“Today & Tomorrow. Azerbaijan in Focus”.-2007.-¹2.-P.38-43

 

GEOPOLITICS: SIMPLE SCHEMES

AND COMPLEX REALITY

 

Nazim Safarov

 

Ongoing geopolitical changes stimu­lated occurrence of very simple scheme, which have become popu­lar in political community of our region. It generates often and sounded in mass media. Its essence is reduced to the following. Known events on September 11, 2001 made active aspiration of the USA to the world control, having approved the American practical politicians and analysts in an idea about overall domination in world process­es. Means, that the USA have entered very important stage of the further distribution of the influence and the control, in spite of furious resistance of Islamic fundamentalists of the Middle East, the anti-American rheto­ric of the Latin American political elite, and also counteraction of Russia to the American influence. With what this stage is connected? With intrusion into Afghanistan and Iraq, confrontation with Iran and the occurred geopolitical shifts in the CIS, fol­lowed after events in Ukraine and in Georgia. Consequences of "orange revolu­tion " and " revolution of roses" have appeared and Russia had to leave illusion of "reintegration" of Ukraine and Georgia. Hence, "leaving" of Ukraine from the Russian control not only has crossed out the Eurasian ambitions of Russia, but also has stricken sensitive blow on geopolitical inter­ests of Slavic "elder brother". Despite of energy dependence on Russia and other complexities of internal political character, Ukraine is irrevocably lost for Russia and puts problems of full-scale representation in the European political institutes, also as membership in a North Atlantic alliance. After " revolution of roses ", deduced Georgia on road of "irrevocability", it has entered as a matter of fact solving stage of opposition with Russia that has marked itself the further narrowing of a zone of the control of Russia on Caucasus. The conflict with Georgia resulted in an overflowing of the conflict from latent, with elements of observance of external decencies, - in opened. Moscow had to develop deduced military bases in new points, already inside of the Russia - Dagestan and Karachay-Cherkessia. But Georgia, after Ukraine, has made the hard choice. Georgia and Ukraine should get out of problems by mobilization of internal resources and a high degree of internal political integration. Russia in the given situation should contin­ue a line directed on territorial infringe­ment of Georgia (Abkhazia, South Ossetia) and inspiration discontent of Armenians in Javakhetia. "Russian-speaking" Ukraine (the south and the east of Ukraine) will show sporadic discontent too. Dream of Georgia to join the European family with territory of 69,7 thousand sq. km, which was during Soviet Union, will be subject to serious tests. But this prospect will have intermediate term character. The forthcom­ing full representation in the European structures and institutes for Georgia and Ukraine in due course can quite lead to restoration of territorial integrity for Georgia and greater political integration for Ukraine. To doubt of persistence of the Europe and the USA on these questions is not necessary only for the political and ide­ological reasons. Incomparably more devel­oped economy and technology of the United States together with global cultural influence in the world, will not leave, and cannot leave chance of Russia for "reinte­gration" of the "lost" States for the pro­claimed foreign policy mission of the USA is those. But the reason is not only in the proclaimed principles. Alongside with the widespread anti-Americanism, in the world exists steady (from time to time subjected audits and excessively devaluated rectilin­ear intervention of the USA in internal affairs of other states) opinion on the West (the USA + the Western Europe) as a whole as the guarantor of democracy and at the same time huge doubts in occasion of abili­ty of new Russia to develop democracy inside of the Russia and to promote its distribution on the Eurasian continent.

