Alexander the Great once said, “There has been a constant war, a war with fear. Those who have the courage to conquer it are made free, and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it.” And Miyamoto Musashi once said, “To hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength”. These two statements have been relevant for centuries, but are most important in the Ukraine War now.

There’s been much speculation since the Second World War on how another global conflict could be triggered. As humans, we have developed serious mechanisms to ensure global peace, and yet serious civil-to-militarized conflicts still break out here and there. Most scholars believe that the two previous global wars happened for simple reasons. Unchecked ethnic/religion-oriented nationalism, control of natural resources, or proof of hegemonic military might. Most scholars also believe that the reasons just mentioned amounted to one thing, emotional stupidity.

This Article has been developed by an African Journalist, whose economic life has been heavily impacted by the global consequences, particularly the rise of the necessary life-sustaining high-priced commodities and rearranged global supply chains, caused by the Ukraine War.

The inability of humans to come together, in a mature manner, reason together, and develop a global order that puts all competing interests in check can be described as stupidity. Even with serious global accountability structures like the United Nations, could such stupidity happen again? What would trigger it? Would humans notice it and prevent unnecessary bloodshed, unquantified humanitarian crises, and suffering? What would be the aim of those involved and how would we resolve the same quickly and restore peace? By exploring previous wars, it will become clear what caused this unnecessary conflict, the intended and unintended global consequences, and possible solutions to end the already untold suffering.


Even with all the bipartisan, tripartite, multilateral, and global diplomatic structures in place.   What would trigger geopolitical or global cataclysmic military intervention from one nation to another? Looking at the recent history of military interventions, certain factors become consistently clear.

Emotional attachment to the past

Present-day sovereign and geopolitical establishments exist as a result of previous conflicts. Previous major geopolitical or global military conquests created political and sovereign boundaries. Some of those boundaries hurt some kingdoms or sovereign states. The settled geopolitical disputes did not leave some nations, kingdoms, or geopolitical regions satisfied with the new territorial arrangements, leading to constant jostling and aggression between nations and languages. This jostling has from time to time led to open war, with devastating ecological, economic, and humanitarian consequences.

The war in Ukraine, is happening, in large part, because President Vladimir Putin feels that most of the small Slavic states in Eastern Europe should have remained part of the United Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Growing up under the Soviet Union Committee for State Security (KGB), then-agent Putin that saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the transition to this new world, feels that resolutions to end the Second World War led to concessions of large parts of the land by the USSR. The created indigenous sovereign states, daring to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have always been considered by his Kremlin as disloyal and taking sides with the enemy.  

Strategic Territorial Encroachment

In constant attempts by one hegemonic military power to gain strategic civilian and military control over another, the earth’s advanced military powers form alliances that lead to the slow but sure acquisition of strategic territorial lands to place military bases. This is done with the aim to easily vanquish a rival military power should a major geopolitical war break out. In International Relations, we call this realism. Realism is the belief that the human being, especially one that possesses major political or military power, can never be trusted. It’s imperative, therefore, that a sovereign government arm itself to the teeth, and constantly seek strategic alliances, in order to either effectively defend territory, or advance to gain more territory. Most realist-aligned advanced military powers of the world don’t really respect agreed-upon international norms, at least not until war is imminent with no choice but to retreat.  

Putin believes strongly that Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lavia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Ukraine should still be a part of Russia. Or at least, ideologically, should not align themselves with NATO. Putin also believes that any nation sharing a border with Russia, should not join NATO as such would give NATO some strategic military advantage in case a world war broke out. Added to this list would therefore be North Korea, Hungary, Mongolia, Norway, and Poland. Not forgetting the constant jostling of the Black Sea, between Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia.

In order to gain a military advantage over Russia, for a long while now, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is, technically, a civilian, trade and military partnership between Western Europe, Israel as a de facto member, and the United States, has constantly pursued sovereign states that were either part of the USSR or border Russia, to join the alliance. This constant effort by NATO is seen in Moscow as a strategic, irritating encroachment that must not be allowed to continue.

So far, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia have joined NATO. The latest attempts by Ukraine to join the alliance were received as a military provocation in Moscow. This is the biggest cause of the Ukraine War. Joining NATO means allowing the Americans to place strategic military bases nearer and nearer Russia. By initiating a military intervention with the aim to change the thinking of Kyiv, Putin is sending a message to NATO that the encroachment must stop.

