Biden and Xi Jinping meet to reduce disputes

After two telephone meetings, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will have a bilateral meeting, albeit by teleconference, which will represent the most important diplomatic meeting of the year between the two major international powers. The growing tension between the two states will probably condition this summit, however the need to arrive at a satisfactory, albeit provisional, coexistence for both parties should constitute the way to be able to reach those minimum shared solutions capable of averting potential crises. . For the president of the United States it will be the first time he will meet his Chinese counterpart since he was elected, despite the two leaders having known each other for previous meetings, when Biden held the position of American vice president. The issues on the table always remain the same: reciprocal commercial and economic relations, Chinese military growth and Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions, which prevent the necessary collaboration between the two most important countries on the planet. The American foreign policy towards China, conducted by the previous White House administration, operated a mixture of aggression and openness, which signaled the evident amateurism of Trump, committed, for the most part, to resolving the trade imbalance favorable to the Chinese country. . With the Biden presidency, it was hoped for a different approach, capable of smoothing out the differences through careful diplomatic action: but this was not the case; the new tenant of the White House, not only has maintained the positions of his predecessor, but has further tightened the tone and put the Chinese question at the center of his foreign policy. China’s reaction, it could not have been otherwise, was to place itself on the same level as American action and this resulted in a succession of duties, sanctions and considerable dialectical aggression, which resulted in a situation of constant tension, certainly not conducive to a necessary relaxation, especially in this historical moment. It must be recognized that the US reasons are, however, objective: the repeated violations of human rights in Tibet and against Chinese Muslims, the repression of Hong Kong, the expansionist will and cyber attacks against the US and other Western countries, constitute valid reasons to justify American resentment; however, both countries need each other: the US is the main market for China and to achieve appreciable results for the climate, the active participation of Beijing is required. Between the two superpowers, the question of Taiwan is the most urgent: an invasion by China, which considers the island to be under its sovereignty, would jeopardize world peace and with it the profits deriving from commercial traffic: this reason it is, for the moment, the best peace assurance in favor of the whole world, but an always possible accident, deriving from the continuous military exercises or from the presence of the warships in the Strait of Formosa, can cause potentially irreparable situations; above all because connected with this question is the Chinese nuclear development, which constitutes the greatest military emergency for the USA. The Indo-Pacific region risks becoming the scene of a world rearmament capable of changing the current equilibrium, bringing or, rather, bringing the planet back to a state of fact, where the strategy of nuclear tension and equilibrium threatens to be the determining factor of international relations. The risk is concrete, but the repetition of the balance of terror would no longer have the connotation of a relationship with an exclusive double conflict, but could provoke a multilateral confrontation, given the availability of the atomic weapon to more than just two international subjects. Triggering a widespread atomic rearmament race would mean putting world peace in constant apprehension and, consequently, trade and commerce. On this basis, convenient for the two superpowers and beyond, Washington and Beijing could find interesting points of understanding to develop a relationship, if not one of friendship, at least one of mutual coexistence, such as to guarantee adequate security for diplomatic relations, a necessary basis for common peaceful coexistence. To achieve this objective, pragmatic and practical attitudes and an elasticity will be required, which only a great expertise in diplomatic affairs can guarantee.

