The New Cold War

Wars Apr 24, 2021

With the spread of coronavirus from China, former President Donald Trump has lashed back numerous times putting up an endless blame game. Things do not seem to improve with the Biden administration taking over. With tension building up every day, new deals being signed, visits being planned, there is a prediction of a  “New Cold War”.

The (first) Cold War was a period of political tension between the U.S. and The U.S.S.R (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) or simply, The Soviet Union. This period is dated from 1979-1985. This time there is the foresight of a Cold War between China and the US. The world will again have to become Bipolar if this happens. This means a majority of the nations will have to take a stand for either of the sides. This comes from the fact that the New Cold War is not anything like the previous one. It is a very balanced affair. Both the nations are technologically advanced and economically strong competitors. The only thing that the US can weigh on its side is its larger and stronger military. In the previous Cold War, however, the US had major advantages. Hence with an effort to overpower each other, the nations will try to influence as many nations as possible.

Hence, with an effort to overpower each other, the nations will try to influence as many nations as possible. These efforts have already started. With the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad, in short, President Biden has extended a firm backing to Indo-Pacific alignment. The US can Quad to challenge China as Japan and India are its members. There had been a discussion on the entry of India in the NATO treaty but was denied by India saying that India does not have a NATO mentality.

The “middle powers'' i.e. Iran, Japan, India and Turkey’s alignment will play a crucial role in the new cold war. There already seems to be an alignment of these nations to either of the sides. Japan and India are members of the Quad and hence have tight security bonds with the US. Turkey and Iran both seem to find their interests better served with the Sino-Russian alliance.

However, Turkey is also a NATO member and has started a “New Asia'' initiative to strengthen east-west logistical and economic connectivity backed by western powers and China. Japan has an ongoing dispute with China on the Senkaku islands in the China sea but the logistics of import and export has been vast for the past two years.

Concerning India, China has been making great military movements along the Galwan valley and LaC, and this has to be taken into consideration. China is an immediate neighbour to India and so is Pakistan. China and Pakistan have been on good terms for the last few years. Hence, if there is an attack, it is very probable that it would be from both sides. Even the Quad cant help in such a situation  Hence India can not afford to be aligned to one side.  Moreover, the US has been intrusive on the Human Rights issues in India. With the situations around, India would not want to go in for direct support to the US.

A Cold War is good, especially for weaker powers such as India, but only if it understands its relative weakness. And America also needs to shape its strategy in this balanced Cold War.

The article has been written by Ritu Katkar for The Paradigm

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