At the start of 2022, four strategic challenges to the post-WWII international order generate psychological ambiguity – that is, simple human fear – which promotes ethnic and sectarian slaughter and sows gender. bloody “proxy” wars that degenerate into major regional wars.
Warning to all who care about planet Earth: when major regional wars entangle great powers (examples: United States, China), you are betting your life and that of a billion others that world war is one panic button.
Here are the four challenges, and they’re out of order:
Challenge # 1: The imperialist powers bent on reclaiming lost empires (and realizing the grandiose dreams of their current rulers.)
Challenge # 2: failed states, failed states and utterly bogus states plunged into anarchic violence that spills over political borders. (Note: To collapse means to collapse. In false states, local thugs control the capital, the UN headquarters, and nothing else.)
Challenge # 3: Radical, militant, megalomaniac dictatorships attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological) and the ways and means to use them to kill with lethal surprise that changes history.
Challenge # 4: Widespread corruption of influential but venal individuals and venal institutions in democratic nations. Corruption is so corrosive within these countries that the timely and effective political and military response to Challenges 1-3 is systematically delayed, compromised or immobilized.
The first three challenges on this list are common knowledge in some form, shape, or fashion.
Challenge n ° 4? Not really.
The 20th century was ravaged by the wars of imperial conquest led by Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, Communist Russia (under the guise of the USSR) and Japan (ethno-imperialism).
In the 21st century, China and Russia embody Challenge # 1. President Xi Jinping’s 2022 Communist China claims territories that Xi said belonged to Chinese emperors. The South China Sea. The Himalayan passes and valleys beyond Tibet. Ultimately, Siberia and Mongolia will be in his sights.
Hidden from the world, or at least from the mainstream Western media, is China’s hideous racist dimension. Xi’s propagandists believe in the racial superiority of the Han ethnic group. The Han constitute about 85% of the Chinese population.
Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, and its slow war of aggression has never ceased. Russia is now an ethno-nationalist nation-state with oligarch-socialist tendencies led by a nationalist dictator, Vladimir Putin. Putin, a nationalist socialist, wants to recreate the USSR, which was Imperial Russia with a blanket of Communist propaganda.
Iran is challenge # 3 with nuances of challenge # 1. Ayatollah’s dictatorship has Iranian imperial ambitions, based on the Iranian (Persian) empire circa 400 BC.
In truth, militant Islamist terrorism as carried out by Al-Qaida and the Islamic State is also imperialist. Osama Bin Laden called for a world caliphate.
Challenge # 2: In a recent Strategypage.com article, Editor-in-Chief James Dunnigan wrote, “Wars tend to happen in poorly, if at all, governed countries. This usually means corrupt rulers and a corrupt economy which is incapable of ensuring the well-being of the people… ”
These failing and failed hells lack civic associations (beyond ethnic, religious and political kinship) that encourage “practices that create widespread trust …” Without them, the result is “a chaotic area mired in war and chaos “. (Think of Congo, Bosnia and Lebanon, etc.)
Challenge # 3: Add North Korea to Iran. Kim Jong Un still wants nuclear weapons.
Challenge n ° 4: Democracy is a perpetual building site. As they are changing, democracies are vulnerable – to scary headlines, intellectual property theft, propaganda and corruption.
Main Responsibility for Challenge 4: In 2021, we saw Ivy League professors convicted of selling their talent to China and trying to hide it. There is ample evidence that Chinese conglomerate Huawei is operating as a spy asset. In October 2020, the Washington Free Beacon published an investigative article detailing The Economist magazine’s years of “sympathetic” coverage on Huawei Technologies.
Coincidence? I do not think so.
How far does the corruption of democratic will and capacities go? We need to know – now.
Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and author.
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