#15 - JRL 7004
December 25, 2002
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
SIX FEATURES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN 2002
Dr. Alexei BOGATUROV (Political Sciences)
There were six distinctive features in international relations in 2002.
First, the classical relations between states continued to develop into what is described as "global politics." Second, the USA ensured itself the stand of the global leader around which the new world order is centred. Most countries are irked at US leadership and the demonstrative haughtiness with which the Republican administration is affirming its leadership. But, while criticising the USA, these countries, even those against which the USA is fighting, admit its leadership.
Third, the US made broader use of the practice of involving the resources of its old (NATO) and new (Russia) partners in the implementation of its foreign policy tasks. The US elite is busy creating a new agenda of global politics for the first half of the 21st century, which can be described as the US project for Russia and the rest of the world. The USA regards, with good reason, the adjunction of the resources of other countries to the US resources as the ultimate condition for the maintenance of its world leadership. This is done not forcefully but peacefully, through economic and political integration. Integration in all imaginable forms is becoming the most widely used of the US foreign policy instruments.
The current stage of Russo-American partnership should be seen from the angle of this global strategy. Russia is attractive to the USA not only because of its raw materials but also because of its spatial - geopolitical and geo-economic - potential. The ability of the Russian authorities to maintain this potential, to control and exert influence in the key areas of the border territories of Russia in the Far East, Central Asia and the Transcaucasus makes Moscow a valuable potential partner of Washington. This is why the USA sees assistance to the development of democracy in Russia not as the end goal but as an instrument of maintaining partner relations with Russia.
Fourth, roles and influence have been re-distributed among the main US partners. As a result, Russia has become considerably more influential than it was under Yeltsin. And this is why the drift towards plurality of opinions and positions did not slacken but grew stronger in conditions of the US-advocated unipolar world in 2002.
Fifth, the overheated international economy, which escaped the collapse of its virtual component parts in 2002, is developing more slowly but is still headed towards the creation of global industries and the strengthening of transnational financial, technological and information networks. In this sense, the drama of the global situation is in the silent revolt of these networks against Washington and US-governed mechanisms of global regulation. The transnational financial networks have escaped the control of the leader countries (including the USA) and international organisations. The USA is trying to control, at least partially, the global flow of capital under the slogan of fighting the financing of terrorism and demands assistance from partner countries. But all of its attempts to do so have failed, so far.
We have now a three-headed monster - the informal coalition of the transnational financial interest, the drug business and terrorism. It is as dangerous to the international community as the nuclear threat was at the time of bipolar confrontation. Because transnational finance has risen above the national states, which have learned to fight each other but cannot combat this threat yet.
And this poses the main threat to US domination.
Unwittingly, the USA has nurtured a new enemy which nobody knows how to fight. The US administration has been trying - without admitting this - to distract the attention of the international community by bombing the Taliban and setting its sights on Iraq. Is it playing for time needed to deploy the NMD system? This is understandable and, in a way, reasonable. But this is not sufficient because the transnational threats of terrorism fed by the disloyalty of the financial systems come not only from outside but also from the inside of the country. And the NMD system will not protect the USA from this threat. This is why the sixth feature of modern international relations is the general crisis of the fundamental disarmament and counter- disarmament concepts of international security.