April 29, 2013

"Great Chessboard 3"

Earlier this year, experts of “Borysfen” Centre prepared a forecast of world events for the period from 2013 on... But nevertheless it would be interesting to look into a more distant future, at least for a few decades. It is clear that such a forecast objectively cannot be accurate. Though in their time expert analysts managed to predict both the First and Second World Wars, the collapse of the Soviet Union...

Today both, Western and Russian analysts-futurologists are also trying to forecast something like that. Forecasts usually consist of different in nature, sometimes absolutely opposite, conclusions. However, they all have one thing in common: they allow us to better realize versions of our future.

The following estimates can be controversial and even provocative, but they have a right to exist. At least as subject to discussion.

 

The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and disintegration of the Soviet Union in the late 80s - early 90s of the last century, led to radical changes in the world order
The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and disintegration of the Soviet Union in the late 80s - early 90s of the last century, led to radical changes in the world order
http://nnm.ru/blogs/

Thus, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and disintegration of the Soviet Union in the late 80s - early 90s of the last century, led to radical changes in the world order that had been formed after the Second World War, new countries and their unions appeared, the two-block confrontation on the world level ended, instead of which there are now local wars and armed conflicts of various intensity.

It should be noted that transformation of the modern world is not limited only by such changes, it continues within the framework of other processes of global and regional scales. There appear new trends in the world economy and in the structure of its energy supply, main centers of military, political, economic and social activity keep shifting from the North West (the USA and Europe) to South East (China and the Islamic world). Conditions are being created for further changes in the world and, in particular, around Ukraine: some states disintegrate, international formations are being reformed, new political, economic, ethnic and religious forces come out onto the international arena. This will inevitably be accompanied by contradictions and conflicts (including armed ones) as well as uncontrolled expansions, extremism and terrorism.

As for Ukraine, it will directly feel the effects of developments in neighboring countries and adjacent regions, and the impact of regional interests of leading nations of the world and their relationships.

The Russian Federation determines the main geopolitical processes in Eurasia
The Russian Federation determines the main geopolitical processes in Eurasia
http://kratko-news.com/

This first of all refers to the Russian Federation, which continues its attempts to determine the main geopolitical processes in Eurasia. Though, no matter how hard the leadership of the Russian Federation is trying to bring Russia among the major world powers, trends in the global economy undermine now and will in the future undermine the economic foundations of the Russian state. Because of the excess of energy at the global market, which was formed after the so-called "energy revolution" (in recent years have been actively introduced new technologies of shale hydrocarbon energy production, of energy conservation and of using restorable energy carriers), that makes unprofitable the energy sector of Russia – the basement of its economic complex. By the way, the inability of the country to modernization and innovation, leads to its irreversible economic lagging behind the world's leading countries in other spheres, especially in high technologies.

In such a situation, the catalyst of the economic crisis in Russia is the foreign policy of the leadership of the country, which complicates Russian relations with Western and post-Soviet partners, and thus leads to stagnation of international economic relations: declining production volumes and export of Russian gas to the EU and the CIS, reduced growth of trade within the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (almost three times within the last year) and as a result, volumes of GDP keep falling.

The Russian Federation can get divided into separate state formations
The Russian Federation can get divided into separate state formations
http://slavyanskaya-kultura.ru/

Don’t forget, that similar processes had led to the disintegration of the former USSR. And today it is repeated in Russia. Thus, according to both, Western and Russian experts, the country's economic weakening will automatically create preconditions for the loss of control by the Federal Government over the regions of the Russian Federation and in the future the country can get divided into separate state formations.

According to experts’ forecasts, in the far West of Russia such a state formation can become Kaliningrad enclave, which will tend to integrate into the Baltic region and to converge with Germany. At the same time, in the North-West of Russia can get formed some Republican union of Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov regions of current Russian Federation that will develop according to Western models. In the North of the Russian Federation can appear a state formation of Scandinavian type - based on the Murmansk region and the neighboring regions of Russia, which will integrate into Northern Europe.

