Conventional wisdom states the world is in a bipolar era. Though we tend to disagree with that as a multipolar international system is in the works. Multiple superpowers align forces that are the US and other Western nations, and, of course, Russia and China.
Russia and China joined forces this week to build a lunar space station. China's National Space Administration (CNSA) and Russia's space agency Roscosmos signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a lunar base station for a "complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and/or in the orbit of the Moon".
Bank of America's Haim Israel told clients last month that a space race is underway. He said the US has already been forced to create the United States Space Force in a "direct response to the growing militarization of space" by other superpowers.
BofA's Israel shows which countries in 1966 versus 2016 have satellites and launch capabilities. The conclusion here is much of the world except large swaths of Africa can launch rockets into space with satellites.
A multipolar international order is developing, and each side is racing to cement its moon base on the lunar surface. Each side wants a slice of the lunar surface, and for a good reason, because, as we've mentioned before, there could be an abundance of rare metals underneath.
Not too long ago, we event suggested the idea that a "brewing war to set a mining base in space is likely to see China and Russia joining forces to keep the US increasing attempts to dominate extra-terrestrial commerce at bay."
Bruce Jones, an expert on Russia and defense, told Daily Mirror that "Russia and China combining their resources, their finances and expertise could lead to all kinds of security threats."
"But most importantly, it means that the west will be forced to react with their supposed plans to form a moon-base.
"The agreement between the two countries will act as a force multiplier in that it will increase the capabilities of both.
"Security for the west in space is enormously important because of our satellite technology which could come under threat.
"It is important to most aspects of our lives and needs to be protected against any threat from outside," Jones said.
Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said: "Any co-operation of this kind between Russia and China is always of concern."
"Security in space has long been critical, and I expect this new announcement will mean it will become increasingly so to the UK military.
"Anything that has an impact on our cyber and space security has to be watched very carefully, and Britain will have to make sure its capability in this area can compete," Kemp said.
Trillions of dollars of iron ore, nickel, and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth, are likely under the moon's surface. The next wild west is in space. Countries are already aligning forces.