20th-century world order doesn’t meet today’s challenges

American Russophobes in Washington seem to be doing everything possible to create an unstoppable clash between the West and Russia that cannot be undone by any institution or person.

A huge military buildup in Poland is being mounted as NATO signals offensive war maneuvers toward Russia. It can be described as nothing else in the waning days of the dismal Obama administration.

Such pettiness is rooted in thinking born in a previous century when the Soviet Union was the greatest menace facing the West. That threat has now been replaced by Islamist extremism. The inauguration of Donald Trump in a matter of days presents the West — and the supranational institutions that back its outdated ideas — with the opportunity to break this destructive cycle and stop seeing Russia as the enemy.

The 20th-century security paradigm that established NATO is over. NATO was set up in 1949 to defend Europe against a perceived threat of Soviet aggression. But the Soviet Union is no more.

The West’s once-powerful alliance is becoming an increasingly outmoded coalition, designed to deal with problems that no longer exist.

The same could be said of the United Nations. Costing governments and taxpayers billions to keep in place, these 20th-century partnerships are no longer suitable for the threats and problems we face in the 21st century.

Far from its original mandate to promote international peace, security and cooperation, the United Nations has become increasingly unhelpful and divisive in war-torn countries.

This was evident from its shocking failures recently in Libya, where it helped plunge the country into further civil war. And after lauding Libya’s elections, the United Nations installed its own puppet government that world powers were expected to recognize despite it having almost no control in the country it purported to represent.

At best NATO, the United Nations and the European Union are obsolete, holding back member states from pursuing urgent new global policies; at worst, NATO in particular is needlessly provoking Russia and creating unnecessary and dangerous tension between two of the world’s most powerful countries.

In my opinion, NATO should be dissolved: The alliance includes Turkey — whose ruling AKP party publicly supports the Muslim Brotherhood. The face of so-called moderate political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood is the godfather of al Qaeda and ISIS.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey is no longer fit to stand alongside European and North American nations, either at the conference table or on the battlefield.

Further, it is high time for the West to accept the possibility that Saudi Arabia and Qatar shoulder some of the responsibility for the creation of ISIS.

Wahhabism is the ultimate evil, designed to further the objectives of a group of extremists who are spreading around the globe. The United States and Great Britain turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen, Bahrain and around the world.

Saudi Arabia should be excluded and marginalized by the international community as Iran was in 1979 when hugely lucrative defense contracts were terminated and mutually beneficial deals and assets frozen overnight.

America and Great Britain are in the unique position of being able to diminish the Saudi global position drastically, thereby severing the head of the snake that is ISIS. As the tail withers and dies, the United States should team up with Russia to finish ISIS militants ruling civilians under their culture of terror in a self-declared “caliphate” before turning its attention to the ever-growing global threat lurking within the refugee crisis and home-grown terrorism.

At this global political crossroads, Trump’s indication that he will work with Russia is one of the most promising signs that his presidency could usher in the type of global stability the Obama administration promised but spectacularly failed to deliver.

A coalition between the United States, Russia and Great Britain would be an incredibly powerful military alliance.

If this tripartite partnership is combined with sensible and ethical changes in US and UK foreign policy toward Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya and importantly Iran, 2017 could see the beginning of the end of the global terror threat of ISIS.

If this standoff between the West and Russia is allowed to continue, it could trigger a geopolitical catastrophe. The greatest hope for the world’s security is an alliance that was until recently unthinkable.

Richard Galustian is a security consultant who has lived in Libya since 2011. The opinions in this article belong to the author.

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