“Frenemy” is an oxymoron and a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy.” In the Middle East, I know this term all too well. You may find this hard to believe, but Israel and Iran used to be on the best of terms until the 1979 revolution. Even in the 1980s, Israel and Iran conducted business that included military and weapons.
Frenemies are countries that don’t truly share a binding alliance and long-lasting interests, but who can temporarily put those aside in certain situations, where the common and limited interest triumphs the longer-term rivalry and competition, because the immediate threats take precedence over the root of bad blood.
The U.S. and Russia were both against Nazi Germany, but that was the extent of their common goal, which immediately turned into a Cold War and an arms race after WW2.
Many of you know the U.S. is credited with helping Saddam Hussein gain power in Iraq, before turning on him, or training Osama Bin-Laden and arming him, before the two became arch foes.
China and Russia are portrayed as brothers in arms in the Western media, but that’s not true at all. They do share the goal of weakening the United States, but Euro-Asia is the region they’re both fighting over, openly and without reservations, for influence and control.
During the days of the Soviet Union, these countries, which include Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan, were under the heavy sway and control of Moscow, which had vested political, military and economic advantages, when it came to the abundant natural resources of Euro-Asia and its geographic leverage.
China is openly seeking to undermine these and they’re succeeding.
In late 2022, China’s defense minister even visited the region to discuss furthering the relationship and working out the details for more weapon deals and commerce.
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The Russian influence in the area, which stemmed from a demographic cocktail of ethnic Russians, has greatly dwindled since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the entrance of Islam in the past thirty years has loosened Moscow’s ability to keep politicians and businessmen in their pocket.
Euro-Asia, apart from sitting on rivers of oil and the 2nd largest known reserves of natural gas (Turkmenistan), is critical for the new Silk Road, or the Belt and Road Initiative.
Russia’s struggle in Ukraine, which has been going on for nearly a year, has made these countries want to do business directly with China and Europe much more than before, when they thought Russia could seal their fate with a swift military operation (which it failed to demonstrate).
Keep this in mind, because the fragmentation of power in Euro-Asia is yet another reason that the dollar is weakening in importance.
These countries will serve as the bridge, the land bridge that is, for China to increase its influence in Europe.
This backdrop, along with the ongoing looming threat of a global slowdown, due to America’s fight with persistent inflation, are the recipe for gold’s rally to $1,900/ounce, an 8-month high, and a mere spitting distance away from $2,000, its glorious real zip code.
Wait until the IMF begins to talk about bailout loans to struggling member nations!
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