Turkey reshuffles the Eurasian coalitioning deckApril 29, 2013
In Modelski’s version of Long Cycle Theory, coalitioning is the final phase before the final conflict between the existing hegemonic order and its challengers. The coalitioning phase sees shifts in alliance structures, sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic. EnerGeoPolitics has been watching the coalitioning efforts of the United States, Russia and China in Eurasia from its inception. Early in this century, the US tried (and failed) to form an alliance of Caspian Sea states under the name of the Caspian Guard. It has has better – though limited – success in expanding NATO to Eurasian states through its Partnership for Peace program. China and Russia came together to create the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with several Central Asian nations. Russia has organized several of the former Soviet Republics into the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which has been the most successful effort – success which has led Russia to de-emphasize its participation in the SCO.
Late last week, there was an upheaval in the coalitioning field as charter NATO member – a lynchpin of US efforts in Eurasia – officially became a “dialogue partner” of the SCO. This is not full membership, and Turkey has not left NATO, but it has been drifting away from the Atlantic alliance and toward the Heartland for a decade. Atlanticism, it seems, is in retreat, and Eurasianism is on the march. The good news (from this American’s perspective) is that the competing versions of Eurasianism (Russian, Chinese and don’t forget pan-Islamic) will have to settle things out among themselves before they can look outward.