вторник, 13 декември 2011 г.

Геополитически размисли 2

А new Asia-centric world economy

Obama’s ‘crackpot realism’, his shift from wars in the Muslim world to military confrontation in Asia, has no intrinsic worth and poses extraordinary extrinsic costs. The military methods and economic goals are totally incompatible and beyond the capacity of the US, as it is currently constituted. Washington ’s policies will not ‘weaken’ Russia or China, even less intimidate them. Instead it will encourage both to adopt more adversarial positions, making it less likely that they lend a hand to Obama’s sequential wars on behalf of Israel. Already Russia has sent warships to its Syrian port, refused to support an arms embargo against Syria and Iran and (in retrospect) criticized the NATO war against Libya. China and Russia have far too many strategic ties with the world economy to suffer any great losses from a series of US military outposts and “exclusive” alliances. Russia can aim just as many deadly nuclear missiles at the West as the US can mount from its bases in Eastern Europe.

In other words, Obama’s military escalation will not change the nuclear balance of power, but will bring Russia and China into a closer and deeper alliance. Gone are the days of Kissinger-Nixon’s “divide and conquer” strategy pitting US-Chinese trade agreements against Russian arms. Washington has a totally exaggerated significance of the current maritime spats between China and its neighbors. What unites them in economic terms is far more important in the medium and long-run. China’s Asian economic ties will erode any tenuous military links to the US.

Obama’s “crackpot realism”, views the world market through military lenses. Military arrogance toward Asia has led to a rupture with Pakistan, its most compliant client regime in South Asia. NATO deliberately slaughtered 24 Pakistani soldiers and thumbed their nose at the Pakistani generals, while China and Russia condemned the attack and gained influence.

In the end, the military and exclusionary posture to China will fail. Washington will overplay its hand and frighten its business-oriented erstwhile Asian partners, who only want to play-off a US military presence to gain tactical economic advantage. They certainly do not want a new US instigated ‘Cold War’ dividing and weakening the dynamic intra-Asian trade and investment. Obama and his minions will quickly learn that Asia ’s current leaders do not have permanent allies – only permanent interests. In the final analysis, China figures prominently in configuring a new Asia-centric world economy. Washington may claim to have a ‘permanent Pacific presence’ but until it demonstrates it can take care of its “basic business at home”, like arranging its own finances and balancing its current account deficits, the US Naval command may end up renting its naval facilities to Asian exporters and shippers, transporting goods for them, and protecting them by pursuing pirates, contrabandists and narco-traffickers.



SCO as a counterpunch to NATO

Nord Stream drove Washington nuts. Not only it redesigned Europe's energy configuration; it forged an unbreakable German-Russian strategic link. Putin, better than anyone, knows how pipelines hardwire governments. South Stream is driving Washington nuts because it beats Nabucco hands down, and it's way cheaper. Talk about a geopolitical - and geoeconomic - battle.
Washington - alarmed at what the Germans deliciously dubbed the "modernization partnership" with Russia - is left to promote European "resistance" to Gazprom's onslaught, as if Germany was Zucotti Park and Russia was the NYPD. Again here's Pipelineistan infused with political reverberations. For instance, Germany and Italy are totally against NATO expansion. The reason? Nord and South Stream. The formidable German export machine is fueled by Russian energy; the motto might be "Put a Gazprom in my Audi".

