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23 march 2014, the bearly new world order

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Excellent article in this week's economist, that calls putin's russian aggression in the crimea what it is: bold non-acceptance of the shaky current world order and the consequential plunging of the whole world into a new and highly-uncertain one. I would mesh this with my oft-commented remarks about the old world's inability to integrate the new, mainly china, into its real seats of power, that have left the now-emerged powers less than enthusiastic about the status-quo, and hence largely ambivalent about this step towards its destruction. 1989 and the soviet union's collapse produced a "unipolar moment" for the american "indispensable nation", epitomised by the first Gulf War (see how we made the fatal mistake of not talking to hamas). This quickly though gave way to an era, later embraced by the obama administration, where the usa was still hegemonistic enough to veto action by others, but could not itself succeed without others' acquiescence. When little serbia challenged the order it was stamped on until brought back into line. When medium-sized iran did it, it has at least been held in check and the limits of this influence-without-aggression doctrine are still being tested. When big nuclear-armed russia does it though - houston, we have a problem. The world's feeble and divided response does not bode well for how the old order can cope, adapt or co-opt the new others and re-establish something like international ground rules that all feel bound to act by. The absence of that looks chillingly like the 1930s, the last time no such world order existed. Though cries of "alarmist" go up whenever this comparison gets made, it is not untoward.

Attached File: russia.pdf