In the future the Mediterranean issue will realistically be that of dividing it into zones of influence -albeit communicating with one another – and anyway capable of absorbing also the geopolitical and military tension that will emerge in other world regions.
The idea that the Mediterranean can still be a small “European lake” is now to be completely ruled out, because the European Union, but also its individual Member States, or NATO itself have shown they cannot credibly hold any Mediterranean area.
The key event of this demonstration of impotence – and often of frank and overt foolishness – was the Second Balkan War.
As is well known, Tito, alias Josip Broz, died in May 1980.
The clash between Serbs and Slovenes immediately materialized in the Congress of the Yugoslav Communist League on January 20, 1990, but then the army harshly intervened in Slovenia, despite the fact that the secession of the various republics was envisaged by Tito’s Constitution, as also happens in all the Basic Laws resulting from the Communist tradition of the Third International.
We know the rest of the story, but we are interested in seeing how everything is concentrated and merged into that conflict: Islamist radicalisation, at first in Bosnia and later in Kosovo, where petromonarchies and jihad – often combined – entered the scene immediately.
Therefore, the obsession for “minorities” – a naive Americanist dogma – ended up fragmenting Europe and later reducing it to a mockery of sub-optimal rights, laws and statelets.
In the 18th century Germany was made up of 350 small States.
France, Italy and Spain, are now prey to very strong tensions between ethnic groups, linguistic areas and more or less presumed “nations”.
If this fragmentation continues, together with an economic and legal slowdown of the European Union, connected to the very strong immigration from Africa and the Middle East, the European Union will be what Italy was in Count Metternich’s mind, namely “a geographical expression”. Nowadays, however, there will be no American or other troops to save it from the mistakes it has foolishly made and self-inflicted.
This is the first true historical fact.
The second is the Western – especially European – attack on Gaddafi’s Libya which was struck in 2011. A stroke of genius, so to speak, that France had above all against Italy, the true protector of Gaddafi’s Libya.
Jihadists from Cyrenaica, talk about the famous “human rights” – which, when Gaddafi was financing Sarkozy’s election campaign were obviously not a problem – and another attempt to fragment a too big political system for the tiny brain of Western decision-makers: previously Yugoslavia, now Libya.
Now, however, it will be good to say enough is enough. It will therefore be necessary to rethink the Mediterranean in another way, without attempting to make ENI collapse and end in the jaws of Total, or possibly move German companies to Slovenia or Serbia, the only real criterion – at the time – for the division of former Yugoslavia. Today it is not a matter of splitting up, but rather of uniting, if anything.
With a view to immediately rehabilitating Eastern Länder, after reunification, Germany kept its interest rates very high, thus ruining its European competitors.
Germany also sought the break-up of Serbia, while Great Britain and France wanted to use the clauses of the 1920 Treaty.
It was exactly Serbia that strongly resisted the German Reich twice. These things matter. For those who still have it, unlike Italians, memory is a criterion also for judging the present time.
The first rule is to bring into the Mediterranean players capable of opposing the old European regional hegemonies.
Certainly also China. The Belt and Road Initiative currently involves 71 countries, which account for half of the world population and a quarter of the global GDP.
It is hard for the United States to counter this extraordinary mobilization of resources and strategic actions.
Since the United States does not even want to hear about the Chinese 5G, it will be a matter of establishing the areas of influence of the two different technologies.
If the United States does not agree, it may as well go and palm off elsewhere their Five Eyes-style Intelligence Service documentation, which is anyway manipulated and often not fully relevant.
For Asia alone, the World Bank forecasts an investment requirement of approximately 26 trillion U.S. dollars until 2030.
We poor Europeans do not even think of extracting this amount of money for the development of the Mediterranean on our own.
Therefore, it is first of all a matter of organizing a short and very effective “Conference on the Mediterranean”, not only between governments but also between figures who often count more than governments – a Conference capable of redefining the lines of presence of other old and new powers in the Mediterranean region.
China will certainly be able to develop its economic and infrastructure projects in the Mediterranean, but in such a context as to envisage the presence of the Chinese Armed Forces also in the operations for controlling and containing legal and illegal immigration between the Sahel and the whole sub-Saharan region.