Unchecked ethnic or religious nationalism

Drawing from history, the First World War was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, by a Serbian nationalist, who strongly believed that Austro-Hungary should not have occupied Bosnia Herzegovina or any other southern provinces, which contained sizeable Serb minority. Archduke Ferdinand preferred the unity of the Austro-Hungarian empire to include Southern Provinces, Serbia, and Bosnia Herzegovina. His aim was to unite Serbs, and Slavs, in the southern provinces under one state of the empire and give them a representation in the Austro-Hungarian political structure.

Serbian nationalists preferred to unite Serbia with the Serbs-occupied part of Bosnia Herzegovina, southern provinces of Austro-Hungary, and enlarge their ethnically uniform sovereign territory. They already hate Austria- Hungary’s rule. To accomplish this end, the Serb Nationalists formed the Black Hand, a secret revolutionary organization, in May 1911, with the aim to fight for the sovereign territorial unification of the Serbs and break away the Southern Provinces from Austro-Hungary. The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a 19-year-old black hand nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, triggered retaliation from Austro-Hungary against Serbia. In a rush to protect Serbia, which has an identical Slavic ethnic population, Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, and with that, the triple entente and triple alliance, heavy military alliances of Europe, got into conflict. Since Europe colonized the entire world then, all colonies joined the conflict, with the First World War the result.

Sometimes anger without knowledge can do so much damage. But if checked, could lead to very peaceful and beneficial solutions. Had Gavrilo Princip not killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and sparked the first world war, Franz Ferdinand could have united the Southern Provinces of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Which Gavrilo and his black hand compatriots, really desired. Gavrilo killed the one man that could have made his nationalist dreams come true. And sparked a global war that killed more than 10 million people.

Until the most recent quiet but effective Chinese diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, Iran, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had been bitter rivals for the longest time. To constantly prove supremacy in the Middle East, Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia used Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine to fight their proxy wars. Iran is Shiite (Strictly Priest ruled) Islam, while Saudi Arabia is Suni (Wahabi) Islam. Shiite Islam is strictly Sharia Law fundamentalist while Suni Wahabi is a bit tolerant. In Iran, Ayatollah’s word or command is final and considered law. In Saudi Arabia, the Wahabi Priests co-rule together with the Royal Family, with the Royal Family handling all political, diplomatic, and economic affairs and the Wahabi Priests handling the religious affairs. Shiite Islam believes in the Priesthood rule of the direct descendants and confidants of Prophet Mohamed over all the religious, economic, judicial, political, and civilian affairs of a sovereign state. Suni Wahabi Islam believes that no Muslim should depend on a priest to approach and worship Allah.  

One faction or sect of Islam believes in its supremacy over the other, leading to constant jostling, with deadly military interventionist and revolutionist consequences. To add oil to the fire; the long-standing Military and economic alliance and cooperation between Saudi Arabia (Wahabists) and the United States (Allies of Israel) was always considered an abomination by the Ayatollahs of Iran, with the support of Syrian Baathists and Palestinians. This constant hegemonic jostling between Iran and Saudi Arabia has led to the economic and ecological devastation of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. For a long time, military battles, alliances, and groups in the Middle East formed and confronted each other based on these alliances. All Middle Eastern countries, excluding Israel, subscribe to either Shiite or Suni Wahabi Islam, with the ever-existing potential for violence over the two Islamic ideologies.

This is no different from the situation in Ukraine, where a section of the Ukrainian population leans toward Russia while the other leans towards the European Union. Populations in Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk are more ideologically aligned with Russia while the rest of Ukraine ideologically leans towards NATO.

Competing geopolitical ideological interests

The Second World War was caused by Germany’s huge anger and dissatisfaction with the War guilt clause (Article 231) of the 1919 Versailles Treaty, and Hitler’s obsession with spreading Nazi Ideology across Europe and then the entire world. The Treaty of Versailles that ended the First World War blamed almost every cause and major trigger of aggression on Germany, forcing Germany to pay huge resources in fines. This nearly destroyed Germany’s economy and led to the creation of the Weimar Republic.

