Today’s violent and complex world has drawn many historical analogies, particularly with the 1950s and the start of the Cold War. While the current geopolitical landscape does not feature two blocs in the Cold War sense, we can distinguish two families of countries or “worlds,” geographically, but above all politically and culturally.
In the same week, Azerbaijan seized control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in a lightning military advance and Serbia amassed troops on its border with Kosovo. The dual military crises, while concerning in and of themselves, also point to how the war in Ukraine is breaking down the international security order.
The effusive rhetoric on display in recent high-level meetings between Russian and Chinese officials masks a significant vulnerability in their strategic partnership: Although both sides champion the creation of a multipolar world order, their actual cooperation on the ground lags far behind, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.