Does the World Move to Multi-Polarization? -Tansen Rose


Before the First World War, The USA was busy to develop itself economically and abstain from interference in another country. It followed Monroe doctrine policy which did not permit to participate in war. Its victory in the first and Second World War and downfall of Britain and French created greater opportunity for America to have lordship of the world. The USA headed itself to capture the opportunity. It started cold war with Soviet Union. As a result the world saw Korean War, Vietnam War, Afghan war which took thousands of lives to death. In 1990, Soviet Union had been broken down that made the USA stronger to treat different civilized people as their enemy. After defeating Russia, America needed to have an enemy to show its power. In the meantime Samuel P. Huntington threw the clash of civilization theory. Huntington believed that while the age of ideology had ended, the world had only reverted to a normal state of affairs characterized by cultural conflict. In his thesis, he argued that the primary axis of conflict in the future will be along cultural lines. As an extension, he suggests that the concept of different civilizations, as the highest rank of cultural identity, will become increasingly useful in analyzing the potential for conflict. The USA verified it by making Muslim civilization their enemy. It legalized the war against Muslim civilization by mentioning it “WAR ON TERRORISM” or “WAR FOR HUMANITY”. In the meanwhile, the world grieved for thousands of lives in Iraq, Afghan, Libya, and Syria because of the USA policy. Though they killed 20 million people after the Second World War, still they are considered as humanity protector.  The country showed its monopoly power in the world. China strategically developed itself in economy while Russia resurfaced with the hand of Vladimir Putin. In current decade, the world faces the possible emergence of china and Russia which challenges the lordship of America and may turn into multi polarization.
In 1979, the Iranian revolution took place and Shia Muslim community made Reza Shah Pahlavi abdicate from the power. The USA had strong relationship with Reza Shah Government for which America attempted to blockade on Iran eventually attacked through Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.  Nevertheless, only 24 years later it invaded Iraq to make Saddam step down to protect their interest. After destruction of Saddam Hussein, the Washington DC promoted a Shia government and allied with it to govern in Iraq. On the other hand, it treated Iran and Syria Shia government as its enemies, hence Syrian incursion has been conducted. This ambidextrous policy did not pacify the Middle East crisis but now a days poke into the unsolvable situation. America promotes itself as a spokesperson of democracy; it tries heart and soul to establish democracy in various countries at the time of cold war. Invasion in Libya in 2011 made their statements stronger. On the other hand, it is also highly interested in maintaining strong bonding with kingdom of Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates, Kuwait so on yet these countries are not controlled by democratic parties. Not just that it has also been getting economically benefitted through oil trade, weapon trade, and gas trade, natural resource trade and so on, and made the whole world it business market. In Egypt 2013, America oiled to overthrow democratic government ‘Mohammad Moorsi government’ and helped to establish authoritarianism by Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Not just that it has also been getting economically benefitted through oil trade, weapon trade, and gas trade, natural resource trade and so on, and made the whole world it business market.
When the Soviet Union pulled its last troops out of Afghanistan, the USA trained and provided weapons of the war to fight against Russia with the help of NATO. After acquisition of power by Taliban, The USA blamed them in the name of terrorists and attacked on them in 2003. In spite of the stability did not come out in Afghan. These might be some examples of the USA in which it used two-faced policy to gain its personal interest and rule the world in the name of humanity.
On the other side, after downfall of Soviet Union, Russia was too nodding to rise. The country spent its effort to make a bloc by which it can protect itself against America and it tied with Iran. As the first diplomatic contacts between the two countries was being established, Shah Ismail was also working hard with the aim of joining forces against their mutual enemy, namely neighboring Ottoman Turkey. After Second World War, Iran leaned to the USA until Reza Shah Pahlavi had been ousted from the power. When the Iranian revolution appeared, Russia used it as its opportunity and developed a diplomatic as well as commercial relationship once again, and Iran soon even began purchasing weapons from Russia. The more America imposes sanctions on Iran, the more correlation gets stronger. Russian another bosom friend in Middle East is Syria. According to analysts, cooperation between the USSR and Syria strengthened in the 1960s and1970s when the Soviets helped to develop Syria’s national industries, including the oil, agriculture and transportation sectors. Soviet scientists, engineers and military instructors were among the workforce dispatched to Syria, along with weapons, machinery, and other equipment.  Moscow also opened its naval base in Tartus for Hafez Al Assad in 1971. In the Bashar Assad era, two countries tightened themselves more than ago. The relationship increased when Putin agreed to cancel almost 73% Syria-Soviet era’s debt to Russia and Syria maintained its support for Russia’s military intervention into Georgia in 2008.
In the civil war of Syria ‘started in 2011’, Russia supported the government of Syria since the beginning of the Syrian conflict and reinforced it through military intervention in 2015 while Assad was on the verge of becoming toppled by USA alliance attack. Russia is likely continue to do everything it can—including using its veto on the Security Council—to block any Western plan for removing President Bashar Al-Assad from power by force. Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia Islamist militant group, and Iran support Assad government and fuel so as to survive through making Iran-Russia-Syria Bloc. Though it seemed that Russia would not intervene after its fall down in 1990, it embroiled more than ten wars or military intervention with the purpose of imperialism. It participated in Georgia civil war, East prigordony conflict, Tajikistani civil war, Chechen war, war of Dagestan, insurgency in north Caucasus military intervention in Ukraine and involvement in Syria civil war. She is grabbling the power to rule the world again and challenging USA for which the world is seemed to have neo polarization. Grabbing Crimean Peninsula by Russia might be informing to the universe “we have enough power to have supremacy”. In 2014, Putin legitimized his Crimea occupation by dint of pro-Russian group and an extraordinary election held in September.
There is another one which holds latent desire for leading the world that is china. China portrayed itself as a Third World country that pursues “an independent foreign policy of peace. Third world means poor country which is trying to develop and not part of any power bloc between the USA and Soviet Union. China said “it never seeks hegemony” which it proved by taking neutral view in the war between Iran and Iraq, the struggle between Israel and the Arabs, the rivalry between north and South Korea, and the conflicts in Yugoslavia. Recently some experts are saying that China takes the world into neo colonialism. The era of colonialism was vanished with the Second World War but China gains the similar interest adopting neo colonialism named by “a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership”. Though it might benefit in some cases for the third world countries, it indeed makes them dependent on china. The citation of Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga “We import a lot of manufactured equipment like tractors, ploughs and harvesters. I feel that we should by now be having a tractor manufacturing plant here in Kenya. There is no reason why we should be importing tractors from China year in year out. These are some of the things we want to engage the Chinese on. We should have a fertilizer manufacturing plant here instead of importing the product from China which causes delays and poor harvests,” might explain that China uses third world countries as their business markets. Africa paint a picture of trade imbalances that are handicapping the nations involved, while grossly advantaging China at the expense of the African people.

