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Pillars of security shaking « Previous | |Next »
March 22, 2003

The Australian has a go at addressing what the new international order will look like post Iraq. It is about time.

The attempt by Harlan Ullman, 'Pillars of security shaking', (no links) is a pretty poor effort. He does sense the coming of a new world order. And he gets the risk of the dismantling of the 4 pillars that underpinned US security---the 3 regional pillars (NATO, northeast Asia and the Middle East) and the world economy----bit right. But then leaves it at that. He says:

"Until the Bush administration recognizes what is at stake, and acts to reinforce or replace these pillars, the image of a blind Samson bringing down the temple on top of himself will not go away."

We can say more than that! The US knows what it is doing. It is not clear that Canberra does.

As Paul Dibb observes in his 'Loud, and carrying a big stick' piece in The Australian (no link) we can discern what is taking place in the interrelationships in the world nations. What we are witnessing is:

"...a dramatic shift in the international system between those who identify with Washington's intention to change the international order, including by military pre-emption of necessary, and others determined to resist what they see as US hegemony."

According to Dibbs we aa return to classical Realpolitik, which emphasizes the primacy and legitimacy of power struggles in world politics. So the US is more unilateralist, more interventionist, and more willing to use military force; and this becomes the defining feature of the security architecture of the future. This is the wagon train that Canberra has hitched its wagon to.

What is most worrying is Dibb's assessment of Canberra's understanding of what is happening in the world of nations. He says:

"...there is no evidence that Canberra understands the implications of the course upon which we are entered. Instead we get surreal pronouncements in the foreign policy white paper and its defence update document that 'relations between the major powers are now more stable than they have been for many years' and that the focus of the major powers is on 'co-operating to advance shared interests.'"

As Dibbs rightly points out the new world order is more likely to be world divided and a return to the essentially tragic history of international affairs.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:52 PM | | Comments (0)