The trajectory of international relations suggests military force may be required to ensure this country’s security and prosperity, writes Richard Shimooka in the National Post. Below is an excerpt from the article, which can be read in full here.
By Richard Shimooka, October 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has masked a significant shift in global relations — one that has been ongoing for the past decade but has only accelerated in recent years. Specifically, we are witnessing the fragmentation of long-standing political, economic and military arrangements that emerged after the Second World War.
At that time, a rules-based, capitalist international order was established in order to counter the communist bloc in the 1940s onward. Even before the collapse of the U.S.S.R., Western states had already expanded their objectives to include the promotion of such liberal political values as freedom of expression, poverty reduction and democracy promotion. This arguably became the most defining feature of Western foreign policy in the 1990s and 2000s.
That impulse seems to have run its course however. The post-cold war consensus has broken down, driven in part by the growing assertiveness of national actors in international relations. Several regional powers, such as Russia, China and Iran, have rejected or worked to usurp the Western-led liberal order. China, for example, is attempting to create a new global economic structure with it at the centre, replacing the current American-centric one.
The fraying of the post-cold war consensus has also occurred among close allies, where populism and nationalism have emerged as a powerful and disruptive force. Their growth is variously blamed on historic lows in public trust in governing institutions, declining economic prospects, and rapidly changing societies. This has been exacerbated by several serious unforced errors — the 2003 Iraq War, the 2008 Great Recession, and the more recent rise of ISIL and the Syrian refugee crisis.