The current animosity between the United States-led western world and strategic partners Russia and China is all about power. It is not about human rights, democracy, trade, intellectual property, the ‘rules-based international order’ or any of the other canards used by politicians, commentators and the media to describe current events.
The United States had for a historically brief period, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a unipolar moment where it could largely do as it pleased in international affairs. That period of global hegemony is now history but the myth of US exceptionalism within the minds of its elites, and their acolytes, persists.
China and Russia on the other hand, both having learned the folly of empire, have rather more limited goals. But in a case of projection, Western powers assume Russia and China seek global domination. This is based on the fallacious logic, as argued by former US ambassador and Assistant Secretary of Defense Chas Freeman, that because the United States had the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny these countries must too.
At this point, it is highly unlikely that the United States along with any grouping of its allies can militarily defeat China and Russia in any plausible scenario. Thus, the conflict between these two poles is primarily informational and to a lesser extent economic (e.g. sanctions). In other words, this is a grey-zone conflict, otherwise known as political warfare.Australia is playing in the international greyzone: it is time to get out of our unthinking alliance with the US