Furthermore, Infrastructure programs funded by the Chinese government, for example, are often carried out by Chinese workers. Instead of giving local companies and citizens a vital opportunity to grow experience and capital, these contracts overwhelmingly benefits Chinese corporations and bring in massive profits. Chinese goods are also flooding African markets, overwhelming local producers with large volumes of cheap products that are difficult to compete with. Moreover, in industries that do employ African workers, companies are still not exempt from criticism. Africa may get some benefits but China’s interest goes beyond merely altruism. Recently, it has been seeking political domination through emersion in South China Sea and west starts rethinking about china. The USA withdrew its forces from the Philippines in 1992 and China got an unprecedented opportunity to expand its influences and territorial objectives. In 1993, China announced its claim that south China Sea is the part of its territory based on Nine-Dash Line maritime claim. Also it conducted aggressively reclamation program with creating man-made island into the sea. Though, the international court rejected China’s proclamation  on south china sea and asserted to return to its right owner the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan, China did not accept the judgment. Abuses of international law and its hegemonic attitude challenged the USA and expressed its strength.
The USA’s two-faced policy, Russian aggressive attitude and Chinese neo-colonialism might be confronting one another that also raise the question about polarization. It should be noted that there might have some evidences that support polarization although no expert confesses it. The role of United States in Syria for which Assad government was about to fall down, in the meantime Russia changed the situation with attacking Sunni parties who are supported by America and their alliances.
Military intervention of Russia in Ukraine though carried out a radical shake-up of the western countries; they did not dare to military attack on Russia by which they indirectly acknowledged the uprising of Russia. They also started recognizing Russian their enemy that supports political polarization theory.
China technically developed its power and influence through economically partnership theory by which it locked up third world countries to make them subservient on china. The influence is gradually increasing on South Asia, Latin America, Africa and middle Asia. China also made itself politically involved in Nepal, Srilanka, Nigeria and other countries. In1950, It took over on Tibet, later killed ten thousand innocent people. Taiwan, Hong Kong might be another example of Chinese neo-imperialism. Their policy on South China Sea made the world frightened and the country proved to be ruler of the world. In Korean crisis, China always supports North Korea for which the United Nations cannot take any steps against it.

So, taking decision is difficult that whether polarization exists or not but aforementioned information might support the possible existence of polarization. The emergence of Russian and china with The United States might be benevolent or disastrous for the world. If they are united to make the world better that would be greater opportunity for civil people. Third world countries might get economically developed themselves. But this is the bitter truth that “power and peace seldom go together”. There might have another possibility that they would be united against a common enemy. Who might be the common enemy? It is difficult to answer this question. Perhaps we need to wait to see that.

The writer is an undergraduate student of Marketing Department, University of Dhaka.

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