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Robert Kagan: We must contain Russia and China before it's too late


Three years ago, the author of a well-known American magazine predicted that the moment would come when the existing order in the world would collapse, the United States would no longer have world primacy, and cruel anarchy would reign. He called on the United States to more resolutely restrain Russia and China, otherwise inaction would lead to dire consequences.

Think about two important trends at the moment. The first one is the growing ambitions and intensified activity of the two great powers - Russia and China. The second trend is a decrease in self-confidence, a weakening of will and a reduction in the possibilities of the democratic world, in particular in the United States, which will not be able to retain the ruling positions in the world arena that have belonged to them since 1945.

These two trends merge, creating a deficit of the will and ability of the United States and its allies to maintain the existing world order, which is caused by the desire and ability of the revisionist powers to change this order.

Based on this, in the future we should expect a moment when the existing order will collapse and the world will plunge into anarchy - this has already happened three times in the last 200 years. The losses from such chaos in the form of lost wealth, lost freedoms and lost hopes will be enormous.

By all measures, Russia is weaker than China, but it has made great strides in weakening and splitting the West. Russian interference in Western political democratic systems, information warfare, its participation in increasing the number of refugees from Syria to Europe - all this weakens the confidence of Europeans in the existing political structure and in respectable political parties.

The military operation in Syria, carried out with passive actions by the United States, raises doubts about the longevity of the American presence here. Until recently, Beijing's actions have further anchored allies to the United States, which fears an increase in Chinese influence. But this situation tends to change, especially if the United States does not stray from its chosen path.

There is an assumption to think that the regional countries have already built new calculations. The East Asian countries are considering regional trade agreements where there is no US participation, the Philippines is actively cooperating from China, some countries of Central and Eastern Europe are moving closer to Russia in strategic and ideological terms.

It is possible that at some point both Russia and China will begin to act aggressively, including using military power. This will create problems not only for American, but also for global security, and in two regions simultaneously.

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of The World America Made.

"when the existing order collapses and the world plunges into anarchy"

When amers collapse, peace will reign on the planet !!!

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