Short and medium-term objectives of increasing Chinese weapons

The recent Pentagon report on the increase of the Chinese nuclear military arsenal, exposes very worrying data, which concern a forecast of about a thousand new warheads within ten years. This data means that the technological capacity of Beijing has grown to the point of allowing the achievement of an ever-increasing production of nuclear weapons, also integrated by other cutting-edge technologies for war purposes. China believes that increasing its atomic arsenal is a fundamental element in the context of its geopolitical ambitions and, that the current difference with the United States must absolutely be bridged, also in the context of the run-up to the role of the first world power. Currently, the American estimate speaks of 200 nuclear warheads available for Beijing, with the prospect of reaching 700 warheads in 2027, to reach 1000 in 2030. Furthermore, Chinese advances in hypersonic missile technology must be considered, leading China to one been very advanced in the ability to develop cutting-edge military technology. These considerations highlight the US need to adapt its armaments to maintain military supremacy, also in relation to the increased importance in US politics in Southeast Asia: but this brings to the fore the problem of the arms race, which still generates insecurity. major on the international stage. One of America’s biggest concerns is China’s technological ability to build ICBMs that have the potential to reach targets thousands of miles away. The Chinese strategy, in addition to the medium-term objective of establishing American primacy, in the short term for Beijing the growth of armaments serves to reaffirm its attitude on the desire to discourage the United States and its Western allies from not taking any military action. to put Taiwan’s protection in place. The question of Formosa, in fact, remains central in the current international political moment and the decision to send the first official delegation by the European Union has provoked strong Chinese resentment. Japan, for its part, denounced the circumnavigation of its main island by Chinese and Russian naval ships, formally engaged in joint military maneuvers, actually perceived by Tokyo as an explicit threat not to intervene in the Taiwan question. These Chinese behaviors are perceived as a threat to global stability, especially due to the strategic position that Beijing has taken on the state, so-called early warning counterattack, which provides for an immediate missile counterattack not only in the event of an actual attack, but also of an attack. potential or just an impending threat. The concern for the Chinese attitude does not concern only the United States, but above all neighboring countries, in the forefront the aforementioned Japan, which has launched a military spending program, which concerns two per cent of its gross domestic product, a share never allocated by Tokyo and which denounces the Japanese desire to play a leading role in containing Chinese bullying. Beijing could accuse the pressure that is being created around the island which it considers a continuation of its territory and therefore of its sovereignty, pressure, which, moreover, China itself has helped to create with intimidating actions, such as the overflight of hundreds of military aircraft on the sky of Taiwan. It is understandable that diplomatic initiatives, such as that of Brussels, could also contribute to changing the current precarious balance for the worse, but the possible consequences of potential armed threats out of control or human errors capable of unleashing remain more evident. rash reactions; the current high concentration of armaments is destined to rise, as well as the actors on the stage and the danger deriving from an uncontrolled rearmament, all represent factors of a situation where the military option can take on a very probable consistency. For now, however, the predominance of American military means may allow us to hypothesize that China can only exert disturbing actions, where the incident is always verifiable, but which are much less dangerous than a hypothetical direct attack, like the president himself. Chinese has repeatedly threatened. The time remaining, therefore, for the actual increase of the Chinese nuclear arsenal, should be used to give way to diplomatic action or to exert commercial pressure, to which Beijing is very sensitive, to penalize the Chinese economy: but we must to be able to do so and, above all, to make the appropriate renunciations; but for the maintenance of a democracy in the area this appears essential.

