A lull in the tempest: Four Pillars week

Jun 24, 2024News

This has been a relatively slower week for international developments, but let us speak of the Four Pillars.

India and Europe, two Pillars, have been strengthening their ties in the past week. India has now approved the construction port to improve trade with Europe, and also affirmed a trilateral agreement with France and Australia, showing the necessity of Four Pillars security presence in the Indo-Pacific. These moves come after India and the US, another Pillar, also strengthened their ties, with an agreement on military equipment earlier in the month.

With regard to Ukraine, the US and Europe may be coordinating further to help defend the besieged nation. One such move is the redirection of the Patriot missile systems, in that the US is now prioritizing sending them to Ukraine instead of orders. They have also pushed European states and NATO members to send these systems to Ukraine, with the US agreeing to backfill them, an example being Romania announcing so in the week. This move also followed up the signing of a 10-year defense pact between the US and Ukraine last week at the G7 Conference.

Adjacent to these Pillar topics is the ongoing clashes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, which have now seen violence, injuries, and seizure of boats – which shows the hostility of the Chinese state to the rules-based order and democracy. The challenges of China and Russia demonstrate the necessity of Four Pillars cooperation, not just in the Indo-Pacific, but also Europe and elsewhere, for they threaten the many fruits of a modern global and liberal society. It no longer should be the US spearheading efforts on both continents, but a cooperation of all – Europe, Japan, India, and the US, and with their partners too (eg. Ukraine, South Korea, Kenya, etc).

Article of the week – A year ago, Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin challenged the Kremlin with a mutiny [AP News]

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a military base in Germany earlier this month where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained to use the Patriot air defence system © POOL/AFP via Getty Images