As William Engdahl, author of the seminal A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order, has observed, the "Nord Stream and South Stream are poised to leap out of the world of energy security and choreograph an altogether new power dynamic in the heart of Europe."
Putin's roadmap is his paper, "A new integration project for Eurasia: The future in the making", published by Izvestia in early October. It may be dismissed as megalomania, but it may also be read as an ippon - Putin loves judo - against NATO, the International Monetary Fund and neo-liberalism.
True, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of "snow leopard" Kazakhstan was already talking about a Eurasian Union way back in 1994. Putin, though, makes it clear this wouldn't be Back In The USSR territory, but a "modern economic and currency union" stretching all across Central Asia.
For Putin, Syria is just a detail; the real thing is Eurasian integration. No wonder Atlanticists started freaking out with this suggestion of "a powerful supranational union that can become one of the poles of today's world while being an efficient connecting link between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region". Compare it with US President Barack Obama and Hillary's Pacific doctrine.
Everything is up for grabs at the crucial intersection of hardcore geopolitics and Pipelineistan. Washington's New Silk Road dream is not exactly a success.
Moscow, for its part, now wants Pakistan to be a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That also applies to China in relation to Iran. Imagine Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran coordinating their mutual security inside a strengthened SCO, whose motto is "non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-interference in the affairs of other countries". R2P it ain't.
Snags abound. For China the SCO is above all about economics and trade. For Russia it's above all a security bloc, which must absolutely find a regional solution to Afghanistan that keeps the Taliban under control and at the same time gets rid of the Afghan chapter of the US Empire of Bases.

As Pipelineistan goes, with Russia, Central Asia and Iran controlling 50% of world's gas reserves, and with Iran and Pakistan as virtual SCO members, the name of the game becomes Asian integration - if not Eurasian. China and Russia now coordinate foreign policy in extreme detail. The trick is to connect China and Central Asia with South Asia and the Gulf - with the SCO developing as an economic/security powerhouse. In parallel, Pipelineistan may accelerate the full integration of the SCO as a counterpunch to NATO.



Ослабление глобального значения США чревато региональными конфликтами, предостерегает на страницах Foreign Policy Збигнев Бжезински, в прошлом советник президента Картера по национальной безопасности. Он перечисляет 8 стран, которые проиграют от упадка Америки.

1. Грузия станет уязвима перед "политическим запугиванием и военной агрессией" со стороны России, полагает автор.

"Чем это грозит: власть России над южным "коридором" нефтегазового снабжения Европы, возможное усиление давления на Европу, дабы она смирилась с политическими целями Москвы; "эффект домино" в Азербайджане", - говорится в статье.

2. Тайвань станет уязвимее перед нажимом Китая и подпадет под очарование его экономических успехов. Воссоединение приблизится, но на условиях, выгодных скорее Пекину.

"Чем это грозит: риск серьезной конфронтации с Китаем", - пишет автор.

3. Южная Корея окажется перед дилеммой: смириться с региональным господством Китая или укрепить отношения с Японией.

"Чем это грозит: опасность для военно-экономической стабильности на Корейском полуострове; кризис доверия Японии и Южной Кореи к существующим обязательствам США".

4. Белоруссия. "Заметный упадок Америки даст России шанс безо всякого риска реабсорбировать Белоруссию", - полагает автор.

"Чем это грозит: пошатнется безопасность стран Балтии, особенно Латвии", - говорится в статье.

5. Украина: у Европы ослабнут желание и возможности интегрировать эту страну в западное сообщество.

"Чем это грозит: возрождением имперских амбиций России", - пишет автор.

6. Афганистан уже погряз в разрухе. Если американские войска будут выведены спешно, весьма вероятен распад Афганистана и соперничество соседей за влияние.

"Чем это грозит: возрождение "Талибана"; индийско-пакистанская "война чужими руками"; появление убежища для международного терроризма", - сказано в статье.

7. Пакистан может переродиться в государство под управлением военных, радикальное исламистское государство, государство с комбинированным военно-исламистским правлением или в квазигосударство без центральной власти.

"Чем это грозит: полевые командиры с ядерным оружием; приход антизападного, располагающего ядерным оружием правительства типа иранского; региональная нестабильность в Центральной Азии, причем насилие потенциально выплеснется в Китай, Индию и Россию", - предрекает Бжезинский.

8. Израиль, а также "Большой Ближний Восток" в целом. Упадок Америки спровоцирует настоящие "тектонические сдвиги", которые подорвут политическую стабильность.

"Чем это грозит: прямая конфронтация Израиля или США с Ираном; рост исламистского радикализма и экстремизма; всемирный нефтегазовый кризис; станут уязвимы союзники США в Персидском заливе", - говорится в статье

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