“Adapting U.S. policy toward the Global South in a time of change”

This takes in Brazil of course. But not just Brazil! Africa as well. Remember this previous report?

Picture from Stimson- Check the picture in my report linked above

The United States has failed to realize the strategic importance of the Global South. Russia’s war in Ukraine and Washington’s inability to secure a wide diplomatic consortium with the majority of the world should be a moment of reckoning. U.S. foreign policy toward the Global South has too often been shortsighted, and the United States can no longer afford to ignore these actors. (China and Russia did not ignore these actors) Global South countries occupy a critical role in an increasingly multipolar global order; their resources and partnerships are essential to furthering prosperity for all and addressing global challenges. If the United States continues to cling to the obsolete post-Cold War unipolar mentality, it is likely to further lose its global standing and influence, while the world evolves and adapts to new power dynamics.

What is the opportunity?

The United States has failed to realize the strategic importance of what scholars and politicians used to call the “third world” ― as if the planet’s most populous countries constitute merely the international order’s antechamber. Consequently, U.S. foreign policy toward the Global South has proven to be shortsighted. Washington has repeatedly missed opportunities to develop long-lasting and consistent win-win cooperation that could durably address the root causes of conflict and instability and spur sustainable development and prosperity. Indeed, while Global South states seek to develop through cooperation with bigger powers such as the United States, Washington also benefits from and often on partnerships with the Global South.

  • In the economic and trade sectors, the United States relies on minerals, textiles and clothing, and vegetables and other food product imports from countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Peru, and Vietnam.
  • In the diplomatic sector, Washington often seeks to build coalitions to advance its interests, such as since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The United States has sought to secure broader support from the Global South to condemn Russia and vote in support of Ukraine at the United Nations. (But didn’t get it)
  • Emerging powers such as Nigeria exert a powerful influence on global culture — including in music, film, and fashion — while other Global South countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo are making substantial contributions to global science.

In short, the United States cannot afford to ignore the Global South. Regrettably, however, some U.S. responses to the Ukraine war — such as economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure — risk driving a deeper wedge between Washington and much of the rest of the world. These policies may make the United States appear to be turning inward or backward toward an earlier era—but such an approach will not be effective in an increasingly multipolar international system. If the United States continues to cling to the obsolete post-Cold War unipolar mentality, it is likely to continue to lose its standing and influence in the international system.

Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Washington has missed several opportunities to rally overwhelming global support for its efforts to punish Russia for its aggression. This failure has prompted a wider conversation about the future of the current international order and the strategic role of Global South countries, particularly India and South Africa. To be sure, responses to the war have varied widely. The possible resurgence of a nonaligned movement and the limitations of U.S. diplomatic leverage amidst the war in Ukraine are clear evidence of the changing balance of the world order.

The contours of the geopolitical landscape have been shifting for years. For example, in the Solomon Islands, as U.S. relations with the nation soured in the 2010s, China increased its economic partnerships across many different sectors, becoming the country’s main trading partner. Such a pattern can also be observed closer to U.S. territory, such as in the Caribbean. The Biden administration has not developed an engagement strategy to leverage opportunities with the Global South, despite mutual interests such as combating climate change, bolstering economic development, expanding trade, and enhancing human and national security. In contrast, China has, for instance, invested massively in Africa during the past two decades. U.S. leaders and their European allies cannot expect Global South countries to support U.S. interests while the United States does not commit to support their interests in return.

More at link

Leaders, scholars, and citizens across the Global South have elevated their voices to condemn the West’s double standards, which are supported by an imbalanced international system. They seek to diversify their economic and security partnerships, attract new sources of investment, and secure multilateral efforts to tackle global challenges ― whose effects are often much more acute in their territories. Although the United States is lagging in terms of engagement with the Global South compared to China, it has an opportunity to change course by realizing the strategic importance of these countries.

More at link

Why now?

The war in Ukraine has highlighted, if not intensified, the changing dynamics of the global order. As China and Russia attempt to expand their global influence, Global South countries are also working to shape discussions and secure strategic outcomes by exercising their own agency rather than following others’ lead. As new strategic relationships emerge and strengthen, Global South countries are likely to avoid taking sides during conflicts and to opt for a strategic equilibrium in their relations with bigger powers to advance their own interests.

The United States and its allies’ relevance is being tested; at their own initiative, Global South countries are building partnerships with China and Russia. In addition, they are demanding reform to multilateral structures to better reflect their role in the international order, as illustrated by the 2022 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Summit’s Beijing Declaration.

Perhaps the US is already working to shift this dynamic? See today’s earlier report on Brazil and the BRICS

In short, the United States can no longer act as the uncontested leader of the global order. U.S. foreign policy has too often regarded Global South countries as secondary players, or pawns only relevant to advance U.S. interests, notably in times of crisis and heightened power competition. Using pressure or coercion to attempt to rally the Global South behind U.S. leadership has proven to be only minimally effective.

Still more information at link bit we’ll cut to the last paragraph

Bottom line

It is shortsighted and counterproductive for the United States to engage with the world merely because of great power competition and to thwart adversaries. Equally important, the United States, like its Western allies, heavily relies on Global South countries’ resources and also benefits from scientific and cultural knowledge and exchanges with these countries. Thus, Washington should proceed with the understanding that U.S. national security and other interests are more likely to be protected in a more prosperous and stable world — and one in which Global South countries are key players.

4 replies on ““Adapting U.S. policy toward the Global South in a time of change””

Few analysis of geopolitics take into consideration the current state of the US–as a financially/politically hollowed–out terminally corrupt deadbeat debtor–militarily neutered by Russia and China’s military might. The only factors the US has going for it are access to bioweapon and weather modification technologies. Gawd knows where those hubs are located!

Anyone needing proof of the United States’ relevance on the world stage need look no further than the humiliating stumble bum the Deep State has placed in the White House.

“Anyone needing proof of the United States’ relevance on the world stage need look no further than the humiliating stumble bum the Deep State has placed in the White House.”

GC, Biden is really something else- as in I don’t know what to think about his leadership? Not that I liked Trump, but, goodness Biden is actually making Trump look good and that’s terrible!

Stimson’s spectacles might be a bit too rosy tinted when it comes to the USA’s potential to treat the Global South as anything other than pawns. After I read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” years ago I became disgusted at how the USA forms “relationships” with the Global South. These countries would be wise to be very wary of the USA when it comes
knocking on their doors to “make a deal”. China and Russia are far more likely to respect the sovereignty of these countries than the USA.

As for the Ukraine, the Russian bear was intentionally poked too many times after the USA orchestrated coup in 2014 and it took action only when more peaceful means failed. This, unfortunately, is not yet widespread knowledge within the US population because mainstream news is the propaganda arm of the government.

Here’s some uplifting video from Mariupol (a rare glimpse of healing instead of hurting) …

Hi M.R. that is a really nice video and boy I bet those people are happy to have somewhere to call home!

Regarding Stimson’s piece? I agree it was a really rosy/sugar coated piece. The US is not going to treat these nations in a respectful manner or they would have already done so!

And that fact can be seen in the US dealings with Russia.
Thanks for the pdf to that book as well! I’ve seen it referenced many times but have never read it. I’m going to save it for future reading!

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