There is always disappointment when superpowers compete with desirable and undesirable nations. The dynamics of a benevolent dictator always shifts to the social institutions that other superpowers are willing to accept; they involve economic activity and advantages towards territorial growth. Regime changes do represent anxiety among the superpowers and the way they shift their alliances in the alignment of the global order. Humanitarian sentiment does play a role that induces superpowers to get involved. Even if the global order becomes perfect in the sense of achieving stability through democratization, deeply rooted prejudice will rise and eat away at democracy.
Human rights should be the norm; the killing of innocent civilians is a crime. However, there are Western, Russian, and Chinese standards that measure human rights with a different yardstick; no different than determining which type of terrorist is more beneficial with superpowers achieving a slight edge from their competitors. The global order is dynamic because it is competitive. The inertia is given by the propaganda machine to determine legitimacy and some higher moral authority. It is difficult to impinge democracy and communism to sovereign nations that do not want it.
In the competitive geopolitical sphere of fighting terrorism, French President Francois Hollande perhaps told himself that enough is enough. The Russian President’s aid, Yuri Ushakov, was smiling when he told reporters that Hollande will meet with Putin on November 26. Yuri stated, “Our country welcomes the French President’s statement on the intention to create a broad coalition to fight ISIS.” However, Hollande is required to meet with Obama first out of respect to see if this broad coalition would fly. I have a sneaking suspicion that this type of one-upmanship would disappoint the commander-in-chief.
Chinese foreign minister spokesman Hong Lei came out in full support of Russia’s efforts in Syria by indicating, “Russia’s large-scale activities are an important integral part of the international counter-terror action. China supports Russia’s effort to combat terrorism.” What perplexes China, Russia, and France is what Russia’s foreign minister Ilya Rogachev recently stated, “For more than a year of bombing, the US-led coalition has virtually caused no damage to ISIS’ oil infrastructure. It has made almost 8000 sorties and nearly a quarter of the cases the planes return without expending all ammunitions, that is finding no targets of attack. Meanwhile, the ISIS terrorist continue to extract oil from the oil-bearing fields and are building new, albeit, makeshift oil-processing plants and thousands of tanker trucks were moving across the region.”
Rogachev did not mince words, “Against this background, one can’t help but wonder has the coalition at all aimed to inflict a military defeat of ISIS? Perhaps in response to the comments of their own political observers, the Americans have awakened and finally attacked the oil industry’s facilities in Iraq. But it is impossible not to notice that even these steps were taken by the coalition under influence of the decisive and effective actions of the Russian aerospace forces.”
This is a form of benign competition between the superpowers: one has to act as a catalyst and the other follows. It also becomes a form of business competition. If one superpower rests and does nothing for years, it is only natural another superpower will follow to get the tone right. What geopolitical scholars are also looking at is what Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev said at the 10th East Asia Summit on November 22, “The elaboration of common and binding rules of the game, the development of the reliable architecture of equal and indivisible security should become an imperative for all of us including the Asia Pacific region.” What China and Russia are saying to the world is that that they are a sustainable and reliable resource in maintaining the global order and future stability in the Asia Pacific region. Medvedev’s tone achieves poetic sensibility that an equal integrative imperative needs to be coordinated towards stability.
If a broader goal towards stability is to be achieved, then the United Nations has no choice but to subscribe to it. There is no given reason to have just one coalition in achieving their objectives without a competing resolute that services that objective. Therefore, it only stands to reason that an all-encompassing and all-inclusive format is created to achieve economic order, stability, and freedom. The real component in the Middle East is extremism without moderation and diversity. The only hope to achieve any coordinated effort in peace and stability is to involve all 12 superpowers in the breaking of bread and drinking of wine. At the end of the meal, if there’s a toast, you can say you have achieved stability rather than one-upmanship. But then again, that would be too simple for them.