The fields of action can be easily defined: let us therefore forget about EUNAVFORMED which, with its very recent IRINI mission, has already demonstrated – if there ever were any need – the irrelevance sine remedio of the European Union.
No ships, in this case, except for a French one, with Italy saying it is coming soon, but also Germany, which is officially distancing itself and break away, and finally Turkey, which is obviously doing its utmost to prevent the mission.
Therefore, the EU is currently paying for the flaw it imposed in the past during the destabilisation phase of the Soviet East: the continuous State and hyper-State factionism. No one to blame but oneself.
Therefore, first of all, a strong Conference for defining the areas of military influence, and hence of possible collaborations, in the Mediterranean region.
Hence China can move in the sub-Saharan area, but for what aim? To obviously have the possibility of exploiting the entire primary sub-Saharan region. And to protect its African development regions in the East. I think China will accept.
France will still be able to endure its African Francophonie. Certainly, but with a series of integrated military mechanisms, present between the Djibouti base, where there is also Italy, but also in other ones, as the one in the Ivory Coast, or the one in Senegal, in the military port of Dakar and in Ouakam.
Here, the mechanism of the New Treaty on the Mediterranean will envisage a parallel presence of Italy, Spain and the United States – if it ever agrees – and also a possible Russian base in the Ivory Coast.
Certainly, by now everything is heading for a new and silly Cold War, but hopefully rationality – at least the scarce and very residual one of the p Union – will make itself heard.
Hence what should the Russian Federation do? Meanwhile, Russia is already in Berbera, on the coast of Somaliland, but it is also interested in Eritrea, as well as in Cabo Delgado in Northern Mozambique. Russia is also present in the Central African Republic, but it also trains the Armed Forces of Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
Well, there is no point crying over the milk spilt by the Europeans’ clumsy pacifism.
Within the new division of the Mediterranean, for the Russian Federation there could also be a naval base in Cyrenaica, but less relevant than the one planned together with General Haftar, as well as a new Russian economic presence in the West African coasts, in Benin, Cape Verde, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
For the Mediterranean coasts, we can think about a specific, but obviously not exclusive, development area for Russia, but between Egypt and Morocco.
No one will ever have exclusive zones in the Mediterranean, but all the participants in the New Mediterranean Pact will have a “supervision zone” for their primary development areas.
With a view to ensuring the military stability of the region, we can also think about a Mediterranean Bank, which will be integrated with the primary Investment Banks of the participating countries and will evaluate the new candidates’ proposals. As Napoleon used to say, money makes wars.
A good option would also be a sort of “Integrated Allied Command of the Mediterranean” among all the present Forces. I am perfectly aware it would be a matter of having a unified Command with Russia and China, but the United States should tell us whether it wants to stay seriously in the Mediterranean or if it wants to leave – as for NATO according to President Trump – because the issue is obviously essential.
If others in the world think that the problem of the Mediterranean is only the sloppy and careless theory of “terrorism”, it should be clearly said.
If, on the contrary, it is thought that the issue is broader and more complicated, then it would be good for the United States to participate in a non-NATO South Mediterranean Committee with other States and Organizations.
Also with this new Mediterranean Bank, Spain could stabilize both its old enclaves and enter the great sub-Saharan system, between Algeria and Morocco, which are traditional points of reference for Spain.
The Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea are essential for Spain both for military security and for the purchase of oil and gas.
For France, there are also 1,100 companies with over 2,109 branches in Africa.
The abandonment of the CFA Franc in favour of the ECO is a historic event, but the ECO will anyway be stabilized with respect to the Euro and guaranteed by France.
Here there is a severe problem: either we create a “Mediterranean” currency, which runs parallel to local currencies (here we will not make the same mistake as the Euro), or we plan an area of non-fixed exchange rates. But the idea of a secondary currency would not be bad.
France, however, would certainly not agree. The new Mediterranean currency could also be a mere currency of account, which remains in the Mediterranean but cannot be exchanged in sub-Saharan Africa.
What about Italy? There are approximately 30,000 US military and civilians in Italy.
