Spectacolul ideilor pe hartă

15/ian/2010 EURAST recomandă: Z. Brzezinski face analiza geopolitică a politicii externe a a primului an de mandat Obama (5/6). SUA şi Rusia & China

(În ultimul număr (ianuarie-februarie 2010 al revistei Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski (consilier de securitate al preşedinţilor SUA între 1977 şi 1981) face un bilanţ al primului an al administraţiei Barack Obama din punctul de vedere al liniilor de politică externă urmărite. Vom relua aici acest text în integralitate, în serial. Astăzi, despre relaţiile SUA cu Rusia şi China – EURAST)


From Hope to Audacity

Appraising Obama’s Foreign Policy (V)

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Foreign Affairs /// January/February 2010



The president, in addition to coping with these immediate challenges, has indicated his intent to improve three key geopolitical relationships of the United States: with Russia, with China, and with Europe. Each involves longer-term dilemmas but does not require crisis management now. Each has its own peculiarities: Russia is a former imperial power with revisionist ambitions but declining social capital; China is a rising world power that is modernizing itself at an astonishing pace but deliberately downplaying its ambitions; Europe is a global economic power devoid of either military clout or political will. Obama has rightly indicated that the United States needs to collaborate more closely with each of them.


Hence, the administration decided to „reset” the United States’ relationship with Russia. But that slogan is confusing, and it is not yet clear that Washington’s wishful thinking about Moscow’s shared interests on such matters as Iran is fully justified. Nonetheless, the United States must think strategically about its long-term relationship with Russia and pursue a two-track policy: it has to cooperate with Russia whenever doing so is mutually beneficial, but in a way that is also responsive to historical reality. The age of closed empires is over, and Russia, for the sake of its own future, will eventually have to accept this.


Seeking to expand cooperation with Russia does not mean condoning Russia’s subordination of Georgia (through which the vital Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline passes, providing Europe with access to Central Asian energy) or its intimidation of Ukraine (an industrial and agricultural heartland of the former Soviet Union). Either move would be a giant step backward. Each would intensify Russia’s imperial nostalgia and central Europe’s security fears, not to mention increase the possibility of armed conflicts. Yet so far, the Obama administration has been quite reluctant to provide even purely defensive arms to Georgia (in contrast to Russia’s provision of offensive weaponry to Venezuela), nor has it been sufficiently active in encouraging the EU to be more responsive to Ukraine’s European aspirations. Fortunately, Vice President Biden’s fall 2009 visit to Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic did reaffirm the United States’ long-term interest in political pluralism within the former Soviet space and in a cooperative relationship with a truly postimperial Russia. And it should always be borne in mind that the survival of the former makes the latter more likely.


A longer-term effort to engage China in a more forthcoming approach to global problems is also needed. China is, as it has proclaimed, „rising peacefully,” and unlike Russia, it is patiently self-confident. But one can also argue that China is rising somewhat selfishly and needs to be drawn more broadly into constructive cooperation on global economic, financial, and environmental decisions. It also has growing political influence over geopolitical issues that affect core U.S. interests: North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Thus, Obama’s decision to develop a top-level bilateral U.S.-Chinese relationship has been timely. Cultivating at the presidential-summit level a de facto geopolitical G-2 (not to be confused with proposals for an economic G-2), highlighted by Obama’s November visit to China, is helping develop an increasingly significant strategic dialogue. The leaders of the United States and China recognize that both countries have a major stake in an effectively functioning world system. And they appear to appreciate the historic potential and the respective national interests inherent in such a bilateral relationship.


Paradoxically, despite Obama’s expressed desire, there seem to be fewer prospects in the near future for a strategically significant enhancement of the United States’ relationship with its closest political, economic, and military partner: Europe. Obama’s predecessor left a bitter legacy there, which Obama has greatly redressed in terms of public opinion. But genuine strategic cooperation on a global scale is not possible with a partner that not only has no defined and authoritative political leadership but also lacks an internal consensus regarding its world role.


 Hence, Obama’s intent to reignite the Atlantic partnership is necessarily limited to dialogues with the three key European states with genuine international clout: the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. But the utility of such dialogues is reduced by the personal and political differences among these countries’ leaders – not to mention the British prime minister’s grim political prospects, the French president’s preoccupation with personal celebrity, and the German chancellor’s eastward gaze. The emergence of a unified and therefore influential European worldview, with which Obama could effectively engage, seems unlikely anytime soon.


15 ianuarie 2010 - Posted by | Bibliografii, Geopolitica, Intelo, Istorie | , , , , ,

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