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What Are David’s Options When Goliath Makes Geopolitical Reality?
The old year's parting present to 2020 is a gaggle of what the Russians call 'frozen conflicts' across the globe. Any one of them may unfreeze in the year ahead, bringing bloodshed and exile to innocents and threatening an already precarious world order. In some, the balance of forces is so disproportionate that the weaker party has no options but to bow to strength. The Goliaths of Russia and India, among others, dictate terms to the Davids of Ukraine and Pakistan. The people of tiny Hong Kong are standing up to China, but for how long? Who will defend Hong Kong if China abolishes the former British colony's 'one country, two systems' status? For that matter, would NATO prevent Moscow from seizing more Ukrainian territory than it already has? Would the United Nations defend Pakistan if India expels the Muslims of Kashmir, as Burma did the Rohingya Muslims? This was not how it was supposed to be. As the Second World War was ending in June 1945, the new United Nations published its charter in San Francisco. The first sentence of the charter's first article promised 'to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.' Strength of the kind Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had used to subjugate weaker nations was outlawed. International law and justice were to replace a system where might made, if not right, then reality…