Growing up in this weak republic and listening to the teachings of Karl Ritter, Adolf Hitler’s misplaced anger was built up and directed at those he thought caused Germany’s society to crumble, the Jews. Karl Ritter’s teachings made Adolf Hitler believe that the Jews were the major cause of Germany’s political, militaristic, and economic problems. With such erroneous teachings, Hitler developed two life goals. One, Germany must be rebuilt into a global military empire, and two, the Jews must be eliminated to stop underhand political and economic control of the entire world, hence the Nazi ideology.

Adolf Hitler is credited with being the first global dictator to wage a global ideological conflict. Throughout history, all wars were fought based on ethnic barbaric territorial conquests. Even though the Second World War was caused by fueled misplaced ethnic differences between the Aryans and the Jews, it was during this period that ideological theories developed. Such included Nicheism, which metamorphosized into Nazism, Communism (developed by Karl Marx), Capitalism (which was the norm), and socialism (originating from Africa, South East Asia, and the Far East).

By the end of the Second World War, two major approaches to international relations and governance had emerged. The conceptual West (Europe, the common Wealth, and the United States) embraced Libertarian Christian Capitalism while the Conceptual East (Russia, China, South East Asia, and the Far East) embraced some form of fascism (either communism or socialism). Major regional conflicts since the second world war, from independence struggles of Africa, the Caribbean, and South East Asia to the cold war, and revolutions of the Middle East, have been waged based on either religious differences or ethnic, and economic interests. Most of these have been galvanized under the two approaches to global governance since the second world war, either Christian Libertarian Capitalism or some form of fascism.

Over time, however, up to and including the invasion of Ukraine, a lot seems to have crossed over ideologically. The conceptual West, especially the youth, seems to have gravitated towards liberal fascism, while the East seems to have gravitated towards conservative fascism. Fascism can be described as Government controlled Capitalism and Democracy, with governments developing legislation to partner with private businesses, and control markets and other aspects of the economic environment. Fascism can also be described as Public Private Partnership.

It is of critical importance to note that while religious centers, especially churches, have become ghost structures in Europe, with the majority of the population choosing to question religion, the traditional orthodox faith, encouraged by Vladimir Putin, seems to have grown strong in Russia. Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, encouraged by the political power cult of Xi, also seem to continue growing strong in China. It’s been easy to water down fervent Christianity in Europe, Australia, and the United States but quite difficult to water down the traditional faiths of China and Japan. In fact, some of these Eastern faiths have found their way into Africa, South America, Europe, and the United States. Islam seems to have also spread quickly around the world. The United States, for the past three years under the Biden Administration, has largely promoted secularist liberal fascism. But now heads for a general election in 2024 that could see the return of Conservative Fascism.

The Ukraine War, apart from being a physical form of Russian complaint about geopolitical territorial encroachment, seems to be about political ideologies as well. In many of his speeches in Moscow, Vladimir Putin has continued to express his disgust for the conceptual West’s brand of liberal fascism. Pointing out specifically, the West’s effort to support the LGBTQ+ agenda. He has vowed to never let liberal thinking foster or find support in Russia. Putin is even willing to use nuclear weapons to stop this ideology from spreading Eastward. He believes the conceptual West has left God, conservativism, and traditional family ideals and therefore must not be tolerated. In Putin’s Russia, the fight for LQBTQ+ is virtually nonexistent. The Ukraine conflict has been branded by other countries as a war between the West’s Liberal Fascism and the East’s Conservative Fascism, with Ukraine as the battleground.

In this ideological struggle, Africa seems to finally grow out of its colonialism shell and demand a major say in the table of nations. Africa, even though heavily influenced by the West due to colonialism, seems to desire and constantly demand to be on the conversation table and most importantly, to determine her own global ideological destiny. Africa has stayed neutral, supporting neither side of the Ukraine conflict. In her reflection on colonial times and Apartheid, South Africa specifically, with serious active voices like the Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, has been heard talking about protecting Vladimir Putin. South Africa is forever indebted to Russia for assisting the African National Congress to overcome the struggle against Apartheid.

