Today everyone sees BRICS, but they do not see the SCO or know what purpose it serves. As the article states, it is Russia and China’s answer to the West. Moreover, it is a world-wide war axis. Over the years it has been playing it cool as to not arouse suspicion, however the military relationships are increasing and becoming more deep as larger war games and military exercises are being held. China recently hosted its largest drill ever under the SCO banner.
Back on September 11 and 12, there was a summit meeting in a city that involved an organization that most Americans have never heard of. Mainstream media coverage was all but nonexistent.
The place was Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, a country few Westerners could correctly place on a map.
But you can bet your last ruble that Vladimir Putin knows exactly where Tajikistan is. Because the group that met there is the Russian president’s baby. It’s the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), consisting of six member states: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The SCO was founded in 2001, ostensibly to collectively oppose extremism and enhance border security. But its real reason for being is larger. Putin sees it in a broad context, as a counterweight to NATO (a position that the SCO doesn’t deny, by the way). Its official stance may be to pledge nonalignment, nonconfrontation, and noninterference in other countries’ affairs, but—pointedly—the members do conduct joint military exercises.
Why should we care about this meeting in the middle of nowhere? Well, obviously, anything that Russia and China propose to do together warrants our attention. But there’s a whole lot more to the story.
Since the SCO’s inception, Russia has been treading somewhat softly, not wanting the group to become a possible stalking horse for Chinese expansion into what it considers its own strategic backyard, Central Asia. But at the same time, Putin has been making new friends around the world as fast as he can. If he is to challenge US global hegemony—a proposition that I examine in detail in my new book, The Colder War—he will need as many alliances as he can forge.
However, the idea of adding new members was hardly forgotten. There are other countries which have been actively seeking to join for years. Now, with the rotating chairmanship of the organization passing to Moscow—and with the next summit scheduled for July 2015 in Ufa, Russia—conditions could favor the organization’s expansion process truly taking shape by next summer, says Putin.
To that end, the participants in Dushanbe signed documents that addressed the relevant issues: a “Model Memorandum on the Obligations of Applicant States for Obtaining SCO Member State Status,” and “On the Procedure for Granting the Status of the SCO Member States.”
This is extremely important, both to Russia and the West, because two of the nations clamoring for inclusion loom large in geopolitics: India and Pakistan. And waiting in the wings is yet another major player—Iran.
As always, Putin is not thinking small or short term here. Among the priorities he’s laid out for the Russian chairmanship are: beefing up the role of the SCO in providing regional security; launching major multilateral economic projects; enhancing cultural and humanitarian ties between member nations; and designing comprehensive approaches to current global problems. He is also preparing an SCO development strategy for the 2015-2025 period and believes it will be ready by the time of the next summit.
We should care what’s going on inside the SCO. Once India and Pakistan get in (and they will) and Iran follows shortly thereafter, it’ll be a geopolitical game changer.
Putin is taking a leadership role in the creation of an international alliance among four of the ten most populous countries on the planet—its combined population constitutes over 40% of the world’s total, just short of 3 billion people. It encompasses the two fastest-growing global economies. Adding Iran means its members would control over half of all natural gas reserves. Development of Asian pipeline networks would boost the nations of the region economically and tie them more closely together.
If Putin has his way, the SCO could not only rival NATO, it could fashion a new financial structure that directly competes with the IMF and World Bank. The New Development Bank (FKA the BRICS Bank), created this past summer in Brazil, was a first step in that direction. And that could lead to the dethroning of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, with dire consequences for the American economy.
Perhaps no one knows how dangerous Vladimir Putin is and how much he controls the flow of capital in the global energy trade than author of The Colder War, Marin Katusa.
Full article: Putin Signs Secret Pact to Crush NATO (Casey Research)