USA and Vatican try to improve their relations

On the occasion of the trip to Rome for the G20, American President Joe Biden also includes a visit to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis; the meeting is very relevant because it sees the confrontation between the two major world Catholic leaders. Biden is on his first visit, as US president, to the Vatican, but the meeting with the pontiff is not new as it was preceded by two visits in the role of vice president, during his stay at Obama’s White House. Biden is the second US Catholic president, after Kennedy and arrives in the Vatican after Trump’s presidency, which had been characterized by profound conflicts with Bergoglio from an ideological and political point of view on issues considered fundamental by the Pope, such as respect for human rights, the environment. and treatment of immigrants. These topics will be at the very center of the official agenda of the meeting, which will also deal with the pandemic and aid for the poorest. There is also another relevance, certainly not secondary, of this meeting: the current pontificate does not have good relations with most of the American cardinals and bishops, who maintain traditionalist positions on various topics of a social nature and who have too often found aligned with Trump’s ultraconservative positions. This fracture has generated profound contrasts to the point of imagining possible schisms within the Catholic Church. The failure of Trump’s re-election meant for Pope Francis, as well as the elimination from the political scene of a tenacious opponent, also of the greatest ally for the ultra-conservative American clergy, who find themselves without their own greater political protection; it is possible that the Pope will seek decisive support on this issue from the American President, who will have to support this position with policies, if not exactly aligned with the wishes of the Vatican, at least more incisive on the themes of the fight against poverty, the environment and the treatment of immigrants. There is no doubt about Biden’s religious sincerity: the US president is a practicing Catholic and recognizes himself in the reformist policy of the Second Vatican Council, however some of his ideas also place him at an enormous distance from Bergoglio, especially for his opinion favorable to abortion. There may be greater opportunities for rapprochement on environmental issues if Biden approaches the contents of the encyclical on the environment “Laudato Be” not too favorably received in the United States; moreover, the environmental issue is central to Biden’s trip to Europe, because after the G20 in Italy, and after the visit to the Vatican, the American president will go to Glasgow for the summit on climate change. A position closer to that of the Pope on environmental issues officially sanctioned at a world summit, could testify to an eloquent closeness between the two leaders, with the expectation of new and more advanced US positions on climate change and respect for environment, also given the consequences that global warming has caused all over the world, where more and more natural disasters are recorded. Despite these possible meeting points, the differences between Biden and the Pope remain very strong on the subject of welcoming immigrants: the recent events on the American border and the treatment reserved for Haitians who tried to enter the United States have shown that the lack of a substantial difference with Trump’s action marked by the continuous rejection of refugees, moreover, Bergoglio’s pontificate has always been centered on the defense of the weakest and the abandonment of Afghanistan, which has thrown the country into chaos and brought it back of years, wanted by Biden himself, was welcomed in a very displeased way by the Pope. The impression is that between the two, Biden is in need of moral support and political closeness with the Pontiff, in order to spend it at home, where polls say that the president’s approval is at an all-time low. Certainly Bergoglio also needs an important ally in the game he is playing in the US against the conservative clergy, but the image in Biden’s homeland needs to rediscover an appreciation that is continuing to suffer an erosion of consensus and to stop it the support of the Pope is considered fundamental.

The US will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack

In the Taiwan issue, the level of confrontation rises dangerously, after the US president has expressly declared that the US military will directly engage in the defense of the island if China intends to exercise a military option to bring Taiwan back under its rule. Biden has equated the official commitment to the defense of the countries that make up the Atlantic Alliance, also extending it to Japan, South Korea and, in fact, Taiwan. The White House tenant’s intention is clear: to act as a barrier against Chinese ambitions in the region; the declaration, however, did not imply the only military option, in fact, Biden spoke of opposing the Chinese reunification project, first of all through diplomatic solutions, but, in the event of failure of this solution, there would be no alternative to a commitment direct military. In reality, this commitment has already begun with the sending of military instructors, who have the task of training the armed forces of Taiwan to face a possible invasion of Beijing; but the further step of officially declaring the possibility of direct US military involvement in Taiwan’s defense means a clear political warning directed at China. Moreover, this development represents the logical consequence of a US policy towards Taiwan, which has always involved military supplies, despite a lack of official recognition which has been remedied by sending diplomatic representations disguised as commercial representatives; moreover, the centrality of the area in American foreign policy has already materialized with Obama, to the detriment of that of Europe and the Middle East, this trend has continued with Trump, while with Biden it is even accentuated. The garrison of marine trade routes and American regional supremacy has become paramount, especially since China has increased its military capacity and deployed its economic power, factors that have determined the American need to carry out a containment of Beijing with all the means available. Biden’s statement also raises questions about the real reasons for the sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan: need to fulfill the promises of the electoral program or need to have the US military to be deployed in other theaters of war? The issue is not secondary, because precisely the disengagement from the Afghan country, let us remember not agreed with the allies, allows the great availability of military personnel to be deployed in Taiwan. If this possibility is true, Biden’s plan for Taiwan has already been underway and planned for some time. The position of China is always the same and is dictated by the consideration of not tolerating any interference in its internal policy and the intention to reunify the country, promising to follow, as in Hong Kong, the one country system of two systems. The lack of availability of Taiwan has not been taken well in Beijing, which has intensified the pressure on the island with the overflight of about one hundred and fifty military aircraft: an action that could potentially generate dangerous accidents and not only at the diplomatic level, it was probably it was this initiative that caused Biden’s public reaction. China warned not to accept compromises on the Taiwan issue and warned Washington not to send wrong signals in open conflict with the integrity of the Chinese territory and the sovereignty of the Beijing government, on which no compromises will be accepted and there is no room for negotiation. The Chinese government’s warning to the United States, for now, is not to compromise relations between the two countries with an openly hostile attitude. No rapid times are announced for the solution of the question and it is not even easy to make a forecast, given the immovability of the respective positions; the danger of a conflict, however, is concrete, with potential enormous repercussions on the commercial structures that would affect all the economies of the planet, even if only it were a diplomatic tightening between the two parties. After the pandemic, which has not yet been resolved, a possible blockade of marine trade routes could generate a new production block capable of stopping trade globally, if there were to be a conflict between the two major world powers, it would be necessary to review every prospect to avoid the total economic crisis.

