Adres :
Aşağı Öveçler Çetin Emeç Bul. 1330. Cad. No:12, 06460 Çankaya - Ankara Telefon : +90 312 473 80 41 - +90 530 926 41 13 Faks : +90 312 473 80 46 E-Posta :

New Power Struggle: Unification or Division

30 Mart 2023 11:18

It is now quite clear that there is a crisis in the international arena as a result of an understanding based on divisions. Anthropology, as an academic discipline that deals with human behavior and societies, is a science that examines why people and cultures are similar to each other or in what respect they differ from each other (Alpar, 2014: 4). This is important for social peace and conflict. It brings peace when it is focused on similarities, and conflicts when differences are fueled. In an analysis, it is seen that colonial countries have tried to create divisions and marginalize throughout history. In this respect, after all the divisions and attempts to dominate the Eurasian region since the beginning of the Cold War Era, the recent initiative of China in the Eurasian region; Initiatives for Saudi Arabia-Iran rapprochement and especially the same country's relations with Russia should be evaluated well in terms of their results.

Political Scientist Richard Rosecrance, identified two approaches in international politics in his work “Action and Reaction in World Politics”. The first of these was the explanation of concepts such as power, balance, and competence, and the second was a good analysis of diplomatic events (Rosecrance, 1963: 2).

So, what are the conditions that determine a country's "power" and what kind of methodology can we use as an expert to reach some results?

In the post-Cold War period, paradigms related to the international system began to be questioned, and various opinions, right or wrong, were expressed by theorists about how the new structure should be (Jane and Yılmaz, 2016: 131) while Nye and Keohane evaluate the international system on the basis of "complexity" and "interdependence" (Eralp, 2009: 147-149) on the other hand, Yalvaç; arguing that space and time relations have fundamentally changed, he emphasized a global network of relations in which societies are intertwined (Yalvaç, 2009: 125).

Naturally, this complex structure today needs to be explained and analyzed well as stated by Rosecrance. However, it is seen that many events that occur in the face of rapidly changing events are evaluated and passed through, and inaccurate analyzes under the influence of guidance are brought before decision makers. In the post-Cold War era, the rhetoric that "the world has turned into a unipolar structure" was a result of this.

Since a world with a single pole and a single power center had been formed, then the sovereign power could set rules as he wished by himself by using the elements such as economic, military and cultural power and could compel everyone else to abide by the rules he set (Kantarcı, 2012: 59). This paradigm; was a disaster in terms of its consequences, as well as the mistakes of Britain and France in both world wars, when they exhausted their power and lost their position as power centers. However, in addition to the question of "which power is at the top", the question of "which powers and in which area is just behind it" had to be answered (Watson, 1992).

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to “try to evaluate international relations with a straight logic” without considering many factors and actors and without going into depth (Özlük, 2009: 240). It is always necessary to take into account the disruptive inputs, restrictors and regulatory mechanisms in the international system in order to make sense of the events and to reach healthy results. Perhaps the best example of this is the assessment made by Rosecrance, an experienced political scientist for years, that includes the claim that "China is difficult to act together with Russia" (Rosecrance, 2010 and 2013).

However, in another assessment, the same expert said that the EU, China and Russia have increased their influence alongside the USA, and no power alone can control it. Other recommendations that were highlighted but ignored under power poisoning were:

- Major powers should avoid power relations based on threats and punishment.

- NATO should expand in a way that does not overtly threaten Russia and China.

- The USA should avoid initiatives that exclude other power elements for its own interests (Rosecrance, 1990: 83).

All these mistakes have been made. The Islamic World and Chinese Civilization were marginalized and declared enemies to save the collapsing West. American Political Scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, picking up where Fukuyama left off (Fukuyama: 1992), put forward the thesis that the new century will be determined by a conflict based on religion and civilization, in his book titled “The Clash of Civilizations and the Re-establishment of World Order” (Huntington: 1996).  With a fallacy under power poisoning, this thesis was put into practice in the Middle East Geography, people, children were killed, everywhere was burned and destroyed. Non-real reasons were fabricated for attacks on geographies such as Afghanistan and Iraq, but later investigations revealed that they were all fabrications. Countries were divided, sectarian and ethnic conflicts were fueled. Basically, the strategy was based on division and fragmentation. However, those who eventually lost their power and image were also the ones who started the attack.

Then other mistakes were made. The most obvious example of this was the USA's struggle to weaken Türkiye by not providing the air defense systems it needed and the planes it bought, and in fact, it was the USA and NATO that weakened in this region. A country could only wish to inflict so much damage on a powerful ally. Moreover, the terrorist organization (YPG/PKK), which it found to be its ally, was openly carrying out terrorist attacks on its ally country, and this was ignored.

Another mistake was to take the connections and energy corridors of the EU, Russia and China under its own control, by taking control of the line starting from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean, in order to weaken the EU by being uncomfortable with its development (See Alpar, G. (22 September 2020). Three Sea Lines: Energy Corridors and New Encirclement Strategies, SDE Article).

While this was being done, the Ukraine crisis was not even there, and Biden had said from the very beginning that he would be a “president who unites, not divides” (but no one doubted that he was only saying this for his own country).

As a matter of fact, it is obvious that the problems created by this strategy in European countries are increasing day by day, even though it seems like a success at first to seem to allow Russia's operation on Ukraine and to control the European public opinion by using "Russian Fear" after the operation (Biden was clear at the beginning of this crisis that the US did not want to fight. Even if it got to that point, the US refused to send forces to Ukraine even to save its citizens. Moreover, the military adviser and observer in the country withdrew troops serving as (Usher, P. Barbara: February 25, 2022).

