Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 05:23:27 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Guns alone don't make a superpower

By
06th-Jul-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Shada Islam :
Having struck at the heart of the once all-powerful Group of Seven (G7) of industrialised countries, caused havoc among world trading nations and insulted almost all key allies, is US President Donald Trump now going to take an axe to the NATO military alliance?
The short answer is: "yes". The longer one is: "yes, probably". The US President has made no secret of his contempt for the Alliance. He thinks the US is being taken advantage of: European states aren't spending enough on defence and who wants to sit around talking endlessly about cooperation and solidarity anyway?
No surprise then that Europeans, who haven't forgotten the anti-Alliance tirade they received last year, are braced for another bruising NATO summit in Brussels on 11-12 July. More recent Trump suggestions that the US should leave the Alliance because "NATO is as bad as NAFTA" or that the EU was set up to take advantage of the US are laughable of course.  But the president appears to be deadly serious. The one hope is that this time around, Trump may be in a good mood given his date with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July. But there is also fear of the ultimate insult: an unhappy and acrimonious NATO summit, followed only days later with a warm embrace of the West's now-favourite adversary.
That's what happened after the G7 summit in Canada when Trump, having thumbed his nose at his six G7 partners, jetted off in a huff for a love-in with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. It's not just about NATO, however. True, the US president has a special bee in his bonnet about European "free riders" when it comes to military expenditure and Europeans themselves acknowledge the need to update their defence budgets but the fact is that Trump hates any organisation, any initiative, any agreement which has the nasty whiff of international cooperation. Rules-based multilateralism, nations working together, despite their differences, to tackle trans-border challenges like climate change, the proliferation of nuclear weapons or keeping their markets open to foreign trade are just not his thing. Best to get used to it and move on.
And that is exactly what seems to be happening. Finally.
Nine EU countries have agreed to establish a European military force for rapid deployment in times of crisis, an initiative which has won the backing of the UK as it seeks to maintain defence ties after Brexit and of NATO which sees the move as complementary. There's also the wider EU plan for Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on security and defence and a recent EU blueprint for more pro-active security cooperation "in and with" Asia.
These and other European endeavours to burnish Europe's hard security credentials are important. However it is Europe's "soft power" in dealing with "non-traditional security" challenges which is really unrivalled - and increasingly relevant. That's nothing to be ashamed of or defensive about. Contrary to what Trump and other "strong men" believe, the real threats to global peace and stability in the 21st Century don't always emanate from inter-state conflicts and wars. And armies aren't the answer to all global security challenges. Certainly, nationalism, rival territorial claims, ideological differences and fear of war - as well as the desire to modernise their armies and hedge against potential confrontation - are pushing countries to spend more on acquiring and manufacturing conventional arms and nuclear weapons. Threats to world peace, however, also come from non-state actors, including ISIS and its offshoots, and from an array of hybrid threats which cannot be defeated by military action alone.
Stability and prosperity are threatened by non-traditional security threats, including climate change, trafficking in people, competition for water, energy and food as well as cyber warfare and increasingly sophisticated disinformation campaigns. As such, while development aid may seem unrelated to security, Agenda 2030 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is primarily about building a safer world. A multilateral rules-based order is another major pillar of peace and security.
NATO will survive Trump and Europe will certainly push ahead with new security initiatives. But in a world which will count almost 10 billion people in 2050, it's states who invest in keeping their citizens well-fed, healthy, employed and resilient in the face of natural and manmade disasters which will be the real global super powers.
(Shada Islam is the director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe. This opinion piece was first posted on that organisation's website).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Football »

New York City forward David Villa (7) movers the ball as Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) defends during the first half of their MLS playoff soccer match in Atlanta on Sunday.


Football »

Ronaldo ends San Siro hoodoo as Juventus beat Milan 2-0


AP, Milan :Cristiano Ronaldo ended his San Siro hoodoo to help Juventus to a 2-0 win after AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty against his former team on Sunday.Higuain left Juventus in the offseason following the signing of Ronaldo and he had a nightmare game as he was ...

