Understood and agreed on all points.
China can now make a play to be the stabilizing force in Southeast Asia
There's a historical precedent for this, right? So, it makes sense that an informal chinese hegemony in the pacific could have some staying power.
Russia can make a play for the Middle East.
Because that worked out so well for them last time. Do they not study history in Russia? I guess I have a hard time understanding the Russian geopolitical short-game here. Long-game I sort of understand, they want to be feared and respected like they were at the height of the power of the Union, if not more so. I just don't see how their current actions lead to that. I don't see all of Europe, and especially the Middle East just rolling over quietly to Rooski-takeover, but then, we all seem to have just accepted the annexation of Crimea without too much fuss.