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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Daniel Chung


The Setonian
Column

The End of the World Has Just Begun: Western Europe goes under

President Donald Trump’s actions towards the United States’ Western European allies, such as his mocking of German energy policy at the U.N., left relations strained, with a lasting impact even under President Joe Biden, but this may have been because of a structural reason that no one saw. Namely, Western Europe’s place and significance in the international system has declined since the beginning of the 20th century, leaving not only its future relationship with America, but also its future as a whole, ambiguous.

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The End of the World Has Just Begun: What inflation?

Since the beginning of the year, the White House has been crowing about progress made against inflation, as recently as a few days ago. Unfortunately, even if the numbers do not lie — and there has certainly been discussion about the extent to which current calculations are truly representative of inflation rates — this story is not likely to remain true for much longer.

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The End of the World Has Just Begun: A pivot to Africa?

For the past few years, there has been increasing discussion in the foreign policy community about Washington’s role in the Global South: an often neglected part of international relations. With the primacy of the United States waning in institutions like the United Nations and in the Global South —17 African states abstained from a vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and one voted against it — the necessity for Washington to regain soft power influence over the region has been under a spotlight, as the United States seeks to preserve the global liberal order. Now, the time has come for a coordinated Africa strategy.

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The End of the World Has Just Begun: The imperial backyard

Empires are built out of chaos, and when they fall, chaos often replaces them. As we soon may learn, this lesson applies to Russia and its periphery. Ever since the 19th century, Moscow has ruled over the Caucasus mountains, much of Central Asia and its Far East territories, and to this day has remained the regional security guarantor in the post-Cold War era. But now, ever since the Russia-Ukraine war exposed the weaknesses of Russian military force, its authority in the region has significantly deteriorated. Unfortunately, it is likely that this slackening will only lead to intensified geopolitical competition. Besides the Caucasus and potential internal security problems, the Central Asian states are where this is most likely to occur.

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The End of the World Has Just Begun: From fistfights to more?

In the waning weeks of 2022, a video circulated online of Chinese and Indian troops stationed in the Himalayas engaging one another with sticks as weapons. The clash happened near the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh, part of the disputed territory between the two states. Although this belligerent behavior seems par for the course, combined with other recent foreign policy moves by the Chinese government, the clashes in the Himalayas actually highlight a potential new or refocused strategy for China.

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The End of the World Has Just Begun: A new way forward

The next three decades — at least — in global politics are bound to be a wild ride. Even if my previous columns are incorrect in their predictions — and I do hope that the scale of the global collapse and regional conflicts to come will not be as devastating as I fear — the major trends of depopulation, deglobalization and the result of the regionalization of economics, politics and security remain certain. Another almost-certain constant, though, is the United States’ primacy. What should the United States do with all this remaining power, and its relative position in the international system?

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The End of the World Has Just Begun: The long peace ends

The security architecture of the world will soon be changed as the United States somewhat recedes from its role as guarantor of global security and challengers seek regional hegemony to take advantage of America’s apparent weakness. The two main trends I have pointed to, the fracturing of critical supply chains and global depopulation, are depleting resources across the globe, and subsequent increasing scarcity enforces the feeling by states of being forced to play their hands before they lose the power to do so.

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