The Cold War was a decades-long global struggle between the USSR and the Western Alliance. The Battle of the Bulge was one of the last major battles in World War 2. Germany had expanded beyond its own borders but then was pushed back to its borders. The Battle of the Bulge was Germany making a large last push to try to break back out of its borders.
The collapse of the Soviet Union caused its breakup. Russia has gotten back control of Georgia, Chechnya, Crimea and Belarus. Russia has also been involved in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and Iran.
They have now expended massive economic and military resources to what might end up being the eastern half of Ukraine.
The Battle of the Bulge lasted 6 weeks. The Ukraine conflict could last a lot longer but it is a pointless dead-end.
What was non-NATO in Europe will go NATO. Sweden and Finland go NATO.
Western Ukraine if it can stay free could eventually go NATO. The next guy after Putin will probably not stay with this plan and have Russia stay a Pariah-state. There is no overarching ideology and religious doctrine like in Iran. There is no system and network of people supporting this like in Iran.
Russia’s economy was rebuilding after the USSR collapsed. The nominal GDP has now gone from $1.7 trillion to $1 trillion and will head down to $750 billion.
Russia could eventually flip. Within 15-20 years, Putin dies (natural or unnatural). There is no successor who will carry on this plan. The other Oligarch Russians want vacations in London and Dubai. Russia will eventually become like Poland and just go western and stay western.
Over the next ten years, there will be a massive shift out of oil for transportation globally. This is technology-driven. Oil and gas demand goes to 70 million barrels per day of demand and will keep dropping. There will be new substitutes at lower and lower switching costs. Prices will head to the $20-40 per barrel range.
The technology shift to the future is happening. Russia missed the last technology and economic waves and now Putin has guaranteed that Russia will not participate in any technology transition until he or his successor flips. Saudi Arabia is desperately trying to build a post-Oil and Gas technological economy. This is the obvious long-term move to keep relevance. Putin has screwed that up completely.
Russia becomes a fused North Korea-Iran. Many more nuclear weapons than North Korea.
Unlike North Korea which has had several short generations of the Kim family leading North Korea. Putin has no groomed successors. He is ruthless enough to keep things going while he is alive. Although Putin should look at the medical treatment that Stalin had in his final days.
Putin gets to join the other leaders of the USSR who led Russia to a crappy economy and through an era of ultimately pointless belligerence. Putin ends up like a more ruthless version of Brezhnev.
Brezhnev strengthened the Soviet Union’s dominion over Central and Eastern Europe. The massive arms buildup and widespread military interventionism expanded the Soviet Union’s influence abroad. However, the military buildup was not sustainable in the long run. Putin had to restore and rebuild the military. Russia now has about 400,000-500,000 troops and has the heavy gear for them to use and planes to support them. Poland and Germany (especially with NATO-US backing) can stop Russia’s war capabilities.
There was societal decline known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. The period was characterized by an increasing technological gap between the Soviet Union and the United States. Russia is going to fall back more in Technological capability.
Russia has not been able to start and finish any ship or submarine over 5000 tons for the last 20 years. There were a couple finished that were started in the Soviet era. Russia does not sell or do anything with products other than commodities (oil, gas, nitrogen fertilizers, metals and minerals and second rate weapons.)
Modern technology is highly computer chip dependent. China has to import most of its important chips from the West. Russia gets inferior chips from China. Computer chips and world finance are more powerful than Oil and Gas.
SOURCES- Brian Wang’s analysis, a few Wikipedia facts
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.