SUJIT BURMAN/MILITARY ANALYST
The Russia-Ukraine situation has once again proved how vulnerable is the peace in Europe despite having fought two World Wars in last Century and coming up with a massive socio-politico-economic bloc with a credible currency and enormous military power. While Euro is still the preferred currency for trading except energy, the NATO is a credible military power in Europe and elsewhere. But peace is still a distant dream. No doubt, the Russian aggression has caused death, destruction and disappointment in the entire Europe even if the war is restricted to Ukraine theatre so far. Yet the need for a new global order to maintain peace is more than necessary. The collective will and strong political commitment can achieve this fate.
The Russia-Ukraine war has once again proved that the present peace order is drastically lacking institutional mechanisms to prevent disputes turning into conflicts and leading to a full-fledged war.
The present form of the UNO, which was created in the last century among a coterie of select war victors, is no longer relevant and in numerous occasions it has failed to maintain peace or prevented conflicts.
Thus, there is a need for revitalizing global peace order by creating a new body or making the present UN more representative to avoid future crisis. The veto power among top five permanent members should be fully abolished urgently.
The veto power is touted by top powers including Russian President Vladimir Putin that it maintains the balance of power, is a total myth. The exercise of veto power has often brought misery and created issues into crisis due to institutional complications that exist today.
The expansion and reforms of UN bodies are long due but the lack of will has resulted in making the global body a failed platform or as a talking shop with least credibility. Russia which was once opposing the unilateral actions of US and NATO outside the UN, has done the same in Ukraine.
It is all about self interests. In fact, preaching others are easy but practicing the same is difficult. The principles, morality and values always take a back seat and the truth becomes the first causality.
At a time when the whole globe is getting integrated and getting informed per second about the issues in a real time manner, Moscow preferred aggression as a means to achieve its goal instead of negotiations and discussions.
In the past, most wars or conflicts have taken place without even bothering to make a discussion at the UN or relevant forums. This shows lack of trust among top five permanent members who are proving to be useless while pursuing their own vested interests and so-called political goals.
Both the US and China in case of Ukraine did not use their powers to stop this conflict into a full scale war which has created tremendous amount of human suffering. It looks now that some elements are ready to make profit out of it, whether it is energy deal or military equipment sales.
Indeed, the US self proclaimed its status of the solo super power in the world after the disintegration of Soviet Union, has for the first time realized its limit. In other theatres or past events Washington went solo with its allies to carry out military campaigns against countries which harmed its interests.
In fact, after the financial crisis America has lost its economic power and military advantage once it enjoyed solely. Today, perhaps it is the single most war in recent time in which there are less public protests outside Europe or America despite massive death and destruction.
Some Asian countries like India, China, South Africa, Brazil, and many African and West Asian countries, have not backed the US and NATO campaign against Moscow. The voice of UN or its Secretary General is nowhere to be heard. It is sad and human lives are lost on a daily basis.
Ukraine may be a distant place geographically for some countries but the news of human suffering is live 24 into 7 for more than a month now. May be there is a credibility problem for the western media outlets which has led to a suspicion among some people that who is behind the crisis.
Russia and Ukraine are fighting on the ground but there are few actors who are not yet in the front. The credibility of US has been lost long ago, perhaps Iraq war was the last chapter. On the other hand, Russia and China never had any credibility all through the last century and in this century. Perhaps, they will never even have, going by their persona oriented politics.
While Russia is an old timer in propelling lies, peddling propaganda and building perception since the age of Cold War, China’s leaders are masters in this game as they have built schools for this purpose where sustained R&D is done. One best example is China’s Covid origin denial and victim card propaganda.
The US may be a democracy but the power coterie is run by select interest groups. Today the battle in Ukraine has exposed the bitter truth that who will benefit or profit now and in future, is it the US multi billionaires whose stocks have sharply risen in recent weeks or the Chinese tycoons or the Russian oligarchs?
The US has dragged its solo super power status albeit falsely or printing excess dollar bills, till the quarter of the 21st century despite strong decline in its power matrix against China and Russia. The attempt to make China and Russia as open society has terribly failed.
It is the US which shared technology and investment with China and pilferage technology to Russia in the last century to gain access to various markets and it helped American billionaire to make money.
Take the example of Russian gas in Europe which is the center of the controversy. Despite the then US president Ronald Reagan suspending energy cooperation with Russia, the US energy lobby restored the cooperation with Russia within a year and reversed the sanctions.
First, the European energy deals with Russia in the 80s had come under sanctions in the US national interests and later it was also reversed in the name of US national interests as the pressure was mounted by the energy barons who are the main fund providers for the US elections.
Today, the claim by some US senators that Russia and China are ahead of US in terms of future military technology goes back to the era of former President Bill Clinton who lifted all bans to allow US billionaires to make money from China by exporting sensitive technologies to China.
Now, Beijing is surging ahead with its own programs and plans to counter the US and its allies. No doubt, China is a rising power and the US is a falling power. Going by all geopolitical standards, China’s global dominance ambitions are far superior to that of Russia. But the world is now looking as an inhospitable place to live due to great power competition.
All big powers are liars beyond a point and they are immoral while chasing their vested interests. Take the example of AUKUS submarine deal with Australia where the French were ousted without even a hint.
The global governance is the need of the hour and Ukraine situation has once again exposed the fact there is no credibility of various existing global bodies to prevent disputes and conflicts. It is high time to create new mechanisms to enforce peace globally.