The greatest challenges in the coming weeks and years will be alliances of pertinent strength. It is perhaps the greatest underlying factor contributing to recent agitation. It was formerly believed by the framers of the old order that many developing economies would be forever developing and never able to penetrate the glass ceiling of national self-sufficiency. And then the Asian economic miracle happened and that was just jarring. Asian economies had “Growth-hacked the system” and found a way to succeed despite the plexiglass ceiling.
Fortunately for the framers of that order, the economic diversion could be crushed due to those economies reliance and close links with investment systems that could be used to undermine their economies. The Confessions of an Economic Hitman provide great detail into how these mechanism work to knock down rising powers and national development. After the handshake and photos have been taken with dignitaries, the economy has often unwittingly let the fox into the hen house. And there are rarely any protective mechanisms in place to protect national interests in these massive international partnerships. New alliances therefore will require a level of mutual protection.
Asia has been keen to growth-hack the old world order due to its cultural affinity toward group support dynamics. In other words, Asia has been more loyal to the alliances that benefit the group over the individual. While Asia has not been without turmoil and coups it has weathered it with some degree of stability. This has been useful, though it is not the entire story.
Alliances have been of utmost importance in every age in history. It has meant the difference between strong growth or loss. Many from the old school of thought have come to understand the change as inevitable, while others resist demonstrably. It becomes clearer that not only do alliances matter, but misalignment too. Many nations who believed they had created the right alliances, until a violent regime change reorganized them; trade was maliciously ripped to cripple their growth or unexpected exclusionary policies and sanctions sought to crush their growing influence in the world.
While there is big talk of democracy and freedom in the world, there seems to be very little of it for those who seek to be non-aligned but still participate in the world system. Alliances then become key components for those who wish the security and freedom to conduct affairs without external coersion even when nonaligned.
How can nations better ally and remain sovereign? It requires an alliance of mutual respect which has been lacking over the past 100 plus years. Under autocratic alliances, nations are refused the flexibility to choose their own self-interests. The past teaches how new alliances must include the right to sovereign internal governance, with voluntary alliances of benefit and security.
On January 6, 2021 when US citizens stormed the state capitol, the U.N. nor any other nation deployed troops to help with the American Spring. This might have led to a new republic for Americans; but did not happen, because foreign governments have not yet resorted to American-style strategies. And the key word is yet. The lack of mutual respect in collaborative Alliances guarantees that eventually riches nations will fall to the same strategies at some point, many of which overestimate their adequacy and underestimate that the world is growing less forgiving, if not forgetful.
In this time of great polarization, many nations are considering the future of their republics in a world that will increasingly lose more restraint, without equalateral agreement in place that are administered without partiality. Incursions in the South China Sea often see reciprocal retaliation and a slow escalation of tensions. Nations once believed pacifist may suddenly change course without notice and the response may not be what was expected.
The complexity of the word requires better alliances that guard against growing escalation and identifies those responsible for fomenting conflict and destabilization. Unfortunately, those alliances have been slow to form or even clandestine. Perhaps the latter more than the former. It seems those exerting the greatest force have forgotten Newtons First Law. The energy exerted into the world is not vanishing into thin air. The consequences are mounting.
Alliances like the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) become curious markers along the road of international change. How that the U.N. in its unbalanced Security Council alliance has sought to limit nuclear weapons capacities in Iran–and discourage proliferation through various agreements and treaties. The irony being that those in possession of Nuclear weapons have greater security than those who do not. Does such a framework even make sense in a world where escalation of conflict is openly encouraged?
It then seems in a reordering, the alliances of the U.N. must also be refitted as well if it is to truly answer the forward movement of a world undergoing profound power change. Alliances of this nature and magnitude require real dialogue if they are to survive into the future. However, in truth, everyone can see the handwriting on the wall. Some alliances will not be destroyed, they will simply die.