In the center of the Russian Federation around Moscow most likely will emerge an aggressive totalitarian conglomerate of inner Russian areas that will surely be conflicting with their neighbors for influence in the region, transport communications and natural resources.

Taking into consideration historical experience and current affairs, the South of Russia can be divided into two antagonistic camps, one of which will be an updated form of a Cossack Republic (Don and Kuban Cossacks) at the basis of Krasnodar region of Russia, and the other - an Islamic Caliphate consisting of the current North Caucasus autonomies - Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan and probably Abkhazia. In this case, the differences between them will lead to restoration of the permanent armed confrontation in the region on national and religious grounds, and within the framework of the struggle for territories.

New Islamic countries of Khan type will also be formed on the basis of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan and the Russian Volga region, where there are active processes of revival of the Tatar nation. Taking into consideration the similarity of interests and religions, quite possible is an association of these countries with the Islamic caliphate in the North Caucasus, both, in their struggle against the Moscow state and Cossack republic, and for an access of new Tatar formations to the Black Sea.

All these factors form the background for the creation of the Siberian Republic with its capital in Novosibirsk as well as of the Far East Republic with the center in Vladivostok. Both of them will be gravitating to China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular, to Japan. At the same time, the West and the South of the Siberian Republic could become an arena for clashes with new Muslim countries in the Volga region and Central Asia.

 

Formation of a powerful Kurdish state at the territory of adjacent areas densely populated by Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran
Formation of a powerful Kurdish state at the territory of adjacent areas densely populated by Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran
http://realcaucasus.org/

To the south of Ukraine will also be observed processes of disintegration of some countries, and emergence of others. In particular, alongside with spread of instability in the Middle East, there will continue formation of a powerful Kurdish state at the territory of adjacent areas densely populated by Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. As in most such cases, this process will be accompanied by armed conflicts in the border areas of these countries, affecting neighboring regions, including the Black Sea region, Caucasus, Mediterranean and Middle East.

South-west of Ukraine Romania will be getting stronger, building up its potential through reintegration of Moldova
South-west of Ukraine Romania will be getting stronger, building up its potential through reintegration of Moldova
http://topor.od.ua/

Meanwhile, south-west of Ukraine, Romania will be getting stronger, building up its potential through reintegration of Moldova. The weakening Russia will only help this process as it will be losing its positions in the region. However, the Romanian expansion will be slowed down by the independent position of Trans-Dniester Republic and Hungary’s attempts to realize their territorial claims on Romanian Transylvania.

It will continue geopolitical changes in other regions of the world, including Europe, Mediterranean, Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia.

 

For example, sharpening of crisis processes in the EU indicates existence of underlying problems both, within the EU and in some European countries. As the financial and economic crisis in the "Euro-zone" has shown, the main problem of the European Union is contradictions between the leading Western European countries with developed economies (especially France, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands) and economically unstable or relatively lagging behind countries in the South and East of the EU (such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania and Hungary).

Separatism in Europe: the time has come?
Separatism in Europe: the time has come?
http://topwar.ru/

But at the level of individual countries, significant problems are as follows: increasing economic contradictions between Southern and Northern provinces of Italy, and Eastern and Western regions of Belgium, where heavy industry and high-tech industries prevail; growth of separatism in areas densely populated by Basques in Spain; activation of political forces of Scotland who advocate the withdrawal of their region from the UK.

Potential internal contradictions of the political, economic, cultural and ethnic nature exist also in leading European countries, including Germany, France and Switzerland.

In general, these problems can cause a collapse of the European Union and disintegration of a number of European countries and an emergence of new state formations in Europe. All this can affect the stability of Europe, eliminate the existing system of collective security in the region and spread social unrest and provoke conflicts. Due to this, can come back to life the old model of the European structure that existed at the beginning of the last century, when the continent will be divided into two warring groups of countries. The first group will consist of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and the other - of Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary.

