Monday, September 18, 2006

The World's Most Dangerous BFF's



Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is visiting his best buddy Hugo Chavez and the two are growing closer and closer. They have signed agreements in the areas of petrochemicals, steel, and even auto production, as noted in a recent article on bbc.com.

The two leaders are uniting in efforts to create a world without a single dominating power. They are surely feeling a rush of adrenaline after the recent Non-aligned movement/anti-American pep rally in Cuba.

I can't help but think of the potential benefits (to the U.S.) of a world where the U.S. isn't the only superpower. Perhaps it would even be better for the U.S. if there was a counter-weight to shoulder some of the pressure of global dominance. After all, a union of the non-aligned countries would have plenty of oil and plenty of money. But since, in reality, a counterweight consisting of the likes of Ahmadinejad, Castro, and Chavez would probably be even more threatening to U.S. security than the Soviets once were, and such a coalition would be unlikely to work with the U.S. on any international initiatives, I think it's worth it to keep all the pressure on America's shoulders. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's much the U.S. can do to prevent such ties from growing stronger and more plentiful.

1 comment:

Zabriske said...

I'm with you. I personally think that the US needs a bit of a counterbalance, if for no other reason than to keep things interesting!

But seriously, I firmly believe that the US needs a bit of opposition to acheive its best. I'm sure you've seen "Seabiscuit" (this is horse country, after all!). The horse can't surge forward unless he can see his opponent gaining on him. Sure Seabiscuit is just a horse, but I think this analogy fits. I think a real state-centric counterbalance (as opposed to terrorists, who some have called a blip in the transition to democracy in the Middle East) to US power would help Americans focus on a threat that would surely threaten our hegemony.

That said, I also agree that the Iran-Venezuela-Cuba alliance would be particularly threatening in the short term and would not work with us initially. I'm not convinced that these states could substantially threaten the US's long term interests. These states would be isolated in their partnership, and cannot provide for each other's needs. Therefore, I feel that over time their hard-line attitudes would weaken out of pure necessity.