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Non-Aligned Movement Still a Force to Be Reckoned With

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012

The 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran late last month brought the group back into the international spotlight, years after the end of the Cold War called its very existence into question. With the fall of the Soviet Union, nonaligned nations suddenly found themselves unable to leverage superpower rivalry to achieve their domestic and foreign policy objectives. Moreover, in the post-Cold War unipolar world, Washington’s preponderant influence meant that nonaligned nations needed to drastically alter their foreign policy to accommodate American interests. The rapid liberalization of national economies in countries such as India, Indonesia and Brazil is a case in point.

But it would be severely myopic to completely dismiss the political importance of an international congregation of 120 states, a gathering second only to the U.N. in membership. This is underscored by the outcomes of the Tehran summit, which offered three important takeaways with huge ramifications for contemporary international relations. ...

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