Superpower Rivalry and Conflict: The Long Shadow of the Cold War on the 21st Century
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Variously described by historians and thinkers as the ‘most terrible century in Western history’, ‘a century of massacres and wars’ and the ‘most violent century in human history’, the 20th century – and in particular the period between the First World War and the collapse of the USSR – forms a coherent historical period which changed the entire face of human history within a few decades. This book examines the trajectory of the Cold War and the fallouts for the rest of the world to seek lessons for the 21st century to manage international relations today and avoid conflict. Written by experts in their field, the chapters provide an alternative perspective to the Western-paradigm dominated international relations theory. The book examines for example whether now in the 21st century the unipolar moment has passed and if the changing economic balance of power, thrown up by globalization, has led to the emergence of a multipolar world capable of economic and multilateral cooperation. It discusses the potential of new cooperative security frameworks, which would provide an impetus to disarmament and protection of the environment globally and asks if nuclear disarmament is feasible and necessary. The book highlights areas in which the potential for conflict is ingrained. Offering Asian perspectives on these issues – perspectives from countries like Afganistan, Vietnam, West Asia and Pakistan which were embroiled in the Cold War as mere pawns and which have become flashpoints for conflict in our century – this book is an important contribution to the ongoing debate.
terrorism in the forefront of all challenges threatening human security, nuclear deterrence becomes wholly irrelevant. Statements by nuclear hawks and policy-makers of the past, such as Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry and George Schultz, that reassertion of the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons would have a profoundly positive impact on the security of future generations,21 the Hiroshima–Nagasaki Appeal22 to rid the world of nuclear weapons by the year 2020, the worldwide
to 1971.11 China was denied diplomatic recognition by US and most (but not all) of its allies. The Chinese Communists were prevented from occupying Taiwan where the Kuomintang leader Chiang-Kai-Shek and his remnant army had ﬂed by the US interposing its ﬂeet in between. When China initiated an artillery assault on the Quemoy and Matsu Islands under Taiwanese control, US again conveyed a nuclear threat to China. The Chinese leadership, though publicly denigrating nuclear weapons as ‘paper tigers’,
Pakistan never saw the kind of ‘tough love’ that other American allies received – assistance made conditional on economic and social reform. Nor did Pakistan have any relevant role models (as did Taiwan and South Korea, to name two). Finally, the most enduring and pernicious consequence of Pakistan’s long association with Western-sponsored alliances during the Cold War, especially its second and third phases, has been the transformation of Pakistan’s selfimage from being a staunch, reliable,
Jiang Zemin noted that economic globalization was a ‘doubleedged sword’ that ‘posed to all countries, the developing ones in particular, the new problem of how to safeguard their economic security while accelerating market opening, intensifying competition and improving eﬃciency’.26 While deepening interdependence did pose risks and negative factors for developing countries, it could also present opportunities to seize the initiative of writing the ‘rules of the game’ of international
George W. Bush’s White House years, as a result, witnessed a more aggressive strategic posture and a more focused target. The doctrine was that of unprovoked war and the target shrunk to take in West Asia – leaving the rest of Eurasia beyond its purview. Broadly, it came to be termed the ‘Neo-conservatism’. With Bush’s support, the Neocon network sprawled. It was made up of think tanks and the media run by former academics, people from lobby 144 Gulshan Dietl groups and defence contractors.