Rwanda’s leader, President Paul Kagame, still freshly remembers the response of the United States as they struggled to overcome the 1994 Genocide and prefers not to support the West in the Ukraine conflict. At first, Kenya seemed to support Ukraine in United Nations Security Council resolutions. This caused a little diplomatic tiff between Moscow and Nairobi. But with the new Ruto administration, such support seemed to have stopped as Russia’s Foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, secretly visited President Ruto in Nairobi, on his way to South Africa to attend the 2023 BRICS summit. Kenya realizes the enormous benefits of maintaining a healthy diplomatic and economic relationship with Russia and has decided to stay neutral as well.  

The Military-industrial Complex: Economic Control, and Reset

In a constant desire to show military might and experiment with newly designed weapons, hegemonic states, and Kingdoms have been sort of eager to participate in proxy wars. Joint military drills and exercises. The United States of America constantly conducts Military drills in more than 300 Military bases around the world, with the aim to intimidate rival global military powers. China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and North Korea have held either individual or joint military exercises and parades to show what they are capable of in case a global conflict ensues. Ukraine has been a battlefield to test new weapons.

In any war, there remain the usual military-industrial complex suspects that earn huge profits from government contracts. The most notorious culprits are in the United States. Companies like Haliburton, Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Black Rock, and SpaceX have been known to clinch huge military contracts to either design and supply weapons or Satellite communication services.

War is good for business. Private companies get huge contracts to constantly supply weapons and logistics. Banks give out huge loans with exorbitant interest rates to companies that manufacture weapons and all war logistics. These loans are paid by revenue from Government contracts. Immediately after the conflict is resolved, Bretton Woods institutions rush to the ravaged country to give out huge loans that assist in the rebuilding process. The huge loans given are directed to private companies to initiate the rebuilding process. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation are waiting for the Ukraine conflict to be over to assist with the rebuilding process. They are ready to remake Ukraine in the new tech image and model that we would like the new world to embrace.


According to Reuters, as many as 354,000 Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured in the Ukraine war. This data was lifted from a trove of purported U.S. intelligence documents posted online. According to UAWAR, the Russian army has already lost more than 178820 soldiers. That’s 1178% more casualties than in two Chechen wars, which lasted 4 years. And 1090% more than the Soviet army lost during the 9 years of the war in Afghanistan. Ukraine has lost up to 13,000 soldiers. The rest have been wounded casualties. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that 9,177 civilians have died, 535 of them children. 15,993 have been injured, 1,035 of them children. Four cities, five towns, and major settlements have been destroyed. One-third of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes with an estimated 5.9 million people internally displaced, and nearly 5.7 million refugees and asylum-seekers from Ukraine recorded across Europe. More than 18 billion US Dollars in combat and military supplies has already been spent by NATO in this conflict. Russian figures remain unclear.

New Global Alliances and Supply Chains

The deep-seated ideological triggers around this conflict have led to new global alliances. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa Alliance, popularly known as BRICS, has expanded with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and some African states seeking to join it. NATO, even with the resolution to fully engage in the war, is receiving constant accusations of corruption, human rights abuses, and bias from the European Parliament. Europe, particularly the smaller states, are beginning to question whether their military and economic alliance with the United States against China and Russia is worth it.

Germany, with heavy dependence on Russia for Crude Oil (the major source of Germany’s energy), has found itself between a rock and a hard place, torn apart by either her allegiance to NATO or her need for Crude Oil and Gas from Russia. The Nord Stream Pipelines that supply crude oil and gas from Russia to Germany, have been at the center of this conflict, with Nord Stream 2 being blown to bits by American and Russian Bombs. The Biden Administration sanctions against Russia and Iran, using the Dollar to manipulate public policy positions of other sovereign states, have led countries affected by these Sanctions to seek alternatives around the dominance of the Petro Dollar, with the Chinese Yuan becoming an obvious currency of consideration. Russia has thrived amidst the brutal sanctions due to an increase in both demand and international prices of natural resources, which they export to countries that have chosen to import from them. In this shifting arrangement, the United States is increasingly becoming isolated.

As mentioned already, Africa has declared conflict neutrality, supporting neither Ukraine nor Russia in the conflict, and calling this a European Civil war to be avoided by other sovereign states. Ukraine, being a major exporter of grain, depended on by some African countries like Kenya, has, as a consequence of bearing the brunt of vicious military intervention, failed to deliver. This has made Kenya, a major, politically stable geostrategic gateway into East and Central Africa, seek new markets for grain and other important supplies previously imported from Ukraine.  

