East vs. West: A Clash of Civilizations

In an unusual turn of events, the European Union, led by Germany has determined to sanction Russia over unconfirmed suspicions of misconduct in mid October, 2020. The EU, guided by what has been termed a Franco-German plan, issued sanctions against the Kremlin for the suspected poisoning death of Moscow detractor, Alexei Navalny. The stunning move comes on the heals of weeks and months of tensions between Russia and the EU over the Kremlin’s growing influence in Eastern Europe, the Mideast and elsewhere and the EUs waning power, economically, regionally and worldwide.

In 2019, the weakening Union was dealt a heavy blow when the United Kingdom severed ties after lengthy negotiations termed, Brexit. More recently, the EU which is plagued with malignant debt, rising pandemic numbers and growing international skepticism lashed out at Britain, by levying legal action for an internal market bill they say violates international law. The greater question is whether the EU was actually a viable force or rather it was relying on the UK to legitimize it.

Undoubtedly both the EU and Britain will want support from an increasingly isolationist America. It is unclear which one will garner Washington’s support as the EU’s international ambitions could serve as an albatross for the USA, spreading Washington’s resources very thin. The pandemic has only exacerbated and (in some cases) accelerated the problem.

China continues to mount impressive gains, despite the pandemic and the US’s best efforts. Now it appears India may become the newest titan to rival the US for the second largest economy in the world. India, unlike the US, has not only the manpower to become a superpower, but it has invested heavily and evenly into its tech sector talent and cleverly diversified its international sectors.

However, America’s contingencies may likely take a back seat to the EU’s drive to survive. The EU doesn’t have time to babysit America’s decadence issues brought on by years of internal, economic and international neglect. Still the West is positioning itself against the East through direct and indirect confrontations. Eastern European nations that were once happy to join the EU, now find cause to reevaluate as new energy resources materialize and Eastern alliances look more substantive and lucrative. A new unlikely hegemony seems to be rearing its head in the Balkans and the meditereanen. Whoever wins primacy in this contest may alter the world order in ways we did not anticipate.