The UK’s Geopolitical Shenanigans Nearly got the US Mired in an Unnecessary Conflict with Russia

It is amusing how some things in foreign policy have amazing continuity. For example, the United Kingdom’s living up to its Perfidious Albion label. This refers to the British government’s long history of using deceit, subterfuge, and treachery in international affairs at other countries’ expense. And it has continued to this day.

Francis Moore at the foreign affairs website The Duran laid out earlier this month some of the UK’s latest machinations that could have potentially kicked off a significant crisis

We shouldn’t forget that on June 15 American President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin convened at a summit which surprisingly cooled off tensions between the two geopolitical heavyweights.

However, relations have yet to be normalized between the two powers. The fact remains that the US is still following its 2018 National Defense Strategy to contain China and Russia, which will feature its fair share of saber-rattling. An incident that took place towards the end of June should remind non-interventionists of the chance for conflict to quickly arise. And in this case, it involved one of America’s staunchest allies in the United Kingdom. 

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On June 23, 2021, the British destroyer Defender entered Russian territorial waters near Sevastopol, the principal base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Russian forces immediately responded with verbal warnings and instructions for the British vessel to leave the vicinity. The British warship did not initially comply, so Russian ships and aircraft stepped in to demonstrate their willingness to expel the British vessel. Soon, the British destroyer got the message and left the area briskly. 

This is geopolitical realism 101. One could only imagine what would happen if China or Russia tried to send military assets to the Gulf of Mexico and enter American territorial waters to intimidate civilian or American military vessels. They would likely be terminated on sight or immediately chased out of the area.

And rightfully so, because said territory is within the US’s sphere of influence. The same logic applies to Russia, a great power with clear geopolitical interests in its own backyard. When outside powers send military assets to this area, they will be greeted with a firm response each and every time. 

Indeed, there are a number of constants in geopolitics that are still in play. Historically, Anglo-Saxon geopolitics is focused on trying to prevent any form of rapprochement between Russia and Germany, hence the tendency for Britain to pursue “divide and rule” strategies. Anglo elites want to ensure that no hegemon emerges on the European continent.

However, trying to guarantee such a power dynamic could inevitably lead to hot conflict in Europe. Strategic miscalculations can lead to nasty conflicts, which the US could find itself dragged into. If the US has a more serious foreign policy, it would get out of Europe and let those actors sort out those problems among themselves.