Strategic Quarantines of Super Powers: War from Home


There is a cliché that road to power is full of causalities and hypocrisies. Super powers never failed to surprise the world with new and innovative ideas. One state is busy in threatening the world with non-traditional security threats, while the other finds itself lurking towards the traditional security threats. One has spread the pandemic while others are busy in testing their hypersonic missiles. Question of humanity remains still unanswered. United States and Russia are constructing high tech missiles but failed to save their people from COVID-19. Unfortunately United States had surpassed the death toll of virus victims rather than causalities happened in Vietnam War.

It is the responsibility of the hegemon to bring peace in the world but, in contemporary circumstances super powers had failed to do so, instead they are the reason behind instability in various regions of the world just to achieve their malign objectives. There is no need to delve into the details because everything is so apparent that how Corona has been mushroomed around the world but, in a nut shell, Chinese have deteriorated the stability while the repercussions of this virus are alarming. This has increased the rate of unemployment; nearly collapsed the state economies and casualties of innocent people are making humungous numbers. Most importantly it has changed the economic and military strength of great powers.

Russia had tested their first ship-launched ‘Triskon (Zircon)’ hypersonic missile on 27th Feb, 2020. Unfortunately these missiles with a tremendously high speed failed to detect Corona virus but, achieved a huge success to maintain deterrence and enhanced capability to protect their territory instead of its common masses who are suffering at the helm of a pandemic. Currently they have 177k confirmed cases and the number is increasing. On the other hand United States is not lagging behind, they had also tested the hypersonic missile on 21st March, 2020which proves in an arms race with and it has further aggravated the strategic stability.

Flipping the another side of the coin, outbreak caused more than 77k causalities and more than 1.3million cases are confirmed, but a piece of land is more important than human life and humanity. Now, both states are discussing the mysterious parchment of strategic stability and arms race after testing hypersonic missiles. This statement explained the situation of United States and Russia. ”Two great powers may be compared to two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other but only at the risk if its own life”.

Suffice, human nature is power hungry; in this anarchic world, every powerful state wanted to cripple the meager states to gain hegemony. According to realist scholar, Hans Morgenthau; he set out approaches that emphasized power over morality. He claimed that morality should be/ could be avoided in policy making and every action must be directed towards increasing or demonstrating power because those policies which are based on morality or idealism lead towards weakness. These are the fundamental principles on which super powers premise their foreign policy choices. Human became immune to everything after sometime henceforth; powerful states started constructing their minds and perception according to their interests.

According to constructivist scholar Nicholas Greenwood Onuf, he explained that ideas are socially constructed and powerful states construct events with respect to their interests and objectives because actors continually shape or sometimes reshape the very nature of international relations through their actions and interactions. Constructivism sees the world as socially constructed. That is how super powers constructed the understanding of the people that testing hypersonic missile in such a dire circumstances would not be a great deal for them.

United States has faced failure its strategies pertaining to Afghanistan and Syria. Withdrawal from Syria after destroying the infrastructure without succeeding in its objectives and Afghanistan is lesson for them in multifaceted ways such as their technology failed in fierce terrain of Afghanistan which severely deteriorated the psychological health of the army personnel. U.S announced withdrawal under the flag of isolationist policy leaving the chaos behind. U.S assistance towards India for containing China seems like a utopian riddle. However later on Pakistan came at the forefront and ended the Afghan quagmire with over certain rounds of peaceful negotiations between US and Taliban.

This outbreak proved as a blessing for states like Syria, Yemen and Palestine because terrorist activities reduced to a great level. The reason is professed super powers who occupied middle eastern states are now busy saving their own people even they are not so successful in achieving that objective. However, Kashmir valley is still under the ruthless barbarians of the region, ruled by the extremist followers of fascism. The world is busy fighting COVID-19 but Indian army is focusing on border violations, cross border skirmishes, cutting off the medical and health facilities to Kashmir. They are blaming religion for the cause of outbreak; lynching and oppressing innocent Muslims in their own country. China is doing the same with Uighur Muslims in their hundreds of detention centers and the West is promoting the concept of Islamophobia. Muslims are labeled as terrorists but other than Muslims called as lone wolfs. This is level of prejudice of this enlightened secular world.

It is a heartrending spectacle for Muslim world. India being an active ally of great powers is on the same path, ignoring human rights. Now, the question is why they would slap sanctions or take notice on violation of human rights because it is not in their best interest and referring themselves leaders of the free world who left indelible reputation of incapability of tackling their own crises.

The post-pandemic world will bring a new version of cold war with it because both China and U.S are damaged. Wars have been turned from battle fields to homes because times have changed the modes of destroying each other. In contemporary world, media and artificial intelligence is the most lethal weapon or power that can be used to destroy anything, people’s data is what matters today. However, these great powers are gathering every byte from social media either it is online classes or entertainment applications will be used for manipulation as a soft power and construct the minds of the people to serve their best interests respectively.

Jamshaid Rehman
Jamshaid Rehman
Researcher from National defence University.


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