• http://www.stuartcrow.com/ Stuart Crow

    The problem with the revival of Great Power diplomacy is that if we look at it in terms of 19th century geopolitics, the Russians are “us” (Putin is only doing the sort of thing Palmerston used to do), the Chinese are the French (Obsessed with imposing “mother country” culture on subjugated peoples), the US are the Austro-Hungarians (fading but still capable of putting a force in the field) and Europe is the Ottoman Empire (collapsing, bits falling off it, but nobody has quite worked out how finally to partition it yet). There are other things that look rather familiar (Great Power realises it’s losing influence in an area it once dominated and panics – the Pacific in the US case, Germany in Austria’s, the margins of Russia for Europe and the Ottomans).

    As well as that, all round the world second- and third-level states are arming themselves while we carry on narrowing our defence capability further and further. What has happened is that the Western (and particularly UK) foreign policy “Establishment” has swallowed the nonsense originating with Fukuyama about the “End of History”. However, we now find ourselves not at the “end” of anything, but back again at the start of what looks like a loop.

    • Lee Jenkins

      Very good points