Skip to main content

Opinion: Great Power Competition in the 2020’s – Objectives for the smaller nations



World has moved from the unipolar US Dominated order, that emerged from the Cold War after the collapse of the Soviet Union, into a new great power competition with two major players and multiple smaller powers that aspire to rise to the top tier. China has already successfully challenged USA in the economic sphere. Russia and Turkey among others try to establish a localized area of dominance, while avoiding directly challenging the big dogs.

There seems to be a lack of coherent objectives for the US political leadership in this competition. But the minimum viable objectives were well presented by Martin Skold:

“The adversary means to either collapse us or coopt us, discrediting our governance model and turning our elites toward it.

Any day that doesn’t happen is a good day. Any day we do that in reverse is better.”

He also quoted Tanner Greer to explain the issue further:

As Beijing sees it, China’s success depends on discrediting the tenets of liberal capitalism so that notions like individual freedom and constitutional democracy come to be seen as the relics of an obsolete system.”

But how does this competition affect the smaller nations? The economically struggling countries in Africa, Asia and South America are mostly forced to pick a camp to be able to obtain the economic and/or military support they need. But European countries have real options.

If we look at what a hegemony of either of the major powers would look like, we can deduct the answer. An American hegemony, with its constitutional democracy and emphasis on civil liberties, has been a decently good for the smaller countries that have been able to conduct independent domestic and economical policies, while enjoying the stabilizing effect of the US military hegemony between 1991 and 2008.

A Chinese hegemony promotes authoritarian leaderships and exploits dominated regions natural resources. The goal is to solidify the Chinese dominion via. supporting the local autocrats with both economic incentives and tools of repression to control the population. This would be a drastic change to the smaller European democracies.

Thus, the prime objective of the European democracies should be to prevent Chinese influence in all spheres of the society: Economic, military, political, research and education. In addition to the local situation, the democracies should also co-operate to slow and if possible, reverse the Chinese control on the countries with strategic locations or resources.

Pursuing these objectives will cause some short term economic hardships, but in the long term the ability to avoid becoming a peripheral exploited client of the Communist China will outweigh the short-term costs. The biggest problem in this equation is the short-sighted political apparatus that is very focused on an election term, instead of the long-term benefits.


-Petri Mäkelä

Comments

  1. I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording about writing tips. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much.
    Abcyacom games
    friv Games for school
    frivland.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick guide to identifying the Russian tanks Part 1: main platforms and T-72 variants

As most of the western nations have reduced their inventories to a few or mostly one type of main battle tank model in their active inventories, the myriad of tank platforms and distinct versions employed by the Russian armed forces may feel overwhelming. Here is a quick guide to identifying Russian MBTs. When you come across an image (or the actual thing), follow the steps to identify it properly. Family of the tank Russian Armed Forces currently operates, or at least storage, the following tank platforms/families: -           T-55 (<2000 in storage) -           T-62 (2000 in storage) -           T-64 (2000 in storage) -           T-72 (2000 active duty, 8000 in storage) -           T-80 (2000 active duty, 5000 in storage) -           T-90 (350 active duty, 600  in storage) -           T-14 (20 in field testing) So how can you identify what type of a tank are you looking at? There are two features that can be used to distingu

The Hammer and the Sickle - Potential Russian Pincer-Offensive

For the past weeks the social media has been filled with sightings of Russian troops moving towards the regions bordering Ukraine. The buildup was initially called an exercise, but in the most recent press releases Kremlin has been rather clear that the troops have been deployed there as an operational deployment, if Russia feels a need to act upon any real or imaginary escalation in Donbass. The troops will stay in the region as long as President Putin sees it necessary. Russia Serna-Class landing crafts of the Caspian flotilla The initial buildup was focused on occupied Crimea that has so far received an additional VDV airborne regiment, multiple mechanized battalion tactical groups and heavy artillery units equipped with at least the enormous 240mm 2S4 Tulpan mortars.  Additional trains and convoys have been spotted in Rostov, Krasnodar and Voronezh regions. The Russian controlled Belarusian military has also been alerted and multiple, very Russian looking units are operating in the

Death from above – Russian ad hoc top attack defenses

T-72B3 tanks with crude top armor cages The recent Russian tank upgrade programs and the ever slower moving T-14 Armata saga, have all had significant portion of the efforts put into improving the survivability of the tank and its crew. Both static and explosive reactive armor (ERA) have been upgraded and small amount of the latest T-90M and T-72B3 tanks have active protection systems that may be able to defeat most of the anti-tank missiles and slower moving HEAT shells. Environmentally friendly T-90M While these programs have put some emphasis on the armor on the top of the turret, the main focus has been in the sides and the front of the hull and turret. Additional ERA elements have been mounted on the skirts of the vehicles and slat-cage type standoff armor has been attached into the rear sides of the turrets and hulls. These modifications however have very little effect on direct top attacks by modern anti-tank missiles such as the American Javelin, that is also in the