[FOUNTAIN]Anti-terror or hegemony?

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[FOUNTAIN]Anti-terror or hegemony?

On June 22, 1941, Hitler's army invaded the former Soviet Union. As Germany and the Soviet Union began full-scale combat, the United States and Great Britain expressed their support for the Soviet Union, a country with an ideology hostile to theirs. They promulgated the Atlantic Charter on Aug. 12 as an anti-fascist league.

The main reason that Hitler invaded the Soviet Union was to secure resources for a possible long-term war against the United States and Britain and to stabilize his home front. Germany needed essential resources for war such as food and oil, and aimed for the oil fields of the Soviet Union and the grain belt in the Ukraine. The opening of the war thus resulted from Hitler's careful calculation of geopolitics and his attempt to secure resources. But Hitler's adventure ended in failure, as the German-Soviet war bogged down. The three nations' league ended with the beginning of the Cold War.

With the advent of the 21st century, a new league among the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union is being formed. Their collaboration is manifold: the three countries' cooperation in the war against terrorism after Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. and British oil firms' investments in the oil fields of the Caspian Sea and the negotiation between the U.S. and Russia on Iraq's oil. This collaboration leads me to think that they have a tacit agreement on creating and maintaining a world order. The collaboration includes Russia's help in the transport of U.S. military goods that were used in the Afghanistan war through Vladivostok and Murmansk. Russia also permitted the presence of the U.S. Army in some parts of central Asia. This is a new level of cooperation between the United States and Russia that one could not have even dreamed of in the Cold War era. The cooperation must have come from both countries' complicated calculations on a new world order and their expectations of gains that would come from a new world.

The United States and Britain, unlike other Western countries, strongly supported the recent Russian special forces attack and the use of gas to break into a theater where Chechen militants were holding 700 hostages. They designated some Chechen groups as terrorists.

The new coalition differs from that of 50 years ago, but we are increasingly seeing clashes between the civilized world and extremist Islamic terrorists. Is the coalition really being formed for geopolitical exploitation of resources?

The writer is a JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer.

by Kim Seok-hwan

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