Editorial »

No development yet in city's road traffic management


THE directives to ensure discipline in traffic system issued by higher authorities have failed to bring any result. The traffic rule violation is still rampant. Almost all directives addressing owners and workers of city service buses and human haulers, pedestrians and drivers went unheeded. If the traffic management system returns ...

International »

California wildfires: Death toll reaches grim milestone


The death toll in wildfires sweeping California has risen to 31, with more than 200 people still unaccounted for, officials have said.Six more people were confirmed killed in the Camp Fire in the north of the state, taking the toll there to 29.That fire now equals the deadliest on record ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina receiving ASOCIO 2018 Digital Government Award from Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Mostofa Zabbar at the cabinet meeting on Monday.


Entertainment »

Mamo, Puja share big screen for first time


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :It was earlier fixed that Raihan Rafi directed and Jaaz Multimedia produced movie Dohon was scheduled to release on November 16. Later releasing date was changed to November 30. Owner of Jaaz Abdul Aziz confirmed the matter yesterday. Main theme of the story was given by him ...

Entertainment »

Sonakshi Sinha has only special appearance in Mission Mangal?


Actor Akshya Kumar recently announced the entire cast of India’s first space film Mission Mangal. The film is set to go on floors next month and will be helmed by Jagan Shakti. Besides Akshay as the main lead, Mission Mangal has an impeccable leading cast that includes names like Vidya ...

Football »

Iran women attend Asian Football final in rare `victory`


Hundreds of Iranian women attended a crunch football match in Tehran, in a rare step seen Sunday as a "victory" by local newspapers and hailed by FIFA as an "historic and festive day" for the sport.About a thousand women were allowed into Azadi Stadium late Saturday to watch Iranian giant ...

Editorial »

Bring the criminals to book and ensure their harsher punishment


ANOTHER woman was killed in a running bus on Friday night. This time her father was also pushed off the vehicle on Dhaka-Tangail highway in Savar. The incident may remind one of the rape and murder of law student Rupa Khatun inside a running bus in Tangail over a year ...

International »

Change tack or face defeat, Brexit critics tell British PM May


Reuters, London  :Prime Minister Theresa May was under growing pressure on Sunday to change her plan for Britain to leave the European Union to avoid defeat in a parliamentary vote.With both Britain and the EU suggesting an agreement is close, eurosceptic lawmakers and a leading member of a small Northern ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired a meeting of Awami League (AL) Parliamentary Nomination Board as the party president at the AL's Central Office at Bangabandhu Avenue yesterday afternoon.


Entertainment »

Pori Moni to star as a journalist in upcoming crime thriller


Entertainment Desk :One of the top actresses of the country Pori Moni will be featured in Gias Uddin Selim's new web series titled, 'Preeti.' The Dhallywood star will be seen playing a role of investigative journalist in this upcoming crime thriller. In 'Preeti,' Pori Moni will unveil the crime world and ...

Business & Economy »

20 years is the timeline to replace greed-driven society: Prof Yunus


UNB , Wolfsburg, Germany :Nobel laureate professor Muhammad Yunus has set a 20-year timeline to build a new civilisation alongside replacing the "greed-driven" society which will help remove enormous amount of "frustration and gloom"."Twenty years, that's the timeline. It's possible," he said urging all to start the countdown to that ...

International »

Sri Lanka crisis deepens as President calls snap election


AFP, Colombo :Sri Lanka plunged deeper into crisis Saturday after President Maithripala Sirisena called a snap election, leaving the country facing a further two months of damaging political paralysis with a pair of bitter rivals claiming to run his government.In what opponents condemned as an illegal move, Sirisena dissolved parliament ...

Football »

Members of Bangladesh Olympic Women`s Football team during their practice session at Yangon in Myanmar on Saturday. Bangladesh will face their counterpart India today in their Asian Qualifiers of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news