“The world is becoming less Western!” This observation was featured in the 2020 Munich Security Report, issued by one of the most prominent forums of the Atlantic System. This forum conveys the most recent and critical changes to the global security environment in the presence of world leaders.
A superficial concept named “Westlessness” is introduced in the report, and the report states that Western liberal values are no longer valid. Similarly, the 2019 report had portrayed the main challenge to international security as consisting of “a reshuffling of core pieces of the international order “. The problem was associated with a “leadership vacuum in what has become known as the liberal international order “. The bottom line is that these developments caused a great deal of ambiguity in the global security environment.
European states have been discussing options to pursue an independent policy from the impositions of the United States (US), ambiguously revising their approach to Russia, China, Iran and Turkey in particular, and the relations with Asia and Latin America in general. In parallel with the advancement of multipolarity in the world, it appears that a power shift has been occurring from the Atlantic to Asia. After September 11, 2001, the doctrine of the “global war against terrorism” and the attempts to actualize the war can well be interpreted as an effort to prevent the emergence of multipolarity. In the geography extending from Africa to China, virtually all developing countries have increasingly suffered terrorism that exploits ethnic separatism and religion since the beginning of the 2000s. Moreover, governments in several countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria have been overthrown by US or NATO-led foreign interventions. The countries subjected to foreign interventions have either been fragmented or driven into chaos.
This situation leads to the strengthening of a new tendency of cooperation among developing countries in both economic and security affairs. One could observe that the effort to jointly respond to common threats has improved among developing countries that were in rival camps before 1991. Countries that are targeted by the Atlantic Front are able to protect and to strengthen their national states to the extent that they succeed in solving problems among themselves. A strong case in point is the Astana partnership formed by Turkey, Russia, and Iran during the Syria crisis, which marks perhaps the most successful and fruitful example of such cooperation attempts.
In order for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to turn into a success story, it is imperative to provide security along the routes that form the New Silk Road, i.e. the backbone of BRI.
Therefore, cooperation in the field of security has inevitably an important place in the agenda of BRI. The realization of such cooperation –as is envisaged in the Belt and Road Initiative– will not only create a safe environment for individual countries taking part in this cooperation, but will also provide international security as a global common good.
While security concerns are also growing in developed countries, BRI stands out with the greatest potential to ensure trust among nations.