North Korea’s new threat comes from the sea

With the usual triumphant tone Pyongyang announced the success of the missile test carried out by launching from a submarine, it would be a new type of ballistic carrier whose construction would be part of the North Korean program of the construction of increasingly advanced weapons. According to the rhetoric of the regime, the missile apparatus would be equipped with sophisticated technologies for guidance and control and would represent the evolution of the armament launched about five years ago, in the first test relating to a sea-land ballistic armament. This armament could represent a strategic threat to the region and beyond, because the missile would be able to easily cross the distance of the Korean peninsula. The mobility capacity ensured by an unstable launch pad placed on a submarine represents an offensive potential capable, potentially, of hitting different targets and the possibility of arming it with nuclear warheads increases the threat of North Korea’s danger, not in the regional scenario, but also in the global one. However, according to some analysts, the fact that the same submarine used in the test five years earlier was used could indicate that the progress made in the launch phase was very scarce and not sufficiently compensated by the increased danger of the new missile carrier; in fact, to be able to exert pressure with such a weapon, the potential of the missile alone does not seem sufficient, but also the capacity of the launch base: the sum of these two factors can provide the real potential of the threat, moreover it would seem that the submarine used as a launch pad has the ability to launch only one ballistic missile at a time and does not have the ability to operate continuously underwater, having the need to emerge frequently. If these news are true, the operational and, therefore, strategic capacity of the underwater vessel would be considerably reduced, especially when compared with the possibilities, for example, of American nuclear submarines, which will be supplied to Australia. In any case, even a single launch, if managed well, can hit sensitive targets or have the ability to alter balances which, at the moment, appear very fragile; however, with a vehicle that has these limitations, it is not possible to hope to lead a conflict, because a possible reaction of more organized military apparatuses would be able to crush all ambitions of the North Korean country. The situation must be framed more in political rather than military terms, also taking into account all the elements of the scenario. The launch of the missile takes place at a difficult time because both Korean countries are protagonists of a strong rearmament policy, which generates a sort of balance of terror between the two states, where provocations can create accidents capable of dangerous reactions; furthermore, the dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang has been stalled for too long. As always, in these cases, one has to wonder why North Korea has launched just now; the reasons can be multiple, certainly the state of need of North Korea, always in a situation of serious economic and humanitarian crisis, could make us think of yet another expedient to try to obtain aid through the only known means, which is that of threat and blackmail, which, moreover, did not work too much, at least on the western side, while as regards China, Beijing’s attitude has always kept a non-linear trend; if this consideration is true, however, only one part of the answer appears, while another possible one must probably be sought in the confrontation between China and the US, where North Korea could try to carve out an important place near Beijing; it should be remembered that recent developments in the Pacific assets see China in a position of isolation against the union of Western powers. In this context, an ungovernable leading role of Pyongyang could be functional in Beijing, which we must remember is the only ally of the North Korean country and which does not seem to have had reactions to the missile launch. The current Pacific scenario could favor a crazy variable role for North Korea and guarantee the continuation of the Pyongyang dictatorship, precisely because of its usefulness for Chinese purposes: a short-term project probably considered sufficient, for now, by Kim Jong-un.

