Discover more from Andrew Korybko's Newsletter
Korybko To Rajagopalan: The Old Cold War Paradigm Is Irrelevant In The New Cold War
Everyone should respect Rajesh Rajagopalan’s right to interpret International Relations however he’d like, but that doesn’t mean that his assessment is accurate. As proven in this piece, his application of the Old Cold War paradigm to the New Cold War is just as irrelevant as he wrongly claimed the Global South to always supposedly be in both worldwide competitions. The lesson is that folks with fancy credentials sometimes get everything flat-out wrong whenever they try to copy-and-paste famous models.
Professor of International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University Rajesh Rajagopalan tried applying the Old Cold War paradigm to the New Cold War in his latest op-ed for The Print about how “India is at frontline in US-China bipolar contest. It can’t afford to choose wrong partners”. According to him, the Global South has no relevance in this current worldwide competition just like it supposedly didn’t during the last one either. He also believes that India’s close ties with Russia make it vulnerable to China.
What’s irrelevant isn’t the Global South, but Rajagopalan’s application of that outdated paradigm, which he inaccurately assessed as regarding developing countries to be of no importance in any case. International Relations aren’t in a state of bipolarity since they’re actually approaching what can be described as tri-multipolarity. In this system, the US-led West’s Golden Billion, the Sino-Russo Entente, and the informally Indian-led Global South are the top poles, with several rising ones within the latter.
The next point to be made builds upon the last-mentioned with respect to the Global South having disproportionate significance in shaping the ultimate outcome of the ongoing global systemic transition. International Relations will either revert back to a largely unipolar system or continue evolving towards complex multipolarity (“multiplicity”) depending on which way the struggle between the Golden Billion and the Entente over Africa and other developing regions goes.
These third countries aren’t objects in the grand scheme of everything like they could compellingly have been described as for the most part during the Old Cold War but sovereign subjects in their own right nowadays, which aspire to emulate India’s masterful balancing act between both de facto New Cold War blocs. They sympathize with the Entente’s multipolar mission but still retain close aid, investment, and trade ties with the Golden Billion, ergo why they don’t want to take anyone’s side against the other.
Nevertheless, they also want the fairest and most beneficial deals possible from both of them, which gives the Entente a competitive edge since neither of its two members exploit developing countries like the West does. If the trajectory of the Global South’s growing strategic ties with that bloc remains unchecked, then the Golden Billion will inevitably lose out on those states’ labor, markets, and resources, thus making the Entente’s victory in the New Cold War a fait accompli.
These economic-strategic dynamics explain developing countries’ significance in the worldwide competition over the global systemic transition, which is pushing the West to resort to Hybrid War subterfuge in a desperate attempt to cling to its declining hegemony. These schemes are being proactively thwarted by Russia’s “Democratic Security” assistance to Africa, but it can’t be taken for granted that every plot will be foiled and that the aforesaid dynamics might not shift in some instances.
The preceding hyperlinks contain more details about these complex processes, which should be reviewed by intrepid readers if they’re interested since it’s beyond the scope of this piece to elaborate on them, but they were shared for the purpose of debunking Rajagopalan’s condescending assessment. Moving along, it’s clear that his latest op-ed is lobbying for India to ally with the US against China at the expense of unilaterally sacrificing its mutually beneficial strategic relations with Russia.
He doesn’t explicitly suggest this in the text, but this notion pervades the entire piece and isn’t even all that subtle, especially in his conclusion when he writes that “India is now on the frontlines, which means it no longer has the luxury of standing above the fray. Another luxury it does not have is making mistakes when it comes to choosing partners.” The innuendo after inaccurately describing International Relations as bipolar and warning about the threat posed by China is that India should ally with the US.
Whether he’s conscious of it or not, Rajagopalan is advancing the information warfare narrative that’s been aggressively propagated by the American government and its Mainstream Media (MSM) – including ideologically aligned liberal-globalists among the Indian intelligentsia – over the past month. “The US Is Trying To Mislead The World Into Thinking That India Is Its Ally Against China”, the false perception of which is intended to sow the seeds of suspicion between Russia and India.
The “trigger event” for these latest provocations was President Xi’s trip to Moscow that solidified their incipient Entente, thus prompting disinformation agents to fearmonger about its implications for India with the intent of pushing it into abandoning its policy of principled neutrality in the New Cold War. In reality, “The Sino-Russo Entente Can Produce Many Opportunities, Not Problems, For India”, which policymakers are already keen on tapping into.
This explains why they’re actually expanding their relations with Russia as evidenced by the latest business forum in Delhi that was held last week, thus discrediting the aforementioned disinformation narratives alleging that India already is, might be about to, or should soon dump Russia for the US. Not only that, but India’s official policy of internationalizing the rupee instead of relying on the use of dollars in foreign trade further reinforces this point and shows that it wants to accelerate its independent rise.
Everyone should respect Rajagopalan’s right to interpret International Relations however he’d like, but that doesn’t mean that his assessment is accurate. As proven in this piece, his application of the Old Cold War paradigm to the New Cold War is just as irrelevant as he wrongly claimed the Global South to always supposedly be in both worldwide competitions. The lesson is that folks with fancy credentials sometimes get everything flat-out wrong whenever they try to copy-and-paste famous models.