Imbalancing the World System Again

By Musa Khan.

Human nature has been defined by various political thinkers and writers in different ways. Some present it very co-operative, kind and helping while for others; it is very bleak, non-cooperative, selfish and sly. For many, the world politics is based on the notions of the latter group to whom human nature is selfish and opportunistic because every state pursues her interests even at the cost of harming another  in the international system.

Human civilization has been passed through various stages: from the cave era to agriculture then to industrialization and colonization that led to the creation of the first ever world organization in the shape of The League of Nations preceded by The UN. Historically, the bipolar world system was more stable than multipolar: the era between 1945 to 1991 and the unipolar was more stable than bipolar: the era since 1991 to date.

But keeping in view the fast occurring changes in the world systems, it vividly forecasts that the world would in the near future be faced with multi polar systems where the power vacuum will be divided among many wrestlers and the monopoly and hegemony of the US will be challenged at various grounds.

The Georgia’s drawdown, the Kremlin accession into Russia, the veto’s subsequent use by Russia in the UN Security Council and its military uprising and the least role of the US to challenge Russia in these conflicts show that the US’ hegemony is at stake. In the same fashion, China’s economic rise: one belt one road (OBOR), her technological advancements also arise many questions on the sustainability and leading role of the US.

When the membership of Shanghai Co-operation Organization was expanded last year, many think tankers and defense and security analysts termed it an existential threat to the supremacy of the US in the future. The SCO is the second International Organization after the NATO, that aims at collective security which means attack against any member will be considered against all and all will respond against the invader or the aggressor.

Apart from it, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is another trans – continental organization that competes and challenges the International Monitoring Fund (IMF) and the World bank in the fields of lending and borrowing of funds and loans to the developing and the third world countries for development and sustainability. The terms and conditions of the BRICS are easy as compare to the World bank and the IMF in terms of lending and borrowing of funds and loans which is again a terrible threat to the US because the US has the upper hand in almost all matters in the IMF and the World bank.

An Indian philosopher Chanakya rightly said in 4th century A.D. that, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The same words were repeated by Winston Churchill in 1944-45. This saying articulates today, very well the world politics as it is splitting into few blocks such as Russia,China,Iran, Turkey and Pakistan etc are on the one side and the US, England, Japan, Saudi Arabia etc on the other side. Iran is the enemy of the US so is the friend of Russia.Japan is the archrival enemy of China so is the friend of the US. Saudi Arab and Iran have ideological enmities so both stand at very distant and opposing blocs.

It is worth mentioning here again that man is selfish and ambitious who always pursues his interests. In the case of Syria, almost 70 % population is comprised of Sunnis and the rest are Shias whereas the state is run by a Shia leader Bashar al Asaad. Now, Saudi Arabia and her nexus demand that Asaad’s regime should be toppled; democracy should prevail wherein elections, the Sunnis will take hold of the country. Contrary to this is the case of Yemen where majority are Shias but the ruling class is Sunni. Iran and her nexus want an end to the Mansoor Hadi’s regime which will be a blow on the part of the Suunis and Saudi led actors.

A question may arise here that why the two blocs demand the toppling of the regimes? The answer is quite simple as if Asaad’s regime ends, it will be a triumph of the Saudi Arabian led bloc whereas if Asaad remains in power, it is the success of Iranian led forces and vice versa in Yemen.

Another thaw is in the South China Sea where China versus the rest have physical existence. There are two archipelagos in the South China Sea; Spratly and Paracel, upon which China claims that they are the parts of the ancient Chinese empire but according to International Law, Chinese claim is baseless. China is being opposed by Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia the Philippines and Japan etc on the ground that China pursues her expansionist policies and expands her territory towards the said states. One thing should be kept in mind that the above mentioned states are fully backed by the US against the China.

All these ongoing muscles showing need to be negotiated in the twinkling of an eye.Otherwise, the power gaining game in the long run, shall cause imbalance of the world system and humanity will have to face more unavoidable catastrophe and destruction if these incidents lead to the third world war in the presence of horrible biological, chemical and atomic weapons.

About Author

Musa Khan Nangialey, Social worker and visiting lecturer in the University of Science and Technology Bannu, KP, where he  teaches International Relations. He can be reached at

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