Two Towers of PRC and USA in the uncertain conflict of the 21st Century: 1 of 2: Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Jan 17, 01:51 AM

Photo:Roman relief fragment depicting the Praetorian Guard, c. 50 AD

Historien spécialiste du bassin minier du Nord-Pas-de-Calais JÄNNICK Jérémy / Wikimedia Commons & Louvre-Lens

Provenance: Rome, Italy

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File:Lens - Inauguration du Louvre-Lens le 4 décembre 2012, la Galerie du Temps, n° 058.JPG

Created: circa 50

Two Towers of PRC and USA in the uncertain conflict of the 21st Century: 1 of 2:  Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs. Peace, too, has its fog; more pervasive, opaque, and confusing than the fog of war. The mists of the post-Cold War peace are finally clearing. It has taken three decades since the end of the Cold War for the skeletal outlines to emerge of a new global strategic architecture. Only the wisps of a transitional, flimsy framework are yet visible. Two towers alone can be seen rising through the vapors misting across a flat field: the United States of America (US) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As yet unre-marked, however, are three pivotal or structural issues which will in large measure de-termine how (or whether) this emerging framework matures into a stable strategic bal-ance. These issues, or factors, may at first seem unremarkable when seen against the great hubris and majesty of superpowers. Indeed, these three pivotal issues may seem inci-dental to a world preoccupied with the immediate, seemingly urgent challenges which cry from the headlines. But they are elements which will determine whether the West, on the one hand, regroups and redefines itself; and whether, on the other, the PRC can truly break beyond its historical heartland constraints into the world’s oceans. These factors, and all else in the emerging strategic framework, must be seen against the backdrop of a massively transforming global population pattern, both in terms of numbers (erratically declining) and in terms of disposition (continued urbanization and migration). It is the global population shift which is the critical context.1 Indeed, it is largely because of the transforming population super-trends that the three major strate-gic pivots, which we will discuss, have occurred. Population rise and fall and movement determine and intertwine with social patterns at a macro level, and determine political and economic trends, thus determining strategic outcomes.