On the 20th of April, the Association of Diplomacy in Practice held a public round table on one of the most imminent breaklines of the post-bipolar era, the NATO versus Russia relationship. The following experts assisted us to understand the power relations regarding this conflict:
László Bardócz, government official, counsellor for the Defense Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs,
Dr Gyula Hautzinger, retired colonel, military expert and researcher,
Dr Pál Horváth, retired brigadier, former UN-peacekeeper,
György Rábai, head of division to the Defense Policy Department of the Ministry of National Defence.
The discussion was moderated by Zsombor Pilhoffer, member of our Association.
Even though each of our presenters had different aspects on the issues, they all agreed on how important it is to examine such conflicts from a realistic point of view to rid us of the subjective, emotional approach, and take all the conflicting interests into consideration. Strangely enough, in this case realism actually gives us a reassuring conclusion regarding the escalation of the conflict. Both sides are aware of their advantages and limits, they both realised the morals of the cold war and the years of constant nuclear threat. The experts reminded us, that in spite of the economic sanctions implemented against Russia, their patriotic – often nationalistic – rhetorics are more than enough to convince the population of their own strengths, and weren’t sufficient enough to prevent a further arms race. The Russian intervention in Syria also proved that their military development hadn’t been slowed down by the lack of financial resources related to falling crude oil prices. Our presenters cited Huntington’s famous theory about the clash of civilizations, which they believe would be the basic explanation to oncoming conflicts in the world. The clash of Islamic vs. Western vs. Confucian civilizations is already showing signs, but Western and Orthodox civilizations have been cooperating throughout the whole world history, so it’s very unlikely that they would engage in a cataclysmic war against each other. On the contrary, the experts would bring China as an example, a country that is already aiming to take the United States’ place as the global hegemon.
We certainly believe that this informative discussion helped our guests to gain insight to this rather actual conflict, we hope to see you at our future events as well.