East on the rise as the global divide widens
Indo-peaceful tensions are increasing considerably. The Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, made up of the United States, India, Japan and Australia) is becoming a common word. This continues the bifurcation of the globe, which has an impact on the Middle East. The past week has widened the divide, with conflicting comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several senior Chinese officials during talks with the United States in Alaska.
The doctrinal changes in the Americas are the most important in understanding why the East is making such amazing progress, moving west and into the depths of the southern hemisphere, including Latin America. This is not new but it is accelerating because of the pandemic.
The new interim national security strategic direction of US President Joe Bidens appears to reduce the relative strategic importance of the Middle East. It goes beyond the National Defense Strategy of 2017, which refocused the defense of the Americas on the main strategic competitors of China and Russia after two decades of attempts to counter violent extremism in the Middle East. Bidens’ Interim Guidelines state: Our vital national interests impose the deepest connection with the Indo-Pacific, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. India, New Zealand, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Pacific Island States, the UK and the EU all come out ahead of the Middle East.
The Biden team refers to the importance of the rules-based international order in the design of policy options. The promulgation of these values after the Trump administration makes the Biden team appear weak in the eyes of Washington adversaries. Such measures involve strengthening ties with Moscow and Beijing, especially the former given its now dominant role in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) following this month’s visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in the Gulf.
The economic center of the planets is now closer to Beijing than to London.
Dr Theodore Karasik
Events since the Biden administration took office are accelerating the creation of a new geopolitical environment in which key countries such as Russia, China and Iran are drifting away from the West by showing the weakness of Americas. This behavior is not new. The antecedents of the bifurcation can be seen in discussions about access to the SWIFT banking network and increased sanctions against these states. In the case of Iran, the situation is reversed, which is part of the problem with supporters of War Forever failing to see the big picture. The expansion of logistics networks, combined with the demands of the post-pandemic economic recovery period, is accelerating divisions. In other words, the economic center of the planets is now closer to Beijing than to London. Iran stands to gain from such a change and also from the West’s desire to lift sanctions over time.
A global bifurcation is undoubtedly at the heart of the current first geopolitical crisis. There are a number of countries that are now bound by a willingness to act against the Biden administration. This phenomenon splits the globe into two halves, with the will to use business as a political declaration expressed through sovereignty and other associated rights in the post-coronavirus international order.
What we are witnessing is a new political atmosphere very different from that seen during the Cold War, and it is likely to worsen due to the deterioration of US-Russian relations and the attitude of the Americas to it. regard to North Korea and Iran, as well as a domestic US situation that makes foreign hedge fund managers wonder what the risks are of investing in America. Mind games are on, as Russia stretches from the Arctic to Antarctica and many places in between with both optics and presence.
The East-West split concerns Russia and China creating spheres of influence that counter the West by emphasizing their robustness in the face of a flayed and divided West riddled with racism. Other countries see Moscow and Beijing as useful partners and moderators in the many conflicts and other strategic issues currently occurring around the world, especially ahead of Lavrov’s visit to China this week. Russian-Chinese relations are growing closer and states in the Middle East are developing stronger ties with both. The language of recent days shows little willingness to cooperate on a peer-to-peer level, which will have a direct impact on conflicts and disputes in the MENA region.
For the emerging east, the global bifurcation is accentuating over time. As geopolitics deepens the divide, the impact on global relations will need to be reconsidered, while avoiding stereotypes of good and bad. But, again, this is pathogen-driven realpolitik.
- Dr Theodore Karasik is Senior Advisor for Gulf State Analytics in Washington, DC Twitter: @tkarasik
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the editors in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arab News
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