The cliché that ”there are no permanent friends or enemies in international politics” holds a searing resonance and echo in the contemporary times. Even though not very significant, from the ”grand chessboard” view and perspective of politics, the impermanence of friends and enemies in politics might be best encapsulated in the Taliban’s turn, or more accurately, its acceptance of Russia’s invite for peace talks. It may be recalled that the Taliban fought against the erstwhile Soviet Union, as part of a wider ”rollback” strategy of the United States, during and in the Cold War. This develop-ment is overlaid by Vladimir Putin’s sparring with the NATO, the Western alliance, that despite its posturing, appears to be in some form and sort of disorderly bedlam.
That times have obviously changed means and entails stating the obvious. The real question is: what has changed?
While change is perhaps the only constant in life, but there is also a certain permanence to the affairs of human kind, speaking philosophically. This assertion appears to hold true with respect to world politics and international relations. There is change and there are ”constant constants”. What appears to have changed is the form of politics but the substance seems to remain the same. Consider a fact. Despite the stupendous changes induced by and in the realm of capitalist economics, world politics remains and is defined by the arena of states. These entities compete with each other (viciously so), and there raison d’etre is security, interest and power maximization. In pursuit of these goals, states balance or bandwagon. But, the fundamental reality is that states compete with each other.
Political analyst from Kashmir with a MSc in International Relations at the University of Aberdeen – United Kingdom, is particularly interested in politics and religion, political economy, culture and identity