Here is such approximately a train of thought on an alignment of forces and pri­orities in region and the world. This scheme quite keeps within idea of the fur­ther and inevitable distribution of econom­ic and political liberalism in the world. Whether all are so simply and harmonious­ly? We agree that as the nature does not suffer emptiness, and also zones of political influence cannot remain "vacant", especial­ly in a situation when it is a question of the young independent states. It is true that the United States have very strong political motivation and all opportunities for final "filling" the released geopolitical spaces. They have rich experience and strong will in these questions. To be convinced of it, it is enough to recall disintegration and breakup of Yugoslavia, about plans of inte­gration of Kosovo in the European Union. Another matter, as modern "the liberally-democratic empire ", (here we use this term, certainly, conditionally, meaning extensiveness of a under control zone and strategic management from a single center) created by the United States, is going to carry out global management. It, at least, should consider historical experience of the sunk into oblivion empires. In fact all of them became property of history with help of weakened controllability of huge territo­ries, revolts and loss of economic influence. An example of the empires created by Alexander Makedonsky, Great Rome, and Attila, the leader of Huns or chronological­ly closer to our time Ottoman Empire speaks about it. The last, reaching in the north from Crimea, in the south from Yemen and Sudan, in the east up to Iran, in northwest up to the Vein and a southwest up to Spain, having existed 600 years, has failed because of loss of the economic and military superiority over the Europe. The weakened empire as it often happens to empires at the end, revolts and mutinies began to loosen. These revolts and mutinies became result of a victory of new ideas over others.

Certainly, now time is other and techno­logical achievements of countries put them above others on some goals above. However, a problem of effective controlla­bility of the remote territories though is on new manners, all the same remains actual. The greater empire as said B. Franklin, as well as the big pie, starts to be crumbled with edges. However, foreign policy man­agement in modern understanding already was beyond cleanly external management and influence, assuming a high degree of the self-management based on mutual coordination and a generality of interests with operating "center". As to Russia, the thesis that the West "squeezes out" Russia from the Caucasus, and Georgia "pulls" behind itself Azerbaijan on the West a little bit simplified. Russia (still) has big influ­ence on the Caucasus; the part of this State is located on the Caucasus. If to leave behind frameworks a verbal peel, it is nec­essary to see the big share of political, eco­nomic and cultural-psychological interac­tion between two States and people. It is necessary to pay attention, but not be limit­ed to understanding of that the part of able-bodied our citizens' works or does business in Russia. It is a lot of general between our country and northern neigh­bor and not only because all we "are from one Soviet overcoats", but also for the rea­son, that at us many similar features in charge of economy. There are many gener­al tendencies in the politics too. Russia for us is a huge market of commodity, work, and investments. Also as for the USA the most convenient trading partner is Canada by virtue of geography; common language and mutual knowledge of consumer psy­chology, and Russia for us are huge oppor­tunities. Benefits of economic interaction between our states are great: these are low, by virtue of the neighborhood, transport charges, mutual understanding of con-sumer psychology and structure of con­sumption, presence of common language of the interstate dialogue, close cultural stereotypes, etc.

And if our foreign policy rhetoric is basically western, then in economy, in cul­tural and social life we, in many respects, follow the Russian standards. And the rea­son not only in the general historical past, it is obvious, that types of thinking, includ­ing, economic ones have many similarities. Even the balance between the state and the market in both countries with some stipu­lations also is very similar.

The world quickly varies. That which was long habitual and comprehensible, tomorrow can appear hopelessly become outdated. It is necessary to pay attention to modern world processes, in particular, on technological development of the countries, which ten years ago did not represent a competition to the advanced West. Today it is China and India. Russia also is the per­spective market; it is capable for "liftoff" by means of the advanced military technology that recognizes even in the West. Already today it has achievements in the peace, civil technology, based on development military. So "to leave" Russia in sense of interaction - simply it is not pragmatic. Other issue is the state interests of each country. Interaction does not assume dia­logue to the detriment of the interests. That is, the policy of constructive interaction should be based on mutual understanding of interests. For Azerbaijan, it appears, the main question of geopolitics is not in that, "to whom to lean", and in how to keep equidistant position in relation to Russia, Iran and the West, developing at the same time elements of a political freedom and economic liberalism.

 

How to keep balance and to remain secular?

