I am enjoying the European heat wave here in Italy as the power struggles along the Silk Road grow ever more fascinating.
The Silk Road connects a rising Asia with the European Union – the largest, wealthiest consumer market in the world. As China builds roads and railroad connections that dramatically shorten the distance between East and West, a rising land empire and Chinese naval investment in the South China Sea are supplanting the naval power that the Anglo-American Alliance has used to lead and dominant global trade for centuries.
These changes have challenged the future of Europe – and its relationship to the United States and United Kingdom. The shock of the Brexit vote in 2016 was followed by the Trump election and the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris Agreement, the Iran agreement and efforts to renegotiate NATO.
Now new EU leadership has emerged. This includes Ursula von der Leyen, former German Defense Minister, as the new EU President and Christine Lagarde, former head of the IMF and French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry, Agriculture and Fishing, and Commerce, as the new President of the European Central Bank.
Can European leadership play an important role in reasserting a rules based system to support open markets and trade globally? Clearly von der Leyen and Lagarde have the experience and reputation as “adults in the room” to make a major contribution going forward. You can watch von der Leyen’s acceptance speech here.
Further south, the rules based system has flown out the window as Israel pushes aggressively for war (and with their allies, control of the US Congress and US elections) and the US and British navies play a dangerous game of drone and oil tanker chicken in the Straits of Hormuz.
Take a look at a map of Eurasia – Iran is smack in the middle of the rising land empire. It is not surprising that it is important to the flow of oil and resources, not to mention the equity positions along the Silk Road. This is why all eyes are on the shipping lands through the Straits of Hormuz.
This coming week the Saker returns for our quarterly report on the emerging multipolar world. We continue our discussion of whether or not the Neocons can engineer a war with Iran. How do we get rid of the psychopathic elements in US and global governance? We will touch on the hot spots that Saker and his community at the Vineyard of the Saker have been tracking around the world. We will also talk about his new book – The Essential Saker III – don’t miss it here.