Intensification of Rivalry among Global Powers as a Military Threat to International Security in the Second Decade of the 21st Century
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Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach
Publication date: 2020-06-23
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2017;53(2):57–72
This article aims to answer two questions. First, whether the rivalry between global powers in the second decade of the 21st century increases the risk of classic military conflict between them; second, what kind of tools (including violent and non-violent methods) are to be used nowadays by powers in order to compete with other international actors. The paper argues that rivalry between the weakening West and Russia/China is getting more intense, which is especially evident in the military dimension (e.g.: rising expenditures, incidents, as well as recent troops build-up abroad). Moreover, new or aspiring powers are more assertive in achieving their goals in the international environment due to the problems experienced by the West. These increased tensions do not mean, however, that the world is on the road to the next ‘big war’. Due to the catastrophic implications of such a scenario, global powers will likely use other, non-standard methods of competing with their rivals, below the ‘threshold of war’. These include: proxy wars, hybrid warfare, cyberattacks, information operations, as well as exploitation of migration flows.