I feel I have been fairly consistant in warning of the medium and long term dangers that could be the consequences of the recent military action in
Now,at last,Tony Blair has articulated them for the first time.
"Tony Blair issued a warning yesterday that the world would be plunged back into an era of insecurity and tension reminiscent of the Cold War unless
Europe and America quickly repaired the transatlantic relationship."
For half a century the national interests of the greatest powers on earth were reconciled within the framework of the UN.War itself could not be
avoided but world war ,between nuclear powers,could,and was avoided,by giving those nations a veto that would signal when those nations felt their
essential national interests were endangered.By this mechanism mankind has made it safely,if not without incident,into the 21st century.
That mechanism exist today only in name and it would be foolish for anyone to believe that those great nations have not thought carefully about how,if
at all,their national interests can be protected in the future.
I believe Blair understood this very well from the start and he believed that by appeasing US foreign policy Britains interests would be safeguarded
and that Russia,the EU,and China would follow if not before the war then at least in it's aftermath,when US military power had been proved once
The thinking would of been that the US position was entrenched and that it must be up to others to move to avoid a polarisation.This was Blairs big
gamble.That the USA would not abuse it's power and so make polarisation innevitiable.
The problems were very apparent though.
French,Russian,and Chinese interests were effected in Iraq but not to the point where UN action would not of eventually been taken.When those three
nations said "halt" and "wait" they were in effect testing to see if the UN mechanisms were still in place.They found that they were not and so
now they are actively seeking new mechanisms or alliances to protect their national interests that might be far more essential than those in Iraq and
that might equally not be respected by the US Administration.
At present there still remains a degree of parity in the world but if and when the USA tests and then deploys a successful Anti-IBM
system(StarWars)that ultimate parity will be lost,perhaps forever.
So we are entering a dangerous time.Presently the USA feels that it has a conventional military advantage,and few could argue that they do not.
France,Russia,and China recognise that they have ultimate parity which,at the very least,could be used to deter any direct attack but this parity will
be lost and so they have two choices.
1/Use their present parity as a lever.Which could provoke conventional military action and escalate.At the very least it would polarise the world and
create the Cold War conditions Blair talks of.
2/Using EU money and the Russian space expertise start their own "StarWars"programn.This also would be seen in Washington as provocative.
A combination of the two is also possible but doing nothing is no longer an option.
This is the new reality we all live in.Increased tension,a new arms race ,Financial instability,and bitter trade wars.
The only variable being a swinging new grouping of Third World countries opportunistically taking advantage of the split as their fortunes swing in
Anyway,Tell me what you think.
[Edited on 29-4-2003 by John bull 1]