Lothar Rühl

 

Against a backdrop of the continuous financial crisis in the USA, which had varying effects on world economy, especially on the European countries, the international incidents with strategic importance of 2011 happened in the form of several serious crises which shook the geopolitical and strategic basics of the affected regions North Africa, East Africa, and the Near East, whereas in South-West Asia war and national destabilization took their course. The Tsunami-disaster in the nuclear power plant of Fukushima in Japan resulted in political consequences beyond the country proper, especially in Germany, but resulted also in a review of risk assessment concerning nuclear technology and nuclear energy in general. These partially revolutionary developments will presumably go on in the following years, thus increasing the dynamic force of international anarchy against law and order and collective security, although the USA, UNO and NATO in Afghanistan and Libya, and the “Near East Quartet” USA, UNO, EU and Russia in the Near East, try to draw positive developments into the relationship between Israel and Palestinia as well as into liberal and democratic systems, and to provide security. The European military assistance for the Libyan rebels against Gaddafi’s dictatorship was supposed to represent an appropriate contribution. After this assistance had proved to be successful, an economic and humanitarian emergency support program was established, the revolutionary National Temporary Council was given international recognition with a Libyan seat in the UNO, the sanctions imposed on Gaddafi’s Libya were loosened, and national assets released. After the successful rebellion OPEC granted Libya its seat among the petrol exporting nations once more. The generally used slogans of international politics, which is still determined by the Western countries, were “stability”, “stabilization” and “transformation”. In the course of 2011, however, apart from general objectives such as “democracy” and “freedom”, it became difficult to identify what “stability” was supposed to mean, what was supposed to be “stabilised”, and how what was supposed to be “transformed” into what. This situation emerged spectacularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan in Central Asia, the cloudy scene of future crises, but also and above all during the “Arabian rebellion” in North Africa and the Near and Middle East. These revolutionary processes were not finished in 2011; on the contrary, they had only started. Actually, especially the Western coalition and alliance politics with their strategies have fallen into a crisis: they seem to be loosing their bearings and their mutual capacity to act. From a strategic point of view one realizes that the Western allies entered 2012, the very critical election year for the USA, after the death of Osama bin Laden with an important albeit not firm success in North Africa and with several insecure open flanks: in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Central Asia, against Iran, in Syria and Lebanon, in Israel and Palestinia, in Iraq, in the Golf of Bahrain and on the Horn of Africa, with all the uncertain situations in Yemen and Somalia.