Posted by: bklunk | February 20, 2007

A Change Is Gonna Come?

Can these three countries (perhaps with others) collaborate to balance the US? Would that lead to a shift in power in the international system?

New Multipolar System? « International Relations

Will there be a new international system? A change in interaction between international actors India, China, and Russia may change the international system from a US dominated hegemonic system to a multipolar system. In the article in news vine, “Giants Meet to Counter US Power”, author Jeremy page states that these nations met to talk about cooperation.

“India, China and Russia account for 40 per cent of the world’s population, a fifth of its economy and more than half of its nuclear warheads. Now they appear to be forming a partnership to challenge the US-dominated world order that has prevailed since the end of the Cold War. Foreign ministers from the three emerging giants met in Delhi yesterday to discuss ways to build a more democratic “multipolar world”.

Page states that the foreign ministers claim their goal was “not to form an alliance against the US, but that it was, “on the contrary, intended to promote international harmony and understanding.” The question the states are addressing is, ”how to use their growing economic and political muscle to prevent Washington from tackling such issues alone.”

The states are against the US taking matters into its own hands, and promote working with the UN in dealing with international conflicts.

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  1. The fact that India, Russia, and China are forming an alliance to counteract the hegemonic power of the United States is much concern to me. They say that they are not forming an alliance to combat against the US, but to promote harmony and understanding and I think that is a bunch of crap. Of course they are attemoting to combat against the US. As the US we need to do more to ensure that our hegemonic power is secured and to counteract their measures to create a multipolar system. I know that I am not interested in living in a world where Russian and China have major say in what occurs on a daily basis. That is a little frightening to me.

  2. My first impression is that this is a bit of doubletalk from this alliance, but I’d like to believe otherwise. At this point in time, I don’t think that it’s entirely impossible that these states mean exactly what they see. They never said they wouldn’t be happy if U.S. hegemony were weakened, only that this is not their primary goal. It is quite likely that they are interested not in changing relations with the U.S., or grabbing power, but to have their individual economic and other interests represented. They may also want to work on sort of universal goals of increasing standards of living. What it really sounds like is that they want to sort of be a check or a questioner of U.S. policy. There is a subtle difference between this and a blatant ‘attack on hegemony’,.

  3. I think at first glance this can be a very disheartening issue. It is concerning that these three countries could be trying to form an alliance to effectively reduce the power of the United States. Especially since in recent news Putin has been making many comments that seem to glorify the days of the Cold War. While I am not against the idea of a multipolar system, the alliance would concern me since it would be the three allied states against the US in most issues. But I think it is also important to consider how realistic it is for these three countries to form an alliance and what the United States could do to prevent an alliance if we saw it as a legitimate threat. I think that if this was truly a threat to the US, there are many economic ways of handling the issue. Both India and China are important trade partners with the United States and might think twice about forming an alliance if the US threatened economic repercussions. I also think it is important to consider what is already mentioned above, the intention of these countries might not be to take the United States out of the running as an important player in global affairs, but rather allow their countries to have a greater say in what happens around the globe. While it is a luxury to be the dominate player and have the final say in foreign affairs, it might also be nice to have other states more involved as well so that we aren’t consistently blamed for the many things that are wrong in the world today. The U.S. might finally get out of the catch-22 position it is often in. I think time will only tell if this is an alliance that we should fear or an alliance trying to simply bring another point of view to the table.

  4. In an ideal world, a multipolar system could be nice. If these powers are genuinely interested in converging to enhance global affairs without weakening the influence of the U.S. this may be a positive step. The threatening issue is that these countries have shown so much opposition toward many of the issues supported by the U.S. With Putin’s recent attitude, I am skeptical about his interests in strengthening a multipolar system and find it possible that he is more self-interested. It would be nice to allow other coutries more involvement in international affairs. However, while it may seem arrogant and selfish to favor U.S. hegemony, I am a little afraid of what might happen with the alternative. Even though weakening U.S. hegemony is not their primary goal, it would not strengthen U.S. power. On the other hand, having multiple powers present to balance the system might help distribute responsibility for problematic situations around the world and in aiding weaker states. I agree with the suggestions mentioned above that discuss possible economic methods in response to any threats the U.S. might face. While I am on the fence about whether this is a positive or negative idea, I do think it is more appropriate to entertain the possibility of a multipolar system and what the U.S. might do to protect its power before completely dismissing the suggestion. It is highly likely that more perspectives will lead to more conflict but the end results might end up being much more balanced and calculated.

  5. Your post seems very reminicent of an article I recently read on the Shanghai Organization Cooperation. The SCO is “a strategic alliance that brings together China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan; Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan are all observers and will become full members” (according to Great Decisions 2007). The formation of the SCO shows that the region is beginning to stand on its own, to show the world powers that it can handle itself and that it no longer needs outside help to build itself up. It may not necessarily be a direct attack on the US hegemony but it will definatly have an impact on how the US conducts buisness in the Central Asian region. The US is undoubtedly losing it’s hold on hegemony due to it’s actions in Iraq and widespread anti-Americanism. The alliance between Russia, China and Iran simply shows that these countries are looking to better their status in the world. A multipolar system may indeed be in our future, but I feel there will be several other actors involved, not simply the trifecta of Russia, China and Iran.

  6. The United States should keep a close eye on the newly forming alliance between Russia, China, and India. The three countries together are a powerful force to be reckoned with, especially since they are located in an area that many see as key to protecting US security interests. And while these three countries may work together to challenge US influence around the world, it seems that, in the long run, they have competing and contradictory interests. For example, while Russia would like to see oil prices rise, to benefit its economy, China is currently looking for all of the cheap natural resources that it can get. All three countries are at different places on the development scale and therefore have different needs and wants when it comes to foreign policy. Also, India is currently working with the United States on terrorism and health policy (AIDs/HIV specifically), so it would probably not be in its interests to blatantly go against the US. So while we should definitely keep an eye on the relations between these three key players in IR, from this standpoint it appears that their alliance is not on the firmest ground.

  7. If an alliance emerges that can counter the US would we have a better foreign policy i.e.Iraq? The US would still be a major power, but maybe have more of a cooperative attitude.

  8. The idea that three countries are forming an alliance against the US is something definately worth concerning over. One country against us is something, three countries against the US is something else, but the fact that it is these three: Russia, china, and India; one can clearly understand the raising of eyebrows. I have to say that I agree with a previous response in that having Russia as part of daily (worldly) decision(s) is something that definately concerns me and doesn’t put me at complete ease. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not all for our current president and his recent actions either, but a different form of government, and a different ruling is something I think we can all say we’re not ready for.

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