The ruler of Saudi Arabia, in particular, Mohammed bin Salman recognized as a very young man, the change in US policy. MBS has reinvented his Kingdom’s policies as he tries to reposition himself and Saudi Arabia along with the other Arab countries to conflict and confront what's going to be their biggest challenge. That great challenge is Iran.
The changing U.S geopolitical policy is driving what's going on in the Middle East right now. The question is, how the war in Ukraine affects the Middle East? The answer is that it acts in a much broader sense. Because Ukraine and Russia are substantial energy producers, they are huge, and since their Natural Gas production has been taken off the board to a great degree it will have a negative effect on the inputs that go into what we call the foodstuff. Natural Gas in the major input in the production of fertilizer and many of it comes from Russia and Ukraine, and those two producers are now off the table.
That is going to impact a lot of different countries right now, particularly food production and energy production.
Putin does not see Ukraine as the beginning or the ending of the war. Ukraine is just a step toward what Putin wants to do.
Putin is a former KGB agent. His center and philosophy are wrapped around the whole Russian Empire, it’s not the former Soviet Union. Putin is striving to recreate the former Russian Empire not the Soviet Union and protect the 5 avenues of approach that ever county that has invaded Russia takes. . He's an autocrat, it's a very autocratic system, but his philosophy is based upon the old Russian Empire.
Securing those 5 approaches is his main goal. This is what motivates Putin, and the Russian Empire is controlling these five different approaches. Pretty much everybody's invaded Russia. And there are five different avenues in which they invade. Russia now controls only two of those approaches in Crimea and there's another one up north; the other three are on the other side of Ukraine. Ukraine is just a pastor. There's a considerable discussion about the Russian and the Ukrainian people; there are a lot of similarities, but there are also a lot of larger differences.
About The Author
Rick Clay is a geopolitical analyst and senior deputy adviser in Iraq from 2003 to 2009