The strengthening of the BRICS geopolitical block. The weakening of trust between Europe and the United States. The major peaceful pact between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran (quietly, surprisingly, and effectively orchestrated by China) with the subsequent withdrawal of support for the United States by both countries. The end of the dependence on Crude oil as the commodity that replaced the Dollar gold standard. The development of new markets for Russia-China’s natural resources and processed goods and the development of Central Bank Digital Currencies have been the major shifts caused by the Ukraine conflict. With this conflict, the conceptual West is, unfortunately, quickly losing global legitimate ideological support.


Give, and Take!

It’s time, to be honest with ourselves as a community of nations. There will be no clear winner in Ukraine. The lasting peaceful resolution, therefore, can only be achieved through honest dialog, with some syntheses and concessions as the result. The conceptual West, even with the deep love we have for both Europe and North America, must take notice of the international ideological shifts and come to the table with such acceptance.

Ideological Ceasefire and Synthesis

Over time, the West has slowly gravitated towards liberal fascism, inviting more secularized government control into private aspects of society, resources, businesses, and human life. This liberal shift has led to the loss of the conceptual West’s moral high ground to lead any major global ideological conversations. Failure to realize this means the West is either in denial or has purposely decided to ignore the glaring shift, with potential catastrophic diplomatic and militarized consequences.

With this liberal shift, those supporting nationalist conservatism have suddenly realized the threat of their annihilation and resolved to reinsert themselves into political conversations. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016, and possibly in 2024, by the conservative religious coalitions in the United States, is a glaring, scary consequential example. All over the globe, conservatives are starting to feel the pain of both the human identity crisis and the erosion of family values and are now considering forced political conversations to guarantee their continued survival.  

In the East, Russia, which was majorly atheist by the end of the Second World War, has continued to maintain fascism but gravitated towards religious conservatism. Openly withdrawing support for the LGBTQ+ agenda. The Chinese and Japanese societies have maintained allegiance to their traditional Pantheist religions. Both the West and the East have slowly but surely embraced fascism as a preferred form of governance or management of society and international norms.

With this realization, there can only be three ideological directions between the West and the East. We either (1) embrace one form of fascism (liberal or conservative), (2) develop a harmonious coexistent synthesis (hybrid) of both, or (3) continue to kill each other. Until we choose either direction, there must be an ideological conflict cease-fire between Liberal Fascism (NATO) and Conservative Fascism (Russia and China).

Split Ukraine into two

Major global military interventions have never ended peacefully without redrawing sovereign borders. The second world war, for example, ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emergence of new sovereign states. Some differences can never be resolved. They can only be separated to coexist side by side. To solve the perennial geostrategic territorial encroachment complaint from Russia, Ukraine as it is now must seize to exist, with two countries emerging out of the same. With this solution, the Western side of the new border should now feel free to join NATO, while the Eastern side of the new border should feel free to join Russia. Boundaries may have to be redrawn.

Replace Zelenskyy

Also, throughout history, the end of major wars has always come with new leaders and leadership structures. One of the major causes of the Ukraine war is President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s willful dalliance with the West. The accusations of corrupt dealings between Zelenskyy and both the Trump and the Biden Administrations were not taken lightly in Moscow.  His liberal, comedy-kind cavalier approach to international negotiations, norms, and standards may continue to put Europe, and the entire world in jeopardy. Zelenskyy fails to understand the deep-seated ideological differences in this war and until another leader that deeply understands these issues emerges in Ukraine, this war will continue, without any path for dialogue or peaceful resolution.


The international community, upon a peaceful resolution, must come to the aid of Ukraine and help rebuild a torn region. Loans from partnering sovereign states and Bretton Woods institutions must not include huge interest rates. The United Nations, international nonprofit agencies, and regional political bodies in Europe must lend talent and skills to Ukraine, and encourage immigration into the region, with skills and talent, to help rebuild the new sovereign state(s). May this be the last major war and may the world embrace peace.

By Impactnet Africa

Impactnet Africa is a Media, Technology and Public Policy space for in-depth news and analysis on public policy challenges, entrepreneurship and career opportunities.

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