A Challenge For the West: Op-Ed on Authoritarian Axis by Prof. William Martel

WBUR’s Cognoscenti

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

A dramatic shift in international politics is unfolding before our eyes.

As the United States and the West veer from crisis to crisis, they have lost strategic momentum and a new bloc of countries — an authoritarian axis — is gaining ground.

This rising concert of repressive countries — Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela — are hostile to democracy, free markets and human rights, precisely because liberal values threaten their governments and power.

And this group is increasingly aligned in its resistance to the West. The most obvious example came on July 19, 2012, when Russia and China vetoed a third United Nations Security Council Resolution to impose sanctions on Syria, allowing the country to continue the massacre of its own civilian

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