New world order?
An article in The Times Online today highlights the reasons why admitting Ukraine and other former Soviet Bloc states into NATO will be an important element in the war on terror and efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation.
When the Soviet Union first broke up, Ukraine voluntarily gave up all the nuclear weapons and missiles that were on its territory, the leftover legacy of Kremlin rule. There seemed to be great pressure and haste by the United States then to make sure that these weapons were returned to Russia as it seemed to the United States that Russia was the more stable partner. In the long run I think they miscalculated, from their ignorance of history and the importance of Ukraine as a buffer between the west and the east. Ukraine has no territorial ambitions and wishes only to live in peace and be free to determine its own destiny. But the old cold war warriors in our State Department believed that only Russia could be relied upon as they had been comfortable dealing with the Soviets for years.
Russia persists in its Soviet-era paranoid world outlook of seeing itself as permanently in opposition to the West and to the United States and seeing every move as a threat against its territorial integrity and political stablitity. There is no reason that Russia itself could not join Europe and become a fully functioning free market economy with a true democratic form of government given the proper tools and the will.
But Russia is not content to be one among many democracies working towards a peaceful and more stable world -- they still see their destiny as that of a great world power, and long for the days of empire or the colonial expansionist Soviet days, when the entire world trembled when someone in the Kremlin sneezed. Unfortunately this is now leading them into adventurism and dubious alliances with countries such as Iran, Syria and China. Before long they will be engaging in covert support of terrorist activities meant to undermine the United States and the western democratic powers.
More and more it appears to me that the forces of freedom and democracy are gathering on one side -- and the undemocratic and autocratic and terrorist oriented regimes are amassing on the other side. A new cold/hot war -- with slightly different groups cooperating with each other in persuance of widely divergent goals.
The world is realligning itself in a major way in the 21st Century -- and we still don't know exactly how it's all going to look in a few years. But I hope there are plenty of people out there reading the new tea leaves and watching this new arrangement of elements in the world -- because if not -- we may find ourselves facing some totally unexpected outcomes in the next few years or decades.
My gut tells me that it is not inconceivable that in the not too distant future we may see an unholy alliance of China, Iran, Syria, Russia and a host of other terrorist and repressive third world regimes (think Venezuela) joining forces with international terrorism to pose a monumental threat and risk to the western powers. Europe may not wake up in time, drowsing as it is in its socialist and anti-American zeitgeist. Again, as in the past, it will most likely be the English-speaking peoples that have to join forces and hope they can defeat and withstand what for all intents and purposes may become a new and terrifying bipolar world.
From the article:
COLD WAR tensions threatened to flare anew yesterday after Ukraine, once the heart of the Soviet industrial-military complex, declared its intention to join Nato and won the blessing of the United States.
Ukraine's admission would bring Russia's Black Sea naval base and much of the former Soviet armaments industry into the embrace of the American-led military alliance, and expand Nato to Russia's southwestern border.
Mr Bush questioned Russia's commitment to democracy in a major speech in Brussels on Monday, and Washington is concerned about Moscow's plans to sell nuclear fuel to Iran and missiles to Syria. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the Secretary-General of Nato, said he would support Ukraine's membership and announced a fund to decommission 1.5 million small arms and 133,000 tonnes of munitions in Ukraine as part of reforms of its military.
Ukraine is likely to win the strong backing of
other former Soviet bloc countries that have escaped Moscow's orbit.
Antanas Valionis, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, insisted that concern over Russia's reaction should not inhibit any plan by Nato to welcome former Soviet states. "We have to co-operate with Russia, but at the same time there are sovereign states which are choosing their road, their way to democracy . . . and our obligation is to support them," he said.
If Ukraine does join Nato, it will enable the alliance to control its weapons exports and to prevent them falling into the hands of hostile states or terrorist groups. Those risks were highlighted yesterday when Ukraine's Unian news agency reported that two anti-aircraft missiles had gone missing from a military depot in Crimea.
Last month a key Ukrainian lawmaker revealed the secret indictments or arrests of at least six arms dealers accused of selling nuclear-capable cruise missiles to Iran and China.