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A Brief Look At Countries With Influence In A Multipolar World

The Trump administration’s decision in October 2019 to withdraw a small group of troops from the Kurdish-controlled region from the Syrian-Turkish border raised a rare condemnation of active and retired US soldiers, who were alarmed by the United States giving up one of its most reliable allies in the Middle East. There is no more complicated place than geopolitics in the Levant, and reasonable observers cannot disagree over whether a sudden withdrawal of the administration is truly a “betrayal” of stateless Kurds. But Trump’s message was a difficult mistake: Going forward, reciprocity is not guaranteed for groups allied to the United States that provide military or intelligence assistance to U.S. forces stationed abroad.

Within days of the withdrawal, Turkish forces invaded the lands, expelled Kurdish forces and civilians, and left an uncertain number of casualties in their wake. The United States is retreating – Suddenly the American withdrawal from northern Syria has led to a round of accusation of America’s growing tendency to isolationism. Indeed, the decades-old fear of the Trump administration’s alleged fear has been laid in the ashes of coalition-ruled Iraq. Since the dark days of this insurgency, as China and other developing countries have flexed their economic and strategic muscles, US policymakers have predicted the end of American moral and military superiority.

This goal is close, if not already on us. As the United States recedes to what may be a more comfortable role – one among several global military powers – it’s time to assess the players the world stage is to share in the coming decades. Four, in particular, deserve our attention. Saudi Arabia’s massive oil wealth allows it to hit its demographic weight.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund has long been a “silent partner” in development projects around the world, but the new influence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is the friendliest turn of the PR.

Efforts by Saudi Arabia to expand its soft power include a major component of India, according to Middle East political geologist Amir Handjani. Russia, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, a former Soviet intelligence agent, has perfected the art of asymmetric information war. That is, it seeks a low-risk, high-reward for its efforts to delay the 2016 US presidential election. Russia has run the same rules of the game, with varying degrees of success, in Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states. The largest land force in the world is an increasingly confident soft power player, as it emerged as a major actor of African development projects decades after the Soviet Union abandoned the continent. China’s Belt and Road Initiative may be regarded as the model post-America soft power project. The central kingdom has poured billions of dollars into infrastructure projects across the developing world, especially in the interior of Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Experts disagree about the “Belt and Road” return on investment, but many do not doubt China’s commitment to replace the United States as a major government financier for global development. India, at present, has soft power ambitions that are affected by its own internal development imperatives. However, its efforts to become the back office of the first sanctuary of the developed world have paid off, raising the living standards of its prosperous population and proving that democracy was still working – even though it could be chaotic. Influence The nation-state is bound to influence in many forms.

While the United States remains the world’s leading military power and is likely to remain so – traditionally at least – for years to come, it can be said that China is doing more to strengthen its soft power and win the so-called battle for hearts and minds in the developing world. Meanwhile, Russia is polishing its asymmetric influence because Saudi Arabia has the strength of its bag and India is betting that demographics are destiny. The next century will provide an impressive, albeit messy, and perilous, a test of every theory of influence. For the sake of humanity, let’s hope cooler heads prevail.

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