Anchin Vanaik: Geo-politics and Geo-economics

Panel Presentation by Achin Vanaik in New York City and Boston.

United States — Relative decline, not absolute. It will remain for some time to come the front-runner economically, militarily, technologically, culturally.
— Will continue to pursue global hegemony which means, above all, dominating Eurasia from West to East including North African states around the Mediterranean.

Hardware

  • Modernizing/deepening military and nuclear arsenals and deployments. Militarization-nuclearization of outer space.
  • Geographical extension of military and military-related bases beyond Cold War levels.
  • Alliances – a) subordinated EU and UK; b) four-legged strategic stool in ME; c) ‘Pivot to Asia’ with key nodes of India, Japan, Australia for containing China.
  • RMA including cyber-warfare and developing autonomous weapons systems with AI (killer robots and drones).
  • Software — 6 new post-Cold War ideological banners for 3 population zones.

    Russia — Maintain control of ‘near abroad’; enhance ME presence; cautious alliance with China.

    China — BRI for a) domestic growth and job absorption; b) greater clientelism in SE Asia; c) economic neutralization of Europe; d) countering US containment.

    Nuclear Dimensions
    BMD/TMD — escalating arms race with China and Russia and knock-on effects on India and Pakistan.
    Nuclear Face-offs — South Asia most dangerous.

    What then for proponents and movements for nuclear disarmament?

  • Political ambitions shape military-nuclear preparations so building anti-nuclear movements must be part of wider anti-militarism and anti-imperialist struggles.
  • Furthermore, the key public appeal must more and more become a transnational and universal one even as it must go through national level popular mobilizations that are also sought to be globally coordinated.
  • The question now posed is human survival threatened by:

    Climate change
    3 great evils: Militarism/nuclearism
    Mass poverty/raging inequalities amidst no global resource scarcity

    The building of such mass connected movements is currently being derailed by another kind of anti-democratic, rightwing, authoritarian populist mobilization that is diversionary and divides along lines of ethnicity, religion, race and even gender.

    Proposals for disarmament and restraint
    Here the idea is to suggest proposals which can at least be used to generate public awareness about possible steps towards our ultimate goal of comprehensive disarmament, and for exerting some degree of pressure on policy-makers and shapers, opinion-makers and shapers.

  • Oppose BMD/TMD and development of Autonomous Weapons Systems.
  • Promote extension of TPNW and encourage govt. sanctions by treaty members on NWSs and their corporate suppliers.
  • Push US to ratify CTBT – other NWSs will then follow by signing and/or ratifying.
  • Raise pressures for a MEWMDFZ – Israel the key obstacle.
  • Explore whether some countries active in seeking disarmament can jointly organize an international conference on NFU and opposing PSI at which China and India (advocates of NFU and not supporters of PSI) can participate and speak, i.e., creating some divisions within the nuclear club.
  • Have an international delegation of high profile MPs and public eminences committed to disarmament to visit key Southeast Asian governments and then Bangladesh to explore two possibilities: either stretching the Bangkok Treaty (Southeast Asian NWFZ) to include Bangladesh; or the latter moving towards declaring itself (like Mongolia) as a single-state NWFZ.
  • Popularize the call for a Kashmir NWFZ on both sides of the border.
  • Similar international delegation as above to Pakistan to explore possibility of Islamabad calling for a joint and simultaneous agreement of mutual ‘NFU plus No War Pact’ between itself and India.
  • Three Hopeful Possibilities
    A.) North Korean de-nuclearization and US-NK normalization of diplomatic relations.
    B.) If Corbyn comes to power, we can expect at the least a more leading role played by UK among the NWSs to promote regional and global restraint and disarmament as well giving new momentum to the longstanding unilateral disarmament movement in UK.
    C.) Scottish independence for whatever reasons (e.g., Brexit) in the future will majorly disrupt UK’s status as a NW power.

    Acronyms
    RMA – Revolution in Military Affairs
    BMD/TMD – Ballistic Missile Defence/Theatre Missile Defence systems
    BRI – Belt Road Initiative
    MEWMDFZ – Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone
    TPNW – Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    NWFZ – Nuclear Weapons Free Zone
    NFU – No First Use
    PSI – Proliferation Security Initiative

    Please follow and like us: