The battle today is not for countries or swaths of land. The battle today is for Technology, Data, The Best Algorithms, The Most Advanced Materials, Which Countries Own The Global Brands? etc.
It is being gauged at the molecular, sub-atomic particles and gene editing levels, along ever more intricate lines of code, within and in between the abstract worlds of science, technology, mathematics and engineering.
At present, these beyond-government’s-reach fields are ruled by private enterprises’ free cash-flows being deployed in massive amounts throughout endless virtuous circles of R&D.
Putin has already lost this “real” world war by utterly stifling the amazing cadre of brilliant, creative and superbly educated Russian people (including its entrepreneurs).
The value of the military today is that of “Gate Keepers,” the role of nuclear armaments is that of “Deterrence through M.A.D.”
Cheap land (including land size), labor, and abundant natural resources have become secondary to -per example- who makes the best airplane wings? who manufactures semi-conductors? who’s behind AI mathematics? and specially who mines and controls the data?
What good is a newly annexed territory if it doesn’t contain at least some of the critical technologies or manufacturing capabilities needed to compete in today’s world.
Besides, WWII taught us that Hitler’s annexations yielded not 1+1= >2 results but to the contrary, occupied countries with hostile patriots and significantly diminished GDPs that the occupying country (Germany) had to subsidize.
The nations dominating the world today are those that through their private enterprises are able to add a “premium” to the “branded” services and products they sell.
Those Countries that have created and facilitated the existence of the legal, social and economic environments for “crazy” visionaries, and the awesome, inspired talent they attract, to engender such amazing levels of excellence and usefulness -on a sustained basis- that their products and services are coveted around the world. It is only on these type of environments where “Global brands” are created and endure.
These enterprises’ cash flows and R&D budgets have nothing to do with governments, ideologies much less autocrats or totalitarian regimes (under such they simply cannot be created or as recently seen in China -thrive-).
To a large degree, the scorecard card at present reads like this:
“The more Global Brands a Country has, the more prosperous it is.”
The Russian Federation from this angle is an embarrassing and massive FAILURE.
The Criminal Invasion and War in Ukraine discussion has drifted into the historians and geo-political analysts’ obsolete, obtuse and predictable debate about who’s right? the US-aligned world or Russia?
But, with less than 2% of the world’s GDP (The U.S. is 24.4%), not a single Global Brand, No Standing, Stake or Ownership into the Design, R&D, etc of the key technologies ruling Today’s World, Mr. Putin’s Country’s role is heading more and more into oblivion; all of it making the repetitive “two-world powers/order” debates not only pointless and irrelevant, but unnecessary distractions from the “reality” of the catastrophic lack of entropy of the Russian State, hence its continuous, inexorable and now accelerated decline.
The enormity of Putin’s misfire by picking the wrong war is reaffirmed by the fact that the “Global Brands” R&D and Market-Share race is changing at lightning speed, so much so that in the near future the new scorecard will likely read like this:
“The more Global Technology Brands a Country has, the more it’ll dominate the markets, people’s minds, and the world.”
Russia’s current doomed trajectory could only be altered if they were to “transition” Putin out of power, and in this regard history also teaches us something, these type of changes in Russia are abrupt, unexpected, not pretty, and subsequently the fallen even disappear from their historical pictures.
March 10th 2022.