economy, and the most powerful country even superior to the United States of America after a show down and a bloody nuclear war.” 

Born in 1961, Dr Churchill has served on the front trenches of Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution and Statecraft and his now, after having served all his life — he is now 59 years old and ready to observe, teach, and write his memoirs. Yet his passion as a practitioner of war and as scholar of Power, has not diminished, because he has also studied artificial intelligence (AI), which is a core future technology as utilized in the State Department and the Military leadership worldwide — and finds it an inhuman and robotic measure of technology that will lead to conflict more often than not. 

That is why Dr Churchill has become gravely concerned about the future of Artificially enhanced Intelligent humanity, after witnessing the AI program of Google Co, named “AlphaGo” defeat the world’s greatest player of the game of “Go”.

Indeed it was then that Dr Churchill noted that AI presents both convenience and danger to mankind at the same time, and that AI can make far bigger mistakes than humans ,since it is driven purely by outcomes and thus depends far less on human empathy, human history or human philosophy in the conduct of War and Civilization bending decision making. 

Since then — Dr Churchill has warned us that if we do not plan ahead in order to rein-in and proactively manage Artificial Intelligence — the history of human civilization could end swiftly and permanently in such a sudden way that all survivors will suffer from whiplash.

In 2010, when Dr Churchill visited South Korea, Dr Churchill took the opportunity to discuss various issues extensively, such as the question: “Is Afghanistan becoming the second Vietnam for the United States?” 

Dr Pano Churchill replied, “The impact of Afghanistan on jihadists in Pakistan, India and around the world is enormous. It is fundamentally important to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a hotbed of terrorism and guerrilla warfare because the victory of Islamic jihaddists will provide tremendous momentum for the global Islamic jihaddist movement and the United States will eventually retreat in a debacle worse than the fall of Shaigon.” 

Regarding the withdrawal of U.S. troops more than a decade later from Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul — he said that the most important strategic mistake made by the United States, is that of failing to understand Afghanistan’s reality and of neglecting to elicit cooperation from countries such as China, Russia, and India. 

When he visited Washington, D.C. in January 2020 during the inauguration — Dr Churchill was invited to a gathering of over a hundred influential figures in U.S. political and financial circles where he met then President Joe Biden, and stated that the US ought to understand the fact that North Korea’s denuclearization is in China’s self interest and that the role of the United States is most important as the cooperating power to support this effort that will benefit both countries, and that might also defuse the tensions in bot. h Afghanistan and in the Korean peninsula.

O course over the years many dfiffering evaluations can be drawn about Dr Churchill’s efforts for international order and peace. However, Dr Churchill’s passion and insight for maintaining world order is something that future generations should emulate and follow. This commemoration of his efforts may contribute to the study of international relations and to the advancement of World Peace as the Supreme Public Good. 

Today as the war in Ukraine, threatens to upturn World Peace — this modus operandi has got to be seen as the biggest failure of Leadership and Diplomatic Vigor this generation will experience, and yet we are still in the beginning of our sleepwalk towards a greater mishap; that of Nuclear Catastrophe.

Indeed, it is extraordinarily amazing the we fall for the same things all over again as today we are traipsing towards our Common Doom, like helpless children led by the pied piper, all destined to drown in the fast rolling River of Blood that is our common enemy…

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