| Postuar mė 29-1-2003 nė 11:55||
nga Dr. Aurel Plasari
1.Ç'është gjeopolitika. 2.Gjeopolitika britanike. 3.Gjeopolitika gjermane. 4.Një gjeopolitikë amerikane.
5.Gjeopolitika pro dhe kundër.
I.1.Ç'është gjeopolitika. Mbi përkufizimin e gjeopolitikës ka mendime të ndryshme. Në qerthullin e dijeve
bashkëkohore ajo mund të vështrohet si një nëndegë e gjeografisë politike, si një prej disiplinave të
politologjisë ose edhe si një dije në kufijtë e gjeografisë, historisë, shkencës politike etj. që mbulon
marrëdhëniet e fakteve gjeografike me politikën. Gjeopolitika paraqitet si një kombinim teorish prej shkollash të ndryshme:
kryesisht britanike, gjermane, amerikane dhe, tani së fundi, edhe italiane. Ka ekzistuar edhe një variant japonez i gjeopolitikës:
doktrina e "sferës së prosperitetit reciprok".
Gjeografi J. Cousini pa dyshim e tepronte kur përsëriste formulën e vet të stërnjohur: "më jep hartën e
një vendi, më trego pozicionin e tij mbi glob, relievin, lumenjtë, klimën dhe prodhimet, që të të them si do
t'i vejë filli historik". Megjithëkëtë, pranohet se, sidomos për disa rajone të globit, faktori gjeografik e
tejkalon çdo peshën e çdo faktori tjetër dhe madje mund të shndërrohet në faktor determinues të proceseve
të tyre historike dhe të specifikave të tyre politike. Një rajon mirëfilli i tillë ka qenë dhe vijon të
jetë Mesdheu dhe, brenda tij, tre gadishujt në të cilët faktori gjeografik luan rol me peshë. Nga njëra anë,
ndër këta gadishuj është gadishulli i Ballkani ai në të cilin determinizmi i pozicionit gjeografik, i morfologjisë
së brendshme, i mjedisit natyror ka marrë pamjen gatifati të një fati gjeografik. Nga ana tjetër, pikërisht në
viset e banuara prej shqiptarëve (të cilat këtu e më mbrapa do t'i quaj "viset shqiptare") faktori gjeografik
është shndërruar dendur në determinues të proceseve historike dhe të specifikave të tyre politike.
Në rajonin në të cilin banojnë shqiptarët, d.m.th. në Ballkan dhe më gjerë në Mesdhe, dimensioni
gjeopolitik shfaqet mjaft më i lashtë nga ai i kohës moderne. Ky dimension është i dukshëm në veprat e Herodotit,
të Tukididit dhe të Aristotelit. Në librin e tij Istoriai, që më shumë se Histori (sh.) do të përkthehej
Shqyrtime, Herodoti bën argumentime me mjaft interes gjeografik, a thua se paraprin teorinë moderne të "clash of
civilisations" të Huntigntonit. Për Herodotin "tiparet" e egjiptianëve, persëve, skythëve dhe grekëve
qenë trajtuar nën ndikimin e fuqishëm të vendosjes së tyre gjeografike, të klimës etj.
Historianët e gjeopolitikës ndahen në mendimet nëse gjeopolitika si disiplinë u shfaq në Britaninë e Eduardit VII
apo në Gjermaninë e paraluftës. Do të ishte më e saktë të thuhej se ajo u shfaq në të dyja këto
vende thuajse njëkohësisht dhe, mbas shtjellimeve në dukje të përbashkëta, u nda për t'u zhvilluar në dy
kahe: në atë të një teorie organike të shtetit, shtënë në punë nga gjermanët, dhe në atë
të një gjeostrategjie, vënë në lëvizje nga gjeopolitikanët e Britanisë së Madhe dhe, së andejmi,
të trashëguar në ShBA. Sa i përket termit Geopolitik duket se e atë e shtiu në përdorim profesori suedez Rudolf
Kjéllen (18641922) në librin Hyrje në gjeografinë suedeze (1900) ndërtuar mbi leksionet e mbajtura prej tij në
Universitetin e Got'henburgut. Libri Shteti si formë e gjallë (1916) mbahet vepra e më e rëndësishme e Kjéllenit
sa i përket gjeopolitikës.
Gjeopolitika që quhet "klasike", e lindur në fillimet të shek. XX, shtinte në punë tezat e determinizmit gjeografik
dhe të antropogjeografisë; në shprehjet e saj të skajshme ajo huante edhe teza prej malthusianizmit, darwinizmit social dhe
racizmit. Në këtë periudhë të parë gjeopolitika pati edhe prirjen të shndërrohej në një
"doktrinë biologjike të shtetit", sikurse më vonë në një teori të "çarjes gjeografike të
botës" etj. Si e këtillë, ajo mund të thuhet se u dënua prej marrëveshjeve të Potsdamit.
Mbas Luftës II botërore, gjeopolitika erdhi duke u riaftësuar si një dije tanimë "moderne", që merret me
hulumtimin e domethënies së faktorëve të ndryshëm gjeografikë në zhvillimin e shtetevekombe dhe të
marrëdhënieve të tyre ndërkombëtare. Elemente të saj "huen" ndonjëherë edhe prej doktrinës
së realizmit politik, si dhe prej neofashizmit. Gjithsesi, në zhvillimet e saj bashkëkohore, drejtimet më të
rëndësishme në të cilat funksionon gjeopolitika janë në vija të trasha: 1) Ato të mbështetura kryesisht
mbi konfigurimin gjeografik, posaçërisht grupimi dhe dallimi në "toka" (lands) dhe "dete" (seas); 2) Ato të
mbështetura kryesisht mbi ndryshimet e klimës; 3) Ato të mbështetura kryesisht mbi ndryshimet në akcesin kombëtar
në burimet ekonomike, posaçërisht lëndë djegëse minerare dhe burime të tjera energjie.
Sot gjeopolitika quhet një instrument i domosdoshëm në duart e politikanëve, strategëve ushtarakë dhe diplomatëve.
Si një koncept i përafërt me të mbahet edhe gjeostrategjia. Ajo mund të përkufizohet si zbatim i gjeopolitikës
në planifikimin ushtarak të nivelit të lartë dhe si një përdorim sa më i mirë i mbrojtjes kombëtare e i
I.2. Gjeopolitika britanike. Gjeografi anglez Halford Mackinder (18611947) mbështeste tezën se ballafaqimi i fuqisë detare me
fuqinë tokësore jepte çelësin për të kuptuar historinë e botës dhe marrëdhëniet
ndërkombëtare. Kjo tezë e puqte atë me paraardhësin e tij në gjeopolitikë, oficerin e marinës amerikane Alfred
T. Mahani (18091914), i cili e interpretonte historinë nisur nga "fuqia e detit". Por Mackinderi ndahej prej Mahanit në
përfundimin se edhe në të ardhmen fuqia detare do të qenkësh ajo që do të kushtëzojë sipëraninë
politike të një shteti. Në kohën kur Mackinderi shkruante, përparimi i teknologjisë, posaçërisht sistemi i
hekurudhave, u mundësonte fuqive tokësore të ishin thuajse po aq të lëvizshme sa fuqitë detare. Këtë
konnstatim Mackinderi e kishte shfaqur qysh në një vepër të tijën të hershme: Britania dhe detet britanike (1902). Ai
theksonte tanimë rëndësinë që po merrte transporti tokësor si çelës për kontrollin e pushtetit.
Më 1904, në Shoqatën Mbretërore Gjografike Mackinderi paraqiste ligjëratën që u bë e famshme: Strumbullari
gjeografik i historisë. Idetë e saj i botoi të shtjelluara në veprën e tij madhore Idealet demokratike dhe realiteti (1904).
Duke u nisur nga rënia relative e fuqisë detare dhe rëndësia gjithnjë më e madhe e fuqisë tokësore, ai e
vështronte një rajon të caktuar të Eurazisë si një strumbullar (pivot) të historisë, dhe e emërtonte
atë "Zemër e dheut" (Hartland), ndërkohë që Eurazinë së toku me Afrikën i quante "Ishull i
Botës" (WordIsland). Hartlandi, në të vërtetë, nuk ishte veçse rajoni i zotëruar prej Rusisë, i cili
simbas Mackinderit do të bëhej edhe qendra e fuqisë botërore për shkak të padepërtueshmërisë së tij,
ndërsa fuqia që atë do ta zotëronte do të ishte, po të përdorim terminologjinë e sotme, një superfuqi.
Për Mackinderin tani e mbrapa politikat do të karakterizoheshin më shumë nga konkurenca mbi territoret e vjetra se sa nga pushtime
territoresh të reja.
Shkallëzimin e luftës strategjike për një zotërim të tillë Mackinderi, në një trajtë paradigmatike,
e jepte kështu: "Një gjeneral romak ngadhënjimtar, kur hynte në qytet mes zulmës e bujës së kryeve të
kthyera drejt "Triumfit" të tij, kishte mbas vetes në koçi një skllav i cili i pëshpëriste në vesh: ti
je i vdekshëm, ti je i vdekshëm. Kur burrat tanë të shtetit janë në bisedime me armikun e mundur, një engjëll
i padukshëm duhet t'u pëshpërisë heraherës në vesh: kush qeveris Europën Lindore komandon Zemrën e
tokës, kush qeveris Zemrën e tokës komandon Ishullin e botës, kush qeveris Ishullin e botës komandon Botën"
(Democratic, 150). Me retorikë mjeshtërore dhe harta të cilësisë së lartë, Mackinderi ilustronte në thelb
një teori të agresionit gjeopolitik, duke shpallur "domosdonë" e luftës së vijueshme botërore të fuqive
detare kundër fuqive tokësore "ko mbëtare".
Mbas botimit të veprës së tij Idealet, Mackinderi u thirr në Foreign Office dhe u dërgua me shërbim në Rusi si
Komisioner i Lartë britanik. Me kthimin nga ky shërbim, Mackinderi mbërrinte në përfundimin se një luftë e ardhshme
për të shtënë në dorë Hartlandin do të zhvillohej më së shumti mes Gjermanisë dhe Rusisë.
Për t'i shmangur këto dy shtete nga ndeshja, ai rekomandonte krijimin midis tyre të një "zone
jastëçkë" (kushinetë), e cila të përbëhej prej disa shtetesh të vogla, p.sh. prej shtetesh të
tilla si Bjellorusia, Ukraina, Jugorusia (South Russia), Gjeorgjia, Armenia etj., për t'i ikur rrezikut të mundshëm që Rusia
të bëhej pushtet i Hartlandit. Në parashikimet e Mackinderit tërheq vëmendjen rekomandimi për t'i kushtuar kujdes
Europës Lindore, posaçërisht Ballkanit, i cili përbënte për të një "areal krize" (crisis area).