The problem is that the undeniable economic crisis will lead to a sub-optimal contraction of the Italian Defence budget compared to the U.S. and Italian needs in the Mediterranean region.
Greece may certainly not be a strategic substitute. Now Italy has very different interests in the Mediterranean region, but not necessarily in conflict with the United States.
Hence what can be done apart from the strategy of distributing Nutella to children? The answer is simple: immediately choose our own proxies in Libya – but I am afraid it is too late – and later think about an operational strategy for political and economic penetration in the Mediterranean region and hence also in Africa.
Where? In Central and Southern Africa, but also in the South African Confederation.
Hence Sahel, where most of the migration flows originate, as well as fight against the Islamic State in Southern Sahara, and finally Italy’s participation in the Takuba Force, again between Sahel and the neighbouring countries. However, it is a Force with European-style Rules of Engagement (ROE) – hence in this case reference is again to be made to the above stated Nutella strategy.
With a now superhuman effort of strategic imagination, Italy could pass through the Sahel and Sudan’s border to Tunisia and its neighbouring areas, thus avoiding the Libyan chaos, in which it should operate differently, and later reach the Southern borders of Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.
In this new accurate division of areas of influence, Italy could deal mainly with the Mediterranean coasts and security, while other countries could deal – but obviously not without Italy – with the “poor” and immediate industrialization of the Southern Mediterranean coasts.
Both the new Committee for Mediterranean security, made up of all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean or anyway interested in it, and the above stated Mediterranean Bank, which could act both as a backer of coastal States and as a medium and long-term supporter of the national and international companies present in the Mediterranean Sea, could prove to be useful.
COVID-19 lockdowns are in lockstep with the ‘Great Reset’
In October 2019, a pandemic simulation exercise called Event 201 – a collaborative effort between Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – concluded that a hypothetical new coronavirus may end up killing at least 65 million people worldwide within 18 months of an outbreak.
When COVID-19 coincidentally emerged from Wuhan two months later, scientists were rushing to generate similar alarmist forecasts using a variety of questionable scientific models. Researchers from the Imperial College London, for instance, approximated death tolls of 500,000 (UK) and two million (USA) by October this year. To those following the metastasis of the global vaccine mania, the Imperial model was predictably “tidied up” with the help of Microsoft.
While scientific models are admittedly fallible, one would nonetheless be hard-pressed to justify the endless string of contradictions, discrepancies and wilful amnesia in the global pandemic narrative. In fact, one should question whether COVID-19 even deserves the tag of a “pandemic”. According to the United States’ Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the updated age-group survival rates for COVID-19 happen to be: Ages 0-19 (99.997%); 20-49 (99.98%); 50-69 (99.5%); and 70+ (94.6%). The mortality rates are only slightly higher than the human toll from seasonal flu and are, in fact, lower than many ailments for the same age cohorts.
If the CDC statistics don’t lie, what kind of “science” have we been subjected to? Was it the science of mass-mediated hysteria? There are other troubling questions yet unanswered. Whatever happened to the theory of bats or pangolins being the source of COVID-19? Who was Patient Zero? Why was there a concerted media agitprop against the prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine that was backed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) no less? And why did Prof Neil Ferguson, who had led Imperial’s contagion modelling, repeatedly breach lockdown measures to meet his paramour – right after his recommendations were used to justify draconian lockdowns worldwide which continue till today?
Most damning yet, why are Western media and scientific establishments dismissive of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine? After all, Moscow’s credibility, both scientific and otherwise, is on the line here. In a real pandemic, nobody would care where an effective remedy comes from. The virus does not care about borders and geopolitics; so why should we politicize the origins of an antidote?
Perhaps what we are really dealing with here is a case of mass “coronapsychosis” as Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko aptly called it. Who benefits from global lockdowns that are destabilizing all facets of our society? The following four “great” undercurrents may provide a clue.
