So-called War on terror coming to an end and new power struggle begun

The Trump administration is changing its focus from so-called war on terror to countering the rising strategic challenge from China and Russia. This is going to be the first major shift in the U.S military and strategic policy since 2001. The so-called war on terror seems coming to an end and new power struggle between U.S and China-Russia alliance has begun. The struggle to maintain and to gain more influence, domination and hegemony in different regions and countries of the world has already begun. But this power struggle will intensify in the coming period. Asia pacific, South China Sea, South and central Asia will be the most likely battle grounds of this new intensified power struggle between different international and regional powers. It seems that different forces will use proxies in the first phase before confronting each other directly.

The new American strategy focussed on three main points. First, contain the Russian influence in Central Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Kept economic pressure on Russia and further strangle its economic growth through different means including economic sanctions. Russia can challenge the American military might and can also pose serious security challenges to it. Its economic weakness stops it from going beyond its traditional sphere of influence.

  Second, contain Chinese influence in Africa, South East Asia and South Asia. China is a rising economic power house and poses direct challenge to the American economic domination and hegemony. But China still lags far behind in military field. China is still not in a position to pose direct military challenge to the U.S at the moment. But it is spending huge amount on the military to modernise it and to equip it with most modern military hardware. It will become a serious military challenge for America in the coming period. So China poses more serious challenge the U.S in both military and economic sense. That is why the Obama administration made Asia pacific pivotal in its strategic and defence policy. U.S wants an alliance of India, Japan, Australia and Vietnam as its allies in the region to counter Chinese influence.

 Third, build regional alliances to increase and maintain American dominance and hegemony in different regions. U.S is seriously concerned about the rising economic clout of China in Latin America and Africa. The U.S will needs the support of major regional powers likes of Brazil, Mexico, Argentine in Latin America and Nigeria and South Africa in Africa.

One thing is clear that new American strategy will increase political instability, power struggle, internal strife, divisions and interference in internal matters of different countries. U.S will use democracy as a propaganda tool to undermine the authoritarian regimes of China and Russia.

U.S defence Secretary Jim Mattis presented the new strategy and declared China and Russia “revisionist powers” that “seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models.” “We will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists that we are engaged in today, but great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of US national security,” Mattis said in a speech presenting the strategy document, the first of its kind since at least 2014. The Pentagon on Friday released an unclassified, 11-page version of the document, which did not provide details on how the shift towards countering China and Russia would be carried out.

According to the international media reports both Chinese and Russian officials expressed their concerns regarding the new strategy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said at the U.N that “It is regrettable that instead of having a normal dialogue, instead of using the basis of international law, the US is striving to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts. “We’re open for dialogue, we’re prepared to discuss military doctrines,” he added.

 The spokesman of Chinese Embassy in America criticized the strategy, saying that “if some people look at the world through a cold war, zero-sum game mindset, then they are destined to see only conflict and confrontation.”

On the other hand, t he American deputy assistant secretary of defence for strategy and force development, Elbridge Colby, made it clear that Russia was far more brazen than China in its use of military power. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and intervened militarily in Syria to support its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Still, Moscow was limited by its economic resources, Colby said.

China, on the other hand, was described as economically and militarily ascendant. China has embarked on a far-reaching military modernization that Colby said was in “deep contravention to our interests.”

Since 9l11, War on terror was the centre point of American National Defence Strategy persuaded by Pentagon. The direct military interventions, occupation and regime change was the main focus of this policy. The Bush administration launched this strategy to eliminate different Islamic militant organisations and groups. Al-Qaeda was the main focus of this strategy. Even though, Al-Qaeda significantly weakened and its bases in Afghanistan were destroyed. But this strategy gives birth to new organisations like of ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Shabab. There are more Islamic militant groups in different Muslim majority countries now then it was 16 years ago. America put up an international coalition against the terrorism. The militancy, religious extremism, individual terrorism has increased and become more widespread.

U.S occupied Afghanistan and Iraq and then destabilised Libya and Syria through its proxies. The stated purpose of this so-called war on terror was to wipe out terrorism ad militancy to make this world more peaceful and stable. But this war spread more instability, chaos, civil wars and terrorism in many countries. The democratic and human rights were infringed and curtailed.

The new strategy will not bring peace, prosperity, democracy and stability in the world. The world is going back to the old days of cold war. The polarisation among the major world powers will increase in coming days. Small and weak countries will be forced to take sides in this power struggle. We are heading towards new wars, alliances and rivalries.

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