Ndikimi i ideve gjeopolitike të Mackinderit u duk jo vetëm mbi diplomacinë britanike, por edhe në mjaft nga vendimet që
Fuqitë e Mëdha morën mbas Luftës, për shembull në dy traktatet e paqës: atë të Shën Gjermenit
të 10 tetorit 1919 dhe atë të Trianonit të 4 qershorit 1920. Këto traktate sanksiononin shkëputjen e sllavëve
të jugut (sllovenë, kroatë, serbë e boshnjakë) nga AustroHungaria. Hungaria, një mbretëri mijëvjeçare
dhe Austria habsburgjike, trashëgimtare e "perandorisë së shenjtë romake të kombit gjerman" dhe e perandorisë
së Karlit V, për një kohë veç, dhe mandej së toku, kishin zotëruar "zemrën" e Europës. Tani,
brenda njëzet e katër orësh, ato thjeshtoheshin në shtetthe të dorës së tretë. Më njërën
anë, sajimi i këtyre shtettheve i vuri ledh fuqisë gjermane që kishte qenë deri atëherë arbitre e politikës
turkoosmane, ngase së toku me rënien e Austrisë u shemb edhe ëndrra e hegjemonisë gjermane nga Berlini në Bagdad.
Më anën tjetër, një ledh iu vu edhe prirjes hegjemoniste ruse: mbas dy shekuj luftërash, në vend që të
mbërrinte Kostandinopojën për të cilën aq shumë kishte ëndërruar dhe luftuar, Rusisë iu vu sinori
europian te lumi Dniestër. Për më shumë, u krijua edhe një "kordon sanitar" nga Balltiku në Detin e Zi
për të ndaluar "molepsjen" bolshevike. Në këtë periudhë pati analistë që, prej këtyre vendimeve
të diplomacisë së Fuqive të Mëdha, dolën në përfundimin se "ashtu si e ardhmja kishte qenë e
latinëve, e tanishmja ishte e anglosaksonëve", dhe që shtonin se "e ardhmja ka për të qenë e
sllavëve" (Randi, 125).
Nga traktatet mbas Luftës I botërore, as Britania e Madhe nuk mundi të kapte Kostandinopojën, e cila i interesonte jo për
punë historie të lavdishme apo nostalgjie religjioze, por thjesht për rëndësinë gjeostrategjike të ngushticave.
Më anë tjetër, ajo ia doli të hidhte shtylla të reja në urën e saj drejt Indisë, me zotërimin e
Palestinës dhe të Mesopotamisë. Në Ballkan diplomacia britanike parapëlqeu të mos binte shumë në sy, madje
edhe të mbetej e padukshme. Por, në vërtetë, ajo qe arbitre gjithkund: si në Komisionin Ndërkombëtar të
Danubit, ashtu edhe në Komisionin Ndërkombëtar të Kontrollit për Shqipërinë apo në komisionin e për
caktimin e kufijve të Shqipërisë më Malin e Zi, Serbinë dhe Greqinë.
I.3. Gjeopolitika gjermane. Thuajse në të njëjtën kohë dimensionit antropologjik të gjeografisë i mëshonte
edhe gjeografi gjerman Friedrich Ratzel (18441904), duke realizuar një gërshetim të antropologjisë, gjeografisë dhe
politikës. Në librin e tij Geogrjafia politike (1897) Ratzeli shtinte në punë metafora biologjike për të përshkruar
shtetin. Simbas tij, shtetet kanë mjaft karakteristika të organizmave të gjallë, prandaj, si çdo organizëm i
gjallë, edhe shteti duhet të "rritet", të zmadhohet ose të mpaket dhe të vdesë. Për Ratzelin fuqia e
një shteti buron nga "hapësira" (Raum), prej nga ai përftonte edhe konceptin e "hapësirës jetike"
(Lebensraum) dhe të "kufijve jetikë", d.m.th. të kufijve që janë dinamikë dhe i nënshtrohen ndryshimit.
Sikundër shihet, Ratzeli e vështronte zhvillimin e shtetit si një proces evolutiv dhe gjeografinë politike si pjesë të
shkencave të natyrës. Në lëmshin e teorizimeve gjeopolitike në Gjermaninë e asaj kohe Ballkani zinte vend gjithnjë
më të rëndësishëm. Mbas manifestit të vitit 1898 të Lidhjes Mbarëgjermane (Alldeutscher Verband), në
fillim të shek. XX shtohen botimet që rivendikojnë shfrytëzimin prej Gjermanisë të Ballkanit dhe të Orientit
në përgjithësi: më 1906 Weltpolitik e Hasses, më 1911 Gross Deutschland e Tannenbergut, po më 1911 Deutschaland unter
den Weltvolkern. Jaeckhu kërkonte për vendin e tij "drejtimin gjeografikotregtar" të transversales HeligolandBagdad
(Deutschland im Orient nach dem Baklan Krieg, 1913). A Ritteri hartonte planin e një "konfederate të shteteve të Europës
qendrore si fuqi protektore të Azisë së Vogël me privilegjin e hapjes dhe të kolonizimit të vendit" (BerlinBagdad,
1913). Duke parashikuar një konflikt me Anglinë, në veprën e tij Asia (1913) Naumani kërkonte që Gjermania të
merrte në dorë administrimin osman. Të gjitha këto vepra, si dhe të tjera, lexoheshin me etje të madhe në Gjermani.
Libri Der deutsche Gedanke in der Welt i Rohrbarchut mbërrinte tirazhin 50 mijë më 1912.
Mbas Luftës I botërore, në kohë e sipër që libri i Mackinderit përkthehej e botohej edhe në gjermanisht
më 1919, shfaqej një tjetër gjeopolitikan gjerman, profesori universitar Karl Haushofer (18691946). Nga viti 1925 më 1945 ai dhe
kolegët e shkruan një pirg tekstesh gjeopolitike, posaçërisht në organin e themeluar prej vetë profesorit
"Revistë e gjeopolitikës" (Zeitschrift für Geopolitik). Duke u përpjekur ta shpjegonte disfatën e Gjermanisë
në Luftën I nëpërmjet një aliazhi të tezave të Mackinderit me ato të Ratzelit, Haushoferi rivendikonte
tezën e "hapësirës jetike". Me Lebensraum kuptoheshin tanimë territoret që i duheshin shtuar shtetit gjerman
për të siguruar mirëqenien kombëtare të popullit gjerman. Kjo tezë ishte një përligjje "shkencore" e
doktrinës Drang nach Osten të Gjermanisë, të cilës ia paskësh bllokuar zhvillimin një "plehurí shtetesh
të vogla" (kleinstaatengerumpel). Kjo pengesë shtetesh të vogla "artificiale", të sajuara nga Traktati i Versailles
pikërisht simbas rekomandimeve të "plakut të madh të gjeografisë britanike", duheshin fshirë nga faqja e dheut
dhe zëvendësuar nga një "rend i ri europian" i zotëruar prej Gjermanisë. Më anë tjetër, duke
bërë të vetën tezën e Mackidnerit "fuqia tokësore kundrejt fuqisë detare", Haushoferi theksonte
rëndësinë e Europës Lindore si rrugë drejt Hartlandit, të cilin Gjermania e shihte si "schicksalsraum",
d.m.th. "hapësirë e fatit".
Historianët e Luftës janë të mendimit se idetë gjeopolitike të Hashouferit, si themelues i të ashtuquajturës
"Shkollë Gjeopolitike e Munichut" (Institut für Geopolitik), u përdorën për t'u dhënë legjitimitet
agresioneve dhe pushtimeve të Gjermanisë naziste para dhe gjatë Luftës II botërore. Është ngulmuar në lidhjet
e Haushoferit me Rudolph Hessen, një nxënës i zellshëm i tiji, i cili e paskësh futur profesorin në qarqet e brendshme
intelektuale të Reichut dhe madje ishte bërë shkak që Hitleri ta emëronte në krye të Akademisë Gjermane
të Berlinit. Megjithëkëtë, ndikimi i Haushoferit në ideologjinë ekspansioniste gjermane duket i diskutueshëm,
ndoshta edhe i zmadhur prej aleatëve. S'mund të provohet praktikisht se doktrina Drang nach Osten vihej në lëvizje nga
dëshira për të kontrolluar "Zemrën e dheut". Ka gjasa që, në këtë rast, të ketë qenë
politika ajo që i është mbivendosur gjeoteorisë dhe jo gjeoteoria politikës. Më anë tjetër, edhe futja e
profesorit në qarqet e brendshme në partisë naziste mbetet në nivelin e thashethemeve. Haushoferi kaloi disa vite në kamp
përqendrimi. Në fund të luftës biri i tij Albrecht u ekzekutua për pjesëmarrje në komplotin e 20 korrikut
kundër Hitlerit etj. Nuk është, pra, çudi të jetë i saktë përcaktimi që i ka bërë atij
një nga historianët e Luftës, si "qengj në lëkurë ujku".
I.4. Një gjeopolitikë amerikane. Siç u përmend, një fill të vetin gjeopolitik e patën edhe amerikanët me
oficerin e marinës Alfred T. Mahani (18091914). Simbas Mahanit, kontrolli i detit ishte çelësi i sundimit të botës, mbasi
oqeanet dhe detet formojnë një trup të vetëm ujor që mbështjell çdo kontinent dhe jep mundësinë e
depërtimit në çdo kontinent dhe ishull. Të gjitha rrugët tokësore përfundojnë në një breg deti
dhe, prandaj, ato janë të ndërprera. I pandërprerë dhe i vijueshëm është vetëm deti. Për Mahanin,
transporti në det ishte në përgjithësi më i efektshëm se ai me çdo mjet tjetër. Me ndonjë
përjashtim të rrallë, për Mahanin të mos kishe akces në det donte me thënë katastrofë e vërtetë
për një shtet. Që një shtet të ishte i aftë për të kontrolluar detin, simbas tij, duhej të kishte troje
produktive, të populluara mirë dhe lehtësisht të mbrojtshme, si dhe të kishte baza strategjike detare dhe një flotë
të fuqishme. Bazat më strategjike, për Mahanin, ishin ato të vendosura në udhëkalime të ngushta (për shembull
Kanali Anglez, Ngushtica e Gjibraltarit etj.) jetike për trafikun e shumë shteteve. Mahani e vinte në dyshim mundësinë
që një shtet tokësor të kontrollonte ndonjëherë me sukses detin, po të mos ishte shtet krejtësisht ishullor.
Nga ky këndvështrim ai i klasifikonte ShBA si vend strategjikisht ishullor, ngase fqinjët e tyre të veriorë e jugorë,
në ndryshim nga ata të kontinentit euroaziatik, nuk paraqitnin kërcënim ushtarak për ShBA.
Po të vështrohen zhvillimet e gjeopolitikës amerikane gjatë dhe sidomos mbas Luftës II botërore, krijohet
përshtypja se idetë e Mackinderit dhe të Haushoferit patën ndikim më të fuqishëm në studimet strategjike
amerikane, se në vetë politikat britanike e gjermane. Pavarësisht nga filli gjeopolitik që amerikanët e patën tek Alfred
T. Mahani, gjatë viteve '30 studiuesit amerikanë u ngritën kundër doktrinave gjeopolitike naziste. Por, me hyrjen e ShBA
në luftë më 1941, po ata studiues iu kthyen me një tjetër interes gjeopolitikës. Paranoja e kohës së
luftës ushqeu imazhin e një "shkence të fshehtë gjermane", d.m.th. të një gjeopolitike e cila kishte
udhëhequr aksionin nazist. Profesori amerikan Nicholas Spykman (18931943), gati bashkëkohës i Mackinderit, ia hidhte poshtë
këtij conceptin e Hartlandit për ta zëvendësuar me një koncept tjetër, atë të Rimlandit
("tokabuzë", "tokaanë"). Me këtë koncept të ri kuptohej tanimë një "zonë
jastëçkë" (buffer zone) mes pushtetit të detit dhe pushtetit të tokës. Përfshihej në këtë
zonë edhe Europa Lindore së toku me bregdetin perëndimor të Ballkanit.
Mbas Luftës II koncepti i Rimlandit u shndërrua në pjesë të politikës zyrtare të ShBA, duke u shtënë
në punë si ledh ndaj Bashkimit Sovjetik dhe përhapjes së komunizmit në "Perëndim". Në një nga
formulimet e tij të vona Mackinderi pati parashikuar një lidhje të shteteve të Europës Perëndimore dhe të
Amerikës së Veriut në një "bashkësi mbrojeje natyrore". Kjo bashkësi "atlantike" do të
drejtpeshonte, simbas tij, Hartlandin euroaziatik në mundësi strategjike, burimore dhe njerëzore. Sikurse mund të shihet, ky
konceptim nuk është tjetër veçse baza gjeopolitike e NATOs (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) së themeluar më 1949.
Në vitet '50 termi "gjeopolitikë" fitoi në ShBA një kredi që vinte duke u ngritur, derisa në vitet
'60 ai e humbi identifikimin me racizmin dhe agresionin ndërkombëtar. Në vitet '70, ngaqë termin filloi ta përdorte
rëndom Henry Kissingeri, gjeopolitika në ShBA mund të quhet plotësisht e rihabilituar. Shfaqet, lidhur me të, edhe një
koncept i ri: ai i gjeostrategjisë. Me gjeostrategji tani kuptohet zbatimi i gjeopolitikës në planifikimin ushtarak të nivelit
të lartë, me fjalë tjera: përdorimi sa më i efektshëm i mbrojtjes kombëtare dhe i resursese luftarake.
non solum sibi vivere, sed et aliis proficire
| Postuar mė 7-9-2005 nė 00:11||
|Gjeopolitika e Botes Arabe|
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings
The Impending Collapse of Arab Civilization
James G. Lacey, LTC, USAR
Slender minarets with muezzins calling the faithful to prayer symbolize the stability and timelessness of the Muslim world. This one in Rabi'ah,
a small town on the Iraqi-Syrian border, is a classic and the Muslim faith is flourishing. Arabs, however, most of whom are Muslims, are not.
If a country wants to be on the winning side of history it first and foremost must get its grand strategy right. With that done, it can make any
number of operational mistakes and weather many a setback and still walk away a winner. In the Cold War, our grand strategy of containing the Soviet
Union eventually won the day despite many tribulations over the fifty years it was in place. Diplomat George Kennan's famous "X
Article," anonymously published in the journal Foreign Affairs in 1947, became the conceptual pillar of Cold War strategy and withstood a
decades-long assault by critics until eventually vindicated by the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Was the containment theory hurt by the vitriol of its critics? I would argue the opposite is true. Criticism forced the supporters of containment
theory to examine and hone their arguments. In order to properly answer their critics, supporters of containment were forced to continually evaluate
their strategic models under regularly changing conditions. The end result was a strategy that proved adaptable to shifting circumstances and able to
garner the support of the bulk of public opinion. Today, however, more and more of our strategic judgments are being built upon the untested edifice
of two books: Bernard Lewis' The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror and Samuel P. Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the
Remaking of World Order. While there have been a few critical reviews of both works, for the most part they have become the basic canon of 21st
century strategic thought with very little serious negative commentary. In military publications and briefings these works are now cited repeatedly
and uncritically as authoritative support for developing strategic concepts.
Both books paint a dismal global picture. Huntington argues that for centuries civilizations have been kept apart by distance and serious geographical
obstacles. However, modern technologies are eroding these obstacles and as civilizations begin to interact on a more regular basis they will find each
other so repugnant they will be unable to resist trying to slaughter one another. Bernard Lewis is not as pessimistic about the global environment.
Rather, he focuses his dire warnings on just the Muslim world, which appears to him on an irreversible road to doom.
It amazes me that Huntington's theory of civilizational war ever gained the traction it did. I had always assumed that everyone would awake one
day and discover Hindus were not planning the annihilation of the Mongols, that Africans were incapable of getting together to fight anyone, and that
Europeans have lost the will to fight about anything. Maybe, just maybe, some Arabs would like to take on their neighbors. But let's assume for a
moment that all twenty-two Arab nations put aside their considerable differences and raise a military force to take on the world, what would that
force look like? Well, with a combined GDP a bit less than Spain's, it probably would not amount to much. The combined conventional military
power of a united Arab world is not likely to keep Pentagon planners up at night.
Lewis, on the other hand, makes a good argument for the collapse of the Islamic world. Unfortunately, by accepting his thesis the United States is put
in the unenviable position of confronting a religion in what may be a prolonged conflict-prone situation. Do we really want to make war on a religion?
The major flaw in Lewis's argument, though, is in the title of his book. Islam is not in fact in a crisis state. From a purely religious point of
view things have not looked this good for the Muslim faith in hundreds of years. Mosques are full, new adherents are pouring in, and the cash coffers
are being filled with donations. If this is a religious crisis it is one most of the world's other faiths would envy.
A more accurate understanding of events leads to the conclusion that Arab, not Muslim, civilization is in a state of collapse, and it just happens
that most Arabs are Muslims. In this regard, the fall of the Western Roman Empire was a collapse of Western Europe and not a crisis of Christianity.
The next question is, how could the world have missed an entire civilization collapsing before its eyes? The simple answer is that no one alive today
has ever seen it happen before. Well within living memory we have seen empires collapse and nation-state failure has become a regular occurrence, but
no one in the West has witnessed the collapse of a civilization since the Dark Ages. Civilizational collapses take a long time to unfold and are easy
to miss in the welter of daily events.
Interestingly, on the Arab League's website there is a paper that details all of the contributions made by Arab civilization. It is a long and
impressive list, which unfortunately marks 1406 as the last year a significant contribution was made. That makes next year the 600th anniversary of
the beginning of a prolonged stagnation, which began a dive into the abyss with the end of the Ottoman Empire. Final collapse has been staved off only
by the cash coming in from a sea of oil and because of a few bright spots of modernity that have resisted the general failure.
Statistics tell an ugly story about the state of Arab civilization. According to the U.N.'s Arab Human Development Report:
-- There are 18 computers per 1000 citizens compared to a global average of 78.3.
-- Only 1.6% of the population has Internet access.
-- Less than one book a year is translated into Arabic per million people, compared to over 1000 per million for developed countries.
-- Arabs publish only 1.1% of books globally, despite making up over 5% of global population, with religious books dominating the market.
-- Average R&D expenditures on a per capita basis is one-sixth of Cuba's and less than one-fifteenth of Japan's.
-- The Arab world is embarking upon the new century burdened by 60 million illiterate adults (the majority are women) and a declining education
system, which is failing to properly prepare regional youth for the challenges of a globalized economy. Educational quality is also being eroded by
the growing pervasiveness of religion at all levels of the system. In Saudi Arabia over a quarter of all university degrees are in Islamic studies. In
many other nations primary education is accomplished through Saudi-financed madrassas, which have filled the void left by government's abdication
of its duty to educate the young.
In economic terms we have already commented that the combined weight of the Arab states is less than that of Spain. Strip oil out of Mideast exports
and the entire region exports less than Finland. According to the transnational Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), regional
economic growth is burdened by declining rates of investment in fixed capital structure, an inability to attract substantial foreign direct
investment, and declining productivity the economic trinity of disaster.
Economic stagnation coupled with rapid population growth is reducing living standards throughout the region, both comparatively and in real terms. In
the heady days of the late 1970s oil boom, annual per-capita GDP growth of over 5% fueled high levels of expectations. GDP per-capita grew from $1,845
to $2,300. Today, after adjusting for inflation, it stands at $1,500, reflecting an overall decline in living standards over 30 years. Only
sub-Saharan Africa has done worse. If oil wealth is subtracted from the calculations the economic picture for the mass of Arab citizens becomes
Things are indeed bad in the Arab world and will get much worse.
This statement should not be read as mere opinion. While predictions of the future are usually fraught with peril, those based on demographics are,
barring some unforeseen plague or truly catastrophic war, uncannily accurate. Using even the most optimistic assumption that fertility rates drop by
fifty percent in a generation the respected Population Resource Center, based in Princeton, NJ, expects Arab populations to grow from 280 million to
almost 460 million by 2020 and to over 600 million a generation later. On the face of it the Arab world is staring political and economic disaster in
the face. Arab governments and institutions are already failing to meet basic human needs in many Arab countries. It is hard to imagine how they will
cope with the stress of such a massive population increase.
The percentage of the population under age 15 is double that of Western Europe and those under age 24 make up 50% to 65% of Middle East countries an
astonishingly young population. This youth bulge is already beginning to rock the foundations of Islamic society. Upheaval and revolution are the
likely results of a massive number of youth confronted by stagnating or collapsing economies as they enter adulthood.
A youth bulge has always correlated strongly with increased levels of violence within a society, from terrorism to war. Massive youth violence is
predictably more likely when lack of economic opportunity stunts ambitions for a satisfying job, a good marriage, and a home. A 2004 study by The
World Bank calls this combination of a youth bulge coupled with poor economic performance an "explosive combination." In socially and
politically repressive societies, found throughout the Middle East, there are very few outlets for pent-up frustrations except for violence or
immersion into religion a combustible mixture. In the Middle East, it is evident that terrorism and especially suicide operations are a phenomenon
closely associated with youth. Youthful involvement in terrorism can be viewed as the extreme end of a broader youthful attraction to violence more
generally. Additionally, this attraction is being reinforced within a generation that is being radicalized by an environment featuring high levels of
violence, radical religious ideology, and growing anti-Americanism.
