Saturday August 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
Stifled dreams
Staying on the same page
The Lotus-Eaters
New Democracy aims to ease tax burden, attack SYRIZA’s policies as leaders’ Thessaloniki speeches near
New Democracy is to follow a two-pronged strategy in the coming days as it attempts to win over voters by pledging to tend to their tax concerns while also mounting a campaign to discredit S...
Infrastructure Minister assures officials over coastal revamp
A radical overhaul of the southern Athens coast at Faliro Bay will be put to tender in December, Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said Friday at a meeting with officials from t...
Inside News
Ministry launches work experience program for unemployed graduates
The Labor, Social Security and Welfare Ministry is preparing to launch a work experience program for unemployed youths aged between 18 and 24, through private sector jobs, as part of a new a...
Tax burden in Greece among EU’s heaviest, study reveals
Commenting on the findings of a recent Eurostat study titled “Taxation Trends in the European Union,” Alpha Bank has described the obligations of taxpayers in Greece as burdensome. The study...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Tough draw for Greek sides in Europe League Greek stage
Following Thursday night’s high, when all three Greek teams competing in the Europa League made it into the group stage of the competition, a harsh reality struck Friday as they found out wh...
JUDO
Greek judoka Iliadis triples up as Aguiar stuns Tcheumeo
Greek star Ilias Iliadis claimed his third world title in the under-90kg category in Chelyabinsk on Friday as Brazilian Mayra Aguiar and Colombian Yuri Alvear won gold in the women’s under-7...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Ministry launches work experience program for unemployed graduates
2. Tax burden in Greece among EU’s heaviest, study reveals
3. New Democracy aims to ease tax burden, attack SYRIZA’s policies as leaders’ Thessaloniki speeches near
4. Coalition bent on protecting weaker groups
5. Infrastructure Minister assures officials over coastal revamp
6. Deadline for ENFIA tax pushed back to September 30
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
2. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
3. Dozens of migrants intercepted in the Aegean
4. Rendi shootout leaves would-be hypermarket robber dead
5. Gov't jet carrying Venizelos back from Turkey conducts emergency landing
6. Tight security in place for City of Athens ceremony as GD MP, supporters to attend
Today
This Week
1. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
2. Purification rituals
3. The battle against progress
4. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
5. Athens finalizes Paris talks goals
6. Aftershocks rattle Halkidiki after strong 5-Richter quake
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.