SA has repeatedly suffered from episodes of conflict. It played key role in 19th, 20th and 21st century rivalries of giants. Besides intra-region animosities, every now and then there are super powers walking in the region. Consequently, SA remains least integrated, most impoverished and conflict prone region of the world.
Once again the future conflict is knocking at doors of SA. US is bent upon containing and restraining the rise of China. India enthusiastically has jumped the bandwagon. It’s important to see what has really changed in new matrix. While main antagonist ie US stays same, threat has shifted from Russia to China. In order to counter the new found threat, the US has replaced Pakistan with India as a conduit.
In the past Pakistan had to do fighting part for the US. In the 20th century fight between the US and USSR, Pakistan helped the US in its victory though later it felt betrayed. In the 21st century fight between the US and Terrorism, Pakistan suffered the most and there is a stalemate.
21st century Sino-US rivalry looks more menacing and terrifying because it’s based on threat to status of sole superpower which is agitated, frustrated, reactive and arrogant. It is led by a mercurial leader. Besides that within India which has been boorish, overbearing and condescending with its neighbours, Hindu fascism is rising. One one hand the US is ambitious in retaining its global hegemony, on the other hand India is craving for Akhand Basharat. It’s a deadly mix. Another change from past may be that Islamic extremists are being now replaced by Hindu extremists.
US having won the 20th century rivalry has stalemated the 21st century rivalry in Afghanistan. Future rivalry with China may turn out to be final blow for the US. This may be do or die situation for the US. People of SA must rally to stop another play of geopolitics in their region. The region has already suffered a lot due to prolonged conflict and it is craving for growth and development.