Washington’s Hegemonic Ambitions Defy Multipolar Reality, Risking Catastrophic Conflict
The rapidly shifting international distribution of power creates problems that can only be resolved with real diplomacy. The great powers must recognize competing national interests, followed by efforts to reach compromises and find common solutions.
Over the past week the Biden administration has intensively reached out to Europe to revitalize the transatlantic alliance. In the following on-topic interview, Professor Glenn Diesen explains how the United States is opposed to the emerging reality of a multipolar world because of its winner-takes-all ideology. In doing so, Washington is predisposed to antagonize and militarize relations, primarily with Russia and China. The confrontational policy is aimed at driving a wedge between Europe on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other. The problem for Washington is that such a confrontational policy is unfeasible in a multipolar world. European allies are pressured to align with the U.S., but geoeconomic realities inevitably mean there is a practical limit to the American strategy. Using rhetoric about “values” and “human rights” is just a ploy to gain a false moral authority over rivals. The West’s unilateral use of sanctions is the corollary. But such a strategy is only further forging multipolar reality which is leading to weakness and self-isolation for the United States – and the European Union if the latter chooses to go down that futile route. Professor Diesen contends that without compromise and mutual respect among world powers, the ultimate risk could be catastrophic war. And he says the onus is on the United States and Europe to recognize competing national interests beyond their own, followed by efforts to reach compromises and find common solutions.
Glenn Diesen is a professor at University of South-Eastern Norway. He is also editor of ‘Russia in Global Affairs’ and is a contributing expert at the Valdai Discussion Club. His research focus is the geoeconomics of Greater Eurasia and the crisis of liberalism. He specializes in Russia’s approach to European and Eurasian integration, as well as West-China dynamics. He is the author of several books: ‘The Decay of Western Civilisation and Resurgence of Russia: Between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft’ (2018); ‘Russia’s Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia’ (2017); and ‘EU and NATO relations with Russia: After the collapse of the Soviet Union’ (2015).
Question: The Biden administration is making strenuous efforts at rallying Europe and NATO to take a more adversarial position toward Russia and China: what are Washington’s geopolitical objectives?
Glenn Diesen: Biden’s “America is back” and Trump’s “Make America Great Again” both aim to reverse the relative decline of the United States in the international system. While Trump believed that providing collective goods to its allies as the cost of a hegemon was making the U.S. lose its competitiveness, Biden believes the U.S. must rally its allies against rising adversaries. The geopolitical objectives remain constant: preserving a dominant position for the U.S. in the international system.
The main challenge to U.S. leadership position is geoeconomic as its rivals are developing alternative technologies, strategic industries, transportation corridors and financial instruments. However, the U.S. has not been successful in converting the security dependence of allies into geoeconomic loyalty. This is evident as the European Union uses Chinese technologies and capital, and Germany is working with Russia to construct the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. There are strong incentives for the U.S. to militarize a geoeconomic rivalry as it strengthens solidarity and loyalty among allies. NATO is therefore a good instrument even though Russian tanks are not heading towards Warsaw and Chinese troops are not about to invade Paris.
Question: Will Washington succeed in pushing what appe
Article from LewRockwell