U.S. caught off guard by how quickly Russia is strengthening alliances with America’s adversaries
06/24/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Russia has been busy forming new alliances and strengthening existing ones, and its efforts have been so successful that they completely caught the U.S. off guard.

This is according to a report by the Wall Street Journal asserting the U.S. did not anticipate the recently strengthened partnerships between Russia and American adversaries such as North Korea, Iran and China.

U.S. intelligence analysts are reportedly surprised by how quickly and strongly the countries have expanded security ties, seemingly overlooking past disagreements to join forces in their resistance to American dominance on the global stage.

Wednesday’s historic visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pyongyang, where he met with dictator Kim Jong Un, is the most recent example. During his visit, Putin signed a new mutual defense treaty and strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea. The countries have reached an agreement to provide mutual aid should either one of them be attacked, and it comes at a time when tensions between North Korea and U.S. ally South Korea are rising.

It was a surprising move despite the already close ties between the countries. It is not clear whether this means they will fight for each other in war scenarios or if it refers to other types of support. However, officials in the U.S. and South Korea believe that Russia may give North Korea space technology and other types of advanced systems in exchange for the short-range ballistic missiles and artillery ammunition they have been providing to Moscow.

The U.S. has accused North Korea of sending workers to Russia to serve on weapons production lines and selling them artillery shells and missiles to use in their offensive against Ukraine.

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When it comes to China, the U.S. believes the CCP has helped the Russian military industry get around Western sanctions by providing them with “massive quantities of dual-use equipment, including machine tools, microelectronics … optics for tanks and armored vehicles, and turbo engines for cruise missiles.”

American officials also claim China has assisted Moscow in improving satellite and other space-based technologies being used against Ukraine. However, they appear to be acting very cautiously to avoid providing weapons to Russia outright, which the U.S. has warned would lead to economic sanctions.

One defense official noted: “They are very careful, but they are darn close to the line. They have been doing everything they can to support the Russians without having to pay any costs themselves.”

Iran, meanwhile, has helped Russia build a factory for lethal armed drones that is responsible for manufacturing thousands of Iranian-designed Shahed-136 drones per year, and they expect it to expand its capabilities to encompass other types of drones moving forward. This is also giving Iran the opportunity to expand its warfare knowledge by seeing how its drones perform in real war conditions as Russia continues to unleash them at Ukraine.

One Pentagon official told the WSJ that Iran is now Russia’s main supplier of weapons.

Russia and other nations want to put an end to U.S. global dominance

All three countries are also part of the BRICS+ alliance, a coalition that has been expanding lately. Dozens of countries are reportedly interested in joining, and one of their shared goals is shifting away from the U.S. dollar to avoid feeling the impact of Western sanctions.

At a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg commented: “Russia’s war in Ukraine is…propped up by China, North Korea, and Iran. They want to see the U.S. fail. They want to see NATO fail. If they succeed in Ukraine, it will make us more vulnerable and the world more dangerous.”

However, these expanded ties are not believed to be comparable to a formal military alliance such as NATO – at least not yet.

Former White House and CIA official Sue Mi Terry told the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank that for “Russia, North Korea, even China, this is all a marriage of convenience, based on convergence or alignment of interests and goals right now, rather than some passionate love affair.”

Sources for this article include:



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