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“We need to move to an axis of strategy” warns former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana

Javier Solana speakerWriting for Project Syndicate, Javier Solana, the former EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of NATO, and Foreign Minister of Spain, has argued that in trying to create a multipolar world global leaders have focused on “shortsighted tactical concerns”, which in turn has created an increasingly unstable, unpredictable and tense international order. To counter this “obsession with tactics”, Javier argues that they need to move to an axis of strategy in an effort to achieve the “world we want”.

Javier believes that this obsession with tactics has affected governance at all levels, from local administrations to supranational institutions, allowing major actors to operate within uncoordinated realities, without any shared goals guiding their decision-making. In other words, “the West has allowed short-term tactical concerns to impede the development of a long-term strategic vision.”

He points out that whilst there are noteworthy exceptions in managing the transition toward multipolarity, there are many cases where strategic thinking has fallen short. This is especially apparent when noting the Western leader’s reluctance to integrate China into the international system.

Click here to read the consequences of such failures, and Javier’s response to this issue.

For more information, or to book Javier Solana as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@chartwellspeakers.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

John Hulsman: “the West can still best a crumbling Russia”

John HulsmanFollowing his hugely popular pieces on Russia’s takeover of the Crimea, John Hulsman, prolific foreign affairs commentator, continues to offer his sought after analysis of the situation.

In this morning’s City A.M. article, John argues that although Putin has won the Crimea, he should lose the long game. Over just a few days the Russian President has “weakened Western standing, crippled the new Ukrainian government…and secured primary Russian interests.” In comparison, President Obama’s less measured response shows a discrepancy between his real world options and his “maximalist Wilsonian rhetoric.”

In other words, the threat to place economic sanctions on Russia would be a dramatically terrible idea. John explains that this is because we now live in a world of interdependence advocated by leftish foreign policy, which in this case is a great handicap when considering that Russia supplies one third of Europe’s gas supply.

However, despite this state of affairs John demonstrates that like Putin, the West too has the ability to demarcate spheres of influence:

  1. First, make specific threats – that the US is prepared to fight a war for all the exposed members of the alliance.
  2. Second, Nato should forward deploy troops to the Baltic states and Poland, as a physical gesture of the West’s continued solidarity.
  3. Third, a new missile defence system should be deployed in Poland. This physical reinforcement, coupled with rhetorical clarity, would go a long way towards calming our allies’ fears.
  4. Lastly, the West must be prepared to play a long game, all the while calmly seeing that we hold most of the geopolitical cards.

The last point pertains to the fact that Russia is solely dependant on oil and gas to survive. With the US now embarking on its shale gas revolution, the opportunity is rife to imperil Russia’s great power pretensions.

Click here to read the full story.

Gideon Rachman analyses Russia’s latest power play

Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator, gave a lucid analysis of Russia’s latest power play, arguing that talk of a new cold war is misleading.

Gideon explains that because the modern world isn’t divided into clear-cut political and economic systems, a “new east-west struggle is certainly under way today but it is being fought on entirely different terrain from the cold war – and under different rules.”

This became clear when shares in the Russian market collapsed by 10% over the weekend, in response to the news that Russian troops had taken effective control of Crimea. Gideon points out that the financial, business and social systems of Russia and the West are deeply intertwined, and that the context for when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in 1986 doesn’t apply here. Indeed, “[for] the past decade, Mr Putin and his entourage have often used the rhetoric of the cold war while enjoying the fruits of globalisation.”

Gideon argues that Putin needs to make a choice. Click here to see his options.

To find out more about Gideon Rachman, or to book him as a speaker or moderator for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@chartwellspeakers.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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