Since the end of the Cold War, the US has consistently pursued a policy of ensuring that it is the only pre-eminent superpower, and that it avoids the rise of any rivals, particularly China or Russia. The US national security policy, lists three challenges to US security interests as an expression of US grand strategy. The first two are China and Russia, the second two are Iran and North Korea, and the third is international terrorism. The rise of China, Russia’s revanchist foreign policy, as well as other enduring dangers like North Korea’s nuclear programme, the ongoing threat of terrorism, and the instability that climate change, pandemics, and other natural phenomena increasingly threaten, are just a few of the challenges that the United States must contend with. It is true that US grand strategy over the past three decades has changed significantly, particularly since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1990. Therefore, the US policy had been in place almost immediately after the end of the Cold War.
The US has demanded that the international community adhere to the international rules-based system, in which the rules are created by the US itself, in order to protect American exceptionalism and prevent the establishment of a multipolar world. The US has witnessed the success of capitalism, or the free market economy, or what they label Pluralism, as having been the Ideology that destroyed Soviet Communism, in the pursuit of this goal of retaining American supremacy internationally. The “End of History” by Francis Fukuyama and “Clash of Civilizations” by Samuel Huntington were intellectual attempts to codify and explain this victory of the American-backed system immediately afterward. These were attempts to ensure that future events would continue to abide by the rules that the Americans will ride for the International system.
Since neither the Soviet Union, later Russia, China, nor any other significant entity in the globe contested the US participation in the first Iraq war, it served as a demonstration of the US undisputed supremacy at the global level. The fall of the Soviet Union also gave the US the opportunity to expand its influence through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and directly into Eastern Europe with the fall of the communist government in that region – and the reunification of Germany. Therefore, the US policy was continued beyond the first Bush and Clinton eras, into more recent efforts to enact regime change in nations like Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and Iraq through the second Iraq War – by including a number of these nations in both the European Union (EU) and NATO, the US violated its own promises to former Soviet leaders like Gorbachev, and later Russian leaders that it would respect Russian interests in Eastern Europe. These promises were made in exchange for these nations refusal to join the EU or the western military alliance.
Therefore, during the Obama’s administration, strategic policy that was called the “Pivot to Asia”, the Pivot to Asia involved the evolution of a Quadrilateral alliance to extend the American influence in Asia, which involves countries like Japan, Australia, India and the United States, which is now a practical reality. The US encourage countries in the South China Sea – to seek multilateral solutions to territorial maritime disputes that they have had with China in the South China Sea, rather than they preferred course that had been in place to pursue bilateral approaches to those solutions – Americans have readily made themselves available to be player or a partner with these countries to find solutions to their territorial disputes with China.
The writer is associated with the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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