There is a strange situation in the world. America is riding tall even though it is only one event from a catastrophic fall. Consider the geo-political environment. If Germany had broken loose from the Western alliance and decided to join hands with Russia then US dominance would collapse overnight. Russia and Germany would be a great power actually greater in a short time than the US. Russia and Germany would be beyond US military intimidation. This would be Mackinder’s heartland. German technology married to Russian energy and military might. Similar but perhaps not so stunning potential impacts arise with either France, Italy or UK. US dominance could not cope with any such single defection and as soon as one defects the others would take the opportunity to evade US dominance. It would be a collapsing house of cards.
What is stopping any European leader defecting? Perhaps it is fear of assassination. There is a rumour that the Red Brigades were used to murder Aldo Moro who was seeking to get closer to Russia. But it only takes one to take the step for the house of cards to collapse.
If we look closer at the Western countries’ position it appears that though no one wants to take the lead every major power is taking preparatory steps such that if anyone does take the lead they can immediately follow.
What is required? To make strongly anti-Russian and anti-Chinese statements in public while secretly signalling an open mind to Russia and China. By ‘secret’ one means a ‘dance’ not any formal communication that US intelligence can intercept. What at first appears to be a confused policy may well be the ultimate in opportunism. These confused public statements are then the first shoe to drop. Then these leaders are all waiting for the next shoe to drop.
If this were ever to happen it would be equivalent of a racehorse collapsing and falling dead in the middle of a race. As a Canadian once put it: you ain’t seen nothing yet.