The Great Deflection
As the author had warned for more than a decade, the world is staring at a confluence of risk overloads, socioeconomic meltdowns1 and a Second Great Depression. For the ruling classes, COVID-19 is fortuitously deflecting public attention away from the disastrous consequences of decades of economic mismanagement and wealth fractionation. The consolidation of Big Tech with Big Media2has created an Orwellian world where collective hysteria is shifting loci from bogeymen like Russia to those who disagree with the pandemic narrative.
We have entered a “new normal” where Pyongyang, North Korea, affords more ambulatory freedom than Melbourne, Australia. While rioting and mass demonstrations by assorted radicals are given a free pass – even encouraged by leaders in the West –Facebook posts questioning lockdowns are deemed subversive. This is a world where Australian Blueshirts beat up women, manhandle a pregnant woman in her own home, and perform wolf pack policing on an elderly lady in a park. Yet, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria remains unfazed by the unflattering moniker of Kim Jong Dan.
The corona-totalitarianism is unsurprisingly most pronounced in the Anglosphere and its dependencies. After all, these nations are staring at socioeconomic bankruptcies of unprecedented proportions vis-à-vis their counterparts. Even their own governments are being systematically undermined from within. The US Department of Homeland Security, created in the aftermath of 9/11 to combat terrorism, is now providing$10 million in grants to organizations which supposedly combat “far-right extremism and white supremacy”. This will further radicalize leftist malcontents who are razing down US cities and its economies in the name of social justice. There is however a curious rationale behind this inane policy as the following section illustrates.
The Great Wealth Transfer
While the circus continues, the bread is thinning out, except for the Top 0.001%. Instead of bankruptcy as recent trends indicated, Silicon Valley and affiliated monopolies are notching up record profits along with record social media censorships. US billionaires raked in $434 billion in the first two months of the lockdown alone. The more the lockdowns, the more the wealth accrued to the techno-elite. As tens of millions of individuals and small businesses face bankruptcy by Christmas, the remote work revolution is gifting multibillion dollar jackpots to the likes of Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). Azure (Microsoft) and AWS (Amazon) cloud eco-systems, among others, have expanded by 50% since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the face of such runaway wealth fractionation, panoptic contact tracing tools from Big Tech are increasingly employed to pacify restive populations. And of course, to prevent a second, third or Nth wave of COVID-19 for our collective good!
In the meantime, Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big Tech and other monopolies are getting lavish central bank bailouts or “stimulus packages” to gobble up struggling smaller enterprises. COVID-19 is a gift that never stops giving to a select few. But how will the techno-oligarchy maintain a degree of social credibility and control in an impoverished and tumultuous world?
The Great Philanthropy
Oligarchic philanthropy will be a dominant feature of this VUCA decade3. According to a recent Guardian report, philanthropic foundations have multiplied exponentially in the past two decades, controlling a war chest worth more than $1.5 trillion. That is sufficient to bankroll a horde of experts, NGOs, industry lobbies, media and fact-checkers worldwide. Large sums can also be distributed rapidly to undermine governments. The laws governing scientific empiricism are no longer static and immutable; they must dance in tandem with the funding. Those who scream fake news are usually its foremost peddlers. This is yet another “new normal” which had actually predated COVID-19 by decades.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is a prime example of how oligarchic philanthropy works. Since 2000, it has donated more than $45 billion to “charitable causes” and a chunk of thisis designed to control the global media narrative. The Guardian, rather tellingly, credits the BMGF for helping eradicate polio despite contrary reports of wanton procedural abuses, child death tolls and poverty exploitations which routinely mar the foundation’s vaccination programs. Bill Gates even interprets vaccine philanthropy in terms of a 20-to-1 return on investments, as he effused to CNBC last year.
As for the BMGF’s alleged polio success, officials now fear that a dangerous new strain could soon “jump continents”. After spending $16 billion over 30 years to eradicate polio, international health bodies – which work closely with BMGF – have “accidentally” reintroduced the disease to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
Poverty, hunger and desperation will spawn a tangible degree of public gratitude despite elite philanthropy’s entrenched bias towards elite institutions and causes. By the Guardian’s own admission, “British millionaires gave £1.04bn to the arts, and just £222m to alleviating poverty” in the 10-year period to 2017. Contrast this with the annual $10 billion earmarked by the philanthropic pool for “ideological persuasion” in the US alone. The rabble is worth their weight only for the potential havoc they can wreak.