Recognize Taiwan

At the moment, only 22 nations officially recognize Taiwan, due to the opposition of China, which considers the island of Formosa to be part of its sovereignty. The obvious economic importance of Beijing on the global scene prevents, for reasons of expediency, Taiwan’s aspirations to be officially recognized internationally and contacts with foreign states take place only informally, through commercial and representative offices of the type entrepreneurial; in reality these offices are often real hidden diplomatic representations, precisely in order not to hurt the Chinese giant. The issue is not secondary, after the Chinese threats brought with the tests of force through the overflight of military aircraft from Beijing on Taiwan’s space and the statements of the Chinese president, who, once again, spoke expressly of the need to join the territory. Taiwan with the Chinese motherland according to the method of one state two systems, already used with Hong Kong, but then absolutely not maintained. The Chinese leadership considers the annexation of Taiwan to be of fundamental importance for its geopolitical project, as well as from an internal perspective, it is functional to the project to dominate the marine communication routes, considered increasingly essential for the movement of goods; however, the internal perspective is considered very important by the Beijing government, because it is considered a sort of mass distraction from the problems of the repression of Uighur Muslims, the situation in Hong Kong and how dissent is treated in general. The Chinese government intends to use nationalism to shift attention away from internal problems, which also include the difficult debt situation of local authorities, on which the entire national debt is paid, and the crisis states of many Chinese companies, of which the housing bubble is only the most obvious aspect. It is clear that Beijing’s ambitions in the region are not to the liking of the Western countries involved in the area. The increasing attention of the United States has resulted in a greater presence in the area and in the construction of military alliances with a clear anti-Chinese function. Recently, the news that US military instructors are present in Taiwan to train the local army in asymmetric warfare, to face a possible Chinese invasion, has increased the tension between the two superpowers. The central question is whether there is a real possibility of conflict, given that a Western reaction is to be taken for granted in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. According to some analysts, a military drift would be highly probable in the case of a war initiative by China; this eventuality would have enormous repercussions on the entire global scale of relations between states and also from an economic point of view, causing a worldwide contraction of the overall gross domestic product and of the individual states. This scenario is therefore to be avoided in any case, using peaceful means. One solution could be the recognition by several possible states of Taiwan as a sovereign and autonomous state entity, a recognition made by a large number of nations and carried out with a contemporary timing, would force Beijing to take note of this new state of affairs, without have the possibility of retaliation against countries that want to recognize Taiwan internationally. China, faced with such an international mobilization, would be obliged to adopt a different and certainly more moderate attitude towards Taiwan. The implementation of this recognition in such a vast audience does not seem to be an easy thing, but it deserves in-depth considerations because its effects would be able to defuse the threat of a conflict with uncertain outcomes and would limit the international dimension of Beijing, arousing, finally also effects on the state of human and civil rights of the Chinese country. Instead of engaging only in preventive rearmament, which would be the only foundation of an armed peace, the diplomatic solution of Taiwan’s recognition could represent a peaceful and intelligent solution, capable of allowing a reunion of the Western camp, now more necessary than ever, together. to a very strong signal towards China and as a reaction to its expansionism.

