Another thing to note is that after the Cold War ended, government culture in the United States changed for the worse, in the sense that prior to this systemic shift towards the American unipolar moment, the culture dictated that people get rich prior to going into government and then go into government to serve people after getting rich. Now, the culture is such that people go into government in order to get rich. This culture was then exported to places like Afghanistan and the Middle East, and it later took on a contagion effect throughout the world. In turn, this contagion effect has wrecked a number of societies in the broader Middle East, and it has now creeped into places like Eastern Europe.
But eventually, this culture – and the adverse effects it has on international peace and security because of its blatantly corrupt nature – has to be halted at its tracks. And that time is perhaps now. As Victor Hugo said: “No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.” Moreover, the “army” has been eviscerated from a financial and logistical standpoint, to the extent that it will not have a single dollar for providing global security in a matter of years.
Countries around the world who are dependent on this American-led global security architecture are now looking for an offramp, given the eventual diminution or even collapse of this security architecture in a matter of years. For one, South Korea has announced that it seeks to bring a formal end to its implied state of war with North Korea, given that despite an armistice which was signed in 1953, the two countries never signed a peace treaty. It is important to note that South Korea was the country which refused to sign a peace treaty when the opportunity arose shortly after the end of the Korean War in 1953. Japan has also taken a behind-the-scenes approach towards improving its relations with China.
Also, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have resumed diplomatic engagements after a collapse in relations in 2017. Now, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are in the process of developing a consensus on regional issues, especially on the issue which pertains to Iran. An eventual consensus on regional issues entails improved relations between Gulf Arab nations (GCC) and Iran. Israel will try to drive a wedge between the GCC and Iran by prodding one Gulf Arab nation such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against the other GCC nations. As usual, the United States and Israel will try to take advantage of Gulf Arab naivete. But the clock is ticking, and the strategy will eventually run into a wall because of sheer accounting and logistical reasons.
However, the ultimate showdown and the center of gravity for international affairs will pertain to the West’s relations with Russia. There are clear divisions amongst Western nations as it pertains to the approach towards Russia, and these divisions are usually swept under the rug through the guise of NATO as well as other guises. However, in this day and age, and with the stakes so high given that there is no clear purpose for ‘Trans-Atlantic Unity’ as there was during the Cold War context and when we consider the looming diminution and collapse of an American-led global security architecture, the divisions cannot be so easily swept under the rug. Most likely, France and Germany will adopt one approach, whereas Britain and the United States will insist on another approach. In any case, the main issue is one of movement and where the chips will fall as the world is headed towards yet another systemic shift and away from an American unipolar context in the years and decades to come. And this systemic shift will occur soon after the previous systemic shift, namely, the shift from a Cold War context to a short-lived American unipolar context.