Political Observation - Expounding the Concept of International Struggle

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Expounding the Concept of International Struggle

International struggle occurs between the willpower of the influential powers in international relations. It aims at subjugating or abolishing the opponent for doctrinal, expedient or nationalistic reasons. Political thinkers say the struggle undergoes several stages which they describe as the struggle’s life cycle. It begins with escalation due to a lack of trust and a hatred nurtured by doctrinal, nationalistic and expedient tendencies. The struggle then begins to shrink with the emergence of goodwill, trust and understanding and then moves towards the stage of stability and ends up fading and disappearing altogether. The struggle may be replaced with cooperation and partnership. This means that a situation of struggle is never perpetual unless the motive behind it is doctrinal and not subject to concession or waning with time.

The struggle ends and the change in international relations occurs when the motive behind the struggle disappears or when the aim for which the struggle erupted is achieved, such as eliminating the influence of the opponent, or when one or both sides decide to reassess their interests according to the given facts of the new reality, such as the understanding between the US and the former Soviet Union to abolish the influence of Britain and France and share international decisions in isolation of the international institutions and their international partners in their two camps. 

The struggle could also end if one side decided to secure its own interests instead of threatening its opponent’s interests or if one side were to capitulate and admit defeat due to a regression of its power and a heightening of its opponent’s power.

There are several examples of international struggle that cropped up and then faded, such as the religious struggle in Europe between the Catholics and Protestants and the nationalistic and colonialist struggle between the European states in the two world wars, the ideological struggle between the Soviet Union and America and the struggle for influence and interests between America, Britain and France before America managed to dominate the international situation singlehandedly. However, this does not rule out the possibility of the struggle turning into a contest, especially after the emergence of the nuclear deterrent; and contests between capitalist powers is inevitable since expediency is the impetus of their policies.

Contests tend to generate conflicts, but a conflict is a mere whirlpool occurring in the mainstream of relations, causing an upset that may be resolved through diplomacy and various means of deterrence. This has become conformant with the reality of international relations since the emergence of nuclear weapons and the arms race, and since America became the sole dominant power in the international situation, she started to frenziedly bully the competing powers, especially after Donald Trump took office.

13 Muharram 1442h
1 September 2020