International System’s Continuity

December 21, 2023
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5 mins read

The international system is like a turbulent sea. Each ship on it can be thought of as Noah’s Ark. It is crucial that these ships are built to withstand the waves. I’m not talking about overcoming the waves, but about the construction and characteristics of the ship. These ships are the nations themselves. The formation of nations depends on a system. The system embodies certain understandings and is distinguished by its high value. It’s essential to navigate through the turbulent or dark seas without getting lost, sinking, or colliding. These ships have their leaders. Each one should be like Noah.

The Purpose of War

While ships are sailing in the sea, they should not collide. Starting with a prominent example, when Adolf Hitler wanted to conquer Europe, his goal was to dominate the world. This was like saying the seas will be mine. However, he did not offer a system to other nations. Besides Hitler’s vengeful and aggressive thoughts, we also explain the matter fundamentally. The Treaty of Versailles (1919), signed after World War I (1914-19), became the preparatory cause of World War II (1939-45). What was the problem of the Germans after World War I? At that time, Hitler was not on the scene. But there was something else, colonialism. Colonialism is a bad thing, turning into a merciless competition. Greed, ambition… European states had become imperial powers over other geographies of the world. We explain this with the terms of the Congress of Vienna (1815). Thus, there must be principles to consider first when building ships.

Peace, Freedom, Independence

In the turbulent and dark oceans, nations fought each other for 30 years. The source of this was Europe, European captains. Hitler’s fascist war evolved into a fight for freedom and independence for America and Europe. They were right. Where there is an aggressive dictator, there will be those seeking freedom and independence. If one side attacks, the other must go to war to establish peace. The efforts of Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin to heal the deep wounds opened by someone like Hitler, who went wrong in every way, are highly valuable. For all communities invaded and engulfed in fire, achieving freedom is a very high goal. The opposite of these points is unthinkable. The concepts advanced at that time are still worth using.

System and Its Operation

Particularly the United States and Britain used the idea of freedom and independence during the war to describe the most suitable system for peace after the war. This was a political aim and a strong ideal. The architects of the international system also strived to establish relevant institutions, create law, and ensure socio-economic and socio-political adoption. But then humanity faced two different system proposals, and their competition was dealt with. The sea of the East and the sea of the West…

The aims of those who wage war are different. Occupation should not exist, and if it does, it should be abandoned immediately. This has been known since ancient times. Although there are various discussions about the expansionism of Rome, in terms of our topic, we can say this: there was a system proposal that could elevate different peoples to higher levels. Being Roman meant being against being barbaric; being in the system meant fighting against systemlessness. Similarly, in the Bipolar World, two systems were proposed: one advocating liberal democracy, the other socialism. One system proposed a free world, the other a proletarian rule. Thus, we reached the end of the twentieth century…

Today, the United States maintains a large army, operates on a hard power-based deterrent security concept, and uses familiar concepts in defining its enemy: Democracy, freedom, ending authoritarian regimes, etc. Concrete enemies of the liberal democratic system: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran. These country names appear in the U.S. National Security Strategy.

With this approach, although they found themselves in various places in the experience of World Wars, today’s democratic system or freedom-loving world includes: Continental Europe up to the Russian border, Britain, Canada, in the Pacific countries like Japan, South Korea, and in Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand. There is a system here still used socio-economically by the whole world. The leader of this system is the United States; however, it says, “You’re either with me or against me.”

What is the name of the system proposed by the Russian Federation formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union? What does the Communist Party approach of the People’s Republic of China, which has come from Mao’s starting point to today, promise the world? Just anti-Americanism, anti-imperialism, and anti-colonialism. The ideas proposed by Russia and China, due to the problematic strategies and policies of the United States from the beginning of the Unipolar World, are: Anti-Americanism, Western imperialism, and colonialism. In other words, these dominant actors are trying to initiate a new formation by narrating their situations inversely. This is visible. But will it hold?

In response to this visibility, if, especially the United States, Britain, and European Union countries, apply their policies on the right line, abandon their strategies that challenge their rivals at the extreme ends based on current global competition, and if they do not leave a criticizable aspect in their activities, wouldn’t they attract more supporters on a much larger scale through the democratic system they advocate, wouldn’t they be more attractive? Their biggest advantage is having a valid system. Where are their mistakes? They are turning this into a petty calculation for their own interests, using it with two-faced policies. In this case, they will either waste their system or have to reconsider themselves. They have reached a point of differentiation. Everyone is saying the same thing, America’s enemy is itself. This claim can also be explained in terms of the proper implementation of the system.

Today’s Conflicts

I started the article by explaining war and peace, but my main intent was the political system. I think I have sufficiently expressed this. Now, I will briefly return to the topic of war. Today, two conflicts are happening simultaneously; in Ukraine and Gaza.

Putin invaded Crimea in 2014, and then various games took place in the Donbas region. In 2022, he wanted to start a comprehensive invasion. This did not happen, he changed his target and method, and now he is trying to annex about 20% of Ukraine’s territory to his own country. The concept here is occupation. Does Russia have a system proposal? No. How does it defend itself? Protecting Ukraine’s territories from Imperialism and rescuing them from fascists! If this were a world war, the representatives of the liberal democratic system led by the U.S. would not only provide weapons, money, and political support to Ukraine, they would be directly involved in the war. But they have no intention to enter the war. The conditions are currently in a state of uncertainty. This war’s significant feature is its potential to become a world war. Localizing the war is also an important strategy.

Let’s look at the other conflict. The conflict in Gaza is not of the type that would lead to a world war. Then why can’t it be resolved? Today, which power can persuade Israel for a Two-State solution with Palestine? If lasting peace is sought in the Middle East, what is America waiting for to grant the Palestinian people their rights to sovereign, free, and democratic life on their lands established by agreements? For America, is the real issue making the advocated system accepted, or is it standing by Israel no matter what? The enemies of America are clear, and if Iran is among them in the Middle East, what would a rational solution require under these conditions? If the issue is terrorism, then the way to combat it is to dry it up at its source.

Conclusion

If you have built an important system with the aim and ideal of advancing under all conditions in the oceans, you will always favor its continuity. This is an easier and more promising solution. Be like Noah!

He was born in Çanakkale in 1961. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982 with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He served in various intelligence roles as a staff officer both domestically and abroad. He worked as an intelligence instructor and School Commander. He signed many documents published in the Armed Forces. He participated in the Bosnia and Kosovo Operations under NATO. He undertook special duties and administration in counter-terrorism efforts both domestically and internationally. He served as a Military Attaché. He retired in 2007 following his position as the Director of Air Force Intelligence. He held senior management positions in the private sector both domestically and internationally. He has published works, one of which is his latest book titled "Barış Pınarı." He is currently consulting, blogging, and providing commentary in the media on Intelligence, Politics, Defense, Security, Strategy, and Geopolitics.

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