The colonial and imperialist powers have imposed bipolar world order after the Second World War by establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The idea was to destroy every alternative like USSR experiments and establish capitalism as the only political and economic ideology. The hegemonic world politics emanating from it during 1945 to 1953 had created conditions for the growth of the Cold War from 1953 to 1962. The temporary peace during détente has ended with the renewed tension between Washington and Moscow. From the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 to the Euromissile crisis of late 1970s, the world has witnessed the imperialist manoeuvres to dominate political power and control economic resources of the newly independent countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The newly independent postcolonial countries were denied in their attempts to be free from these twin power blocks by following independent foreign policy under the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The neo-colonial economic policies and imperialist military adventures by the European and American powers have destroyed the abilities of the NAM countries to pursue independent foreign and economic policies. The defeat of American imperialism in Vietnam was a temporary jolt to its imperialist missions. The American imperialism restarted its military engine under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan by establishing international arms race under the programme called ‘Strategic Defence Initiative’ (SDI) led by the NATO on 23 March 1983. The cold war ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 but the imperialist war machine did not stop. It was further strengthened by forming new imperialist alliances after the fall of Soviet Russia in 1991.
The US emerged as the dominant imperialist power after the fall of Soviet Russia. The US and European imperialism led by the NATO has produced deaths and destitutions in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Latin America. The NATO continues to play a significant role in consolidating American imperialist hegemony till the rise of China as a formidable power, which can challenge the dominance of American imperialism today. The powers in Washington are recklessly on overdrive to reverse the conditions for a multipolar and democratic world order. The salvo of US imperialism is threatening world peace by reviving its anti-Asian imperialist projects by setting up regional and global formations against China. In this new age of imperialism, there is no competition among imperial powers for dominance. The collaborations have replaced competition among erstwhile imperialist and colonial powers. The NATO was the first major form of imperialist collaboration, which continue to exist and expands its military adventures to change political regimes in the name of democracy. In reality, the NATO prefers right wing and authoritarian client states and dictatorial governments. From Asia to Latin America, Middle East, the NATO has played a major role in the withering away of democracy. The groupings and regroupings of nation states by forming economic, political, religious and cultural blocks are shaping new forms of imperialist polyverse within fragile world order.
The imperialist and colonial collective called the NATO as an organisation should have been abandoned after the fall of Soviet Union. But NATO has started consolidating and expanding its based in different forms in the name of expanding free market democracy. From the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) to the creation of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the NATO has played a key role. The military campaign was not enough to defeat alternative forces fighting against the NATO. The anti-Communist Visegrad Group was also established by the NATO to implement its imperialist military ideology. The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) was a product of this ideological narrative of the NATO within the framework of free market democracy to consolidate European and American capitalism. The social, economic and political perils of Europe today are products of its own making. The imperialist military-industrial and corporate alliances are destroying liberal democracies in Europe and diminishing its economic strengths by marginalising Europeans. The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States is a further consolidation of transatlantic capitalism, which will accelerate further marginalisation of working people in Europe.
The NATO and its ideological frameworks of capitalism, colonialism, imperialism and wars ideologies are deterritorial by nature. Its global ambitions cannot be confined within a territory. It intends to dominate the world both in political, economic and cultural terms by expanding capitalism alias free market democracy with the brute force of military. It forms alliances with reactionary religious, cultural and political forces to dismantle and replace democracies with dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. The NATO’s wars for democracy are regime change by military means in reality. The wars and conflicts in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia are part of the NATO’s design to establish friendly regimes concomitant with interests of American and European imperialism upholding the interests of the capitalist classes.
The NATO has established an informal strategic forum called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) between the United States, Japan, Australia and India. The mission and vision of such a strategic forum was shaped by the NATO think tank called the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The CSIS Alliances and American Leadership Program is pushing the Quad towards a formal military alliance like the NATO in Asia Pacific region. So, the Quad can be called ‘Asian NATO’. The CSIS calls such an alliance as diamond. Shinzo Abe has called it as an “Arc of Freedom and Prosperity”. It sounds exactly like the Charter of Paris for a New Europe based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, which proclaimed to ‘build, consolidate and strengthen democracy as the only system of government’. In reality, it accelerated the establishment of unfettered capitalism in Europe. In reality, the Quad (Asian NATO) is against Asia and interests of the Asian people in letter and spirit. The central idea is to contain and destroy Chinese model of economic development by fuelling regional wars and conflicts between India and China. It against the peace and prosperity in Asia. It is against regional and world peace. It was informally created during the natural calamity like Tsunami and attempts are being made to formalise it during global health crisis. How does military exercises help in disaster relief and rehabilitation of people? The human tragedies are inseparable part of imperialist designs. The outcomes are not going to be different. If the dreams of the Quad become a reality, it would be a disaster; threatening peace in Asia and destroy prosperity in the world.
The Group of Seven (G7) countries; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are expanding their political, economic and regional base by formally adding South Korea, India, and Australia into the group. It is rebranded as new D-10; a group of ten leading democracies in the world. It is promoted by Washington and Westminster to isolate China and its role in world politics and economy. There are no political, economic and ideological coherence between these countries. The anti-Chinese, anti-socialist alternative and unfettered capitalism are three defining binding forces for such an alliance. It does not care about issues of people and their living conditions in these ten countries. The D-10 is an extension of American and European capitalism and its dominance. The countries like Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Poland are going to be occasional participants. Boris Johnson calls it as golden opportunity for ‘Global Britain’.
From NATO, Quad to D-10; the troika of imperialism in all its reincarnations follow its old maxim outlined by Hastings Ismay in 1949. The maxim was to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,”. In 2020, the maxim is to check the rise of peace and prosperity in Asia by fuelling conflict between China and India. The conflicts and wars in Asia will accelerate economic growth in America and Europe with the help of defence trade. The military industrial complex will be net beneficiaries at the cost of people, their lives and livelihoods. It will ruin both in their path towards economic and social progress. Historically, old and new imperialisms in all their reincarnations are against peace and human values of freedom and democracy. It is within this context; the world needs an anti-imperialist front to struggle against all forms of imperialism at home and abroad. India and China need to understand and realise these imperialist designs for the fall of Asia again. Therefore, Japan, India and China need to work together for peace by developing mutual trust among themselves and among their immediate neighbours to defeat these new imperialist designs. The regional peace and prosperity in Asia depend on Japan, India and China; whereas world peace depends on its international commitment to fight imperialism in all its forms.
*Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Senior Lecturer in Business Strategy, Coventry University, UK