Russia, China Lead Key Alliance

From the January 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

Conceived in 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (sco) was created to promote partnership among former Soviet nations. Since meeting that goal, the sco has quickly evolved into a larger, more influential bloc spearheaded by Russia and China. Some believe the growing confederacy could potentially rival natoin its military capabilities.

Last October, scomember nations (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) met to mull over developing security and military ties, and to induct India, Pakistan and Iran into the organization.

Underlying the unification of these nations is a dangerous motive that should concern the United States. “The sco’s swift rise has been fueled by deteriorating security conditions in ex-Soviet Central Asia, as well as a hunger in Moscow and Beijing for a vehicle that could counter U.S. influence in the region” (Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 26, 2005).

Watch for the sco to grow more influential. With Russia and China at the helm, it is entirely conceivable that this organization could burgeon into a pan-Asian coalition. “China’s ambitions are growing fast, and it also wants to turn the sco into something bigger and more effective” (ibid.).

Consider the resources at the disposal of such a military confederacy: It would have access to Russia’s military hardware and nuclear program as well as China’s massive army and growing technological capabilities—and it could freely inhabit the strategically situated land of Central Asia. Central Asian nations sit on the doorstep of both the Middle East and Europe. Include the possibility of India, Pakistan and Iran joining the club, and this military’s potential strategic capabilities grow even greater.

Ariel Cohen, senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, is concerned with where Russia and China are taking the sco. “Four years ago, when the sco was formed, officials in Washington pooh-poohed it and declared it was no cause for concern. … Now they’re proven wrong.” In four years, the sco has become a central component in Asian politics.

Continue to watch for alliances to form with the motive to marginalize America’s global influence. Anti-American sentiment pervades international politics as never before. As the anti-America wave rolls across the globe, the U.S. is finding itself dangerously short of allies while simultaneously getting embroiled in an increasing number of controversies and wars. The U.S. military will not be able to stand such pressure much longer.