There is enough money floating around to reduce our cities into bedlams of anarchy as seen in the United States today. (It will only get worse after the Nov 3 US presidential elections).The crumbs left over can be delegated to threadbare charities. One only needs to reflect on soup kitchens in the post-1929 Weimar Republic. The most popular ones were organized by the Nazi party and funded by wealthy patrons. The march towards a new order has a familiar historical meme. The new Brownshirts are those who terrorise citizens for not wearing masks, for not being locked down in their pens, and for simply supporting a political candidate of choice. Even children who do not follow the oligarchic narrative are not spared!
The Great Reset
A great pruning will inevitably occur in the mega-billionaire club as whatever remains of the global corona-economy is systematically cannibalized. The club will get smaller but wealthier and will attempt to sway our collective destiny. Control over education, healthcare, means of communications and basic social provisions is being increasingly ceded by governments to the global elite. Governments colluding in the “new normal” will sooner or later face the ire of distressed masses. Politicians and assorted “social justice warriors” will be scapegoated once they have outlived their usefulness.
In this cauldron, the century-old technocratic dream of replacing politicians, electoral processes and businesses with societies run by scientists and technical experts4may emerge – thanks to advances in panoptic technologies. It will be an age for the “rational science of production” and “scientific collectivism”. The latter is eerily redolent of the Soviet sharaska (prison labs) system.
The production and supply of goods will be coordinated by a central directorate5, led not by elected representatives (whose roles, where they exist, will be nominal anyway) but by technocrat factotums. Perhaps this is what the World Economic Forum refers to as the Great Reset. In reality though, this idea smacks of a global Gosplan minus the Doctor Sausages for the innumerable many.
(Some emerging economies like Malaysia and India casually refer to technocracy as an infusion of greater technical expertise into bureaucracy. This is a misinterpretation of technocracy’s longstanding means and goals).
One intractable problem remains: will the emerging global oligarchy tolerate the existence of various deep states worldwide? Initially, both groupings may cooperate to their mutual benefit but their respective raisons d’être are too contradictory to be reconciled One thrives on an “open society” run by obedient hirelings who will administer a global Ministry of Truth while the other depends on secrecy and a degree of national sovereignty to justify its existence. Surveillance technologies ushered in by the ongoing “coronapsychosis” may end up being the deciding factor in this struggle.
After all, if social media posts by the President of the United States and the White House can be blatantly censored today, think of the repercussions for billions of people worldwide tomorrow?
Author’s note: An abridged version of this article was published by RT on Oct 14
1. Maavak, M. (2012), Class Warfare, Anarchy and the Future Society: Is the Middle Class forging a Gramscian Counter-Hegemonic Bloc Worldwide? Journal of Futures Studies, December 2012, 17(2): 15-36.
2. Maavak, M. (2019). Bubble to Panopticon: Dark Undercurrents of the Big Data Torrent.Kybernetes, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 1046-1060. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-06-2019-0403
3. Maavak, M (2021). Maavak, M. (2021). Horizon 2020-2030: Will Emerging Risks Unravel our Global Systems? Accepted for publication.Salus Journal, Issue 1 2021.
4. Elsner, Jr., Henry (1967). The Technocrats: Prophets of Automation. Syracuse University.
5. Stabile, D.R. (1986). Veblen and the Political Economy of the Engineer: the radical thinker and engineering leaders came to technocratic ideas at the same time.American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol, 45, No. 1, 1986, pp. 43-44.
Should Turkey and Azerbaijan Be Worried About Killed Syrian Mercenaries?
Just a few weeks ago many analysts and observers were sceptical about reports of Turkey’s transferring units of its Syrian National Army (SNA) proxies to Nagorno Karabakh, even more so because Turkish officials denied any such claims. However, as evidence of massive casualties among the Syrian mercenaries continues to mount, there is little space left for doubt: SNA fighters have become cannon fodder in the Turkish operation in support of Azerbaijan.
