T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol I Issue XII

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

April 2003

I N S I D E


Spotlight 

Deepak Lokhande

 

Editorial     

 

Column     

Yashwant Sinha     

                   

View Point      

Sushil Vakil

 

On Track     

M V Kamath 

         

Opinion

M K Dhar

 

Analysis

Sawraj Singh

 

State Craft

Ram Puniyani

 

Perspective

K G Joglekar

 

Last Word

V Sundaram 

 

                            


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A N A L Y S I S

The emerging world order

Sawraj Singh


It is becoming increasingly clear that the Iraqi crisis is going to fundamentally change the old world order. With the fall of the Soviet Union, a bipolar world changed into a uni-polar world. But, the uni-polar world does not truly reflect the ground realities of the contemporary world . Actually, multiple centers of power have emerged. Only a concept of a multi-polar world is compatible with the global situation. Some of the trends are becoming apparent. The gap between America and Europe, is going to become wider. 

 

Russia, China, and India are going to find that on many major global issues their views are similar. Overall, Islamic countries an d other third world countries are going to realize that their clout is growing. The United Nations, NATO, and other world organizations such as WTO and are going to become irrelevant. Globalization in its present form is going to lose steam. In 1991, America was able to line up the United Nations and a majority of countries on its side. In Yugoslavia, eight years later, it could not get the United Nations to support it, but was able to obtain NATO's approval.

 

This time America was unable to convince either NATO or the United Nations to help it. For all practical purposes, America is alone. By attacking Iraq without the support of the UN or NATO, America has made these organizations irrelevant. Actually these organizations came into existence in a different era when the world was still bipolar. It was divided into two camps: the western Capitalists and the eastern so-called Socialist camp. These organizations were trying to keep the balance of power between these camps. 

 

With the fall of the Soviet Union and collapse of the so-called Socialist camp, the bipolar world became a uni-polar world. Therefore, these organizations lost their relevance. The present American attack on Iraq has just brought this reality out in the open. Are international organizations completely useless now? Not really, if these organizations are able to adopt to the new global realities then they can regain their relevance and importance. We should understand that the uni-polar world is just a transitory phase from a bipolar world to a multi-polar world. 

 

When the new world order, the multi-polar world, finally gets established then these organizations will become very useful and significant. This Iraqi war has clearly shown that the gap between America and Europe continues to widen. It was the fear of the Soviet Union which was keeping Europe attached to America. Once this fear was gone, Europe started perceiving America as an economic rival and a hegemonic superpower bent upon unilateral approach. Europe wants to reassert the fact that it is the natural claimant of the western leadership, because it is the birthplace of the western civilization. It no longer wants to tolerate an extra-European power to be the leader of the western world. Canada, although geographically close to the United States, finds itself ideologically closer to Europe. 

 

Therefore, the gap between Canada and America also continues to widen. Similarly, Mexico is America's neighbor, but ideologically it finds itself closer to the third world. It was no accident that both Canada and Mexico have failed to support America in this war. Whereas the western alliance is experiencing this growing rift, Russia, China, and India are finding themselves increasingly agreeing with their assessment of the world situation. This lays the foundation of a grand eastern alliance composed of these three countries. Most of the other countries look at this emerging alliance favorably because they see an opportunity in this of restoring the balance of power in the world. 

 

The Islamic countries are reacting much differently to this attack as compared to the attack of 1991 when most of them showed their support with the USA, including their armies and opening their territories as bases to launch attacks on Iraq. This time, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey have refused to give unqualified support to America. Turkey has sent troops in Northern Iraq to control the Kurds whom America sees as allies against Saddam. Turkey is afraid that an independent Kurd state will destabilize Turkey by instigating the Kurds living in Turkey. When the dust will settle, it will become clear that the Islamic world has become more United than ever and it is going to realize that in the final analysis the numbers give clout. It is almost a foregone conclusion that in the 21st century Islam is going to overtake Christianity as the world's largest religion. 

 

This situation is going to shift the balance of power towards the third world because the Muslim countries form a bulk of the third world. Another causality of war, could be old styled globalization. Many people around the world believe that this has not helped the majority of people in the world. It has actually widened the gap between the rich and the poor countries and between the rich and poor inside their countries. This kind of globalization lacks a global perspective. The means of communication an d transport have transformed the world into a global community. A new kind o f globalization which is based on universal concern and universal well being is really needed. America may draw very different conclusions after the end of the war then when it started the war. Some of these could be that it is not in its interest to be seen as anti-Muslim. It has to take a more neutral stand in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. 

 

America may also realize that it is very lonely at the top being the only superpower. It does need cooperation of other countries. A multi-polar world is more compatible with the multicultural reality of America. America's diversity is its biggest assert rather than a liability. It is much better to voluntarily change and lead the new world order rather than be dragged into it. The future of the world lies in adopting and promoting good concepts from different cultures which should be seen as our greatest common resource.

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