“In Ukraine, Iran and off Taiwan, the possibility of war in 2022”

Europe, Asia, Middle East: in these three regions, the possibility of a war, as Michel Houellebecq would say, threatens the year 2022. May the insurance companies forgive us in advance, but, if we had to A ranking in order of greatest probability, we would conduct this overview of potential conflicts starting from the Ukraine, going to the side of Iran and ending up off Taiwan. Travel to risk areas.

In Europe, Vladimir Poutine imposes his tempo. His message is simple: after having annexed one region of this country, Crimea, organized the secession of another, the Donbass, the Russian president says he is ready to go to Kiev and subdue the whole of Ukraine. Previously, he was careful to demonstrate with brilliance the regained military power of his country: state-of-the-art missile fire, destruction capacity in space, giant maneuvers on the borders of Ukraine. Ukrainian generals recently told the New York Times that they would not resist the Russian army for more than four days. Afterwards, it will be a matter of popular guerrilla warfare.

The Russian ambition was publicly displayed on December 17, 2021. Putin wants a new “security architecture in Europe” – in fact, to return, as much as possible, to the zone of Russian influence that existed during the USSR’s time. NATO must be neutralized and close its doors to any new entrants. The objective is to record the whole in good and due form at the end of a bilateral negotiation between the Americans and the Russians which opens on January 9 and 10 in Geneva. Of course, we only speak between major military powers: Moscow has expressly excluded the Europeans from the discussion.

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“Negotiation” is a big word. The Kremlin was careful to publicly draw its “red lines” in advance, as if it wanted to tie its hands and make it difficult to make any concession on its part – which would then look like a step back. The White House responded by arguing that many of the Russian claims were unacceptable.

It doesn’t matter whether the Russians are right or wrong about the seriousness of their anti-Western grievances and whether they believe it or not themselves. That is no longer the problem. Russia has placed itself in a position which obliges it to act if it does not obtain satisfaction on its “red lines”. It is this situation that counts, and that brings us closer to war.

Between the Islamic Republic, on the one hand, and the United States on the other – with the Europeans as mediators – talks resumed in the winter of 2021 in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear program. This is to ensure that Tehran never accesses nuclear weapons. Little progress has been made: UN inspectors are back at the main Iranian uranium enrichment site. But the space for compromise is very limited.

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“In Ukraine, Iran and off Taiwan, the possibility of war in 2022”