There is a wide array of opinions regarding the uncertainties and instability that global geopolitical landscape is characterized with. Experts associate it with various reasons. Renowned political analyst Zbigniew Brzezinksi outlined his position in one of recent interviews and spoke of fascinating aspects of the struggle for influence between the big nations. In this context, he underlined the advantages of the ”G-2 plus” formula and pointed out the changes that the world politics needs to undergo. Judging by Brzezinski’s views global-scale geopolitical situation would continue to remain fluid. This one side of the issue deserves an emphasis.
“Unprecedented Instability and Chaos”: dangerous prognosis
It has been several years now that the analysts are talking about prevailing global-scale uncertainty, sometimes even describing the situation as chaotic. These claims are not groundless – geopolitical processes in some regions are associated with confrontation, conflict and strife of various natures.
Such a situation causes concern and admittedly, there is a need to identify the roots of the problem because in general, the humanity faces new problems. One of Brzezinski’s ideas is interesting from this particular aspect. In his July 21 interview with the ”Foreign Policy” he came up with several theses (see: David Rothkopf. A Time of Unprecedented Instability? / ForeignPolicy.com, 21 July 2014).
According to Brzezinski, the world is engulfed with “unprecedented instability and chaos”. Such a development brings the world closer to an era of “great confusion and prevailing chaos” (see: previous reference). This is an interesting evaluation of the present substance of global geopolitics. The point is that the American analyst suggests a thesis that worldwide instability and chaos go hand-in-hand.
These uncertainties testify that global geopolitics has produced chaotic processes that have acquired a sustainable nature. The world’s system is governed not by the events of local impact but rather large-scale destructive processes. This is the most dangerous and thought-provoking aspect of the issue.
What are the reasons for ”great confusion and chaos”? It is intriguing that Brzezinski indirectly acknowledges that U.S. leadership’s ambitions, pursued for years, rest in the core of the problem. He also suggests this as an argument for China failing to assume responsibility. Despite Washington’s incitement, official Beijing prefers to evade the situations associated with a greater crisis.
Logical conclusion can be that the Americans are acknowledging that Washington’s years-long policy actually underpins the geopolitical strife witnessed in different parts of the world. Yet, they have neither intention nor the capability to alleviate the situation singlehandedly. This point bears particular importance in the context of regulating the international relations because U.S. is trying to employ China for mitigating the crisis (see: previous reference).
What could be the motive? There are three points here: first, by doing so, America may identify key principles of the new world order. Second, in tackling the contradictions of the global geopolitics it would have shared the responsibility with another superpower – China. Third, it puts the ”G-2 plus” model before the other nations with aspirations of world leadership. Let us elaborate further on the final point.
Leadership Ambitions: Search For New Model
Zbigniew Brzezinski favors the ”G-2 plus” model. According to him, Beijing and Washington’s strategic cooperation can rid the world of uncertainty. The policy of containing China’s growth is senseless. On the contrary, its progress based on U.S. criteria has to be encouraged. Should China deviate from that line, then immediate action has to be taken. The word “plus” in the aforementioned ”G-2” formula implies engagement of regional leaders. That is to say, according to Brzezinski, the modern world has to be ruled by the U.S. and China, while other big powers must cooperate with them. However, the official Beijing is reluctant to accept this mission. It is more focused on economic, cultural and energy cooperation and seeks obtaining independent means of leverage.
This is what troubles the U.S. Three significant factors must be outlined in this connection. Above all, America ”loses control of the ability to deal with challenges”. Next, ”one cannot expect Europe to assert itself internationally”. And finally, in different regions of the world, mainly ”in the Middle East and Africa… there is enormous turmoil, fragmentation and uncertainty” (see: previous reference). This makes it clear as to why the Americans wish to build ”G-2” with the Chinese and not the Europeans.
When such an approach is viewed from a different angle one gets an impression that the world politics have reached a deadlock as the U.S. refuses to play its envisaged role. Beijing also experiences problems with some of its neighbors. This is the point that American politicians are constantly making. Z. Brzezinski notes an element of dictatorship in China’s relations with the neighboring countries and argues that the very factor is always detrimental to China’s geopolitical role.
Interestingly, the renowned analyst considers this feature to be the weakest link of the Chinese foreign policy (see: previous reference). Namely, this country becomes vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Religious radicalism can decimate the ”Chinese Wall” in this sense. Connotation within these ideas is that China’s foreign policy is up against a dilemma. This country is implied to be involved in some sort of conflict with number of nations. Another thesis is that tensions might only exacerbate, once Beijing engages those nations more fiercely. In different context, these developments appear as America’s warning to China. Beijing is indirectly incited to follow the Washington’s script.
All of this however, demonstrates only one side of U.S. foreign policy. Political-diplomatic moves with respect to the countries in the Middle East are made with consideration of the Chinese foreign policy. According to Brzezinski’s classification, in the Middle East, there are 4 countries that can be referred to as “self-sufficient states with historical experience” – Turkey, Iran, Israel and Egypt. Washington must first engage these countries, since they may help to eliminate emerging perilous processes.
Approach towards Russia differs slightly in this context. Russia has to be ”sucked up by Europe, because the shadow of China will increasingly loom over Russia” (see: previous reference). Brzezinski’s concludes that, ”…Russians have damaged themselves enormously by their invasion of Crimea…also they are – and we have to face this, and they have to face this – much weaker. It’s really us and the Chinese. And the Chinese are more prudent, but sometimes insensitive of the aspirations and self-interests of their weak, small neighbors” (see: previous reference).
Brzezinski’s analytical reasoning demonstrates that the U.S. is in the search of a new model of world hegemony. The ultimate purpose of attaching significance to China, as a geopolitical player, is to ensure ”America’s leadership” in line with the demands of the modern era. Washington explicitly recognizes this in different contexts. Beijing, in turn, signals that existing problems are U.S.-provoked and dismisses Washington’s propositions.
In reality, the system of uncertain relations between the two big powers is coming into play. Thus, it is likely that exacerbation of ongoing strife in different parts of the world would ensue. After some time, China itself may get entangled into conflict with the regional powers. Favoring the use of force by the big powers in the global leadership race continues. While declarations are made about culture and interfaith dialogue, ”soft power” is being employed. This actually reveals completely different factors. Brzezinski’s idea that, “we are moving towards a world war” is thought-provoking. What is the motive for creating such a situation?
Apparently, Brzezinski implies recently the most propagated ”theory” of the manageable chaos. His logic testifies to that because the analysts are firmly centered on the principle of retaining America’s leadership. Therefore, the ”era of great chaos” must also be conducive to the U.S. hegemony in the world. However, the historical experience demonstrates that the situation of manageable chaos has always been coupled with uncertainty and risks, and this questions the very effectiveness of a geopolitical course that drives humanity towards it.