One serious question that requires an answer is why youth are attracted to Islamic organizations, which to Western eyes appear to be extremely
repressive to many of the aspirations and desires of typical young men and women? In a 2003 Brookings Institution paper, Graham Fuller, a senior
resident consultant at the RAND Corporation, provides this answer:
" ...the religious activism of Islamism in the Muslim world is not politically conservative at all: it calls for change to the status quo that is
broadly hated. Much of the youthful spirit of rebellion against the status quo can thus be readily harnessed by the Islamist movement, both violent
and non-violent. They provide a channel for the expression of discontent, blessed and legitimized by powerful religious tradition that incorporates
nationalist impulses as well. It is noteworthy that Islamism serves as a vehicle of protest everywhere except where it is in power, such as Iran and
Sudan. It is the status quo that is the major target of anger. A youth bulge is always destabilizing, but it can often be managed if a society is able
to properly educate its youth and provide them with adequate economic opportunities at the end of the education process. Arab nations are failing in
As I see it, the overarching cause of civilizational collapse is that culture and institutions of that civilization can no longer adapt to external
stresses. This assertion is grounded in my interpretation of the writings of Will Durant, Story of Civilization, John Roberts' The Rise of the
West, and Fernand Braudel's A History of Civilizations. The tyrants and dictators who have long ruled the Arab world have proven unable to
implement the changes required to reverse the trends of collapse. Unable to reverse economic and societal ills, and unresponsive to the mass of the
Arab population, these rulers instituted polices of strong internal oppression, which further closed off Arab society from the adoption of new ideas
Populations that were unable to influence their governments found that some methods of expression were still allowed within the context of Islam.
Working within this framework radicals found that they could shelter their activities within a religious infrastructure, while at the same time
religious leaders realized that they were gaining enough strength to make a grasp for secular power. This was a struggle that went on in the West for
a thousand years after the fall of Rome until finally won by secular authority during what is now called the Age of Reason.
Still, Islam is not the root cause of collapse. For instance, it has not stood in the way of economic advancement and societal adaptation in Asia. It
is more accurate to say that fundamental failure of Arab culture is causing people to begin looking backwards at the golden age of their civilization.
Two things ring out to them from those past centuries: Arabs were powerful when they were united and when their faith was new, vital, and
A lot of the evidence that Huntington presents for his theory of civilizational war makes more sense when viewed through the prism of the collapse of
Arab civilization. Global maneuvering that Huntington interprets as preparations for a new round of world conflict are in reality the spontaneous
adjustments that other societies are making in reaction to the collapse of a neighboring civilization. By accepting that we are facing the collapse of
Arab civilization we can, for the first time, create a grand strategic concept for success. We no longer have to engage in a war against terrorism,
which is a method of fighting and not an enemy. Additionally, we now have a strategic explanation for what is going on that does not make Islam the
culprit. Hence we do not have to fight a religious war to win.
The grand strategic concept that provides the best chance of success is the one that served us so well in the Cold War containment. No matter what
else we do we must position ourselves to contain the effects of the complete collapse of Arab civilization. Already 10% of the French population is
from Muslim North Africa. Europe's ability to assimilate a larger flood of economic refugees is questionable. And mass migration is just one
effect a total collapse will have. Containment will mean adopting and maintaining difficult policy choices, which include:
-- Working closely with the European nations to defend their southern border against the mass migration of tens of millions of destitute Arabs as well
as armed confrontations with failing Arab states.
-- Renewing our close ties with Turkey and making that nation a bulwark against the effects of collapse.
-- Working to help modernize and integrate the Russian military into an enhanced European defense structure.
-- Ensuring China is a partner in this containment effort.
-- Propping up weak border states that are already dealing with the spillover effects of Arab collapse such as Pakistan and the new Caucasus states.
Assisting the Iranian popular will to establish a government not based on a religious oligarchy. The Persian people may form an eastern bulwark
-- Plan for the security of critical resources even during possible upheavals and regional turmoil.
-- Spillover effects such as terrorist groups already evident in places like Indonesia and the Philippines must be eradicated or reversed. We need to
be clear that this is not a failure of Islam. In this regard we must help Muslims outside of the Arab world find their own interpretations of their
faith and not fall prey to those being espoused by the Arab world Wahhabism.
None of the above policy prescriptions will be easy, nor can they be achieved overnight. Most of them require the support of other nations, which may
be problematic. Many of these nations have not recognized the risks they face from Arab collapse and see no reason to take preemptive measures. It is
easy to say that we need to work closely with Europe to secure its southern border. In reality, that task will be devilishly hard, not least because
the Europeans appear very reluctant to take any measures to protect themselves that might give even a whiff of intolerance. Furthermore, American
diplomacy, as of recent decades, has not shown it is up to accomplishing many of the recommended tasks. For instance, all attempts to engage Iran
since the fall of the Shah have been a debacle. Unfortunately, as the Iranian nuclear crisis unfolds there is no indication we have gotten any better
at it. Do we have the wherewithal to engender a democratic society in Iran and then to engage its support in our common interests? Can we deal with an
increasingly autocratic and threatening Russia? Can we manage China's emergence as a superpower so that it can be peacefully integrated into the
global political system? The answers to these questions are still unknown. However, because containment of a civilizational collapse cannot be done by
the United States alone finding the right answers is critical.
By accepting that we need to contain the effects of a failing Arab civilization we are then free to adopt one of three basic approaches:
-- Attempt to accelerate the collapse and pick up the pieces, akin to letting an alcoholic hit bottom.
-- To contain the effects, but not to interfere with the fall for good or bad.
-- Reverse the tide when and where we can.
For a number of ethical and practical reasons the third choice is the one that should and is most likely to be adopted, keeping in mind that resisting
the macro-forces of historical change will not be easy.
By adopting the third option we can craft policies to improve economic conditions and help specific regions within the Arab world adapt to encroaching
modernity. The United States must be able to spot shining lights in the Arab world and work to protect them even as we help to expand their influence.
Discarding the theories of two men as eminent as Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis is not a matter to take lightly. History may even prove both men
right and my analysis to be well off the mark. However, the almost blind acceptance now being given to these men's ideas is a dangerous trend. As
military leaders build the strategic plans and policies that will guide our forces for a generation or more it is best to be skeptical of all
underlying assumptions. This article is designed to strike at the foundation of the two most widely accepted arguments in the current forum of ideas.
If they are correct and sturdy then my position will not topple them. In fact, like Kennan's X article they will be made stronger by having to
defend themselves against criticism. If they are weak, then it is best to discard them now.
-- LTC Lacey is a Washington-based writer focusing on defense and international affairs issues. He was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division
during the war in Iraq. He served on active duty for a number of years and later edited journals on international finance.
| Postuar mė 11-12-2005 nė 03:02||
|VIEWPOINT: A HOUSE OF CARDS By William S. Lind |
SPECIAL TO DALLASBLOG.COM
Wednesday, December 7, 2005 at 04:55PM
The following commentary by William Lind is part of an ongoing series on "The Next Conservatism" organized by Paul Weyrich, President of the
Free Congress Foundation.
Paul Weyrich asked me to turn my historians eye on the question of "Where are we?", which he has considered from several aspects in his
last two columns. I am afraid my answer to that question cannot be an encouraging one. From an historical perspective we are living in a house of
Internationally, we have committed the classic error of dominant powers: overextension. By adopting an offensive grand strategy that demands everyone
else in the world accept the values of "democratic capitalism" -- the neo cons little present to the rest of us -- we have overreached. We
are now bogged down in two wars, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Every indication I see, as a military historian, tells me we are not winning and will not
win either one.
While most Americans, not just conservatives, would be happy to take care of ourselves and let the rest of the world take care of itself, the
Washington Establishment lives off the "Great Power" game. Will the loss of two wars force that Establishment to face reality? Probably not,
at least until, in classic Great Power fashion, it bankrupts the country. The U.S. defense budget already equals what all the rest of the countries in
the world spend for defense. No nation can sustain that burden without financial collapse.
In fact, we are already in over our heads financially, as the national debt and the trade deficit show. When those bills come due, the only way we
will be able to pay them is by inflating the currency. Inflation, in turn, if it is severe enough, undermines and eventually destroys the middle
class, another classic event in a Great Powers fall.
Already, Americas middle class is being eroded by the export of manufacturing jobs under the rubric of "free trade," to which both
political parties seem to have sworn blood oaths. People cannot sustain middle class standards of living with "service industry" jobs, as is
evident in any Third World country. In fact, Americas economy already shows a classic Third World pattern, exporting commodities and importing
Added to imperial overreach, financial imprudence and voluntary de-industrialization is the fact that we are being invaded. Both parties see no evil
as millions of immigrants from very different cultures pour into our country through what are effectively open borders. Not only does this further
undermine the American middle class by lowering wages, it sets us up for Fourth Generation war on our own soil. Internal wars are yet another classic
element in the fall of a Great Power.
Of course, to all of this we have to add the collapse of our culture, a phenomenon which was no accident. It is the product of a small group of
cultural Marxists, the Frankfurt School, whose purpose was to destroy Western culture and who have made remarkable strides to that end. Once a
countrys culture goes, everything else goes too, sooner or later.
People often ask me if we are seeing a reenactment of the fall of Rome, and there are certainly some parallels. One could argue that Romes situation
was actually better, in that Christianity was a rising force instead of a declining one (Western culture survived the Dark Ages by hiding out in the
But there is a parallel I like better, and that is Spain in the 17th century. Spain was the first true world power, with a globe-circling empire. She
was enormously rich (when the Spanish Armada was destroyed, King Philip II just built another one). By the first half of the 17th century, when
Spains power was beginning to totter (thanks once again to imperial overextension and financial imprudence), many leading Spaniards saw that reform
and retrenchment were needed. They put forward well-considered plans for such reform, some of which would probably have worked. But none of the reform
programs could cut through the power of the interests at court that lived off Spains decay - - just as powerful interests in Washington live off our
decay. I think that if Spains equivalent of a prime minister at that time, the Count-Duke of Olivares, were to find himself in todays Washington, it
would all feel very familiar (if you want to read a good book on Spains decline and fall, I recommend J.H. Elliotts biography of Olivares).
America may be luckier than Spain, and perhaps we will be able to deal with our foreign policy, military, financial, trade and cultural crises
separately, over time. But I think the greater probability is that they will come in close enough succession that they will feed on and magnify each
other, until they become a single vast, systemic crisis - - the fall of the house of cards. That creates a vacuum which, in the old days, usually
resulted in a change of dynasties (from the Hapsburgs to the Bourbons, in Spains case). What does that mean for the next conservatism? It means
conservatives should get ready now in order to fill that vacuum when it comes.
-- William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism of the Free Congress Foundation.
Article originally appeared on DallasBlog.com (http://www.dallasblog.com/).
| Postuar mė 31-12-2005 nė 14:35||
|Per Natyren e Konflikteve|
THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
Samuel P. Huntington
Foreign Affairs. Summer 1993, v72, n3, p22(28)
from the Academic Index (database on UTCAT system)
COPYRIGHT Council on Foreign Relations Inc. 1993
THE NEXT PATTERN OF CONFLICT
World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be -- the end of history, the
return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism,
among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global
politics is likely to be in the coming years.
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great
divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world
affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations
will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.
Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase in the evolution of conflict in the modern world. For a century and a half after the
emergence of the modern international system with the Peace of Westphalia, the conflicts of the Western world were largely among princes --
emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mercantilist economic strength
and, most important, the territory they ruled. In the process they created nation states, and beginning with the French Revolution the principal
lines of conflict were between nations rather than princes. In 1793, as R. R. Palmer put it, "The wars of kings were over; the wars of peoples
had begun." This nineteenth-century pattern lasted until the end of World War 1. Then, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction
against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then
between communism and liberal democracy. During the Cold War, this latter conflict became embodied in the struggle between the two superpowers,
neither of which was a nation state in the classical European sense and each of which defined its identity in terms of its ideology.
These conflicts between princes, nation states and ideologies were primarily conflicts within Western civilization, "Western civil wars,"
as William Lind has labeled them. This was as true of the Cold War as it was of the world wars and the earlier wars of the seventeenth, eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries. With the end of the Cold War, international politics moves out of its Western phase, and its center- piece becomes the
interaction between the West and non-Western civilizations and among non-Western civilizations. In the politics of civilizations, the peoples and
governments of non-Western civilizations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and
shapers of history.
THE NATURE OF CIVILIZATIONS
During the cold war the world was divided into the First, Second and Third Worlds. Those divisions are no longer relevant. It is far more meaningful
now to group countries not in terms of their political or economic systems or in terms of their level of economic development but rather in terms of
their culture and civilization.
What do we mean when we talk of a civilization? A civilization is a cultural entity. Villages, regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, religious
groups, all have distinct cultures at different levels of cultural heterogeneity. The culture of a village in southern Italy may be different from
that of a village in northern Italy, but both will share in a common Italian culture that distinguishes them from German villages. European
communities, in turn, will share cultural features that distinguish them from Arab or Chinese communities. Arabs, Chinese and Westerners, however,
are not part of any broader cultural entity. They constitute civilizations. A civilization is thus the highest cultural grouping of people and the
broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. It is defined both by common objective
elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people. People have levels of
identity: a resident of Rome may define himself with varying degrees of intensity as a Roman, an Italian, a Catholic, a Christian, a European, a
Westerner. The civilization to which he belongs is the broadest level of identification with which he intensely identifies. People can and do
redefine their identities and, as a result, the composition and boundaries of civilizations change.
Civilizations may involve a large number of people, as with China ("a civilization pretending to be a state," as Lucian Pye put it), or a
very small number of people, such as the Anglophone Caribbean. A civilization may include several nation states, as is the case with Western, Latin
American and Arab civilizations, or only one, as is the case with Japanese civilization. Civilizations obviously blend and overlap, and may include
subcivilizations. Western civilization has two major variants, European and North American, and Islam has its Arab, Turkic and Malay subdivisions.
Civilizations are nonetheless meaningful entities, and while the lines between them are seldom sharp, they are real. Civilizations are dynamic; they
rise and fall; they divide and merge. And, as any student of history knows, civilizations disappear and are buried in the sands of time.
Westerners tend to think of nation states as the principal actors in global affairs. They have been that, however, for only a few centuries. The
broader reaches of human history have been the history of civilizations. In A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee identified 21 major civilizations;
only six of them exist in the contemporary world.
WHY CIVILIZATIONS WILL CLASH
Civilization identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or
eight major civilizations. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African
civilization. The most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another.
Why will this be the case?
First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic. Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language,
culture, tradition and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man,
the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative
importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy. These differences are the product of centuries. They will
not soon disappear. They are far more fundamental than differences among political ideologies and political regimes. Differences do not necessarily
mean conflict, and conflict does not necessarily, mean violence. Over the centuries, however, differences among civilizations have generated the
most prolonged and the most violent conflicts.
Second, the world is becoming a smaller place. The interactions between peoples of different civilizations are increasing; these increasing
interactions intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations and commonalities within civilizations. North
African immigration to France generates hostility among Frenchmen and at the same time increased receptivity to immigration by "good"
European Catholic Poles. Americans react far more negatively to Japanese investment than to larger investments from Canada and European countries.
Similarly, as Donald Horowitz has pointed out, "An Ibo may be ... an Owerri Ibo or an Onitsha Ibo in what was the Eastern region of Nigeria. In
Lagos, he is simply an Ibo. In London, he is a Nigerian. In New York, he is an African." The interactions among peoples of different
civilizations enhance the civilization-consciousness of people that, in turn, invigorates differences and animosities stretching or thought to
stretch back deep into history.
Third, the processes of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities. They
also weaken the nation state as a source of identity. In much of the world religion has moved in to fill this gap, often in the form of movements
that are labeled "fundamentalist." Such movements are found in Western Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as in Islam.
In most countries and most religions the people active in fundamentalist movements are young, college-educated, middle-class technicians,
professionals and business persons. The "unsecularization of the world," George Weigel has remarked, "is one of the dominant social
facts of life in the late twentieth century." The revival of religion, "la revanche de Dieu," as Gilles Kepel labeled it, provides a
basis for identity and commitment that transcends national boundaries and unites civilizations.
Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is enhanced by the dual role of the West. On the one hand, the West is at a peak of power. At the
same time, however, and perhaps as a result, a return to the roots phenomenon is occurring among non-Western civilizations. Increasingly one hears
references to trends toward a turning inward and "Asianization" in Japan, the end of the Nehru legacy and the "Hinduization" of
India, the failure of Western ideas of socialism and nationalism and hence "re-Islamization" of the Middle East, and now a debate over
Westernization versus Russianization in Boris Yeltsin's country. A West at the peak of its power confronts non-Wests that increasingly have the
desire, the will and the resources to shape the world in non-Western ways.
In the past, the elites of non-Western societies were usually the people who were most involved with the West, had been educated at Oxford, the
Sorbonne or Sandhurst, and had absorbed Western attitudes and values. At the same time, the populace in non-Western countries often remained deeply
imbued with the indigenous culture. Now, however, these relationships are being reversed. A de-Westernization and indigenization of elites is
occurring in many non-Western countries at the same time that Western, usually American, cultures, styles and habits become more popular among the
mass of the people.
Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones. In
the former Soviet Union, communists can become democrats, the rich can become poor and the poor rich, but Russians cannot become Estonians and
Azeris cannot become Armenians. In class and ideological conflicts, the key question was "Which side are you on?" and people could and did
choose sides and change sides. In conflicts between civilizations, the question is "What are you?" That is a given that cannot be changed.
And as we know, from Bosnia to the Caucasus to the Sudan, the wrong answer to that question can mean a bullet in the head. Even more than ethnicity,
religion discriminates sharply and exclusively among people. A person can be half-French and half-Arab and simultaneously even a citizen of two
countries. It is more difficult to be half-Catholic and half-Muslim.
Finally, economic regionalism is increasing. The proportions of total trade that were intraregional rose between 1980 and 1989 from 51% to 59% in
Europe, 33% to 37% in East Asia, and 32% to 36% in North America. The importance of regional economic blocs is likely to continue to increase in the
future. On the one hand, successful economic regionalism will reinforce civilization-consciousness. On the other hand, economic regionalism may
succeed only when it is rooted in a common civilization. The European Community rests on the shared foundation of European culture and Western
Christianity. The success of the North American Free Trade Area depends on the convergence now underway of Mexican, Canadian and American cultures.
Japan, in contrast, faces difficulties in creating a comparable economic entity in East Asia because Japan is a society and civilization unique to
itself. However strong the trade and investment links Japan may develop with other East Asian countries, its cultural differences with those
countries inhibit and perhaps preclude its promoting regional economic integration like that in Europe and North America.
Common culture, in contrast, is clearly facilitating the rapid expansion of the economic relations between the People's Republic of China and
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the overseas Chinese communities in other Asian countries. With the Cold War over, cultural commonalities
increasingly overcome ideological differences, and mainland China and Taiwan move closer together. If cultural commonality is a prerequisite for
economic integration, the principal East Asian economic bloc of the future is likely to be centered on China. This bloc is, in fact, already coming
into existence. As Murray Weidenbaum has observed,
"Despite the current Japanese dominance of the region, the Chinese-based economy of Asia is rapidly emerging as a new epicenter for industry,
commerce and finance. This strategic area contains substantial amounts of technology and manufacturing capability (Taiwan), outstanding
entrepreneurial, marketing and services acumen (Hong Kong), a fine communications network (Singapore), a tremendous pool of financial capital (all
three), and very large endowments of land, resources and labor (mainland China).... From Guangzhou to Singapore, from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, this
influential network -- often based on extensions of the traditional clans -- has been described as the backbone of the East Asian economy."(1)
Culture and religion also form the basis of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which brings together ten non-Arab Muslim countries: Iran,
Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. One impetus to the revival and
expansion of this organization, founded originally in the 1960 by Turkey, Pakistan and Iran, is the realization by the leaders of several of these
countries that they had no chance of admission to the European Community. Similarly, Caricom, the Central American Common Market and Mercosur rest
on common cultural foundations. Efforts to build a broader Caribbean-Central American economic entity bridging the Anglo-Latin divide, however, have
to date failed.
As people define their identity in ethnic and religious terms, they are likely to see an "us" versus "them" relation existing
between themselves and people of different ethnicity or religion. The end of ideologically defined states in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet
Union permits traditional ethnic identities and animosities to come to the fore. Differences in culture and religion create differences over policy
issues, ranging from human rights to immigration to trade and commerce to the environment. Geographical propinquity gives rise to conflicting
territorial claims from Bosnia to Mindanao. Most important, the efforts of the West to promote its values of democracy and liberalism as universal
values, to maintain its military predominance and to advance its economic interests engender countering responses from other civilizations.
Decreasingly able to mobilize support and form coalitions on the basis of ideology, governments and groups will increasingly attempt to mobilize
support by appealing to common religion and civilization identity.
The clash of civilizations thus occurs at two levels. At the micro- level, adjacent groups along the fault lines between civilizations struggle,
often violently, over the control of territory and each other. At the macro-level, states from different civilizations compete for relative military
and economic power, struggle over the control of international institutions and third parties, and competitively promote their particular political
and religious values.
THE FAULT LINES BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS
The fault lines between civilizations are replacing the political and ideological boundaries of the Cold War as the flash points for crisis and
bloodshed. The Cold War began when the Iron Curtain divided Europe politically and ideologically. The Cold War ended with the end of the Iron
Curtain. As the ideological division of Europe has disappeared, the cultural division of Europe between Western Christianity, on the one hand, and
Orthodox Christianity and Islam, on the other, has reemerged. The most significant dividing line in Europe, as William Wallace has suggested, may
well be the eastern boundary of Western Christianity in the year 1500. This line runs along what are now the boundaries between Finland and Russia
and between the Baltic states and Russia, cuts through Belarus and Ukraine separating the more Catholic western Ukraine from Orthodox eastern
Ukraine, swings westward separating Transylvania from the rest of Romania, and then goes through Yugoslavia almost exactly along the line now
separating Croatia and Slovenia from the rest of Yugoslavia. In the Balkans this line, of course, coincides with the historic boundary between the
Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. The peoples to the north and west of this line are Protestant or Catholic; they shared the common experiences of
European history -- feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution; they are
generally economically better off than the peoples to the east; and they may now look forward to increasing involvement in a common European economy
and to the consolidation of democratic political systems. The peoples to the east and south of this line are Orthodox or Muslim; they historically
belonged to the Ottoman or Tsarist empires and were only lightly touched by the shaping events in the rest of Europe; they are generally less
advanced economically; they seem much less likely to develop stable democratic political systems. The Velvet Curtain of culture has replaced the
Iron Curtain of ideology as the most significant dividing line in Europe. As the events in Yugoslavia show, it is not only a line of difference; it
is also at times a line of bloody conflict.
Conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic civilizations has been going on for 1,300 years. After the founding of Islam, the Arab and
Moorish surge west and north only ended at Tours in 732. From the eleventh to the thirteenth century the Crusaders attempted with temporary success
to bring Christianity and Christian rule to the Holy Land. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Turks reversed the balance,
extended their sway over the Middle East and the Balkans, captured Constantinople, and twice laid siege to Vienna. In the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries as Ottoman power declined Britain, France, and Italy established Western control over most of North Africa and the Middle East.
After World War II, the West, in turn, began to retreat; the colonial empires disappeared; first Arab nationalism and then Islamic fundamentalism
manifested themselves; the West became heavily dependent on the Persian Gulf countries for its energy; the oil-rich Muslim countries became
money-rich and, when they wished to, weapons-rich. Several wars occurred between Arabs and Israel (created by the West). France fought a bloody and
ruthless war in Algeria for most of the 1950s; British and French forces invaded Egypt in 1956; American forces went into Lebanon in 1958;
subsequently American forces returned to Lebanon, attacked Libya, and engaged in various military encounters with Iran; Arab and Islamic terrorists,
supported by at least three Middle Eastern governments, employed the weapon of the weak and bombed Western planes and installations and seized
Western hostages. This warfare between Arabs and the West culminated in 1990, when the United States sent a massive army to the Persian Gulf to
defend some Arab countries against aggression by another. In its aftermath NATO planning is increasingly directed to potential threats and
instability along its "southern tier."
This centuries-old military interaction between the West and Islam is unlikely to decline. It could become more virulent. The Gulf War left some
Arabs feeling proud that Saddam Hussein had attacked Israel and stood up to the West. It also left many feeling humiliated and resentful of the
West's military presence in the Persian Gulf, the West's overwhelming military dominance, and their apparent inability to shape their own
destiny. Many Arab countries, in addition to the oil exporters, are reaching levels of economic and social development where autocratic forms of
government become inappropriate and efforts to introduce democracy become stronger. Some openings in Arab political systems have already occurred.
The principal beneficiaries of these openings have been Islamist movements. In the Arab world, in short, Western democracy strengthens anti-Western
political forces. This may be a passing phenomenon, but it surely complicates relations between Islamic countries and the West.
Those relations are also complicated by demography. The spectacular population growth in Arab countries, particularly in North Africa, has led to
increased migration to Western Europe. The movement within Western Europe toward minimizing internal boundaries has sharpened political
sensitivities with respect to this development. In Italy, France and Germany, racism is increasingly open, and political reactions and violence
against Arab and Turkish migrants have become more intense and more widespread since 1990.
On both sides the interaction between Islam and the West is seen as a clash of civilizations. The West's "next confrontation,"
observes M. J. Akbar, an Indian Muslim author, "is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of the Islamic nations
from the Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin." Bernard Lewis comes to a similar conclusion:
"We are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less
than a clash of civilizations -- the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our
secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both."(2)
Historically, the other great antagonistic interaction of Arab Islamic civilization has been with the pagan, animist, and now increasingly Christian
black peoples to the south. In the past, this antagonism was epitomized in the image of Arab slave dealers and black slaves. It has been reflected
in the on-going civil war in the Sudan between Arabs and blacks, the fighting in Chad between Libyan-supported insurgents and the government, the
tensions between Orthodox Christians and Muslims in the Horn of Africa, and the political conflicts, recurring riots and communal violence between
Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. The modernization of Africa and the spread of Christianity are likely to enhance the probability of violence
along this fault line. Symptomatic of the intensification of this conflict was the Pope John Paul II's speech in Khartoum in February I993
attacking the actions of the Sudan's Islamist government against the Christian minority there.
On the northern border of Islam, conflict has increasingly erupted between Orthodox and Muslim peoples, including the carnage of Bosnia and
Sarajevo, the simmering violence between Serb and Albanian, the tenuous relations between Bulgarians and their Turkish minority, the violence
between Ossetians and Ingush, the unremitting slaughter of each other by Armenians and Azeris, the tense relations between Russians and Muslims in
Central Asia, and the deployment of Russian troops to protect Russian interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Religion reinforces the revital of
ethnic identities and restimulates Russian fears about the security of their southern borders. This concern is well captured by Archie Roosevelt:
"Much of Russian history concerns the struggle between the Slavs and the Turkic peoples on their borders, which dates back to the foundation of
the Russian state more than a thousand years ago. In the Slavs' millennium-long confrontation with their eastern neighbors lies the key to an
understanding not only of Russian history, but Russian character. To understand Russian realities today one has to have a concept of the great
Turkic ethnic group that has preoccupied Russians through the centuries."(3)
The conflict of civilizations is deeply rooted elsewhere in Asia. The historic clash between Muslim and Hindu in the subcontinent manifests itself
now not only in the rivalry between Pakistan and India but also in intensifying religious strife within India between increasingly militant Hindu
groups and India's substantial Muslim minority. The destruction of the Ayodhya mosque in December 1992 brought to the fore the issue of whether
India will remain a secular democratic state or become a Hindu one. In East Asia, China has outstanding territorial disputes with most of its
neighbors. It has pursued a ruthless policy toward the Buddhist people of Tibet, and it is pursuing an increasingly ruthless policy toward its
Turkic-Muslim minority. With the Cold War over, the underlying differences between China and the United States have reasserted themselves in areas
such as human rights, trade and weapons proliferation. These differences are unlikely to moderate. A "new cold war," Deng Xaioping
reportedly asserted in 1991, is under way between China and America.
The same phrase has been applied to the increasingly difficult relations between Japan and the United States. Here cultural difference exacerbates
economic conflict. People on each side allege racism on the other, but at least on the American side the antipathies are not racial but cultural.
The basic values, attitudes, behavioral patterns of the two societies could hardly be more different. The economic issues between the United States
and Europe are no less serious than those between the United States and Japan, but they do not have the same political salience and emotional
intensity because the differences between American culture and European culture are so much less than those between American civilization and
The interactions between civilizations vary greatly in the extent to which they are likely to be characterized by violence. Economic competition
clearly predominates between the American and European subcivilizations of the West and between both of them and Japan. On the Eurasian continent,
however, the proliferation of ethnic conflict, epitomized at the extreme in "ethnic cleansing," has not been totally random. It has been
most frequent and most violent between groups belonging to different civilizations. In Eurasia the great historic fault lines between civilizations
are once more aflame. This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to
central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists
in Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders.
CIVILIZATION RALLYING: THE KIN-COUNTRY SYNDROME
Groups or states belonging to one civilization that become involved in war with people from a different civilization naturally try to rally support
from other members of their own civilization. As the post-Cold War world evolves, civilization commonality, what H. D. S. Greenway has termed the
"kin-country" syndrome, is replacing political ideology and traditional balance of power considerations as the principal basis for
cooperation and coalitions. It can be seen gradually emerging in the post-Cold War conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and Bosnia. None of
these was a full-scale war between civilizations, but each involved some elements of civilizational rallying, which seemed to become more important
as the conflict continued and which may provide a foretaste of the future.
First, in the Gulf War one Arab state invaded another and then fought a coalition of Arab, Western and other states. While only a few Muslim
governments overtly supported Saddam Hussein, many Arab elites privately cheered him on, and he was highly popular among large sections of the Arab
publics. Islamic fundamentalist movements universally supported Iraq rather than the Western-backed governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Forswearing Arab nationalism, Saddam Hussein explicitly invoked an Islamic appeal. He and his supporters attempted to define the war as a war
between civilizations. "It is not the world against Iraq," as Safar Al-Hawali, dean of Islamic Studies at the Umm Al-Qura University in
Mecca, put it in a widely circulated tape. "It is the West against Islam." Ignoring the rivalry between Iran and Iraq, the chief Iranian
religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for a holy war against the West: "The struggle against American aggression, greed, plans and
policies will be counted as a jihad, and anybody who is killed on that path is a martyr." "This is a war," King Hussein of Jordan
argued, "against all Arabs and all Muslims and not against Iraq alone."
The rallying of substantial sections of Arab elites and publics behind Saddam Hussein caused those Arab governments in the anti-Iraq coalition to
moderate their activities and temper their public statements. Arab governments opposed or distanced themselves from subsequent Western efforts to
apply pressure on Iraq, including enforcement of a no-fly zone in the summer of 1992 and the bombing of Iraq in january I993. The
Western-Soviet-Turkish-Arab anti-Iraq coalition of 1990 had by 1993 become a coalition of almost only the West and Kuwait against Iraq.
Muslims contrasted Western actions against Iraq with the West's failure to protect Bosnians against Serbs and to impose sanctions on Israel for
violating U.N. resolutions. The West, they alleged, was using a double standard. A world of clashing civilizations, however, is inevitably a world
of double standards: people apply one standard to their kin-countries and a different standard to others.
Second, the kin-country syndrome also appeared in conflicts in the former Soviet Union. Armenian military successes in 1992 and I993 stimulated
Turkey to become increasingly supportive of its religious, ethnic and linguistic brethren in Azerbaijan. "We have a Turkish nation feeling the
same sentiments as the Azerbaijanis," said one Turkish official in 1992. "We are under pressure. Our newspapers are full of the photos of
atrocities and are asking us if we are still serious about pursuing our neutral policy. Maybe we should show Armenia that there's a big Turkey
in the region." President Turgut Ozal agreed, remarking that Turkey should at least "scare the Armenians a little bit." Turkey, Ozal
threatened again in 1993, would "show its fangs." Turkish Air Force jets flew reconnaissance flights along the Armenian border; Turkey
suspended food shipments and air flights to Armenia; and Turkey and Iran announced they would not accept dismemberment of Azerbaijan. In the last
years of its existence, the Soviet government supported Azerbaijan because its government was dominated by former communists. With the end of the
Soviet Union, however, political considerations gave way to religious ones. Russian troops fought on the side of the Armenians, and Azerbaijan
accused the "Russian government of turning 180 degrees" toward support for Christian Armenia.