 

Basically the policy of balance between various forces is good in short-term and mid-term prospect. It is difficult for realiza­tion in sense of long-term, especially, in such region, as ours. And it occurs not because of lack of political skill or pragma­tism. It is difficult by virtue of the devel­oped interests of the systems having the various nature, political characteristics and vectors of development. Whether it is pos­sible to remain in general "convenient" simultaneously for so various formations -clerical on the one hand, authoritarian under the maintenance and republican under the form - with another and the lib­erally-democratic values developed in sense - with the third? How basically it is possible to keep the balanced policy in region where the United States plan to stop the Iranian nuclear program as the inter­mediate purpose and to take under the control Iran as strategic, and Iran, being the large next State in the south of Azerbaijan, is not going to turn off this program and blackmails all region? At the same time, Russia as a certain guarantor of operated behavior of the countries-outcasts, includ­ing Iran, does not consult with the mission of constraining influence that has shown test of the nuclear weapon by Northern Korea in 2006. The moment comes when the large states push us to the answer to a question reminding a party question of times of a communistic mode: "With whom you, masters of culture?" The answer "we are ourselves" or "we are with all" passes difficultly. Especially for the state applying for a key role on Southern Caucasus (about it see below). However it is necessary to be ready for complexities. Development of precise policy in this question, necessity of observance of national security not so nec­essarily assumes the direct answer to a direct strategic question. We can quite not choose by a principle "or" - "or", and to answer, based on understanding of policy in spirit Otto Bismarck who considered, that the policy is art to adapt to circum-stances and to benefit by everything, even that is disgust. The choice of a political position at all does not mean following "passive conducted" after "the active leader". Political analysts emphasize, that Azerbaijan is necessary to the same West not less, than the West to Azerbaijan. But it does not mean that who needs the other one more. The West is necessary to Azerbaijan not as political "boss", but as a reference point of the advanced organiza­tion of the state and public life. In turn, Azerbaijan is necessary to the West not only for short-term Iranian programs. The West needs the safe energy program and diversification of risks and it does the rate on huge volumes regional, including, the Central Asian oil-and-gas stream. In all this history the main thing for us is not to get in a situation at which the quantity of threats can be beyond opportunities of management of them. Here this foreshort­ening of a problem is extremely important. Azerbaijan, as the modern secular state which is not denying the Muslim identifi­cation, in large has three variants of devel­opment unlike the modern secular states recognizing the Christian identification and having only two variants of the scenario. Two variants is or democracy, or not democracy (variations of democratic and not democratic forms can be very differ­ent). Z. Brzezinski, for example, under the attitude to the second (Russian) variant applies the term "static centralism", quite suitable to the characteristic of a situation even in other states. The third variant pro­viding religious rule for the state with Christian identification on an expert is absent, or there are no Christian states (if, certainly, to not take into consideration the city-state of Vatican as the absolute theo­cratic monarchy in a rank of the sovereign princedom operated Sacred Throne). In the Muslim world there are not only Islamic states, but also constantly there is a claim of clericals for authority there where they are not presented to authorities. Turkey, for example, being the secular state, it is permanent struggles for preservation of good breeding and against feeble efforts from Islamic groupings which from time to time are brought round army - the guaran­tor of secular development. Now this state keeps good breeding in many respects owing to a certain agreement between democrats, Islamite and secular militaries. In this context clearly, that such countries as Azerbaijan, are not guaranteed com­pletely against essential politicization of Islam and those are mistaken, who consid­ers that here theoretical dispute can go only between supporters of the firm cen­tralized authority and liberal-democratic values. As there are bases to suspect Shiite Iran on the one hand, and Sunnite Saudi Arabia - on the other hand, in rendering financial aid to the radical supporters in Azerbaijan. Even if we shall not speak about possible Islamic challenges since they remain only hypothetical by virtue of not so wide social base of title religion, it is necessary to be asked by a following ques­tion: "Generally, in what degree we can carry out management of foreign policy threats if we face external circumstances independent from subjective will of sepa­rate persons and people?" The answer to this question depends on how we shall be.

 

How to become the key State on Southern Caucasus?

