Scrolling news:

US foreign policy: Contours of a new Cold War, from Ukraine to China

25th Feb 2022
US foreign policy: Contours of a new Cold War, from Ukraine to China

Map: History of NATO enlargement. (Credit: Wiki Commons)

Mushahid Hussain

It all started with President Biden’s much-touted Democracy Summit in December 2021, meant to counter, contain, and isolate China and Russia in a new democracy vs. autocracy confrontation, reminiscent of the 20th Century Cold War’s Communist Iron Curtain vs. the Free World conflict.

While countries like Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Sri Lanka weren’t invited, Pakistan boycotted it, while neo-fascists like India’s Narendra Modi were accorded a place of honour. A classic case of geopolitics trumping democratic principles!

2022 has started with three separate but concurrent developments. First, soon after celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Tiger, symbolising strength, speed and resilience, China successfully held the Beijing Winter Olympics, which, together with a crisis over Taiwan, were used by the West as another geopolitical tool to demonise China.

India, the only state from the Third World, joined a handful of Western countriesUS, UK, Canada and Australiain announcing a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. However, from NATO members, Poland, to Pakistan, plus four key American allies in the Middle EastEgypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatarwere represented at the inaugural ceremony of the Beijing Olympics by their top leaders.

Second, the contrived crisis over Ukraine has been used by the US to demonise Russia, creating a scare of an impending invasion. This is more a game of bluff on both sides. This is as Russian troop movements within their borders were played up as a pretext for the creation of a crisis atmosphere. While the Europeans, notably Germany and France, were unenthusiastic at the prospect of a new confrontation in Europe, the Americans continued relentlessly with their propaganda barrage targeting Vladimir Putin.

This contrived crisis could have been easily defused if the US stuck to the commitment it made in February 1990, following the demolition of the Berlin Wall, that after the peaceful reunification of Germany, agreed to by the US and then the USSR, there would be no eastward expansion of NATO. NATO, a relic of the Cold War to confront communism in Eastern Europe, lost its raison d’être. However, the US reneged on the commitment made by US Secretary of State, James Baker, to Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990. Even today, Ukraine, a buffer between Russia and NATO, is contested only because of Moscow’s fear of Ukraine joining NATO, a prospect that can easily be offset by American assurances to the contrary. So, while a hot war over Ukraine is unlikely, a cold peace is the more likely scenario under the present unsettling circumstances.

Already in November 2021, the NATO in 2030 policy document had announced China and Russia as the primary challenges. However, it begs the imagination to see how China, an Asian country, has somehow been injected into North Atlantic geopolitics!

Third, on February 11, 2022, the US announced its long-awaited Indo-Pacific Strategy, the policy statement of the Biden Administration outlining its containment of China strategy. The US Indo-Pacific Strategy is clear in its intent and scope, targeting the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in a revised version of Cold War 2.O. While the first Cold War, which ended with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, was specifically targeting the Soviet Union, this new Cold War is China-specific, since China is now the new enemy.

The 19-page Indo-Pacific Strategy states that this intensifying American focus is due in part to the fact that the Indo-Pacific faces mounting challenges, particularly from the PRC. The PRC is combining its economic, diplomatic, military and technological might as it pursues a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific and seeks to become the world’s most influential power. The PRC’s coercion and aggression spans the globe, but it is most acute in the Indo-Pacific.

The core allies of the US in this anti-China coalition are India, Japan, the UK and Australia, while an attempt is being made to rope in Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia as well.

In another related development, while castigating China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a debt trap, which now includes 145 countries in its fold with Pakistan’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as its flagship, the West has announced copycat initiatives of its own to match and counter BRI. For its part, the European Union has announced the Global Gateway’, a copycat of the Biden Administration’s Bring Back Better World (B3W) initiative.

Notwithstanding these tall claims, the West is facing major challenges in bridging the yawning chasm between pronouncements and principles. Take two examples, Afghanistan and India, which are illustrative of this credibility gap.

The US, the world’s richest country, has stolen assets from the world’s poorest country, Afghanistan, in what is a morally reprehensible and legally unacceptable daylight robbery’, snatching $3.5 billion away from Afghanistan’s assets to distribute to Americans in an action that has predictably earned global opprobrium for the US, coming as it does when Afghanistan is facing its worst humanitarian disaster of cold, famine and medical shortages.

With India as the centrepiece of the American anti-China strategy in the Asia-Pacific, when the Modi regime is being accused of embarking on a genocide of Muslims in India is like the pot calling the kettle black.

According to testimony before the US Congress provided on January 12, 2022, by Dr Gregory Stanton, chair of the US-based Genocide Watch, we are seeing the makings of a genocide in (Indian Occupied) Kashmir and Assam against Muslims’. 

While a new Cold War may be part of the American military-industrial-complex’s quest for enemies to ensure a permanent bloated defence budget, with new challenges like the Coronavirus Pandemic and Climate Change requiring global cooperation to collectively meet these threats, the major impediment to this new strategy is the widening gap between what the US professes and its policy practices and preferences. Selling such a convoluted and contradictory policy is going to be a difficult exercise for Washington policymakers.

Senator Mushahid Hussain,
Senate of Pakistan & Chair of Senate Defence Committee

Leave a Comment

What is 7 + 9 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets

Betboo Porno izle Mobile porn hilesi