Third, with respect to the fighting in the former Yugoslavia, Western publics manifested sympathy and support for the Bosnian Muslims and the
horrors they suffered at the hands of the Serbs. Relatively little concern was expressed, however, over Croatian attacks on Muslims and
participation in the dismemberment of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the early stages of the Yugoslav breakup, Germany, in an unusual display of diplomatic
initiative and muscle, induced the other 11 members of the European Community to follow its lead in recognizing Slovenia and Croatia. As a result of
the pope's determination to provide strong backing to the two Catholic countries, the Vatican extended recognition even before the Community
did. The United States followed the European lead. Thus the leading actors in Western civilization rallied behind their coreligionists. Subsequently
Croatia was reported to be receiving substantial quantities of arms from Central European and other Western countries. Boris Yeltsin's
government, on the other hand, attempted to pursue a middle course that would be sympathetic to the Orthodox Serbs but not alienate Russia from the
West. Russian conservative and nationalist groups, however, including many legislators, attacked the government for not being more forthcoming in
its support for the Serbs. By early 1993 several hundred Russians apparently were serving with the Serbian forces, and reports circulated of Russian
arms being supplied to Serbia.
Islamic governments and groups, on the other hand, castigated the West for not coming to the defense of the Bosnians. Iranian leaders urged Muslims
from all countries to provide help to Bosnia; in violation of the U.N. arms embargo, Iran supplied weapons and men for the Bosnians;
Iranian-supported Lebanese groups sent guerrillas to train and organize the Bosnian forces. In I993 up to 4,000 Muslims from over two dozen Islamic
countries were reported to be fighting in Bosnia. The governments of Saudi Arabia and other countries felt under increasing pressure from
fundamentalist groups in their own societies to provide more vigorous support for the Bosnians. By the end of 1992, Saudi Arabia had reportedly
supplied substantial funding for weapons and supplies for the Bosnians, which significantly increased their military capabilities vis-a-vis the
In the 1930s the Spanish Civil War provoked intervention from countries that politically were fascist, communist and democratic. In the 1990s the
Yugoslav conflict is provoking intervention from countries that are Muslim, Orthodox and Western Christian. The parallel has not gone unnoticed.
"The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has become the emotional equivalent of the fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War," one Saudi
editor observed. "Those who died there are regarded as martyrs who tried to save their fellow Muslims."
Conflicts and violence will also occur between states and groups within the same civilization. Such conflicts, however, are likely to be less
intense and less likely to expand than conflicts between civilizations. Common membership in a civilization reduces the probability of violence in
situations where it might otherwise occur. In 1991 and 1992 many people were alarmed by the possibility of violent conflict between Russia and
Ukraine over territory, particularly Crimea, the Black Sea fleet, nuclear weapons and economic issues. If civilization is what counts, however, the
likelihood of violence between Ukrainians and Russians should be low. They are two Slavic, primarily Orthodox peoples who have had close
relationships with each other for centuries. As of early 1993, despite all the reasons for conflict, the leaders of the two countries were
effectively negotiating and defusing the issues between the two countries. While there has been serious fighting between Muslims and Christians
elsewhere in the former Soviet Union and much tension and some fighting between Western and Orthodox Christians in the Baltic states, there has been
virtually no violence between Russians and Ukrainians.
Civilization rallying to date has been limited, but it has been growing, and it clearly has the potential to spread much further. As the conflicts
in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and Bosnia continued, the positions of nations and the cleavages between them increasingly were along
civilizational lines. Populist politicians, religious leaders and the media have found it a potent means of arousing mass support and of pressuring
hesitant governments. In the coming years, the local conflicts most likely to escalate into major wars will be those, as in Bosnia and the Caucasus,
along the fault lines between civilizations. The next world war, if there is one, will be a war between civilizations.
THE WEST VERSUS THE REST
The west in now at an extraordinary peak of power in relation to other civilizations. Its superpower opponent has disappeared from the map. Military
conflict among Western states is unthinkable, and Western military power is unrivaled. Apart from Japan, the West faces no economic challenge. It
dominates international political and security institutions and with Japan international economic institutions. Global political and security issues
are effectively settled by a directorate of the United States, Britain and France, world economic issues by a directorate of the United States,
Germany and Japan, all of which maintain extraordinarily close relations with each other to the exclusion of lesser and largely non-Western
countries. Decisions made at the U.N. Security Council or in the International Monetary Fund that reflect the interests of the West are presented to
the world as reflecting the desires of the world community. The very phrase "the world community" has become the euphemistic collective
noun (replacing "the Free World") to give global legitimacy to actions reflecting the interests of the United States and other Western
powers.(4) Through the IMF and other international economic institutions, the West promotes its economic interests and imposes on other nations the
economic policies it thinks appropriate. In any poll of non-Western peoples, the IMF undoubtedly would win the support of finance ministers and a
few others, but get an overwhelmingly unfavorable rating from just about everyone else, who would agree with Georgy Arbatov's characterization
of IMF officials as "neo-Bolsheviks who love expropriating other people's money, imposing undemocratic and alien rules of economic and
political conduct and stifling economic freedom."
Western domination of the U.N. Security Council and its decisions, tempered only by occasional abstention by China, produced U.N. legitimation of
the West's use of force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and its elimination of Iraq's sophisticated weapons and capacity to produce such
weapons. It also produced the quite unprecedented action by the United States, Britain and France in getting the Security Council to demand that
Libya hand over the Pan Am 103 bombing suspects and then to impose sanctions when Libya refused. After defeating the largest Arab army, the West did
not hesitate to throw its weight around in the Arab world. The West in effect is using international institutions, military power and economic
resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western predominance, protect Western interests and promote Western political and economic
That at least is the way in which non-Westerners see the new world, and there is a significant element of truth in their view. Differences in power
and struggles for military, economic and institutional power are thus one source of conflict between the West and other civilizations. Differences
in culture, that is basic values and beliefs, are a second source of conflict. V. S. Naipaul has argued that Western civilization is the
"universal civilization" that "fits all men." At a superficial level much of Western culture has indeed permeated the rest of the
world. At a more basic level, however, Western concepts differ fundamentally from those prevalent in other civilizations. Western ideas of
individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church
and state, often have little resonance in Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist or Orthodox cultures. Western efforts to propagate such
ideas produce instead a reaction against "human rights imperialism" and a reaffirmation of indigenous values, as can be seen in the
support for religious fundamentalism by the younger generation in non-Western cultures. The very notion that there could be a "universal
civilization" is a Western idea, directly at odds with the particularism of most Asian societies and their emphasis on what distinguishes one
people from another. Indeed, the author of a review of 100 comparative studies of values in different societies concluded that "the values that
are most important in the West are least important worldwide."(5) In the political realm, of course, these differences are most manifest in the
efforts of the United States and other Western powers to induce other peoples to adopt Western ideas concerning democracy and human rights. Modern
democratic government originated in the West. When it has developed in non-Western societies it has usually been the product of Western colonialism
The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be, in Kishore Mahbubani's phrase, the conflict between "the West and the
Rest" and the responses of non-Western civilizations to Western power and values.(6) Those responses generally take one or a combination of
three forms. At one extreme, non-Western states can, like Burma and North Korea, attempt to pursue a course of isolation, to insulate their
societies from penetration or "corruption" by the West, and, in effect, to opt out of participation in the Western-dominated global
community. The costs of this course, however, are high, and few states have pursued it exclusively. A second alternative, the equivalent of
"band-wagoning" in international relations theory, is to attempt to join the West and accept its values and institutions. The third
alternative is to attempt to "balance" the West by developing economic and military power and cooperating with other non-Western societies
against the West, while preserving indigenous values and institutions; in short, to modernize but not to Westernize.
THE TORN COUNTRIES
In the future, as people differentiate themselves by civilization, countries with large numbers of peoples of different civilizations, such as the
Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, are candidates for dismemberment. Some other countries have a fair degree of cultural homogeneity but are divided over
whether their society belongs to one civilization or another. These are torn countries. Their leaders typically wish to pursue a bandwagoning
strategy and to make their countries members of the West, but the history, culture and traditions of their countries are non-Western. The most
obvious and prototypical torn country is Turkey. The late twentieth-century leaders of Turkey have followed in the Attaturk tradition and defined
Turkey as a modern, secular, Western nation state. They allied Turkey with the West in NATO and in the Gulf War; they applied for membership in the
European Community. At the same time, however, elements in Turkish society have supported an Islamic revival and have argued that Turkey is
basically a Middle Eastern Muslim society. In addition, while the elite of Turkey has defined Turkey as a Western society, the elite of the West
refuses to accept Turkey as such. Turkey will not become a member of the European Community, and the real reason, as President Ozal said, "is
that we are Muslim and they are Christian and they don't say that." Having rejected Mecca, and then being rejected by Brussels, where does
Turkey look? Tashkent may be the answer. The end of the Soviet Union gives Turkey the opportunity to become the leader of a revived Turkic
civilization involving seven countries from the borders of Greece to those of China. Encouraged by the West, Turkey is making strenuous efforts to
carve out this new identity for itself.
During the past decade Mexico has assumed a position somewhat similar to that of Turkey. Just as Turkey abandoned its historic opposition to Europe
and attempted to join Europe, Mexico has stopped defining itself by its opposition to the United States and is instead attempting to imitate the
United States and to join it in the North American Free Trade Area. Mexican leaders are engaged in the great task of redefining Mexican identity and
have introduced fundamental economic reforms that eventually will lead to fundamental political change. In 1991 a top adviser to President Carlos
Salinas de Gortari described at length to me all the changes the Salinas government was making. When he finished, I remarked: "That's most
impressive. It seems to me that basically you want to change Mexico from a Latin American country into a North American country." He looked at
me with surprise and exclaimed: "Exactly! That's precisely what we are trying to do, but of course we could never say so publicly."
As his remark indicates, in Mexico as in Turkey, significant elements in society resist the redefinition of their country's identity. In
Turkey, European-oriented leaders have to make gestures to Islam (Ozal's pilgrimage to Mecca); so also Mexico's North American-oriented
leaders have to make gestures to those who hold Mexico to be a Latin American country (Salinas' Ibero-American Guadalajara summit).
Historically Turkey has been the most profoundly torn country. For the United States, Mexico is the most immediate torn country. Globally the most
important torn country is Russia. The question of whether Russia is part of the West or the leader of a distinct Slavic-Orthodox civilization has
been a recurring one in Russian history. That issue was obscured by the communist victory in Russia, which imported a Western ideology, adapted it
to Russian conditions and then challenged the West in the name of that ideology. The dominance of communism shut off the historic debate over
Westernization versus Russification. With communism discredited Russians once again face that question.
President Yeltsin is adopting Western principles and goals and seeking to make Russia a "normal" country and a part of the West. Yet both
the Russian elite and the Russian public are divided on this issue. Among the more moderate dissenters, Sergei Stankevich argues that Russia should
reject the "Atlanticist" course, which would lead it "to become European, to become a part of the world economy in rapid and organized
fashion, to become the eighth member of the Seven, and to put particular emphasis on Germany and the United States as the two dominant members of
the Atlantic alliance." While also rejecting an exclusively Eurasian policy, Stankevich nonetheless argues that Russia should give priority to
the protection of Russians in other countries, emphasize its Turkic and Muslim connections, and promote "an appreciable redistribution of our
resources, our options, our ties, and our interests in favor of Asia, of the eastern direction." People of this persuasion criticize Yeltsin
for subordinating Russia's interests to those of the West, for reducing Russian military strength, for failing to support traditional friends
such as Serbia, and for pushing economic and political reform in ways injurious to the Russian people. Indicative of this trend is the new
popularity of the ideas of Petr Savitsky, who in the 1920s argued that Russia was a unique Eurasian civilization.(7) More extreme dissidents voice
much more blatantly nationalist, anti-Western and anti-Semitic views, and urge Russia to redevelop its military strength and to establish closer
ties with China and Muslim countries. The people of Russia are as divided as the elite. An opinion survey in European Russia in the spring of 1992
revealed that 40% of the public had positive attitudes toward the West and 36% had negative attitudes. As it has been for much of its history,
Russia in the early 1990s is truly a torn country.
