Global retreat from the United States? – Newspaper

The end of the US military occupation of Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban to power have sparked an intense debate over the future goals and directions of US foreign policy. The main question is whether the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan foreshadows the weakening of American resolve, diminishing power, and reducing its global commitments to maintain world domination and uphold the world order established by the United States. him with his allies in the aftermath of World War II.

It should be remembered that the Soviet Union‘s military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 ultimately led to its Cold War defeat and disintegration. But the USSR was in a particularly weak position when it encountered its military setback in Afghanistan. Economically it was in decline, strategically overwhelmed, internationally isolated, and ideologically and politically it was a sick state, torn by dissent. The Soviet military debacle in Afghanistan dealt the final blow to a political edifice that was ripe for collapse.

The United States is committed to a policy of containment of China.

The American position is not comparable to that of the Soviet Union after its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Despite the strategic blunders that led to its unceremonious withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. economy remains the largest in the world with the most advanced technologies and enormous global influence both bilateral and multilateral through political and financial institutions. international. Its economy, along with that of the European Union, which is closely linked to the United States, accounts for about 45 percent of global GDP.

Militarily, too, the United States is the most powerful nation in the world. His advantage over his rivals increases if we take into account the support of his allies. If one combines American hard power with its soft power, it remains and will probably remain ahead of any challenger for at least the next two to three decades. It would therefore be a huge mistake to underestimate the global power and influence of the United States or to predict a precipitous withdrawal of the United States from its overseas commitments during this period.

Read: As he leaves Afghanistan, the ghostly picture books of the US general make history

However, in China, which has experienced extremely high economic growth over the past four decades and is now rapidly strengthening its military might and developing advanced technologies, the United States faces a formidable challenger in the economic, technological fields. and long-term military. If current trends continue, the tipping point in favor of China could come after 2050, when China becomes the most economically and militarily powerful country in the world. Undoubtedly, the growing rivalry between the United States and China would be the defining feature of international politics in the 21st century. This is not to deny the strategic implications of an assertive Russia, which, under Vladimir Putin, resists NATO’s eastward expansion, especially in Ukraine, and the possibility of the emergence of other great powers.

China’s strategic challenge will come in the form of demands to restructure the current US-dominated world order to accommodate China’s legitimate political, security, economic, financial and trade interests. These demands will meet with resistance from the United States. Therefore, the Indo-Pacific region is likely to experience growing tensions and even local conflicts due to issues such as Taiwan and China’s attempts to expand its power into its southern and eastern peripheries.

As evidenced by President Joe Biden’s recent conversation with his Chinese counterpart, the United States is firmly committed to China’s containment policy. It thus strengthens its alliances in the Indo-Pacific region in the form of Quad and Aukus. The growing strategic partnership between the United States and India is part of the grand American design to contain China.

In the short and medium term, the United States due to the favorable balance of power can successfully resist China’s strategic challenge. However, if current trends continue, the United States will be forced in the long run to adjust its policies and reduce its overseas commitments to satisfy China’s legitimate interests.

Read: America’s Chinese Concern

Pakistan has no choice but to seek closer strategic cooperation with China to correct the power imbalance that US policies are creating in our region due to its growing strategic cooperation with India. In this context, CPEC presents enormous strategic and economic advantages for Pakistan. However, Pakistan should also do its best to maintain friendly relations and cooperation with the United States in areas where their interests converge, while being aware of the potential and limitations of such cooperation in the emerging strategic scenario. .

The writer is a retired ambassador, author and chairman of the Lahore Council for World Affairs.

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Posted in Dawn, January 1, 2022

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