Montag, 7. Mai 2007

Zwei Berichte

Nachdem im vergangenen Jahr der amerikanische Council on Foreign Relations schon einen Bericht mit Empfehlungen für die US-Politik gegenüber Rußland vorgelegt hatte - bezeichnenderweise unter dem Titel "Russia's Wrong Direction - What the United States Can and Should Do" -, hat im Februar 2007 deren russische Partnerorganisation, der Rat für Außen- und Verteidigungspolitik, nachgelegt und aus explizit russischer Sicht eine mittelfristige Prognose für die Entwicklung der Welt publiziert (die auch in einer englischen Übersetzung erhältlich ist).
Diese über 150 Seiten lange Studie behandelt in ihrem ersten Teil allgemeine Entwicklungen der Weltpolitik, etwa in den Bereichen Wirtschaft, Sicherheitspolitik, Energie und - aus theoretischer Sicht besonders wichtig - die internationale Krise von Governance (ein kaum ins Deutsche zu übersetzender Terminus), während im zweiten Teil die einzelnen Weltregionen analysiert werden, wo vor allem Ostasien, die USA, die EU, der postsowjetische Raum und der Mittlere Osten von Interesse sind.

Hier seien aus der von Sergej Karaganow verfaßten Einleitung zwei Auszüge wiedergegeben (engl. Fass., S. 5 ff.):

Whatever the level of a country’s national sovereignty, the external world now increasingly determines the internal development of individual states. A country can and should seek to ensure the maximum degree of freedom of action for itself. But in this present epoch of intensifying globalization, increasing cross-border processes and multi-layer interdependence, this freedom will be more and more relative. These global trends can be reversed only by a series of cataclysms of global dimensions. Thus far, such events seem to be nowhere on the horizon, yet there is a sensation that threats are accumulating and will emerge sometime within the period under review.

The upcoming decade is expected to be turbulent and unpredictable. All the more so we need fundamental scientific forecasting, although this is a tremendously stubborn matter. For a long time, Russia has avoided serious attempts to provide a comprehensive forecast concerning global changes to which we must adapt. Therefore, the authors and advisers who worked on this study had very little documentation to rely on. It should also be mentioned that we showed great caution in using foreign studies. Forecasts, especially those made by state institutions, almost inevitably serve the current ideological purposes and are instruments of influence on the expert and political classes of other countries and regions.


The global economy continues to develop at a very rapid pace, despite possible crises and fluctuations. The second half of the forecasted period may see stable growth even in Europe; these tendencies help improve international relations and remove the causes of many tensions. At the same time, the downside of economic growth (social stratification and polarization) may provoke additional problems.
General economic trends are expected to be positive. However, the persisting and, possibly, escalating political and military-political instability in the Broader Middle East will continue to have a negative impact on the situation throughout the world. The more optimistic scenario would be, if not the settlement of the existing conflicts, at least preventing them from escalating further. The second half of the decade may already see the beginning of a new round of nuclear proliferation and the aggravation of the conventional arms race.

International governance will continue to decline. This trend may also involve internal governance and affect even well-established democratic systems of developed nations.
Instead of a unipolar world, where the domination of one superpower has evoked so much apprehension among other countries, we will be faced with a new reality – not “multipolarity,” which is so dear to so many, but rather growing chaos and a vacuum of governance and security. This vacuum may begin to be filled only by the end of the forecasted period - and only if the political classes of leading nations realize the need to overcome their disunity and traditional distrust, rise above their own egoistic prejudices, and start building a new system of universal security.

Energy will remain a key factor determining the world’s future. However, by the second half of the forecasted period the present acuteness of the energy problem will be partially overcome. Energy flows will be partly reoriented toward the growing Asian economies. The role of energy and, especially, traditional energy resources, will be reduced for the United States and the European Union. Moscow must take this factor into consideration in order not to be enthralled by the illusion that it can become an “energy superpower.”
Despite measures taken by the international community, some ecological problems of a global scale (fresh water shortage, climate change, and deforestation) will inevitably worsen. Russia’s ecological resources are plentiful, and this country has many more economic and geopolitical opportunities opening up before it. However, these opportunities may turn into challenges if Russia does not immediately prepare for the development of its ecological wealth on its own.

East Asia will continue on the path toward becoming a global economic growth center. The region will feature “soft” integration tendencies, which by the middle of the decade may start acquiring the form of institutions.
Meanwhile, the influence of the United States, which is now facing a “post-Iraq syndrome,” will continue to decrease. However, by the end of the forecasted period, the U.S. will start to partially restore its international positions, although it will not be able to claim the role as being “the only superpower” (recently, this role has been more virtual than real).
New tendencies are also increasingly manifesting themselves in Latin America, the U.S. “backyard.” After a long calm in the 1990s, the ‘leftward drift’ in the region is being accompanied by the active foreign policies of Latin American states. The U.S. is now paying the consequences of its disregard for the region in previous years, while the European Union and China, on the contrary, are gradually consolidating its positions.

During the next few years, the European Union will be in a state of prostration. The euphoria from its integration achievements has brought about inflated demands among the EU member countries concerning this organization, while its rapid enlargement in 1995-2006 has caused malfunctions in pan-European mechanisms. Yet, by the middle of the forecasted decade, the integration process may start emerging from its systemic crisis. Economic reforms will be intensified, and the EU may rise above its stagnating development model.
While it is not ruled out that the EU will make some headway toward a common foreign policy, there are no signs that it will adopt an effective defense policy any time soon. In any case, the next decade will determine a model for the development of future Europe, with several possible scenarios.

The larger part of the post-Soviet space will continue with its separation tendencies. Real integration processes are possible only between Russia and Kazakhstan - that is, if Moscow and Astana set down and implement far-reaching decisions. (Belarus, too, may join in these processes if the ruling regime in Minsk and its development model are soon replaced). In any case, former Soviet republics will increasingly gravitate toward different regional powers. At some point, the Russian leadership will apparently admit the obvious thing: the post-Soviet space is no longer Moscow’s main foreign policy and foreign-economic priority.

The present synopsis does not necessarily predict Russia’s foreign policy, although it provides some recommendations and suggests general conclusions. The world will be contradictory, unstable and easy to influence. In such an environment, a precise policy, even with limited resources, can go a long way toward the success of the country and its citizens. The main strategic changes will begin by the end of or beyond the forecasted period.
The direction in which Russia will move will depend on the foreign-policy decisions it will make in the next few years. This country is able to continue its ascent (although not as fast as in recent years) to the role of a great and rich power of the future. Yet mistakes could result in the Russian “star” setting, and this decline would be irreversible. Russia’s burst of development in the last few years has been easy to achieve in comparison to what is in store for it. We started from the chaos of the late 1990s, when there was no efficient state in this country. In order to make the right decisions, one must know and understand the external world as never before, because Russia’s dependence on the outer world will continue to increase.


Das klingt nach einer spannenden Lektüre, auch wenn die Begriffe und Themen in der Regel schon aus ähnlichen Arbeiten bekannt sind.

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