Kabul, game over

The fall of Kabul to the Taliban marks the end of the global geopolitical transition. The international system has undergone significant changes since the end of World War II. Hiroshima and Nagasaki together with the defeat of Nazism in Europe at the hands of the Red Army were the events that gave rise to the so-called “bipolar order”. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in late 1991 marked the end of that era and excited the fantasies of American strategists and academics who were delighted with the advent of what would be “the new American century”.

Zbigniew Brzezinski has unsuccessfully warned of the fragility of the unipolar order and the risks of such a dangerous mirage. His fears were confirmed on September 11, 2001, when, along with the fall of the Twin Towers, the unipolar illusion also disappeared. The multiplication of new constellations of global power, state and non-state, that emerged with force from that event – or, better, that became visible from that date – were the birth certificate for a new stage: multipolarism. The Latin American “progressive cycle” had as a backdrop this new reality in which the North American hegemony found it increasingly difficult to impose its interests and priorities. A China increasingly gravitating to the world economy and Russia’s return to the forefront of world politics after the eclipse of the Boris Yeltsin years were the main features of the emerging new order.

For many analysts, polycentrism is here to stay, hence the idea of ​​a long “global geopolitical transition”. Furthermore, some compared this new international constellation with the “Concert of Nations” agreed upon at the Congress of Vienna (1815) after the defeat of the Napoleonic armies and which would last for more than a century. Only in the case that concerns us, was there an ordering power, the United States, which with its huge military budget and the global reach of its norms and institutions could compensate for its diminished primacy in other areas – the economy and some branches of the current technological paradigm – with a certain capacity for arbitration by containing the differences between its allies and keeping the challenging powers at bay in the hot spots of the international system. The setback suffered by the military adventure launched by Barack Obama in Syria, which returned Russia to its lost military leadership, and the catastrophic defeat in Afghanistan after twenty years of war and the waste of two billion dollars (that is, two million dollars) . millions of dollars) plus the unspeakable human suffering produced by the imperial obsession definitively closes this phase. The Taliban’s entry into Kabul marks the emergence of a new international order marked by the presence of a dominant triad composed of the United States, China and Russia, replacing the one that had barely survived the war years. Cold and made up of Washington, European countries and Japan.

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Hence the illusion of Joe Biden’s intention to bring the main nations of the world to a negotiating table and, from above, define the new rules and guidelines that would prevail in the international system because, according to what he said, he could not leave the Chinese and Russians take on such a delicate task. But his words have become a dead letter because that long table no longer exists. Its place was occupied by another, triangular, which has no head, and where China is next to the United States, the main economy in the world according to the OECD and a formidable power in Artificial Intelligence and new technologies; and Russia, an energy emporium, the second nuclear arsenal on the planet and a traditional protagonist of international politics since the beginning of the 18th century, both setting limits to the once irresistible primacy of the United States.

Biden will have to negotiate for the first time in history with two powers that Washington defines as enemies and that have also forged a powerful alliance. Trump’s publicity tricks are useless: “Let’s make America big again” or Biden’s more recent ones: “America is back.” At the new table weigh the real factors that define the power of nations: economy, natural resources, population, territory, technology, quality of leadership, armed forces and all the paraphernalia of “soft power”. In recent times, the cards at the disposal of the United States to maintain its lost imperial omnipotence were the last two. But if its troops could not prevail in one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world, Hollywood and the entire oligarchy of the world’s media will not be able to work miracles. This nascent phase of the international system will not be without risks and threats of all kinds, but it opens up new opportunities for the peoples and nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America. So this is very good news.


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