Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/nq2sq3

Rip van Winkle and the Age of Complacency

11 August 2022


Let us suggest that he or she fell asleep in the early years of the millennium, the Y2K bug well behind us and the belief that the new Century would bring peace and prosperity across the five continents with nations abiding by the international order set up in the wake of the Second World War and accepted by all nations at the end of the Cold War. [...] The biggest mistake made over the decade of the 1990s was the assumption by the West that the Western democratic model would bring peace, prosperity, and a common alignment of interests between all nations. [...] The West struggled to make any reasonable outcome in the region and, when the time came to pull out of Afghanistan, the chaos and panic reminded the world of the American’s failure in Vietnam 50 years’ earlier. [...] The strategies developed by both Russia and China have long historical provenance: Tsar Ivan the Terrible and Catherine the Great would have recognised Putin’s strategy as their own and Xi’s attitude towards the South China Sea and all the islands, including Taiwan is a direct descendent from the powerful Emperors of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. [...] The United Nations is almost powerless in that two of the five permanent members are autocrats and do not believe in the concept of the Rule of Law and the rights of people.