Venezuela, Iran, India, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia – Realpolitik in the era of Putin’s War

The Biden Administration has a rare opportunity to realign American foreign and economic policy in the era of Russia’s War on Ukraine. Realpolitik needs to be employed here instead of the GOP cries that certain regimes are as bad as Russia- truthfully the nations that need to be punished are China and India, economic powers whose large reservoir of resources could fuel Putin’s war machine.

President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are already embarking on this potential.

Here are some keys from my point-of-view:

Current US adversaries

  • Break Venezuela off of Russia, and work an oil deal with the Maduro Regime. Maduro is not a good actor, and the standard of living in his country is lower than ever, but the GOP leaders who are comparing him to Putin will have to explain why Maduro hasn’t invaded Colombia yet, if he’s really as bad as Putin.
  • Increase constructive engagement with Cuba.
  • Engage Iran, which provides a potential strategic hedge against Central Asian governments in alliance with Putin and Russia.
  • Recognize the Taliban Government in Afghanistan and work with them to limit Russia exports through the nation. Pledge to help end Afghanistan’s current famine.

Large economic powers


  • President Xi wants to “delink” from the west, so let’s intensify that delinking immediately.
  • We do need a line open to China, so continue engagement. China is almost certain to not want to fund Russia indefinitely, but will do so if we openly are hostile.


  • Prime Minister Modi represents the model for right-wing populist governance in a democracy. India is a growing economic juggernaut but cannot survive without a western market and access of the elites in the nation to western education. Threaten all these things, but do it privately.
  • With Ukrainian grain off the market for the foreseeable future, we unfortunately have to buy from India. I’d rather sanction India and try to influence India’s behavior which is similar to Russia or China in its oppression of minorities and unwillingness to let international organizations scrutinize them. Even democracies can have this attitude if mob rule prevails at the ballot box, which is currently does in India.


  • I personally, am boycotting anything associated with UAE given their current engagement with Russia and unwillingness to help out the US, despite President Biden’s best efforts. My favorite sports club, Manchester City FC is owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family, so this does present a problem for me – my solution has been to keep watching City, but not wear any merchandise with sponsors from Abu Dhabi, which means I will not be wearing a Manchester City kit for some time, as Etihad Airlines is the sponsor.

Saudi Arabia

  • To hell with them.


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