Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Shifting geopolitics

By Alexis Papachelas

The developments in Ukraine have given rise to a very interesting discussion over whether we are on the cusp of a major events that will affect global geopolitics. Some believe that we will return to the bipolar state of the Cold War, while others say that Russia is simply not powerful enough to form a rival pole to the West.

Meanwhile, events in the US are also taking an interesting turn. The debate over whether President Barack Obama is a force to be reckoned with is often expended on facile analyses of his decisions and behavior. Digging a little deeper into the issue reveals that Obama’s personality is not the real issue, but rather the deeper changes that are afoot as evidenced by his foreign policy choices.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a veteran who has held numerous important posts and who served under both George W. Bush and Obama, recently published a fascinating book in which he expresses the realpolitik of a bygone era of American diplomacy. In his book, Gates admits that he had serious misgivings about the US pushing the case for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO. What he wondered as defense secretary was what would happen if Russia reacted and who would go to defend the former Soviet satellites in the event of aggression from Moscow. He also expresses the abhorrence of realpolitik-minded politicians who think the US must make its military presence felt all over the world, without weighing the benefits and costs.

Gates is clearly referring to people such as former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who got America embroiled in the war in Kosovo for no apparent geopolitical reason, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, who wanted to see American troops in Libya and Syria, and, of course, to the rabid neocons who pushed Bush into the devastating Iraq War. Gates believes that America does not have the strategic advantages it once had and should focus in efforts on Asia, and China in particular, while being extremely cautious about making any military commitments that do not have clear geopolitical benefits.

Gates further reveals much about Israel, suggesting that its current leadership is surreptitiously pushing America toward a war with Iran. Reading his arguments offers abundant explanation as to how we have reached a point of open hostility between Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, signaling a tectonic shift in the way the White House and the Pentagon are dealing with Israeli interests today compared to the past.

Gates also goes on to give an excellent description of the decision-making process in Washington, detailing how lobbies and a fixation with appearances undermine the mechanisms responsible for formulating policy. He also reveals a fact that is little known by the general public – that it is the leadership of the military which is generally the most vehemently opposed to armed interventions of any kind. Maybe this is because they know how devastating the mindless use of a superpower’s strength can be and are much more sensitive to loss of life.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday March 23, 2014 (15:16)  
Defusing a crisis
PM needs to step up
Careful what you wish for
Taking care of our key industry
Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to represent Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at the European Council and a European conservative leaders' meeting on Thursday after the latter wa...
Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was admitted to a hospital in Brussels on Thursday morning following repeated nosebleeds caused by high blood pressure. He was discharged a few hours late...
Inside News
Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
Greek taxpayers will continue to pay an extra solidarity tax on income in the next two years, but at a 30 percent discount compared to current rates, it emerged on Thursday. The emergency ta...
Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
Spain’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest since the end of 2011 in the third quarter as its economy turned into one of the fastest-growing in the euro region. Joblessness fell to 23.7 per...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
2. Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
3. EU requests clarification on Italy´s ´breach´ of budget goals
4. German survey props up European shares
5. Nissan recalling 260,000 vehicles globally with Takata air bags
6. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong winds hamper sea travel
2. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
3. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
4. Arrivals show increase in January-June 2014 period
5. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
6. Nissan recalling 260,000 vehicles globally with Takata air bags
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.