By: Jafe Arnold and Paul Antonopoulos – CSS Project Director; MENA and Latin America Research Fellow.
CSS Research Fellow Paul Antonopoulos speaks at “Threats to Security in the 21st Century: Finding a Global Way Forward” in Lahore, Pakistan
he international conference, “Threats to Security in the 21st Century: Finding A Global Way Forward”, was held on May 5-6 and hosted by the School of Integrated Social Sciences at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. The Center of Syncretic Studies was represented at the conference, the first of its kind in Pakistan, by Research Fellow Paul Antonopoulos.
he war by proxy waged by the United States (US) against Syria cannot be understood in isolation and must be analysed in the greater geostrategic context of US imperialism’s quest for dominating the Middle East, for resource control and dollar security. Since the end of the Cold War, after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, US imperialism has resorted to military force through its ‘humanitarian intervention’ in the destruction of Yugoslavia and Somalia, the military occupation of Haiti, its bombing of the Sudan and Afghanistan, and the bombing attacks on Iraq. The downing of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 saw the US launch its ‘War on Terror’ as a justification for further military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.
From 2002, the doctrine of ‘preventive warfare’ has been argued to justify US attacks on countries seen as supposed threats to US national security. This was emphasised when an ‘Axis of Evil’, comprising Iraq, Iran and North Korea, was announced during a State of Union Address on January 29, 2002 by the then President George W. Bush (Bush 2002). The denunciation of these states by President Bush was further expanded into ‘Beyond the Axis of Evil’ when, on 6 May 2002, the then-Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton added Cuba, Libya and Syria to this supposed ‘Axis of Evil’ (Bolton 2002). In fact this ‘Axis of Evil’ consists of independent states which are not subservient to Washington.
That doctrine effectively meant that the scope of US operations became both regional and global. New US-driven wars began and old conflicts never ended. Most recently, the US invoked a threat to the human rights of Libyan citizens as a justification to destroy Libya, the same pretext used to organise a proxy war against Syria. Such claims have become a consistent theme of US intervention across the Middle East.
This article will explore the repercussions the war against Syria will have on that country and the wider region. These repercussions go beyond the interests of removing an anti-Washington government from power in Syria, of isolating Iran or of consolidating Israel’s security; they incorporate a drive to dominate the resources of Central Asia. But how consistent or successful has been Washington’s strategy on Syria?Continue reading →
By: Paul Antonopoulos – CSS Project Director; MENA and Latin America Research Fellow
Changing Turkish-Russian Relations
Turkey appears unable to grasp Russia’s resolve and long-term planning
ovember 24 2015 will forever mark the turning in Turkish and Russian relations. The Russian Sukhoi Su-24M tactical bomber jet was shot down by two Turkish F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. The Russian bomber was conducting sorties upon the request from Damascus. Despite Putin immediately calling for Turkey’s military attaché in Moscow, Ankara had refused to apologise for the downing of the jet. The attack resulted in a pilot being shot down by Turkmen Islamists who was parachuting to land, and a Russian commando also killed in the rescue operation for the second pilot. Putin in speaking with the Hashemite King Abdullah II of Jordan, described the attack as a ‘stab in the back, carried out against us by accomplices of terrorists.’
By: Andrés Barrera González, – PhD in Political Science and Sociology, Profesor Titular at the University Complutense of Madrid.
Edited by: Joaquin Flores
The Rise and Transformation of American Militarism and Imperialism after World War Two
Part I: Europe After World War Two
hroughout the 19th century world affairs were dominated by Europe’s great colonial and imperial powers: Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, and the Ottomans on the south-eastern fringes of the continent. Rivalry and competition for the world’s resources between the European ‘great powers’ and colonial metropolises reached a peak at the end of the century. And this was the background setting that brought Europe to war and catastrophe during 1914-18. It was the first act in the dramatic demise of Europe’s world hegemony. The second and final act of the fall of Europe as the axis of global power took place during the 1939-45 war, which again had the continent as its main theatre of operations. World War Two caused unprecedented material destruction, and it took an appalling toll in human life. It also led to the first nuclear holocaust, triggered by the arbitrary decision of the government of the United States to test-drop recently built atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 [i].
As a consequence of the war, most of Europe (including the Soviet Union) was left thoroughly devastated and worn out; which set the ground for the uncontested hegemony of the United States, given that its territory and economy remained untouched by the disasters of the war. Thus Western Europe became fully dependent, and increasingly subordinated to the United States in all fundamental dimensions: economic, political, and military. A turn of events that was reinforced with the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949; namely to counter the perceived-stated threat coming from a former war ally, the Soviet Union, unwilling to yield to the emerging world power configuration headed by the United States. The USA, its Western European ‘allies’ stalking along, thus raised the stakes in its confrontation with the Soviet Union, declaring the inauguration of the Cold War.
Analysis of US and Israel Foreign Policy in IR Theory Perspective
The ”Yinon” Plan for Greater Israel
he general public is thought to be often exposed to various printed opinion pieces and editorials weighing the pros and cons of the present international system, and the role of the US within it.
Many editors and publishers believe that this general public needs to be exposed to the conclusions of either various experts or popular agitators and polemicists, but that the audience either would not understand or appreciate an article based in the fundamentals and the framework, on the theoretical or academic level, which frames these debates.
A different view, the one taken by the author, is that the general public in fact does not read on this subject at all. The core readership for writings on this subject are a different category of citizen-activists, whose interest goes beyond passing, and whose capacity to understand and appreciate the subject stands heads and shoulders above the general public.
The aim of this article is first to explain why the US’s Middle-east policy is a chauvinist/exceptionalist variation of irrational idealism in the language of International Relations, and how this policy can best be understood as originating from Israel, is it fits the needs of this state quite well and to the exclusion of others including the US itself..In order to explain to the readership why this is so, we will necessarily explain the relevance of IR theory to the subject at hand. Continue reading →