Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Asian Geopolitical Implications of the Ossetian War

Figured I should put in my 2 cents about the Ossetian War here. I don't have anything to add to the news out there. But this conflict is glaring in the absence of some major players.

China and India aspire to super power status. The Ossetian War presented many opportunities to a power looking for good press: Russia took a side, America the other. A third way to mediate the crisis, as a semi-neutral third party, is an obvious opening. At the end of hostilities there will be a need for peacekeepers/observers to enforce the ceasefire, for which China and India has plenty of bodies to deploy, and which will be a great occassion for photo ops in a low-risk environment. The role of a mediator does not require any commitments and has a great return on international good will.

Both China and India are for "Non-intervention", "territorial integrity", etc. China in particular can use another friend to face off Russia. At the same time, both countries have a huge diaspora population abroad and can use that to relate to Russia.

Of course, France took the diplomatic opening and is working to mediate a ceasefire. India and China should have been jumping on the bandwagon and everything. Yet there is nary a peep from either of them. One wonders why.

Thanks to The DEW Line!

Thanks to Stephen Trimble's The DEW Line for the shout out!