Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Troika: Why Not by Erick San Juan

The Troika: Why Not by Erick San Juan

Now that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has branded the Asia-Pacific region as the “engine” of the global economy, will the countries involved in the disputed areas in the region be sensible enough to ease the tension?

Last September 8 and 9 at the APEC meeting, “U.S. officials said, they would welcome a more active Russian role in the Asia-Pacific where territorial disputes, including between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea, sparked by nationalist rhetoric have fueled fears of conflict”.

Furthermore, “with Putin actively promoting Russian greater economic and strategic ties with Asia and hosting the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in much spruced up Vladivostok, Clinton is eager to hear what his "goals and ambitions" are and how they might complement U.S. efforts, particularly in easing strains that could interfere with oceangoing commerce in the Pacific…” (By Matthew Lee)

Representing US President Barack Obama at the APEC meeting, State Secretary Clinton cited that the “US is looking for Russia to play a greater role in the region as it seeks to quell growing maritime tensions.”

The idea is not bad at all if such move will benefit the countries in the Asia-Pacific region by reducing the tensions and concentrate more on its development. But knowing Uncle Sam, this can also mean something else. What could be the real agenda behind? Could this also be part of a divide and rule scenario? Just asking.

Russia can pivot to the Pacific, too.

Yes, in an article by Dmitri Trenin he explained in details the possibilities of Russia turning to the Asia-Pacific region. With the same title – Russia can pivot to the Pacific, too - he significantly cited that “Russia's hosting of the APEC summit has suddenly reminded quite a few people in the region that Russia has two-thirds of its territory in Asia, as well as a very long coastline along the North Pacific." This is a useful reminder.

Hillary Clinton's famous Asian pivot article in Foreign Policy last November last year mentioned a wide range of countries, but it omitted Russia. Discussions of U.S.-China strategy are now routinely held in Washington and elsewhere without any reference to China's northern neighbor,which is Russia (ESJ’s emphasis).

If the present Russian leadership will consider this opportunity of developing the country’s eastern part, the US-Russia-China triangle might help to neutralize this turbulent region and avoid the skirmishes turn to a world war. There’s nothing to loose if the goals are for regional peace and development that will benefit Asian countries in the process.

The possibilities are great and if this plan will materialize our country will be one of its beneficiaries if we will play our cards well. But sadly, the recent boo-boo on the so-called backdoor channeling issue between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes regarding the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal standoff was a clear sign that until now there is no clear foreign policy that is in place that will address such crucial matter.

It seems that the present administration is using a "band-aid" solution when it comes to foreign policy issues. This is a big no-no in international relations and diplomacy. The government must have a clear foreign policy that will address matters of international importance with firm clarity and determination without prejudice to other nations.

We hope and pray that the rift between our legislators will end and move forward in achieving goals for the nation’s welfare. If the US-Russia-China triumvirate in the region will help in any way to bring peace and development, I hope that the government will appoint the right people that will analyze the situation well and will possibly benefit our nation

We are living in very exciting times and in the coming month of October, there will be several military exercises around the world, one of which is between US and Israel which is highly militarized, highly provocative and highly unnecessary drill – the “Austere Challenge 12”. In the said exercises, Israel will test its Arrow 2 missile defense system while the US will deploy its Aegis Ballistic Missile defense system and PAC-3 Patriot Air defense platforms. Any miscalculation during such military exercises can lead to a mutually assured destruction.

God forbid!

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