Global World – 03

Another step forward, by K.N. Pandita

Peace loving peopled heaved a sigh of relief with the cold war coming to an end. World War II had plunged humanity into a gloom when two super power controlled blocs often made confrontational moves.

The debate is not whether the communist system was good or bad. The fact is that it could not sustain itself and had to leave the stage. China, another giant communist country wisely adapted to the demands of the new era and gave a new turn to the entrenched ideology.

But geo-strategies unfolding in post-cold war era that began around 1990 or to be precise with the induction of Perestroika and Glasnost are not reassuring in any way. One is forced to think that cold war may be reappearing humanity but in different form viz. rise of terrorism, emergence of sub-regional identities, new geographical areas of competition and political rivalry, realignment of economic forces, trans-national corporations achieving new markets and new clientele.

World leadership will have to rise to meet these challenges. Europe has at least recast itself into a loose Union that would be a step forward in catching up with the changing socio-political and economic order. Today the EU is perhaps the most effective organization that has emerged out of enormous experience of western societies. Its impact on future shape of mankind will be immense.

Is it possible for the Islamic countries to regroup into something akin to the EU? If that could happen, the world would see the light of the day. The problems with the Islamic world are that it cannot decide whether to go along the sharia or the jurisprudence of modern society. The ASEAN is a divided house with no clear vision of a future strategy, goals and methodology. No doubt if it had these pre-requisites, it could play a conspicuous role in balancing geo-strategic elements that are active now in this century.

In the East, we have a twofold scenario, the Shanghai -6 and the new found Russian-|Chinese and Indian camaraderie. The SCO is doubted by the Americans as focused at reducing its influence in Central Asian republics and also controlling the Central Asian hydrocarbon reserves. Of course alliances like these are not without aims and objectives but hindsight reveals that the Organization came into being in the background of rising crescendo of terror and fundamentalism which has gripped parts of the Islamic world. As the power of terrorists and fundamentalists wanes gradually, the SCO would naturally look for new objectives which, foremost of all, would be of economic nature. That Central Asian hydrocarbon reserves shall play a crucial role in these strategies is hardly to be doubted.

The importance of three major powers of Asian continent trying to develop an understanding of sorts on major international issues is of great consequence to restore confidence among the people of the world. If the meetings and deliberations of three countries move forward, it will force Washington to revisit its Middle East and Asian policy. In the same vein, it will also impress upon the European Union that the new element of geo-strategy shall have to be given dude recognition.

The immediate questing is of a détente between the US and Iran. This issue has to be views from other angles also and not only in the context of bilateral politics. It is obvious that the three Asian giants would not wish a flare up in relations between Iran and the US. That endangers their economies, minimizes their space for mediation which obviously may procrastinate to indefinite times and finally would create a horrible economic recession throughout the world.

In view of this, the chances for a direct confrontation between the two cold be ruled out. True that the conditions that prevail in North Korea are not the same that prevail in Iran, yet no country would hazard a war with the world’s mightiest power for reasons not very clear. Who does not know that Iranian President’s ire against Israel is
meaningless rhetoric and should be given the least credibility. After all Iran is also going through socio-political turmoil and this is not the end of her journey.

Three Bigs of Asia are poised to take control of the situation and it may not be far off when they would be the dictators. Does not that mean that the three powers should have a coordinating agency that assesses, reports and guides. In all probability they might have to think of an Asia Office/Secretariat to look after the Asian affairs.

This also means that an Asian Union on the patterns of European Union could be one of the answers to the puzzled Asian question.

This would be another step forward, and, of course, a welcome step. The sooner initiative is taken towards that end the better.

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