The Guardian reports that Russia and Venezuela will sign a preliminary agreement next week clearing the way for Russia to build the country’s first nuclear reactor. A lot of the speculation about Barack Obama being tested if elected president centered on conflict scenarios. But I think this sort of development — situated squarely in the provocative zone where the multipolar and globalized world overlap with the Monroe Doctrine — is closer to what we’ll see over the next six months.
Christopher Moraff’s WPR piece on how the Obama administration might address the “new reality” of Latin America is a good place to start in terms of possible responses. I think the opportunity Barack Obama has, since he is a blank slate on foreign policy, is to take a non-escalation approach along the lines of, “I’d like to meet you halfway, but not if you’re moving backwards.” There also might be the makings of some sort of strategic agreement between the world’s nuclear suppliers (or at least the U.S. and Russia) along the lines of generalizing the consortium proposed for dealing with Iran to a wider range of particularly thorny countries, including Venezuela.
But more generally, the announcement, while not terribly alarming in and of itself, presents alarming possibilities, and forcesmultipolar advocates — like myself — to consider just where the redlines of U.S. interests take precedence over the increasingly tanglednetworks of global influence.