Europe stuck between two unpredictable powers – An ominous sign

Independent Geopolitical Macro Analysis – Switzerland – Fri 17 Feb 2024 (public & truncated release: 13 Mar 2024).

Our analysis is deviating from consensus at several fronts: today we will discuss the one area with the biggest “delta” to consensus.

The deterioration of stability and the collapse of trust across the Northern hemisphere continues to gather at a pace not seen since the 1930’s.

This deterioration is being increasingly driven by Europe’s mistakes and its perceived defencelessness and entrapment – something other powers are taking advantage of. I mean this very literally: Not one week passes by without a global or regional power making an assertive move to seize on the opportunities that a trapped Europe has created.

(Kindly remember we are not a news-wire. We have explicitly built this research boutique as a non-periodical source of strategic analysis. We only release an analysis if our view has changed or it substantially deviates from consensus. That is how we add value. When we release a report, we do so swiftly – putting the priority on the analysis and not layout design. 

Events unfolding as expected?

Those who have been with us for more than five or seven years know that unlike the press, we are neither surprised nor swayed by what has unfolded in recent years.

Since we have been expecting a security breakdown across the Northern hemisphere with wars in Europe, the Middle East and Asia – and they are so far evolving within contained scenarios, we are not wasting our energy to comment every speech and every battle as so many experts have done along the long war front in Eastern Ukraine. They have exhausted themselves and their readers with the technical details of a conflict whose battle lines are practically unchanged from a year ago. What commentators underestimate is that at that level of conflict they are exposing themselves to misinformation. In war all information is managed.

We stick to the Big Picture and to looking ahead over the horizon to see what is coming our way.

Are we in denial in Europe?

A barrage of news over the past ten days coincided with the height of European winter and mid-term school breaks. Thus, it was a good time to observe and listen to people from all over Europe. You would not think big firms are leaving Europe or that the war in Ukraine is not going well or that our governments are preparing for a direct conflict with Russia. It is as if most people don’t want to know – Is it optimism or denial?

This is not “Cold War II”

Humanity has entered a very fluid period in global geopolitics and economics – many unthinkable scenarios are now possible. I stick to my old assessment that a World War is more likely in this decade than during the Cold War.

Source: US Navy

Source: US Navy

What we have now is far more complex than the Cold War – which was almost black & white .. along two distinct alliances. All combatants were in either one of these opossed military blocs – you knew your enemies and your foes.

We have now huge distrust among dysfunctional allies and worse yet, we have more alliances than competing powers. Since the sabotage of Nord-Stream pipelines the relationship between the USA/UK and the Western European members of NATO has not been the same – and the more our leaders hail the strength of our Transatlantic relationship, the more frail and in need of some marketing it looks.

Our EU leaders may have distanced themselves from Washington, but this is wishful thinking. The USA looms large and will dominate the outcome of 2024. So, let’s elaborate on this big factor for 2024 and let’s keep in the back of our minds who is benefitting from the chaos in Europe and the Middle East.

First things first – Get the Big Picture right

All world powers are now engaged and waging monetary, commercial, technological and cyber warfare against one another since 2019. The fact that no one has declared war, doesn’t mean we are not in a de-facto state of rising hostilities.

This is not “one” element, this is “the” framework in which you have to plan for your family and business.

Something ominous?

Something ominous is happening in Europe: just as the prospects for the war in Ukraine are turning ever more pessimistic for Ukraine and Western Europe (remember the EU and Switzerland are not neutral), America is reducing its commitment to Ukraine in order to focus on the Pacific Theatre and the home front – yes the home front. It seems as if the many wars America has waged overseas around the world since WW2 are finally catching up with it.

As all this unfolds, most people in Europe are going after their lives as if

              (1) the war was raging in the Far East,

              (2) they were not involved in it, and

              (3) Europe were not impoverishing

It is a collective phenomenon as the same is reflected in the priorities and policies most of our governments are setting on a daily basis. Just one example: I am surprised our European leaders are continuing with their massive regulation to further increase the cost of energy after we have been cut off from our cheap energy source and are facing hostilities with Russia.

It wouldn’t be really so bizarre if people would be more aware of what they’ve walked themselves into and open to talk about it. It would give us some perspective. If definitions and syntax are in the way, my fellow Europeans should take to heart that at the very least “we may be in the pre-stage of war”. Why? All major world powers are preparing for open hostilities (war) and most of them say Europe and the Middle East are the main theatres.

We live in an age of undeclared wars – it perfectly fits our Zeitgeist, one in which   …

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Other topics addressed in the original report from 17 Feb 2024:

  • Europe caught between two unpredictable powers?
  • Europe outsourced its defence and energy 
  • Most vulnerable coercible economic block in the world
  • US Domestic Politics – what we underestimate  
  • Do European leaders comprehend how America works?
  • Russia, the other factor Europe can’t control 
  • Why America is increasingly considering letting go of Europe to face Russia
  • If you’ve prepared for the worst, you can hope for the best
  • Some personal thoughts

Geopolitical Research Team  – Switzerland  17 Feb  2024 (public & truncated release was on 13 Mar 2024).

Research made in Switzerland 

Geopolitical and economic conditions need close monitoring, because they can change suddenly. 

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