The US military recognizes the lower credibility of the US towards allies

The highest military officials of the United States, the Commander of the General Staff and the Commander of the Central Command, in charge of operations in Afghanistan, appeared in front of the Senate following the call to respond to the chaotic end of the conflict in the Afghan country, which has brought the Taliban back to power, against which the US military had been fighting since 2001. This confrontation between military leaders and US legislators highlighted the total lack of agreement between the military itself and the executive power, a disagreement that applies to both Trump , which for Biden, increasingly exposing the Democratic president to a dangerous similarity with his predecessor, from whom he had distanced himself so much during the election campaign. The discord between the military and the White House highlights Biden’s responsibility in the bad relations he has caused with his European Union allies, who seem not to follow the advice of their military leaders. The decisions of the American president, who has always taken responsibility for his own decisions, did not take into due consideration the advice of the military, opting for the wrong analyzes of US intelligence. The Chief of Staff appeared to regret the loss of credibility of the United States by its European allies, expressly defining an unacceptable exit from the Afghan war as a damage. This observation, which comes at a time of difficulty within the Atlantic Alliance, fuels the distrust of Europeans in particular and France in particular, due to the change in American foreign policy towards a centrality shifted from Europe to the Asian scenario. Even the Secretary of Defense, who did not agree with the assessments of the Chief of Staff, had to admit that American credibility could be questioned, despite the personal conviction of maintaining a high reliability value. But the greatest damage to the prestige of the president came from the commander of the Central Command, who confirmed that the intention of the American military leaders was to maintain a contingent of 2,500, an option rejected by Biden, but which had been agreed with Trump; however, both of the last two presidents did not want to consider an exit not based on dates, but on compliance conditions, as suggested by the military. The wrong decision was also due to a wrong information from US intelligence, which believed the Afghan regular army was able to counter the Taliban offensive without American help, but it must be specified that the training of the Afghan military was assigned to the American army, which despite the several billion dollars invested has not been able to bring the armed forces of Kabul to adequate preparation. Despite the negative judgments on the modalities of the withdrawal, the Chief of Staff acknowledged that a stay by the American military would have meant a clash on the ground with the Taliban and also subjected to the potential threats of the Islamic State formations present on Afghan territory. The conclusions of the US senators were, that the Afghan failure was due to unfortunate agreements made by Trump with the Taliban (democratic view), added to the disastrous management of Biden (republican view), the final result of which was the 2,500 American deaths. and the $ 2.3 trillion waste, which represents a strategic US failure of epochal scale. Beyond this analysis it must also be added that the Afghan country will return to a territory where Islamic terrorist formations can reorganize without any conflict, a sort of base from which to organize attacks on Western countries, train terrorists and try to propose more ambitious models, such as that of the Islamic state. Biden’s decision, if in some ways it can be understood within the framework of domestic political reasons, reduces the perception of the US as a great power capable of protecting itself and the West from a threat that is becoming increasingly threatening and, that if should it occur, it can only be attributed to the poor management of Biden himself, who will be persecuted for this reason also in the history books.

Serbia and Kosovo risk conflict

The movements of the troops of Serbia and Kosovo on the border that divides the two states worry the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance, who fear armed clashes between the two sides. Kosovo is not recognized as a state entity by Serbia, but also by Russia, China and Spain, one of the five European countries to refuse recognition in order not to feed, even indirectly, the question of Catalan independence. The triggering issue is due to Pristina’s decision, which has been in force for some time, to refuse entry to Serbian cars, except with the condition of being registered with provisional number plates. The Serbian minorities present in the northern part of Kosovo did not like the measure and the tension has risen up to the damage of the offices of the automobile register and the blocking of roads. The northern Kosovar area is not new to such episodes because, essentially, the Serbian minority rejects the authority of the government of Pristina; Serbia itself considers the borders with Kosovo as simple administrative crossings, precisely because it refuses the recognition of the independence of what it still considers its province. Pristina deployed its special forces in Serbian minority areas and banned cars with Serbian plates from entering its territory, arguing that Belgrade implemented a similar measure, causing, in addition to the disturbances and devastation already mentioned, also the blockade of communication routes with the rest of the country through roadblocks implemented with articulated lorries by the Serbian minority. Belgrade perceived the deployment of Kosovar troops as a provocation to be responded to in a similar way: in addition to the Serbian ground forces now present at the border, the show of force also included the overflight of the territories of Kosovo with military aircraft. Belgrade’s request to Pristina is to withdraw the provision on the prohibition of the circulation of cars with Serbian plates to avoid a possible conflict. It is clear that these provocations, which take place on both sides, are expedients to raise in an instrumental way, perhaps for reasons of internal politics, a tension that has dragged on for too long without a definitive definition, capable of overcoming the constant state of danger. International diplomacy is aware of a possible military drift as a tool for defining the crisis and both the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance have taken action by inviting their respective countries to stop the state of crisis by withdrawing the armed sides that face each other. on the border line, stressing that any unilateral action will be considered unacceptable. Both governments assure that they have no will to want to provoke a conflict, but both, for the moment, do not seem to be working diplomatically for a confrontation with the other party; for Serbia, which officially presented its candidacy to become a country of the European Union in 2012, it is also a proof of its reliability towards Brussels, which cannot fail to take into account, in a negative way, a possible irresponsible behavior on the part of Belgrade. Albania also enters the question, another candidate country for admission to the European Union, with an application made official in 2014, which lives with concern the negative escalation of the situation, due to the natural ties with Kosovo and its Albanian majority: in this scenario it must be remembered that Tirana is an effective member of the Atlantic Alliance, while Belgrade is only an associate member; this places the organization of the Atlantic Pact in a difficult position, which is why the Secretary General has stepped up efforts for a peaceful definition of the question, however the danger of the explosion of a military confrontation within the old continent comes at a time very delicate historian for the European Union due to the serious difficulties that the relationship with the United States is going through. The possible need for a deterrent to a conflict, presumably, would see Brussels as the main actor, without adequate support from Washington: a test that Europe is not yet prepared for at the moment.

