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Travis Cunha

Apr 28, 2024

Europe Digging Its Own Grave

When Russia’s Special Military Operation began, Western media pundits and critics of Russia in general scoffed at the idea of a Russian victory. They expected that the “technologically advanced” NATO arms would hold off Russia.

After two years of steady Russian advancement and failed Ukrainian counter-offensives, Russia now controls huge areas of Eastern Ukraine. Although the United States recently allocated another $61 billion dollars to Ukraine, European leaders fear their countries may soon be footing the bill for that conflict without any more American contributions.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently opted not to supply Ukraine with certain weaponry, like the Taurus long-range missiles. His reluctance is reasonable, considering Germany's significant economic repercussions from backfiring sanctions and its loss of cheap Russian energy through the Nordstream pipelines, which were sabotaged. While the UK is the second-largest European contributor to Ukraine after Germany, Rishi Sunak is not the face of Europe's anti-Putin position either.

The Mad Frenchman

In February, French President Emmanuel Macron thrust himself into the position of leading the charge against Russia, suggesting that France was willing to send troops to Ukraine. During a news conference on February 26, Macron said, “There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out.”

Macron's new bellicosity was in contrast to his formerly low profile regarding the Ukraine conflict. Every world leader in NATO voiced their anger over Russia’s “invasion” and committed to supporting Ukraine for "as long as it takes"; that was the bare minimum and France did it well. But in February, Macron then went beyond even the United States in his escalatory rhetoric, stating openly what we already know, that Western troops are working in Ukraine.

How did we get to the point where Macron is now threatening to basically begin World War Three by throwing NATO into a full-scale war with Russia? The answer lies in the decaying state of Europe, while Russia, Africa, and the East are aiming to surge ahead in the future. The absolutely idiotic sanctions on Russia have hurt Europe's economy, and as the conditions of these once-prosperous nations decline even further, we can expect they will resort to desperate measures to maintain their place. 

A Lot Can Change in Two Years

It is interesting to see what Macron felt at the beginning of the Russian Special Military Operation when European leaders were more skeptical of Russia’s victory. Macron even advised that diplomacy with Russia should be prioritized after its defeat. “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means.” When everyone else was salivating at the idea of regime change in Russia, Macron was one of the few voices advocating for diplomacy. 

Macron's words about Vladimir Putin from two years ago must haunt him: “I think, and I have told him, that he has made a historic and fundamental mistake for his people, for himself, and for history,” Macron said. “I think he isolated himself. Taking refuge in isolation is one thing, but finding a way out is a difficult thing.” As Europe and the United States increasingly isolate themselves from the rest of the world, they are finding it is now they who must find a way out of their desperate situation. 

While he was wrong about Russia's defeat, Macron back then at least sounded more reasonable; he thought Russia should be respected and not humiliated. This is in stark contrast to Macron's recent comments, after two years of Western failures and Russian victories: “Our Europe today is mortal,” Macron said. “It can die and that depends solely on our choices,” he added, “it’s today that Europe is between war and peace…Our ability to ensure our security is at stake; Russia mustn’t be allowed to win.”

This sounds like the thoughts of a madman on the brink of defeat. In just two years, Macron went from moderate respect for Russia to warning that a Russian victory would sound the death knell for Europe.

France Being Pushed into a Corner

Upon further analysis of Europe’s place in the emerging multipolar world, perhaps Macron is right to be concerned for its prospects. During his recent speech, Macron also took a swipe at the United States by stating the obvious, that Europe is a puppet of the United States. “Only then will Europe show that it’s not a United States’ lap dog and that it also knows how to talk to other regions of the world,” he said.

By remaining subservient to the United States and neglecting opportunities outside the capitalist paradigm, France is losing credibility across its former African colonies. Despite inheriting a strong foothold in Africa from its colonial past, France has maintained a neocolonial relationship, controlling African resources through its corporations.

Burkina Faso and Niger are asserting their independence by reducing French interference, with Niger even expelling French military presence entirely. As China and Russia deepen economic ties with African states, France's ability to exploit its former colonies for resources is diminishing rapidly.

Macron now faces a daunting predicament. The side he has supported with substantial funds and weaponry is faltering, leaving France exposed both militarily and economically. Africa's shift towards making better, fairer deals with Russia and China further tarnishes France's reputation and reduces access to vital resources.

Compounding the issue is the inability to address the situation due to constraints imposed by the leadership in the United States. With three more years until the end of his term, Macron faces a rocky road ahead.

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