Fur­ther global eco­nomic and so­cial in­te­gra­tion

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

To un­der­stand her for­eign pol­icy, it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand the evo­lu­tion of Amer­i­can strat­egy since the fall of the Soviet Union. Clin­ton is a crea­ture of the beliefs, val­ues and il­lu­sions that dom­i­nated Amer­i­can pol­icy from 1991 un­til 2008. By un­der­stand­ing that world, we can un­der­stand Clin­ton’s core beliefs and then con­sider the ex­tent to which they have evolved. Clin­ton rep­re­sents the Amer­i­can and global con­sen­sus that emerged af­ter the Cold War.

When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, there was a gen­eral as­sump­tion that the world of war, near war and dis­trust had been put be­hind us. This is nor­mal when a global con­flict ends. Af­ter Napoleon was de­feated, the vic­to­ri­ous pow­ers met at the Congress of Vi­enna and de­creed two things. The first was that the vic­to­ri­ous anti-Napoleon coali­tion would con­tinue in place and ad­min­is­ter the peace. The sec­ond was that there were no fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences among these coali­tion part­ners. The same as­sump­tions were made af­ter World War I in the League of Na­tions. Af­ter World War II, the United Na­tions was cre­ated, with the vic­to­ri­ous en­sconced as the per­ma­nent mem­bers of the Coun­cil.

Great wars are won by coali­tions and not in­di­vid­ual states. There is an il­lu­sion that the com­mon in­ter­ests of these states dur­ing the war will en­dure to ad­min­is­ter the peace. Lead­ing pow­ers will sup­press new chal­lengers and all that will be left is to main­tain dis­ci­pline in the sys­tem. War is ob­so­lete and un­nec­es­sary, and the only thing that mat­ters is en­joy­ing the eco­nomic bless­ings that come with vic­tory. These pe­ri­ods of com­fort­ing delu­sion can last for decades, as hap­pened af­ter the Napoleonic wars, or a few months, as hap­pened af­ter World War II.

This same thing hap­pened af­ter the end of the Cold War. The U.S. and Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H. W. Bush gen­er­ally be­lieved that the coali­tion that won the Cold War and the in­sti­tu­tions that were cre­ated in the Cold War would govern the peace. NATO, the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, the World Bank and oth­ers, as well as the coali­tion of anti-Soviet na­tions that had used these in­sti­tu­tions, would cre­ate a per­pet­ual peace, and his­tory would come to a happy end.

There were only two tasks at hand. One was in­te­grat­ing the shat­tered Soviet Em­pire into the West­ern se­cu­rity and eco­nomic sys­tem. The other was manag­ing un­ruly mar­ginal na­tions. When Iraq in­vaded Kuwait, the United States mar­shalled a wide range of coun­tries, in­clud­ing some for­mer com­mu­nist states, to pun­ish the un­ruly Sad­dam Hus­sein, and the U.S. did this with­out con­cern about the Rus­sian or Chi­nese re­ac­tions. The U.S. dom­i­nated a global coali­tion, the coali­tion was of one mind and mi­nor ir­ri­tants like Iraq would be dealt with as one. coali­tion Se­cu­rity

This is the world that Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s ad­min­is­tra­tion came into. It saw the world that Ge­orge H. W. Bush had crafted as the world’s per­ma­nent con­di­tion and fo­cused on fur­ther global eco­nomic and so­cial in­te­gra­tion. It ex­tended Cold War in­sti­tu­tions and en­gaged in in­ter­mit­tent mil­i­tary ac­tions with pri­mar­ily hu­man­i­tar­ian goals (though not in ev­ery case) that were ap­pro­pri­ate to coali­tion man­age­ment. These were the only real rea­sons for hav­ing a

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