Grand Strategy of the Authoritarian Axis | The Diplomat

Recent events – like those in Syria – show increasing coordination among some of the world’s most dangerous states.

Once subtle in the making, we are watching the unfolding of a dramatic shift in international politics.

Why, we may ask, is this happening?

When the Soviet Union collapsed, no major power emerged to challenge the United States and the West. Simply put, for two decades policymakers failed to define a grand strategy to govern its foreign policy. Washington, in effect, enjoyed a “free ride” in conducting its foreign policy.

In moving from crisis to crisis without an overarching set of goals or principles to guide its policies, the U.S. and the West have lost strategic momentum. Simultaneously, a new bloc of states – an “authoritarian axis” – is gaining strategic momentum. Dangerously, this rival bloc is mounting serious geopolitical resistance to the West and altering the balance of power.

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This rising concert – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, among other states–shows increasing evidence that their foreign policies are aligned, which is not to say perfect or near-perfect alignment.

Grand Strategy of the Authoritarian Axis: How Will the West Respond? | The Diplomat

This is another example of how the world is in transition. The old order with the US at its head is being challenged because the US is in decline. The Global Trends 2025 report suggests that the international system as we know it today – created out of the ashes of World War II – “will be almost unrecognizable by 2025″. This transition might not go smoothly.