POLITICS


New world order: geopolitical threats and solutions

Myriad questions arise as various regions of the world continue to suffer from conflicts, with superpowers` struggle for their interests deepening. Experts say the world order is being damaged. The issue has been discussed at various levels, and is considered from a different perspective. Superpowers` efforts to pursue their interests are greatly exaggerated. In general, there is obviously a very delicate and sensitive situation in the world. Religious radicalism has become a very dangerous factor. There are other phenomena too. In the light of all this, it is worth thinking about how the world`s geopolitical order will change.

Towards conflict: superpowers` responsibility

Pundits wonder to what extent the world order will be damaged. It is their opinion that current crises, conflicts and superpowers` severe tussle for influence have caused serious global problems. The process is deepening, and the world is teetering on the brink of new fundamental changes.

Indeed the system of international relations, which emerged after the World War II, has faced a lot of challenges. The West`s policy has caused many problems. On the other hand, new powerful actors have become active in the global politics. Professor Walter Mead singles out Russia, Iran and China (see: Walter Russell Mead. The Return of Geopolitics: The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers / ''Foreign Affairs'', May/June 2014, pp.69-79). The reason is that these countries are trying to find an alternative to the America-dominated world order.

Mr Mead believes that these countries would be better channeling their activity into the Western integration. Some experts disagreed with professor Mead`s point of view on the grounds that he perverted the real state of affairs. Apparently this contains an element of truth: Mr Mead might blow up some points. However one should admit that numerous never-seen-before political, geopolitical, economic, cultural and military factors have now emerged.

In different parts of the world, conflicts aggravate, rather than dying down. Contradictions in the Middle East, South Caucasus, Ukraine, Central Asia, Northern Africa and other locations cannot be ignored. The most dangerous is that superpowers` tussle for their interests has played a considerable role in the emergence of the problems in these regions. A glance at the world order from this perspective convinces you that it will experience fundamental changes.

In this context we would like to highlight some important points. First and foremost, it should be noted that in its foreign policy, the United States is making steps that contradict present-day requirements. Enamored with its leadership ambitions, Washington continues moving forward on double standards. In some cases, it refrains from influencing, under international law, settlement of conflicts in various locations. If it`s resolute in one situation, it acts completely differently in another similar instance. And this weakens nations` confidence in justice and fair resolution of their problems. But that`s not all.

America is taking measures against rapidly developing countries. China is a vivid example. Everybody admits that the two countries are involved in a tough struggle for geopolitical influence. The problem is that many countries are suffering from this competition, which expresses itself in the undermining of stability, sufferings of millions of people and massacres. The growing military presence of Washington and Beijing in the Asia-Pacific basin is what causes great concern.

Any room for compromise?

What is now happening in the Middle East and Ukraine substantiates forecasts that big changes will take place in the world order. The Middle East has completely slipped into war. There seems to be no way out as religious and political matters are so inextricably interwoven here. The region is home to dangerous terrorist groups. And the problem is complicate by the fact that these groups are patronized by superpowers. It`s no coincidence that the tussle of geopolitical forces in Syria and Iraq is much spoken of. This means that the Middle East has become the battlefield of those forces. And the result is unpredictable...

Ukraine is another hot spot. It put the West and Russia face-to-face with each other. And EU`s and NATO`s extension plans can be indicated as a reason. Russia is forced to defend its interests. The Ukraine conflict has been on the forefront of global geopolitics. Some even try to assess Germany`s foreign policy in the context of its activities in Ukraine.

The point is that Berlin has striven much for greater geopolitical influence in the last years. It has become the most powerful country of the European Union. It wants more, but without using force. Experts believe that under current circumstances this prevents Berlin from fulfilling its task. At the same time, we think, Germany has taken a far-sighted position. It provides assistance to Ukraine without using military force, Germans are not fighting on the battlefield, but are trying to ensure their interests. So Berlin`s geopolitical strategy should be taken for serious.

One should not forget that Germany is an example of stability for Europe and neighboring areas. Berlin gives preference to economic, trade and cultural ties. It would be interesting to see it continue playing its stabilizing role. Unlike other superpowers, Germany is happy with being one of the world`s five superpowers. However this does not mean that Germany reached consensus with Russia over Ukraine. On the contrary, the struggle between them is becoming more tense. The Germans say they will not let go of Kiev. Moscow thinks the opposite. So even Germany, which has no world leadership claims, is drawn into the global geopolitical tussle.

Russia has always struggled with the West for influence. The relations between them are so strained now that the situation can even undermine the world order. Rapidly falling oil price is considered one of the driving forces behind this process. For example, Russian officials have started to more frequently emphasize their possession of nuclear weapons. And they do it despite they risk to be subjected to influence of some powers. Moscow says it will not give up, and tells others to look at history.

In response to Russia`s insistence the West also remains stuck to its stance. It admits the possibility of lifting sanctions imposed on Russia, but says this can happen only if Moscow pulls back on the Ukraine issue. This has repeatedly been articulated by Barack Obama, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel. So the stand-off will go on.

A general look at aforementioned points reveals that the present-day world order is at risk. The international relations system, which was established after the WW II, has been shaken.

It`s risky to think that the USA is still powerful enough and is able to remain the world leader because a group of countries with shared interests can change the situation. Take BRICS or Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for example. It is not ruled out that the processes can pave the way for the emergence of other regional organizations. This makes it hard for any country, even the USA, to be a single leader. So if Washington does not quit its world leadership claims, confrontation will remain. In our opinion, efforts should be taken to avoid this situation.

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