The first batch of bodies of those Syrians who perished in Nagorno Karabakh counted over 50 people, according to messages and videos that went viral on opposition WhatsApp and Telegram channels. Among the dead who were delivered to Syria over Hiwar Kilis border crossing and were given a hasted burial were men from Aleppo, Idlib, Homs and other regions of Syria. Many of their relatives, like families of Muhammad Shaalan from Atareb and Kinan Ferzat from Maarat al-Nuuman, were shocked to learn about their death.
Just like the majority of the Syrians who travelled to Nagorno Karabakh, Muhammad and Firzat were primarily motivated by lucrative rewards of up to 2,000 dollars promised by Turkey. “I came here to make money and have a better life back in Syria where the living conditions are miserable. I consider this a job, nothing else,” a member of Liwa Sultan Murad, one of the first SNA factions to deploy its fighters to the contested region, told Guardian.
The reason behind heavy casualties of the Syrian mercenaries is that they are thrown into action where the clashes are the most violent, including Jabrayil, Terter, Fizulin and Talysh. This move allows Azerbaijan to keep its military, who mainly provide air support including operating Turkey-made Bayraktar TB2 UAVs and coordinate artillery and missile strikes of the Armenian positions, out of direct contact with the enemy.
The estimates of the numbers of the Syrian mercenaries present in Nagorno Karabakh are wildly different. While initial reports put their number at 500 men, it is currently believed that the actual number may be in thousands. This data indicates that at least 10 percent of the fighters were killed during the very first days of the escalation – a serious alarm for the mercenaries as well as their Turkish backers.
These developments must ring a bell for Azerbaijan as well. The longer the conflict protracts, the higher the risk of casualties among the Azeri servicemen becomes, who have already suffered losses in Armenian retaliation strikes. Baku has managed to avoid discontent among the military as well as the civilian populace – not least thanks to the Syrian mercenaries crushed as cannon fodder – but this can not continue for long.
Emerging Multipolarity and its consequences
“Make America great again” a slogan that formed the nucleus of trump’s electoral campaign vividly suggests that America is no more a great country. It is, in fact, an implicit admission that U.S is gradually losing its clout in international politics and hence, its image as a sole superpower of the world has virtually tarnished. Let me rephrase this connotation; it means that the era of unipolar world is over and the world has now transitioned to a multipolarirty.
Currently, new power centers are emerging in transnational political landscape. China, Russia, India and Turkey are excessively engaged to carve a niche for them in evolving international order. Most importantly, with China and Russia’s mushrooming proximity, balance of power is now shifting from west to east. Former United States (US) Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton at her state visit to New Zealand was one of the first to observe “a shifting balance of power to a more multi-polar world as opposed to the Cold War model of a bipolar world”. This conspicuous change in multi-national political setup was also realized by Ban ki Moon, the then secretary- General of United Nations who stated at Stanford University in 2013 that we have begun to “move increasingly and irreversibly to a multi-polar world”. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, also declared at the Russia-China Conference 2016 that “international relations have entered into a conceptually new historical stage that consists in the emergence of a multi-polar world order and reflects the strengthening of new centers of economic development and power”.
These manifestations of political spin doctors have since then revealed a general acceptance of the idea of multi-polar world as a concept that is inescapable political reality in the contemporary international dynamics. However, when it comes to the transitions and inevitability of power structures, there is a little agreement among the international states.
A much stronger resistance to forego unipolarity remains embedded in the Trump administration vision to “make America great again”. Political pundits such as Robert Kaplan continue to question, whether there is an overlap of unipolar and multi-polar world realities; where US continues to retain the supremacy in military realm of affairs and is anticipated to remain so for a considerable future time, whereby China leads in the economic realm. Additionally nations in the former Third World are acquiring status as rising powers, notably India who have over the years with smart diplomacy have acquired global outreach to shape international agenda.
Chronologically, After World War II, the U.S. became the undisputed and unchallenged global superpower. It was the only country, equipped with nuclear warheads and was one of the few countries involved in the war that came away from it relatively unscathed at home. The U.S. underwent a meager loss of approximately 400,000 soldiers and a fractional amount of civilians in the war. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, incurred a gigantic loss of around 11 million soldiers and some 7 million to 10 million civilians. While Soviet and European cities were undergoing the process of rehabilitation, American cities flourished. It seemed clear to all that the future belonged to the United States.
But it didn’t take long for the luster of unrivaled power to tarnish. The U.S. military machine relaxed as quickly as it had mobilized, and wartime unity gave way to peacetime political debates over government spending and entitlement programs. Within five years, a bipolar world emerged: The Soviets attained an atomic bomb, and the U.S. was caught flat-footed in a war on the Korean Peninsula that ended in a stalemate. Soon thereafter, the U.S. was withdrawing from Vietnam and rioting at home. In 1971, then-President Richard Nixon predicted a world that he said would soon emerge in which the U.S. was “no longer in the position of complete pre-eminence.” Within 26 years of the end of World War II, Nixon’s prediction saw the light of the day and the U.S. had to resign to its fate.
Theoretically, multipolarity refers to a distribution of power in which more than two states have nearly equal amounts of military, cultural, financial and economic influence.
If we look at the contemporary world, we find that with the rise of like China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil, global power will spread across a wider range of countries, hence, a new world order with multipolar outlook is likely to emerge .
Realistically speaking, several revisionist powers are and will shaking up their regions. For instance, Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 – annexing Crimea, over which it has fought several wars throughout history (mainly with Turkey). In turn, Turkey is asserting its sovereignty over the eastern Mediterranean to the frustration of countries like Greece, Egypt, Cyprus and Israel. Meanwhile, India has upped its aggression in its border dispute with Pakistan as Modi began a process to revoke the autonomous status of the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir.
Notably, after the age of city-states and nation-states, we are now entering the age of continental politics. The most powerful countries of the 21st century (the U.S., China, Russia India, Indonesia, and Brazil) are the size of continents. They have broad economic bases and their digital economies potentially have hundreds of millions of users. Internationally, their scale requires them to seek broad spheres of influence in order to protect their security.
Here the question arises what will be the impact of growing multipolarity in the world? First of all, revisionist powers will increasingly ignite tensions. The growing assertiveness of countries like Russia, Turkey and India is the new normal. As they grow more powerful, these countries will seek to revise arrangements in order to reflect the new realities of power. Because these (continental) states seek broad spheres of influence, many places are at risk of destabilization.
Second, one of the biggest risks is the growing paranoia of the hegemon (the U.S.). The current trade war has shown how destabilizing the policy of the (financial) hegemon becomes as it feels threatened by the rise of a rival. Historically, this has been the most important source of violent conflicts. Indeed, the biggest source of uncertainty in the coming years is how the U.S. will react to the rise of China.
Third, the world order will become more ambiguous. Two developments deserve our attention. First, the growing use of shadow power will make conflict more unpredictable. With digital tools, states (and non-state actors) are manipulating each other in subtle ways. For example, Russian hackers posed as Iranians to hit dozens of countries and Americans blamed Russia for tampering with American elections. Second, alliances will also become more ambiguous. With ever changing dynamics of world economy, new alliances, motivated by the concept of triangulation (to keep balance in relation with the US and China, the trade warriors) will form and such alliances, as predicted by spin doctors; will be less stable than the blocs, formed in 20th century.
To sum it up, before we reach a multipolar world order, we will see a period of growing uncertainty based on the rise of revisionist powers, the paranoia of the U.S. and growing ambiguity of conflict and cooperation. Moreover, the political pundits are divided in opinion that whether multi-polarity is unstable than unipolarity or bipolarity. Kenneth Waltz strongly was in favor of “bipolar order as stable”. On the other side, Karl Deutsch and David Singer saw multi-polarity as guaranteeing a greater degree of stability in an article published in 1964, “Multipolar Systems and International Stability”. Simon Reich and Richard Ned Lebow in “Goodbye Hegemony” (2014), question the belief whether a global system without a hegemon would be unstable and more war prone. However, whatever the system the world is likely to witness in the days to come, let’s hope that this should be in the best interest of humanity and it should make the lives of the inhabitants of this planet peaceful and prosperous.
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