The Duran’s Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris reported on February 8th, 2018 that the United States formally admitted its ‘unipolar moment’ is over.
The admission got little to no media coverage, as a document called the US Nuclear Posture Review came to the conclusion that ‘Great Power competition’ has returned to the global stage, signaling a definitive end to America’s hegemon dominance…
The US Nuclear Posture Review is a seminal document, not just because of the nuclear weapons build up it speaks of – worrying though that is – but because it represents a formal admission by the US that the so-called ‘unipolar moment’ – the period after the end of the Cold War when the US enjoyed unchallenged global dominance – is over.
So far from being the world’s unchallenged and unchallengeable ‘hyperpower’ and world hegemon, the US admits that it is now once again just one of three Great Powers – the US, Russia and China – albeit that it still considers itself to be the strongest of the three.
The Review admits this unambiguously. One of its chapters is straightforwardly entitled “The Return of Great Power competition”.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the US Nuclear Posture Review, what it means today in hot spots like Syria and the South China Sea, and how President Trump will deal with a power sharing world. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.
The chapter in the Review entitled, “The Return of Great Power competition” is the single most important text in the whole document. Here is what it says…
Since 2010 we have seen the return of Great Power competition.
To varying degrees, Russia and China have made clear they seek to substantially revise the post-Cold War international order and norms of behavior.
Russia has demonstrated its willingness to use force to alter the map of Europe and impose its will on its neighbors, backed by implicit and explicit nuclear first-use threats. Russia is in violation of its international legal and political commitments that directly affect the security of others, including the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the 2002 Open Skies Treaty, and the 1991 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives. Its occupation of Crimea and direct support for Russia-led forces in Eastern Ukraine violate its commitment to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine that they made in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
China meanwhile has rejected the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal that found China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea to be without merit and some of its related activities illegal under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law.
Subsequently, China has continued to undertake assertive military initiatives to create “facts on the ground” in support of its territorial claims over features in the East and South China Seas.
Russia and China are pursuing asymmetric ways and means to counter U.S. conventional capabilities, thereby increasing the risk of miscalculation and the potential for military confrontation with the United States, its allies, and partners.
Both countries are developing counter-space military capabilities to deny the United States the ability to conduct spacebased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3); and positioning, navigation, and timing. Both seek to develop offensive cyberspace capabilities to deter, disrupt, or defeat U.S. forces dependent on computer networks.
Both are fielding an array of anti-access area denial (A2/AD) capabilities and underground facilities to counter U.S. precision conventional strike capabilities and to raise the cost for the United States to reinforce its European and Asian allies and partners.
While nuclear weapons play a deterrent role in both Russian and Chinese strategy, Russia may also rely on threats of limited nuclear first use, or actual first use, to coerce us, our allies, and partners into terminating a conflict on terms favorable to Russia. Moscow apparently believes that the United States is unwilling to respond to Russian employment of tactical nuclear weapons with strategic nuclear weapons.
The Duran’s Editor-in-Chief, Alexander Mercouris notes…
Russian and Chinese officials strongly object to this characterisation of their countries’ foreign and defence policies, which they say is misleading and wrong.
However that is to miss the point. The point is that for the first time since the end of the Cold War the US sees itself as challenged by other Great Powers – specifically Russia and China – which are militarily and technologically and – in China’s case – economically comparable to itself.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.