July 21, 2014
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Russians aren’t exactly known for having a great sense of humor. But the language is full of bizarre, often hilarious expressions like “perebrasyvanie kakashkami”.
Literally translated this means “throwing shit”. And it applies right about now—when a bunch of people is standing around blaming one another for something that has gone heinously wrong.
“Heinously wrong” is somewhat of an understatement.
The MH17 disaster is so bad that it’s made people forget about the roving army of fanatics that has taken over half of Iraq and parts of Syria in their quest to build a global caliphate.
This is much bigger. And there’s so much pent up tension between rising powers right now, there’s serious risk of it turning into a much greater conflict.
It seems ironic that the world was in a similar situation exactly a hundred years ago.
After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary issued a series of ultimatums to the Kingdom of Serbia, and ultimately declared war on July 28, 1914.
Tensions in Europe and around the world were at boiling point. The primacy of the British and other European colonial powers was waning, as recently formed unitary states of Germany and Italy were on the rise.
With so many rising powers, it was inevitable that conflict would ultimately ensue. Even if Franz Ferdinand’s assassination wouldn’t have happened, some other tinder would have lit the fire.
Similar conditions exist today.
Just like a century ago when waning British power invited a power struggle among rising nations, waning US power is creating conflict with Russia, China, etc.
A century ago, they settled it on the battlefield. Everyone knew war would eventually come to Europe. But the great miscalculation was they presumed it would be just another 19th century limited war.
It was anything but.
The great war brought brutal mass killings, bombings, heavy artillery, gassing, etc. And it changed warfare forever.
This time around, the way we conduct war is different. Similarly, leaders are miscalculating, thinking that they can scare their opponents with warships and fighter jets.
But modern warfare isn’t fought with boots on the ground. In 2014, cyberwar and economic war looms.
And this type of war is something that will affect literally every person who is plugged in to the global financial system.
I invite you to explore more with me on this critically important topic in today’s podcast. You can give it a listen here: