Geopolitical strategist Velina Tchakarova, known for coining the term “Dragon Bear” to describe the strategic partnership between China and Russia, provided an in-depth perspective on her assessment of the current global scenario, which she characterizes as “firmly situated within the context of Cold War 2.0.”
She emphasizes that most experts who are overly concerned about the prospect of World War III are overlooking the broader perspective. Ms. Tchakarova engages in a discussion on Conflicts and Crises in Global Hotspots in a conversation with Amitabh P. Revi, Associate Editor at our affiliated entity, StratNews Global.
Israel-Hamas War: Danger of Escalation
Regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict and the risks of escalation, further entrenchment, and expansion of the situation, she delineates both optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. The primary concern shared by global and regional stakeholders is that a ground offensive might lead to unintended consequences, possibly drawing in more than neighbouring nations. At present, there is speculation, particularly regarding Iran’s involvement as a potential actor in the worst-case scenario. Conversely, the best-case scenario would entail the prevention of such a ground offensive.
Russia-Ukraine War Not Ending Before 2025-26
Regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict, she envisions that the war of attrition is unlikely to conclude before 2025-26, regardless of the circumstances. Furthermore, Russia has attempted an offensive amid Ukraine’s counter-offensive. However, this endeavour hasn’t met with substantial success up to this point, signifying that, once again, Russia is expending resources and sacrificing human lives without regard for the cost.
Additionally, a significant matter revolves around the Black Sea. Since July 17, Russia has maintained a blockade reminiscent of the early stages of the conflict last year. Notably, Ukraine, without foreign assistance, has managed to partially alleviate this blockade by facilitating the transit of commercial vessels carrying vital Ukrainian grain. This grain holds immense importance not only for Ukraine but also for regions in the global south.
US Heft Intact
Velina also examines the United States’ capacity, capability, and willingness to manage various conflicts, especially as it approaches an election year. From a geopolitical perspective, the United States continues to be a global actor with extensive capabilities and reach, enabling it to offer military support to Ukraine and concurrently engage in the Middle East, where Israel holds not just a significant strategic partnership but the most vital one in the region and beyond. However, this is not a typical year for the United States, given the impending election. During an election year, Americans tend not to focus on military conflicts and foreign policy, creating a complex situation.
China-Russia Open Third Front in Indo-Pacific
She asserts that China and Russia are initiating a third front in the Indo-Pacific and evaluates the potential for increased military tensions between India and China due to a combination of triggers.
“I posit that China and Russia, while not forming a military pact or strategic alliance, are operating within a model of strategic coordination. This arrangement, which has organically evolved over the past decade, is proving effective in various domains,” she remarked.
I contend that China and Russia will open a third front for the United States in the Indo-Pacific. This competition could involve activities such as technology transfers to North Korea, which could exacerbate the nuclear arms race. Additionally, it may result in heightened military escalation, as we are already witnessing in the South China Sea, particularly with the Philippines and in the Taiwan Strait.
Why is this the opportune moment? It’s evident because we currently find ourselves within the framework of Cold War 2.0, pitting the United States against the Dragon Bear. In this context, the primary aim is not to incite direct military confrontation, as neither the United States nor China and Russia actively desire such an outcome. Instead, due to their competitive relationship, they are probing the terrain. The crux of the matter revolves around credibility.
“So, how to discredit the Americans, on the one hand, how to weaken the American position in various arenas? On the other hand, I believe that, alongside Ukraine and Israel, Hamas is operating in a way that’s advantageous to Iran. There’s a convergence of interests similar to those in the Middle East. Currently, both China and Russia support the two-state solution and back Gaza and the Palestinian cause. It suggests they aim to have a say in any peace or crisis management efforts following a potential peace solution,” Velina observed.
Cold War II on Multiple Fronts, Not A World War III Scenario
Velina asserts that what many experts, who are currently expressing intense concerns about the possibility of war or World War III, are overlooking, is the significance of nuclear weapons.
“We find ourselves in a distinct situation where the gravity of certain decisions is comprehended by all parties involved. Over the course of the 20 months of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there has not been a single indication that both NATO and Russia desire a direct military confrontation; no such sign has emerged,” she pointed out. The same principle applies to the purported threat of a nuclear exchange. Although Putin has made references to nuclear blackmail, the current risk of nuclear weapon use is no greater than it was a decade ago. Thus, it is not an imminent threat, she concludes.
Regarding India-Pakistan relations, Velina also delves into the prudence of both leaderships and the potential for essential crisis management. She suggests the possibility of normalizing trade relations between the two countries and examines a trend toward civilian nuclear power.
(Note: To watch full interview, click link below)
“We’re In A U.S.-China+Russia Cold War II On Multiple Fronts, Not A World War III Scenario”