 

Against the background of the started by the "Arab Spring" in North Africa and the Middle East process will lead to a further spread of instability in the South of the European continent. Thus, overthrowing of the existing regimes of the mentioned above countries, will sharpen internal conflicts at their territories, and activate attempts to seize power (in the center or in individual regions) by radical Islamist, terrorist, clan, tribal and other groups. These trends can divide Libya into Western and Eastern parts, as well as Syria and Iraq - into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish areas. All this will be accompanied by worsening of the existing and emergence of new armed conflicts.

Under the influence of such processes, the situation in the Caucasus will also change. For example, weakening of Russia will allow Georgia to restore its control over South Ossetia. It must be borne in mind, that the Islamic forces of the Northern Caucasus will be putting obstacles to Georgia, as they will be backing Abkhazia (as it was at the beginning of 1990s of the last century).

At the same time, sharpening due to the "Arab Spring" and the USA’s pressure can strengthen centrifugal processes within Iran. Then its Northern territories (inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijanis) may get under the control of Azerbaijan, and this will greatly improve its ability to restore its jurisdiction over Nagorny Karabakh.

Under such conditions, Armenia will get virtually isolated and appear on the verge of survival, having to settle its policy of relations with Azerbaijan.

 

External and internal problems are accumulating in Central Asia
External and internal problems are accumulating in Central Asia
http://gazeta.eot.su/

A complicated region remains Central Asia, where external and internal problems are accumulating. This applies to both, relatively stable countries - Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and crisis-dangerous ones - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

In particular, a common problem for all these countries is activation of Islamic extremists in the region, which are supported by Afghanistan and Pakistan. Catalysts of such activity are the processes of removing international forces from the Afghan territory, which increases the armed confrontation in Afghanistan, as well as Islamic extremists’ opposing the Government of Pakistan.

Serious problems also exist at the national level of countries in Central Asia. Thus, despite its relative stability, Kazakhstan will suffer from increased contradictions between North and South Kazakh djuzes (tribal clans) that provoke centrifugal processes between the two regions of the country. Gets sharper the similar problem in Kyrgyzstan. To this testifies the permanent confrontation, which occasionally develops into armed conflicts and massive social unrest, due to which Kyrgyzstan can be divided into the Northern and Southern regions. This threatens Tajikistan too, where the central Government has no control over the mountainous areas of the country and has no influence on local clans.

It can begin a conflict in the Fergana Valley or even a regional war in Central Asia
It can begin a conflict in the Fergana Valley or even a regional war in Central Asia
http://www.cisnews.org/

It should be noted that a common problem for Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is mutual unsettledness of border issues. The struggle for water resources also provokes constant conflicts in the region. The most difficult situation is in Fergana Valley, on the border between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Ethnic antagonism between Uzbek and Tajik population is becoming critical. It is the Fergana Valley that a conflict or even a regional war in Central Asia can begin from.

 

Domestic conflicts can split Afghanistan into separate regions controlled by ethnic Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkmen
Domestic conflicts can split Afghanistan into separate regions controlled by ethnic Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkmen
http://www.bsblog.info/

Besides, domestic conflicts can split Afghanistan into separate regions controlled by ethnic Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkmen, which automatically will lead to actual loss of centralized control over the entire Afghan territory. This will automatically create preconditions for transformation of Afghanistan into a powerful center of terrorism and will provoke centrifugal processes also in neighboring Pashtun areas of Pakistan. At this, a large-scale destabilization of the situation in Pakistan could lead to the country’s leadership’s loosing control over the national nuclear weapons, and that will have disastrous consequences for the region and the world.

Against the background of the mentioned above crisis processes, relative stability will remain in major centers of force in the world, namely in the USA and China, as well as in strong regional states, such as India, Brazil and South Africa.

They will determine the configuration of the future world order which will be determined by: actual return to the world of confrontation between two opposite poles (now between the USA and China), dominance of a few regional leaders (particularly, India - in Southeast Asia, Brazil –in South America and South Africa – in Africa), as well as by the spread of instability in Europe, at the territories of the former Soviet Union, in North Africa, Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.

 

The mentioned above leading and regional centers of force will be new players on the world’s “chessboard”.