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Israel-Hamas, Ukraine-Russia and China: John Mearsheimer on why the US is in serious trouble!

Centre for Independent Studies (30.10.2023)


PART 1. Professor John Mearsheimer addressed an audience in Brisbane on Monday, 23 October as part of an event with Tom Switzer and Peter Varghese. This video is John’s standalone lecture, you can find the rest of the conversation and Q&A session in PART 2 in the coming days.

The Middle East crisis will have have severe repercussions for Israel, its neighbors, and U.S. foreign policy. Israel’s response to Hamas’s attacks is expected to continue to provoke anger across the Middle East, potentially fueling jihadist movements and escalating conflicts with other groups, contributing to regional instability. The U.S. has a vital interest in maintaining stability in the Persian Gulf, but the Israel-Hamas conflict threatens to undermine this.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that Russia, rather than constituting a substantial threat to the U.S., has the potential to be an ally in containing China. However, the U.S.-supported campaign in Ukraine has inadvertently drawn Russia closer to China, contravening the principles of balance-of-power politics, and this commitment to Ukraine is likely to remain.

All this conflict risks diverting American focus from East Asia, where efforts to forge a coalition to address a significant strategic challenge are underway, it’s in Australia’s interest to collaborate with the U.S. in deterring China. Beijing’s optimal outcome involves the U.S. remaining deeply involved in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, preventing a full pivot to East Asia.

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