When one looks at the current state of international affairs, the modern world reminds of second half of 19th century that basically laid ground for both World Wars.The international political configuration was multi-polar. During that period of history, The Russian Empire campaign in the Balkans created great deal of instability between major powers. When Russian troops became within the reach of Constantinople they had to pacify Western powers that protected Ottomans to keep the balance of power by signing a deal that included transferrer of Bosnia Herzegovina to Austrian Empire, for one in exchange for approval by Austrians, Britain and Germany the humiliating peace that Russia forced upon Ottoman Empire.
By Michael Fayerman
Managing Editor Intelligence technology
Defence and Intelligence Magazine
Also, Prussian French War became a precursor to “great geopolitical tension ” between France and Germany that was caused by Prussian annexation of Alsace Lorraine that created natural and unnatural alliances that led to WW1 and subsequently to WW2. Also, the Mahdi rebellion in Sudan created Muslim European tension that lasted until independence of muslim and african countries and lasted until 1960s and even then many of these countries became satellites of the Soviet Union.
After the fall of Berlin wall, in 1989, US who has no territorial aspiration (except for military bases) came out as clear winner of Cold War and the First Gulf War demonstrated american superiority in its armaments, military strategical and tactical thought and willingness to fight for a “right cause’‘ President’s Clinton engagement in the Balkans open old “wounds” of Russian nationalist but due to Russian post-perestroika economic and military weakness and low prices of oil could not change the Western policy to break down of Yugoslavia into multiple countries. America became what England were under Disraeli and lasted till WW2. England was the superpower that engaged in brilliant diplomacy and established itself as the greatest colonial power of its time. Pound Sterling was backed by virtually unlimited amount of gold that came from colonies. English navy controlled the seas and oceans of the world. However, that did not stop Germany that became a unified state only in 1870s, question the superiority of England. Germany under Bismarck in a short period of time became a “super power” with colonial aspirations primarily in Africa that cause direct competiton with England and France.
21. century, enter Barak Obama. Fortunately for US the system of “check and balances” prevent radical changes in US domestic and to some degree international affairs. But if one examines Obama life before presidency it could be well understood that Obama cares more about “social justice”, “anti-imperialism and strong belief that by sheer will you could get along with pretty much anybody. By the way, the fact that Obama change of the name of a mountain in Alaska from McKinley to Denali could explain The Obama Political Ideology. McKinley was the first president who defined the American great role in international relations and fought Spain to free Cuba and establish presence in Philippines and other significant places.
It is clear that McKinley – in eyes of Obama – is classical imperialist. Unfortunately, Obama personal qualities and thoughtless foreign policy such as withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, turning Libya into “mad max” like territory, rekindle the pre-Reagan perception that US is weak and Americans for the most part isolationist and afraid to conduct robust military operations abroad to protect its global interests and its allies which feeds new recruits.
Just like in 1917 the surprised victory of bolsheviks in Russia. American military projects in the ME and North Africa created unexpected yet very potent radical islamic movements that took over large territories that were endorsed by radical Sunni Islamic leadership. Just like bolsheviks, their motto is “either you are with us or against us. ” We all know the destiny of anyone questioning the leaders.
Europe, in in the meantime is losing its identity by misusing “multiculturalism” and free for all immigration policy for muslims that for the most part who are not interested in integrating into the European social fabric. Europe with growing muslim population may become completely engulfed by potentially violent internal dichotomy and become very vurnable from its “northern neighbor”.
So one can see instability festering all over. India and Pakistan, North Korea, ME and most dangerous that may jeopardize the macro balance of power, is the Russian Federation that for the first time since WW2 took over a territory of a neighboring country. Annexation never led to anything positive. The European Union is in political turmoil, between conservative anti-EU forces and ultra liberals that support large muslim influx that when the time comes will be the fifth column that potentially alter European way of life.
NATO who in theory should keep in check Russian aggression turned into more political than military organization. US withdrew most capable divisions from Europe. Although many Eastern European countries have joined NATO, from military perspective Russia for the most part remains unchecked.
The most dangerous area for the world piece are Baltic countries. They were part of Soviet Union and have significant Russian population. In a scenario when Russian minority would become politically aggressive, Russia may get involved under the pretenses defending their “brothers and sisters”. Would NATO and US invoke article where aggression against one member interpreted as attack against all member of NATO? That is a question hopefully never need to be answered. US primaries leaders are poorly covering foreign policy either representeting followers of Chomsky or just media manipulator. I hope that nonsense will get sort out during “caucuses” or during conventions.
The world is turning into highly complex, sometimes illogical multipolar geopolitical curiosity with unexpected alliances and geopolitical animosities . With to many conflicting interest, bloody sectarian violence in the ME, China marking its zone of influence beyond its territory, with America playing less assertive role all of it causing creation of multi-polar world that leads to chaos in international relations.
It is clear, with all the chaos, multi centers of significant military capabilities could created hostile to one another military and economic alliances , where the bi-polar world with Mutually Assured Destruction strategy in place was by far more predictable more balanced than the current world affairs when politicians openly talk about limited nuclear warfare. During the “cold war” the proliferation of unconventional weapons was much more under control. Now Between Baltic’s, middle east and North Korea, ISIS and other players we entered the world full of geopolitical grievances that usually just like at the end of 19th century may evolve into series of small wars that potentially may lead the way for the big war!
Historically, big wars don’t start out of nowhere. It usually caused by conflicting interests, annexations, creation or dissipation of new countries and series of smaller war conflicts that accumulate grievances between world players.Thus the current growth of multipolar world affairs is by far more dangerous to world peace than bipolar or unipolar global political configuration.