Rethinking international affairs: A call for a multidisciplinary approach
The U.S. and its allies either have to concede to how things are evolving (with Iraq already a lost cause) and be ready to accept the outcomes. Another option is to broker a deal with Iran (if Tehran is interested), with bit tongues. Lastly, they could choose to go to war, and prepare for military or oil-supply retalitation by. This is why Syria is so critical at this moment.
The EU will survive as a political entity, and so will its monetary union, what may not survive is the EU's original reason for being: a bulwark against Franco-German aggression and overextension, an alternate European nationalism to offset the vagaries of statist nationalism, and since the end of the U.S.S.R., a method to contain the aspirations of Russia. What we are seeing now, is a Germany that is coming out from the European debt crisis as EU's saviour, and a Germany that is the economic powerhouseo of Europe, slamming its exports down the throats of developing EU states. We should expect the current crisis in Europe to churn out several changes in the political culture in Europe, including an anti-immigrant and rightist shift as disenfranchised national natives will need someone to blame. Greece's President and Italy's Prime Minister have been sent to the gallows, but the satisfaction is only briefly cathartic at best, because nothing has changed where it matters, and both have stepped down under the condition that austerity measures demanded by the EU be implemented. The political landscape across Europe will buckle at various pressure points. Leaders are planning ahead as they number their days.
Flickr photo by European Parliament
Both Germany and France are reaching out towards Russia as a contingency, sending a clear message to the E.U. member states that they have other options. Such cross-alliances and cooperation will be necessary in the future, especially when it comes to energy security. Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas to Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Baltics, central Europe, the Nordic States, Western Europe, down to the Mediterranean and across to North Africa. Russia's gas lines literally blanket the entire continent. However, where these pipelines split from a single pipeline from Russia to many more is in two countries -- Belarus and Ukraine -- which have domestic governments looking to move back closer into the former Soviet fold of Russia. This keeps Russia's hands on the taps of all of the European continent's access to Russian natural gas. Now that is power.
Poland, still weary and unforgiving of having a long history of being trampled over either by the Slavs from the East or the Saxons from the West, are forming their own alliance, the Visegrad Four (V4) military cooperation alliance comprised of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Czech Republic.
The talk of China’s rise is another issue. Today, runaway inflation from the housing boom, an economy designed on the basis of never-ending rapid growth and irregularities in the financial reporting of its state-lending practices (to mostly state-owned-enterprises) is putting China in a difficult position to slow down an economy that is overheating. The EU is China’s largest market. Lower EU purchasing power means less revenues for a country that is trying to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. However such equalization is not happening despite the massive investments into urban housing infrastructure to lure in more rural workers for jobs that simply do not exist and to stimulate enough demand for a non-existant vibrant domestic consumer market. Understanding that the world is entirely organic and that there is a need to understand the geopolitical realities that we live in is one way to understand the current state of international affairs. To understand why we, as a human civilization, have found ourselves where we are is something that most people do not have down.
We have to be very careful about the way we come to our conclusions about what we are capable of as a civilisation. Making sure we uphold an organic approach keeps us, as independent analysts of the world around us, objective. The dimensions are unlimited. Perhaps if our brains evolved more we would come to see the way that things are wholly reducible. All actors – whether international organizations, state governments, civil society groups, or even the minute individual – have interests to protect in this world. But actors also lose opportunities because of the choices they make. What matters is the now and the future that we can take advantage of. One cannot have it all, and sometimes an actor makes a choice that seems well thought out after going over the options and alternatives and yet, it turns out so very different and even limiting in the end.