Tension is growing between Algeria and Morocco

With the closure, by the Algerian authorities, of its airspace to all Moroccan civilian and military aircraft, the level of tension between the two states is raised, aggravating a difficult diplomatic situation that could degenerate in a dangerous way. The question between the two North African states concerns the situation of Western Sahara, south of Morocco, controlled by the Polisario Front which is fighting for independence from the government of Rabat, claiming the sovereignty of the territories inhabited by the Sahrawi people and for this reason recognized by the United Nations, as the legitimate representative of those populations. These territories include huge deposits of minerals and phosphates, a material used for fertilizers, which is the real reason why Morocco refuses to grant the Polisario Front a referendum for independence. To remedy the situation of the annexation of these territories by Morocco, which took place in the seventies of the last century, the Polisario Front decreed the birth of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, whose government in exile is hosted in Algeria, which, in fact, it has become the patron country of this cause. The Moroccan country is supported for its cause by the US and Israel, this as a consequence of Trump’s promise to support Rabat in the event of recognition of the Israeli state, so Washington recognized the sovereignty of Morocco over the territories claimed by the Polisario Front; recently Algeria was hit by fire by the Moroccan armed forces, which operated using an Israeli-made drone. Rabat, during the year, opened two diplomatic crises with European countries: the first with Spain, for having welcomed a leader of the Polisario Front to give him medical treatment, the second with Germany, which defined Western Sahara as a territory occupied by Morocco and to have asked the United Nations for an emergency meeting of the Security Council to request the holding of the referendum on the independence of Western Sahara. Morocco responded to these international solicitations by counterattacking with an action against Algeria, asking the United Nations itself for the right to self-determination of the Algerian region of Kabylia with a Berber majority. Algiers had previously classified the movement that supports the autonomy of the Berber region as an Islamist terrorist and the failure to withdraw the Moroccan proposal resulted in the withdrawal of the Algerian ambassador to Morocco. Contributing to this diplomatic tension was the discovery of Rabat’s use of Israeli software capable of spying on Algerian officials and the alleged Moroccan involvement in the fires that devastated northern Algeria and caused at least ninety victims. The suspension of flights with the Moroccan flag over Algerian skies wanted by the Algiers government is part of this scenario of respective rudenesses, which denote a confrontation of low military intensity, but with high diplomatic tensions, which also affect economic relations: after the withdrawal of its ambassador Algiers announced the interruption of the export of its gas to Spain through Morocco: for Rabat this means a loss between 50 and 200 million euros, due to the 7% share of the total value of the gas that arrives on Spanish territory; and the ban on overflight also affects the Moroccan tourist industry, which bases arrivals in its country through air traffic. At the level of a global analysis of the southern Mediterranean region, there is a fear of further destabilization, which, if added to the Libyan situation, where the civil war has also extended to Mali and involves great powers, more or less directly, can bring the whole coastal strip to a state of uncertainty that could be reflected in the European countries bordering the Mediterranean; moreover, Islamic radicalism could take this situation as an opportunity to infiltrate local crises and exploit uncontrolled migrations to reach the West. In fact, it should not be forgotten that one of the means, however not new, used by Morocco to exert pressure on Spain, was precisely that of leaving its borders uncontrolled to encourage a migratory flow towards the Spanish country. This situation is also the umpteenth confrontation of the USA with the European Union, which each support the opposing contenders, underlining the profound difference of views that has arisen in the Western field.