 

Azerbaijan applies for a role of the key State on Southern Caucasus. Not "to outdo" of others, but to set an example of other consciousness, balanced development and success. For transition from the declaration to business and realizations of such arro­gant aspiration it has all preliminary condi­tions, stimulus and opportunities. It is greater in comparison with neighbors of the territory and the economic potential is incomparable with them. The theme of oil resources became already beaten, but these resources feed ambitions of Azerbaijan. However the fertile grounds, climatic zones and resources are what allocate the State for the objective reasons or as often repeat, is granted Supreme. It would be much more interesting to clear a question that to dependently people and the state. Then it is necessary to be asked by a ques­tion: "what means the State?" If someone assumes, that it is only the system, provid­ing functioning of various institutes, including, security, guaranteeing orderli­ness of a life of citizens, organizing eco­nomic activities, this restricted and. already "marked down by time" understanding of a role and an essence of the state. The State in ancient Greek sense is also a certain spir­itual commonness of people. The under­standing of the state in such foreshortening more and more gets into consciousness of the advanced part of modern mankind. Therefore a question is the following: what do we represent as a moral generality and how much the State not so much as exter­nal structure, organizing our life and our­selves is capable of acceptance of chal­lenges of leadership? A question is com­plex enough, but we shall try to answer it. For this purpose we have a weight of opportunities. We can take, for example, any sphere of economy and be convinced of very simple true, which still remains underestimated. Azerbaijan aspires to develop tourism, makes efforts for increase in quantity of foreign tourists driving to the country. It is not casual; in fact tourist business is an excellent way of earnings for the State that proves the same example of Turkey close to us, which takes from this business of 9 billion dollars per year. Another unattainable for us in terms of scale and opportunities an example - the USA, earning from tourism industry not less of 45 billion of dollars per year. In Azerbaijan opportunities are more modest (earned around 700 million dollars over 2006), but there is a precise under­standing of importance of a matter, there­fore resort zones here are developed, roads and hotels are under construction, restau­rants with a good level of service of clients are opened. That is, the necessary infra­structure is created. Very important "trifle" "drops out" of a field of action of this infra­structure - the general cultural level of peo­ple. By way of illustration it is possible to result one of the telecasts, devoted as to you it was pleasant to development of tourism during which the express train-interrogation of foreign tourists on a lovely theme "How you spent your time in Azerbaijan?" One of answers of the western tourist has been quite expected for local residents: "There are many fine places here, but we did not feel in safety in Baku because there is chaotic traffic here and cars run into people literally... ".

Azerbaijanis happened in the western countries well know, what correct attitudes exist there between people in general and, in particular, between pedestrians and drivers. Therefore concern of visitors is quite clear. It would seem, "detail", but it influences opinion about the general level of culture of people and the State and final­ly - on economy.

We should recognize this and other sim­ilar problems and to work above them. The declared claim for leadership should be supported with corresponding models of behavior. Low ability to self-management, unfortunately, is available in our country, that also beats on image of the State and potentially weakens it. The typical example similar to the test for self-organizing (including, the test psychological) is a crossroads uncontrollable because of out of order traffic lights in Baku. The degree of disorganization is so that all participants of traffic, having accumulated on a cross­roads, prefer to not concede each other and to not move, than to try to change a situation and to continue movement. Practically everyone will expect external intrusion. The economic life also is very similar to a certain crossroads, traffic on which in many respects depends on participants of process. It is possible to argue infinitely long on a theme of the reasons of such phe­nomenon and to result the objective factors which have defined our low ability to self-management, however it is necessary to realize very simple thing: weakness in any self-management conducts to strengthen­ing external management. And it always assumes that you will be object of influ­ence, but not the subject. Very much the important point of economic development is concluded that it assumes also change of consciousness, psychology of people. Economic and technological development itself is impossible without institutional, behavioral and ideological changes. Without them new technologies will not be effective (similarly to a bulb to which the electricity is not brought - the potential is, but it is not used, as there are no necessary additional conditions). In due time great Hegel has written the high words about his people, in particular, that German people could personify idea of freedom most full. Many people explain achievements of this people only with this circumstance i.e. that in a basis of behavioral and ideological changes of people mastering the progres­sive ideas developed by the European cul­ture lies. It is very important and interest­ing moment for all us. In fact, in this con­text becomes quite clear, that we have no point of return. There is no return to the history, which have become by property to forms of the organization of a public life as there is no reasonable alternative to legal relations in a society, supremacy of the law and the advanced market economy. Nothing less, nothing more...