The Short-Lived BRICS Era Ended and No One Noticed

Economics, Geopolitical, Premium POM

Could there be a new alliance between Russia, Canada, and America?

By JC Collins

Last year I ran down a mental rabbit hole when I considered a possible scenario where Russia and China could enter into a period of conflict.  This conflict was based on border disputes and a possible re-alliance between China and America.  Anglo-American strategists would obviously take advantage of natural and legacy points of tension between the large Eurasian powers, but after a few days of consideration I dumped the idea as being illogical.

One of the reasons I first began considering such a scenario was because of a Chinese troop buildup along the border with Russia.  Beijing had also built up troops on its border with India.  So it would appear that not all was as it seemed in BRICS world.

But since the growing alliance between Trump and Putin has spilled into the mainstream additional evidence has emerged which could suggest that the BRICS economic and geopolitical alliance is no longer functioning as it was intended.

Further to this, the BRICS membership fragmented when Brazil’s former leader was arrested and charged with corruption.  The BRICS alliance and the seemingly inevitable ascendance of Brazil as one of the top emerging markets in the world was soon shattered and left strewn amongst the ruins of “Lula’s” legacy.

Other factors include a strengthening US dollar, which is temporary, and a reduction in Federal Reserve asset purchases which has made the emerging markets less attractive.

Just the other day it was reported that China had placed ICBM’s on its border with Russia.  Outside of flashy headlines Russia didn’t seem too concerned with this as the missiles themselves once launched had a dead-zone radius which eliminated a large part of Russia as a target.  It would be like trying to touch your left elbow with your left hand.

Still, the placement of ICBM launchers on Russia’s borders must be somewhat unsettling and problematic in the private meetings of statesmen and business owners.

The BRICS institutions which were established over the last few years will of course continue to play a role as the liquidity in the international monetary system rebalances.  The New Development Bank and Contingency Reserve Arrangement will still align with the larger mandates of the International Monetary Fund and the implementation of the Special Drawing Right (SDR) as the new global reserve asset.

What will change is the realignment between America and Russia and the strategic shift this will make for the Eurasian Union.  It was always expected that the BRICS institutions would be used as the springboard for the Eurasian development.  This will not change.

What I do see changing is the need for the United States to use Russia as a strategic partner to facilitate a geopolitical cheque and balance on China and their larger ambitions in the South China Sea and the Eurasian continent as a whole.  This was almost obvious in hindsight.  The rise and economic importance of China as the world’s largest economy next to America suggests that Trump would realign with Russia (in exchange for America stepping back from Europe) in order to box China in on both sides as Beijing gain more economic power in the world.

It would appear as if the outgoing Anglo-American establishment which was overthrown in the United States had a direct line of strategic alliance through the United Nations to China, with all using the IMF as a monetary intermediary.  In this scenario Russia was the odd man out but in the new Trump world China finds itself as the odd nation out.

There is another factor of this growing alliance between America and Russia which must be considered.

Canada is one of the world’s most resource rich nations and is geographically located between these two giants.  The obvious synergies and trade routes between these three countries become obvious when you look at a map of the Northern Hemisphere.  Such a trade and military alliance between Russia, Canada, and America would be a powerhouse within the emerging non-unipolar framework.

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The one area where China is weak is on access to resources.  Russia has just surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest supplier of crude to China.  It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about the crude politics of the energy world and how Saudi Arabia would begin to be pushed out in place of Iran.  The larger Trump strategy is beginning to make some sense.

The movement towards a supra-sovereign reserve asset will continue as it is in the best interest of all nations to utilize a multilateral approach on reserve currency functions.  The SDR will continue to be the natural candidate for this role.  But we can expect that the unchecked control which the IMF and the UN have maintained will be dramatically altered as the nations of the world, led by America, take back control of the de-facto global governance frameworks.  – JC