By Victor Ikem
The destruction of Aleppo, annexation of Crimea and alleged interference with the election that produced US President-elect, Donald Trump, are very visible signs of Russia’s drive to achieve global dominance.
The world is becoming multipolar, coupled with the rise of populism in the West, and Russia seems to be in a position of enormous advantage to lead, change or destroy the world.
Russia is emerging from the vestiges following the dissolution of the Soviet Union into independent states twenty five years ago, towards establishing her relevance in global politics in a very brutal way, mainly by showing off its diplomatic and military might against the US and other regional powers, especially in the Middle East.
Russia has been accused of intervening in the recent US election that saw the victory of Donald Trump. Also, of supporting right-wing populism in Europe in a manner that raises global suspicion. Donald Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Nigel Farage of Brexit, and such other politicians have all indirectly helped to promote Russia’s view of a world opposed to an established order, a subtle design for Russia to emerge as a new global power base.
Israel’s recent faceoff with the United Nations and the interference of Donald Trump is another interesting dimension. In fact, Donald Trump has repeatedly and openly criticized the UN and its decisions calling it on twitter ‘a club for people to come together, talk and have a good time. So sad!’ It is a known fact that Russia is interested in weakening the United Nations, NATO and the ability of the United States to impose economic sanctions on countries known to hold and cherish anti-West views. Russia has consistently indicated willingness to increase its nuclear capabilities and expand its military dominance.
Building cultural harmony between the US and Russia may be the safest path to peace for the rest of the world, given the determination of Putin to exert himself in an aggressive way. The world should be genuinely interested and probably worried about the rise of Russia and her desire to control world policies at this time. With Putin and Trump as leaders of two powerful countries; both men known to hold extreme views on some pressing world issues, the rest of the world should be worried about the chance of peace especially for Minorities, Muslims and Blacks around the world
Mikhail Gorbachev supervised the fall of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Iron Curtain on the 26th day of December 1991, exactly twenty five years ago. The big question is ‘can Putin successfully initiate and execute another comeback for Russian (Soviet) dominance?’ Will trump and Putin abandon the path of peace at some point? What would that mean for global peace?
While Britain continues to struggle with her self-inflicted exit from the European Union; Germany, France and Italy battle with immigration crises and rising terror attacks, the West and of course the rest of the world must keep an eye on Putin’s Russia in 2017. For Putin, if he can successfully lead the world to defeat ISIS and promote economic freedom in mostly poor countries in Asia and Africa, then maybe he will have a legitimate claim to world leadership. Certainly, not through barrel bombs as is the case in Aleppo, Syria.
For Africa, the world is still waiting anxiously for the rise of the black power. When this rise of Africa will happen no one knows for sure but certainly Africa must rise from economic slavery.
Africa will rise when there is a full restoration of democracy and economic freedom to central and regional governments. Africa will rise when a regional power emerges and institutes a clear policy of Pan-Africanism. Currently, there is no visible regional power in Africa that commands the trust, followership and confidence of fellow Africa countries.
Since the fall of Gadhafi, there has not been a single African leader that has shown interest in forging a United African front for the purpose of negotiating a place for the continent on the global stage. Africa still remains largely divided and dependent on the West.
African leaders must think about Africa first.They must restore hope in the African economy and stem the rise in migration of the best of African brains to the West. Africa must build an inclusive educational system that teaches skills that are useful to the continent.
With the emergence of Donald Trump and the rise of Putin, African leaders must begin to look inwards for an African model of economic growth where there can be counterpart funding of development projects within Africa. African countries must remove artificial borders and foster more collaborations on all fronts towards an independent and self-sufficient Africa.
Ikem is an analyst in Politics, Policy and Governance and Director of Africa-Focus Initiative