For Europe, the US is no longer reliable and Biden looks more and more like Trump

As might be expected, the military agreement between the US, Great Britain and Australia has caused deep resentment in Europe. This is a real affront to Brussels, kept in the dark about the terms of the alliance, if it is part of the relationship within the so-called Western world. The greatest irritation is recorded in France, which, due to a clause in the agreement, which obliges Canberra to purchase American atomic-powered submarines, loses a substantial order with Australia for the supply of diesel-powered submarines. A very important detail is that this order was confirmed again on 31 August last by a videoconference meeting between the military leaders of the two states, with a joint signature, which did not foreshadow any rethinking, however, never officially communicated. But beyond the legitimate French resentment, the European Union suffers an evident diplomatic wrong, which threatens to have serious consequences in the relationship with the United States, held to be the real culprits for the provocation. The greatest disappointment is represented by President Biden, who started with a profoundly different attitude from his predecessor, but who turned out, in fact, even worse towards his European allies: first the unscheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan and now the creation of an alliance that leaves the European Union out without any explanation; or rather the explanation could be the consideration that Europe is now a secondary theater compared to Asia, the true focal point of current American interests. After all, already with Obama this supremacy of Asian centrality over the old continent was beginning to take shape, Trump has continued it and Biden further strengthens it. Furthermore, Biden seems to add to himself the desire to shift the main US attention towards Asia, typical of Obama, with Trump’s desire to put the United States in front of everything: this is the only way to explain the diplomatic rudeness of the White House, where London and Canberra are only supporting subordinates. However, there is also the need to take into account the European Union’s desire for ever greater autonomy from its main ally, a factor, however, amply justified, as this story demonstrates. A further element may have been represented by the position of the European Union, which while remaining faithfully in the Western camp, has sought a balance between Beijing and Washington, to avoid a too dangerous degeneration of relations between the two superpowers. At this point, the European intent seems to have failed, with China openly accusing the US, Great Britain and Australia of opening a new season of increasing armaments with the Chinese country as its objective. The crux of the matter now is the poor level of relations between Washington and Brussels, which, despite the absence of official statements, seems even lower than when Trump was president; certainly Biden enjoys a caution, which his predecessor did not benefit, perhaps due to the hope of a tangible sign of repentance, but if this is the European tactic, the hopes seem vain: the path taken by the White House points to a marginal Europe as an element geostrategic, a factor that could also have repercussions on commercial relations. Washington has also filled the void created by Brexit and has operated a tactic capable of linking London more closely with the opposite side of the ocean; this detail should not be underestimated because it could exacerbate relations between the United Kingdom, always looking for expedients favorable to itself in the game of post-Brexit agreements, and Europe. This is how the scenario that Trump had pursued without being able to materialize came about, now it will be necessary to see the ability of the Union to react not to be overshadowed and to conquer the position that it has long sought in the international field and which is frustrated with this agreement. , which ultimately sees her as a loser and betrayed, but in the same field as her: the Western one. The defeat, that is, is even heavier because it does not come from an opponent, which could have been Russia or China itself, but from the country, which despite everything, was considered the greatest ally. Caution and prudence must be at the basis of the next moves of European diplomacy, but with the right distrust of unreliable and even treacherous allies. The political and military autonomy of Europe is increasingly important, now on a par with economic strength, above all to manage opponents who have a lot in common and are not politically distant like China and Russia.