If you have not read the The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former U.S. national security advisor, you must do so. If you have read it, read it again.
The book was published 25 years ago, yet it perfectly describes the present crisis, including the causes of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They certainly remember Brzezinski all too well in the Kremlin. Putin right now is playing the game of his life on the chessboard Brzezinski once described.
The rules of the Eurasian chessboard described by Brzezinski explain why the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Geneva talks with Putin were such a mistake. Both of these events in all probability persuaded Putin to prepare the invasion of Ukraine. It also shows how the independence of Ukraine and Taiwan are interlinked and why Putin is having to travel to Iran and Turkey.
Europe is very much a part of that chessboard. According to Brzeziński, the core of European security, like a spine running through the continent, are the states of France, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Any system of European security must be founded on those four countries.
The war on the Eurasian chessboard will determine whether Brzezinski’s vision of European security can be realized, but for that to happen, it would take a major shift in the thinking of all of these countries, and visionary leadership too. It is hard to believe that is possible.