The SCO and the shape of the conflict to come




With the current Russia-Ukraine war, and the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan, the West’s attention has been transfixed. Yet a group of countries accounting for 30% of global GDP, containing Russia, China and Iran, known as the SCO and described by some as the ‘Eastern NATO’, has largely escaped the media’s eye. Vali Kaleji agues that while the SCO appears to be a major threat to the West, it is also also held back by strategic conflicts.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, two regional organizations arose in The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); both with the objective of defense-security. The first was the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), formed in 1992 and the second was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2001. While the CSTO has continued to operate in a limited scope, with only six members after the withdrawal of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1999, the situatio…

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