To redefine its civilization identity, a torn country must meet three requirements. First, its political and economic elite has to be generally
supportive of and enthusiastic about this move. Second, its public has to be willing to acquiesce in the redefinition. Third, the dominant groups in
the recipient civilization have to be willing to embrace the convert. All three requirements in large part exist with respect to Mexico. The first
two in large part exist with respect to Turkey. It is not clear that any of them exist with respect to Russia's joining the West. The conflict
between liberal democracy and Marxism-Leninism was between ideologies which, despite their major differences, ostensibly shared ultimate goals of
freedom, equality and prosperity. A traditional, authoritarian, nationalist Russia could have quite different goals. A Western democrat could carry
on an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. It would be virtually impossible for him to do that with a Russian traditionalist. If, as the
Russians stop behaving like Marxists, they reject liberal democracy and begin behaving like Russians but not like Westerners, the relations between
Russia and the West could again become distant and conflictual.(8)
THE CONFUCIAN-ISLAMIC CONNECTION
The obstacles to non-Western countries joining the West vary considerably. They are least for Latin American and East European countries. They are
greater for the Orthodox countries of the former Soviet Union. They are still greater for Muslim, Confucian, Hindu and Buddhist societies. Japan has
established a unique position for itself as an associate member of the West: it is in the West in some respects but clearly not of the West in
important dimensions. Those countries that for reason of culture and power do not wish to, or cannot, join the West compete with the West by
developing their own economic, military and political power. They do this by promoting their internal development and by cooperating with other
non-Western countries. The most prominent form of this cooperation is the Confucian-Islamic connection that has emerged to challenge Western
interests, values and power.
Almost without exception, Western countries are reducing their military power; under Yeltsin's leadership so also is Russia. China, North Korea
and several Middle Eastern states, however, are significantly expanding their military capabilities. They are doing this by the import of arms from
Western and non-Western sources and by the development of indigenous arms industries. One result is the emergence of what Charles Krauthammer has
called "Weapon States," and the Weapon States are not Western states. Another result is the redefinition of arms control, which is a
Western concept and a Western goal. During the Cold War the primary purpose of arms control was to establish a stable military balance between the
United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies. In the post-Cold War world the primary objective of arms control is to prevent the
development by non-Western societies of military capabilities that could threaten Western interests. The West attempts to do this through
international agreements, economic pressure and controls on the transfer of arms and weapons technologies.
The conflict between the West and the Confucian-Islamic states focuses largely, although not exclusively, on nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons, ballistic missiles and other sophisticated means for delivering them, and the guidance, intelligence and other electronic capabilities for
achieving that goal. The West promotes nonproliferation as a universal norm and nonproliferation treaties and inspections as means of realizing that
norm. It also threatens a variety of sanctions against those who promote the spread of sophisticated weapons and proposes some benefits for those
who do not. The attention of the West focuses, naturally, on nations that are actually or potentially hostile to the West.
The non-Western nations, on the other hand, assert their right to acquire and to deploy whatever weapons they think necessary for their security.
They also have absorbed, to the full, the truth of the response of the Indian defense minister when asked what lesson he learned from the Gulf War:
"Don't fight the United States unless you have nuclear weapons." Nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and missiles are viewed, probably
erroneously, as the potential equalizer of superior Western conventional power. China, of course, already has nuclear weapons; Pakistan and India
have the capability to deploy them. North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Algeria appear to be attempting to acquire them. A top Iranian official has
declared that all Muslim states should acquire nuclear weapons, and in 1988 the president of Iran reportedly issued a directive calling for
development of "offensive and defensive chemical, biological and radiological weapons."
Centrally important to the development of counter-West military capabilities is the sustained expansion of China's military power and its means
to create military power. Buoyed by spectacular economic development, China is rapidly increasing its military spending and vigorously moving
forward with the modernization of its armed forces. It is purchasing weapons from the former Soviet states; it is developing long-range missiles; in
1992 it tested a one-megaton nuclear device. It is developing power-projection capabilities, acquiring aerial refueling technology, and trying to
purchase an aircraft carrier. Its military buildup and assertion of sovereignty over the South China Sea are provoking a multilateral regional arms
race in East Asia. China is also a major exporter of arms and weapons technology. It has exported materials to Libya and Iraq that could be used to
manufacture nuclear weapons and nerve gas. It has helped Algeria build a reactor suitable for nuclear weapons research and production. China has
sold to Iran nuclear technology that American officials believe could only be used to create weapons and apparently has shipped components of
300-mile-range missiles to Pakistan. North Korea has had a nuclear weapons program under way for some while and has sold advanced missiles and
missile technology to Syria and Iran. The flow of weapons and weapons technology is generally from East Asia to the Middle East. There is, however,
some movement in the reverse direction; China has received Stinger missiles from Pakistan.
A Confucian-Islamic military connection has thus come into being, designed to promote acquisition by its members of the weapons and weapons
technologies needed to counter the military power of the West. It may or may not last. At present, however, it is, as Dave McCurdy has said, "a
renegades' mutual support pact, run by the proliferators and their backers." A new form of arms competition is thus occurring between
Islamic-Confucian states and the West. In an old-fashioned arms race, each side developed its own arms to balance or to achieve superiority against
the other side. In this new form of arms competition, one side is developing its arms and the other side is attempting not to balance but to limit
and prevent that arms build-up while at the same time reducing its own military capabilities.
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WEST
This article does not argue that civilization identities will replace all other identities, that nation states will disappear, that each
civilization will become a single coherent political entity, that groups within a civilization will not conflict with and even fight each other.
This paper does set forth the hypotheses that differences between civilizations are real and important; civilization-consciousness is increasing;
conflict between civilizations will supplant ideological and other forms of conflict as the dominant global form of conflict; international
relations, historically a game played out within Western civilization, will increasingly be de-Westernized and become a game in which non-Western
civilizations are actors and not simply objects; successful political, security and economic international institutions are more likely to develop
within civilizations than across civilizations; conflicts between groups in different civilizations will be more frequent, more sustained and more
violent than conflicts between groups in the same civilization; violent conflicts between groups in different civilizations are the most likely and
most dangerous source of escalation that could lead to global wars; the paramount axis of world politics will be the relations between "the
West and the Rest"; the elites in some torn non-Western countries will try to make their countries part of the West, but in most cases face
major obstacles to accomplishing this; a central focus of conflict for the immediate future will be between the West and several Islamic-Confucian
This is not to advocate the desirability of conflicts between civilizations. It is to set forth descriptive hypotheses as to what the future may be
like. If these are plausible hypotheses, however, it is necessary to consider their implications for Western policy. These implications should be
divided between short-term advantage and long- term accommodation.
In the short term it is clearly in the interest of the West to promote greater cooperation and unity within its own civilization, particularly
between its European and North American components; to incorporate into the West societies in Eastern Europe and Latin America whose cultures are
close to those of the West; to promote and maintain cooperative relations with Russia and Japan; to prevent escalation of local inter-civilization
conflicts into major inter-civilization wars; to limit the expansion of the military strength of Confucian and Islamic states; to moderate the
reduction of Western military capabilities and maintain military superiority in East and Southwest Asia; to exploit differences and conflicts among
Confucian and Islamic states; to support in other civilizations groups sympathetic to Western values and interests; to strengthen international
institutions that reflect and legitimate Western interests and values and to promote the involvement of non-Western states in those institutions.
In the longer term other measures would be called for. Western civilization is both Western and modern. Non-Western civilizations have attempted to
become modern without becoming Western. To date only Japan has fully succeeded in this quest. Non-Western civilizations will continue to attempt to
acquire the wealth, technology, skills, machines and weapons that are part of being modern. They will also attempt to reconcile this modernity with
their traditional culture and values. Their economic and military strength relative to the West will increase. Hence the West will increasingly have
to accommodate these non-Western modern civilizations whose power approaches that of the West but whose values and interests differ significantly
from those of the West. This will require the West to maintain the economic and military power necessary to protect its interests in relation to
these civilizations. It will also, however, require the West to develop a more profound understanding of the basic religious and philosophical
assumptions underlying other civilizations and the ways in which people in those civilizations see their interests. It will require an effort to
identify elements of commonality between Western and other civilizations. For the relevant future, there will be no universal civilization, but
instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others.
(1) Murray Weidenbaum, Greater China: The Next Economic Superpower?, St. Louis: Washington University Center for the Study of American Business,
Contemporary Issues, Series 57, February 1993, pp. 2-3.
(2) Bernard Lewis, "The Roots of Muslim Rage," The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 266, September 1990, p. 6o; Time, June 15, 1992, pp. 24-28.
(3) Archie Roosevelt, For Lust of Knowing, Boston: Little, Brown, 1988, PP 332-333.
(4) Almost invariably Western leaders claim they are acting on behalf of "the world community." One minor lapse occurred during the run-up
to the Gulf War. In an interview on "Good Morning America," Dec. 21, 1990, British Prime Minister John Major referred to the actions
"the West" was taking against Saddam Hussein. He quickly corrected himself and subsequently referred to "the world community."
He was, however, right when he erred.
(5) Harry C. Triandis, The New York Times, Dec. 2S, 1990, p. 41, and "Cross-Cultural Studies of Individualism and Collectivism," Nebraska
Symposium on Motivation, vol. 37, 1989, pp. 41-133.
(6) Kishore Mahbubani, "The West and the Rest," The National Interest, Summer 1992, pp. 3-13.
(7) Sergei Stankevich, "Russia in Search of Itself," The National Interest, Summer 1992, pp. 47-51; Daniel Schneider, "A Russian
Movement Rejects Western Tilt," Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 5, 1993, pp. 5-7.
(8) Owen Harries has pointed out that Australia is trying (unwisely in his view) to become a torn country in reverse. Although it has been a full
member not only of the West but also of the ABCA military and intelligence core of the West, its current leaders are in effect proposing that it
defect from the West, redefine itself as an Asian country and cultivate dose ties with its neighbors. Australia's future, they argue, is with
the dynamic economies of East Asia. But, as I have suggested, close economic cooperation normally requires a common cultural base. In addition, none
of the three conditions necessary for a torn country to join another civilization is likely to exist in Australia's case.
-- Samuel P. Huntington is the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at
Harvard University. This article is the product of the Olin Institute's project on "The Changing Security Environment and American