It should not be difficult to assess that as European people's economic hardships grow, it will become more difficult for the United States to influence European government leaders. Moreover, in a time when countries are so interdependent, it is not difficult to predict the consequences of forcing the system between countries.

Efforts to declare Russia and China as enemies and marginalize them, which have been openly revealed in the "Security Conferences", “NATO Summit Declarations” and "National Strategy Documents" held in the last 2 years, should not be as easy as it is thought and planned.

When faced with more than one enemy or attack during a war, the Internal Line Maneuver is based on the principle of "eliminating the strong" first and then "turning towards the weaker" while first defending against the weaker one. US President Joe Biden at the Munich Security Conference held in February 2001; “USA is back!” He threatened China and Russia with his message. For Biden, Moscow was a more immediate threat to the transatlantic alliance than China. So, priority would be given to Russia. While Biden has said all this over and over, there was another phrase he often repeated: "We will make all this happen with our allies".

In fact, the true meaning of the phrase “Together with our allies” on the field is “We will plan and You will do it”. Here, we can talk about an obvious change in strategy, especially after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, as in places like Ukraine and Syria.

In short, the USA no longer wants to intervene directly and suffer military losses. He leaves the execution duties, except planning, to the allies. There are clear signs that this will be the same in the post-Russian strategy documents for the Indo-Pacific region (Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States (Washington, DC: The White House, 11 February 2022). Here, it seems that the only thing that spoils the plan is that the Indian administration does not want to act directly on the side of the USA by acting more consistently.

The report of the Munich Security Conference in 2019 was titled “Order Falls apart: Who Will Pick Up the Pieces”. It was certain that someone was looking for someone to stop the disintegration and division, to put it together and unite it. When no other candidate from the West could be found, China was quick to be seen as a candidate for this role. It sure was a boredom and maybe it was the combiners, not the dividers, that everyone expected.

After being an intermediary in solving the problems between Iran and Saudi Arabia, this time, the statement titled "Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation Coordination in the New Era and Resolving the Ukraine Crisis Through Dialogue", which was published jointly with Russia during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow, this time aims to reduce tensions, prevent conflicts and crises from getting out of control. The emphasis on prevention and dialogue bears the signs of the new era, and China, which is aware that it will undoubtedly be the next after Russia, is getting closer to Russia.

However, China's instinct to protect its wealth against other powers, which comes from the depths of history, has continued throughout history in China, and the idea of ​​introversion and thus protection has been developed at all levels.

Even the Chinese emperors had around 270 palaces built where they would live away from people just for this reason (Harman, 2009: 69).

This situation continued in the following years, the Chinese; also traveled to places such as Mozambique and Madagascar, but unlike Europeans in the 16th century, they did not try to impose their religious ideas and did not establish slavery in the regions they conquered.

In 1421, Chinese ships again visited East Africa. However, the Chinese emperor banned long sea voyages in 1433 for similar reasons (World History, 2010: 69), and China was introverted again when it was at its strongest. Could it be just security concerns that led China out this time?

As a result, the new era can be interpreted as the struggle of the "unifying" and "dividing" parties. On the other hand, these practices of China also raise the following questions: Could a similar situation exist in foreign policy for China, which has shown the ability to transition from an introverted statist economic model to an open market economy in the current period? Is China ready to play such a unifying role? Moreover, what does China offer to the whole world for the new model, unlike the previous ones? It seems like some time is needed to answer all these questions…



Alpar, G. (2014). Antropolojik Bakış Açısıyla, Stratejik Dünya Tarihi, Palet Yayınları: Konya.

Dünya Tarihi. (2010).  NTV Yayınları: İstanbul.

Eralp A. (2009). “Sistem”, Devlet ve Ötesi, der. Atila Eralp, İletişim Yayınları: İstanbul.

Fukuyama, F. (1992). Tarihin Sonu ve Son İnsan, Çev. Zülfü Dicleli, Frofil Kitap: İstanbul.

Harman, C. (2009). Halkların Dünya Tarihi, Çev. Uygur Kocabaşoğlu, Yordam Kitap:İstanbul.

Huntington, P. Samuel. (1996). Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order, Simon&Schuster: USA.

Jane, M., Yılmaz, S. (2016). Post-cold war era and stability in international system in the perspective of system approach of Richard Rosecrance. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education Research, 2 (1), 131-143.

Kantarcı Ş. (2012). Soğuk Savaş Sonrası Uluslararası Sistem: Yeni Sürecin Adı “Koalisyonlar Dönemi mi?”. Güvenlik Stratejileri Dergisi, 2012; 8(16): 47-84.

Özlük, E. (2009). “Uluslararası İlişkiler Disiplininin Soy Kütüğü”, Sosyal Ekonomik Araştırmalar Dergisi, 9 (17), 237-260.

Rosecrance, R. (1963). Action and Reaction in World Politics: International Systems in Perspective, Little, Brown and Company: Boston.

….………, R. (1990). “Must America Decline?”, The Wilson Quarterly (1976-), Vol 14, No 4, pp. 67-83.

…………., R. (2010). “Bigger Is Better: The Case for a Transatlantic Economic Union”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 42-50.

…………., R. (2013). The Rusergance of the West The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe, Yale University Press: New Haven

Usher, P. B. (25.02.2025), Rusya'nın Ukrayna'yı işgali: ABD medem Ukrayna'ya asker göndermiyor?- BBC News Türkçe,

Watson, A. (1992). The Evolution of International Society: A Comparative Historical Analysis, Routledge: New York.

Yalvaç F. (2009). “Savaş ve Barış”, Devlet ve Ötesi, der. Atila Eralp, İletişim Yayınları: İstanbul, s. 251- 286.