West fears losing dominance after pandemic

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A coronavirus pandemic could lead to the biggest changes in world order since World War II. China, Russia, Iran and other opponents of America hope that in the post-pandemic world the balance of power will change and they will have advantages, writes Davis Institute for National Security & Foreign Policy James Carafano in The National Interest.

The United States cannot ignore this prospect and focus only on domestic issues. Washington should lead the efforts of like-minded countries (allies and friends in Europe, Asia, South Asia and the Middle East) so that after the coronavirus the world also strives for freedom, prosperity and global security.

The “West” – an idea, not a geographical place – remains the most far-sighted, powerful, inventive, inspiring and enduring hope of humanity. Western countries should devote all their forces to building a post-pandemic world favorable for future generations.

Most of the planet is focused on overcoming the damage done by COVID-19 and is considering possible international steps to improve preparedness for future pandemics. This is an important and necessary effort. However, today it is necessary to consider the geopolitical consequences of the virus and develop a strategy to promote Western values ​​and interests.

This is not the first time that the West has encountered a fundamentally new world and it is necessary for it to develop its vision and strategy for the future planet as quickly as possible.

This was the case in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Looking at the ashes of World War II, Western leaders were well aware that the future of a democratic community depended on the growth of democracy, independence, prosperity and security in the world.

They created organizations and formulated doctrines, including the United Nations (UN), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Bretton Woods system, the European Coal and Steel Community (later the EU), the International Court of Justice, NATO and much more, to achieve their goals. They were not perfect, but reflected a clear vision and strategy for the long term.

Today we are at a similar stage in the history of mankind. Some of the organizations and structures created seventy years ago are still operating successfully. Others do not. Be that as it may, we need a clear vision and new strategies to shape the post-pandemic world.

In the years leading up to the outbreak of coronavirus, the feasibility of concluding agreements with opponents – whether it was buying Russian gas and oil, importing cheap Chinese goods or freezing the Iranian nuclear program – took precedence over upholding Western values ​​and principles. Multilateral organizations, such as OECD, WTO, Council of Europe, UN Human Rights Council and others, could not ensure compliance with their own standards. Democratic countries were divided, complacent, and sometimes compromised.

In a recovery period after a pandemic, democracies must rally around common values ​​and goals. This can be done through a series of summits within the framework of organizations such as NATO, G-7 (plus South Korea and Australia), the US-European Union, the Community of Democracies, the Agreement between the USA, Mexico and Canada and other organizations.

Together, North America and Europe represent the most prosperous, safest and most law-abiding segment of the world. He has the political and economic weight to defend freedom, market principles, the rule of law, democratic values, global peace and security.

A key part of the Western Pact is the definition of strategic infrastructure and industries that should be created within the free market area. In fact, this would negate China’s efforts to penetrate Europe through its project “One belt – one way” or domination in 5G networks.

States emerging from the coronavirus crisis will be tempted to erect national barriers. But it is necessary to abandon any barriers between like-minded countries and raise high barriers for authoritarian regimes that do not share democratic values ​​and freedom.

The coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately, has demonstrated that many international organizations are ineffective or fail due to the direct or indirect influence of authoritarian states. Western countries should coordinate policies aimed at reforming these organizations and insist that they strictly abide by their charter and fulfill their obligations.

There is no magic formula for building the perfect post-coronavirus world. However, the West should not be afraid to take decisive steps. If democratic countries do not, then others who do not share Western values ​​and interests will surely do so.

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