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International military security: profound changes and reshuffles

国际军事安全形势:大变局与大动荡

来源:China Military Online责任编辑:Wang Xinjuan
2020-12-29 13:35

By Ling Yunzhi

凌云志

With the widespread COVID-19 pandemic and the lasting gaming among major powers, the year 2020 has seen profound and complicated changes in the international military security situation. Uncontrollable events such as massive conflicts or local warfare have not broken out between nations. Still, destabilizing factors affecting the world military security have obviously increased, with the ceaseless new problems and hotspots adding to the uncertainty of the international security environment, major-power relations, and regional situation.

2020年,新冠肺炎疫情全球扩散,大国持续角力,国际军事安全形势继续发生深刻复杂变化。国家间大规模冲突或局部战争等不可控事态并未出现,但影响世界军事安全的不稳定因素也明显增多;各种新问题、新热点层出不穷,给国际安全环境、大国关系和地区局势增加了诸多变数。

Escalated military confrontation between major countries exacerbates risks.

大国军事对抗更为激烈,风险进一步加剧

In 2020, major-country competition stands out as the keynote of international politics. Despite the global pandemic, the US and Russia have actively made deployments and waged a more intense military confrontation, which exacerbates the risk of armed conflicts and severely challenges global security and stability.

2020年,大国竞争作为国际政治的主基调将更加凸显,美俄不顾全球疫情处于爆发态势,积极谋局布势,掀起了更为激烈的军事对抗,使得双方军事对抗的风险进一步加剧,也对全球安全与稳定构成了严峻的挑战。

Guided by its National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, the US, in the face of a strategic environment with mounting uncertainties, has got more focused on major-country competition and stressed reshaping the international order and major-country landscape under the “America first” policy. While Washington has kept pressuring Moscow by means of aggressive military provocations such as forward deployment, close-in reconnaissance, and strength-flaunting, Moscow has chosen to launch equivalent revenge at first opportunity.

美国以《国家安全战略》《国防战略》等文件为指导,面对不确定性激增的战略环境,更加聚焦大国竞争,强调以“美国优先”重塑国际秩序与大国格局,通过前沿部署、抵近侦察、武力炫耀等方式频频向俄罗斯施压示强。面对美国咄咄逼人的军事挑衅,俄罗斯也毫不示弱,选择了第一时间的对等报复。

As their relation worsens, it’s foreseeable that their confrontation in the military security sector will become more frequent and intense, exerting far-reaching impacts on the future trend of international military security.

随着美俄关系的日趋尖锐,可以预测,双方在军事安全领域的对抗还将会更为频繁和激烈,对未来国际军事安全形势走向带来深远的影响。

Regional disputes keep escalating amid a mixture of security threats.

地区争端持续升温,多种安全威胁交织互动

Although the international security situation has remained peaceful and stable in general in 2020, it has seen escalated local turbulences, rising challenges, and growing traditional and non-traditional security threats – the entwined security threats of various types have piled up to make the general situation more complicated.

2020年,虽然国际安全形势总体和平稳定,但局部动荡加剧,各种挑战增多,传统安全威胁不降反升,非传统安全威胁不减反增,多种安全威胁交织互动,传导叠加效应明显。

First of all, there are more security uncertainties in China’s surrounding region, with aggravated gaming across the Taiwan Strait and in the South China Sea. Washington has intensified its military ties with Taiwan island through the so-called "Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019" and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 , and has signed off on a number of arms sales deals to Taiwan, casting a dark shadow over the cross-Strait relation. Moreover, it has ramped up military activities in the South China Sea by sending military vessels and aircraft there more frequently and pushing its coast guard and marine corps to get involved too. Incomplete statistics show that US military aircraft carried out operations more than 2,000 times over the South China Sea in the first half of this year, normalizing its so-called cruise of the region under the guise of“freedom of navigation”.

首先,我周边安全变数增多,台海、南海博弈加剧。美国先后通过所谓的“台北法案”、“2021年国防授权法案”等加强与台湾的军事联系,多次签署对台军售案,使得两岸关系不断紧张。此外,美国还加强在南海地区军事活动,强化海空军投入,推进海警、陆战队等介入南海。据不完全统计,美军机上半年在南海活动就多达2000余次,以“航行自由”名义巡航南海已经“常态化”。

Second, security risks have increased in the Indo-Pacific region owing to the deepened military cooperation among the US, Japan, Australia, and India. India has kept stirring up border conflicts and frictions while the pandemic is still raging across the country, and it has tried harder to rope in its neighbors for a certain edge. On November 3, the US-Japan-India-Australia Malabar 2020 joint exercise kicked off at the Bay of Bengal, which marked the return of Australia after it quitted the exercise 13 years ago and the first time that all four countries participated, giving another push for their military collaboration.

其次,印太地区安全风险增加,“美日澳印”军事合作进一步深化。印度在本国新冠肺炎疫情持续蔓延的情况下,依然不断挑起边境冲突,制造摩擦,并加大对周边国家的拉拢力度,以谋求优势。11月3日,由美国、日本、印度和澳大利亚共同举行的“马拉巴尔-2020”演习在孟加拉湾拉开帷幕。这是澳大利亚在2007年退出该演习13年后再次重返,也是美日澳印四个成员国的首次全部参加的演习,将四国军事合作推进了一步。

At last, hotspot issues pop up around the world with unending new problems. The military conflicts at Nagorno-Karabakh have left over 4,000 dead, 8,000 injured, and tens of thousands homeless. The assassination of Iran's general Soleimani and its chief nuclear scientist Fakhrizadehhas thrown the US-Iran relation further down the cliff. These events, while indicating a trend of instability in regional security, have also further accelerated the evolution of regional security order.

最后,全球各地热点频发,新问题层出不穷。纳卡地区军事冲突造成4000余人死亡、8000余人受伤、数万人流离失所。伊朗将领苏莱曼尼、首席核科学家法赫里扎德先后遇刺身亡,美伊两国关系进一步恶化。这些都表明地区安全形势趋向动荡不安,并进一步加速地区安全秩序的快速演变。

Fast development of high-tech weapons marks a new stage of the arms race.

高新武器快速发展,军备竞赛进入新阶段

In 2020, driven by the the demand of warfare and AI technology, all countries around the world are energetically developing new combating forces in the sea, air, space, and cyber domains, vying for strategic advantages in military technology and weapons and equipment by developing more advanced unmanned, stealth reconnaissance and assault arms. The global arms race has entered a new stage.

2020年,在战争需求和人工智能技术驱动下,世界各国都在大力发展海、空、天、网等新型作战力量,并通过研制更加先进的无人和隐形侦察打击武器装备,争夺军事技术和武器装备发展的战略优势,使得全球军备竞赛进入一个新的阶段。

As the world’s strongest military power, the US has continued to advance the arms race in cutting-edge military segments and accelerated the development and deployment of unmanned autonomous platforms, strategic anti-missile systems, and tactical nuclear strengths leveraged on its technological superiority and alliance system. Its capabilities of space exploitation and space combat have obviously enhanced this year.

作为世界上头号军备强国,美国继续推动前沿军事领域的军备竞赛,综合运用技术优势和盟友体系,加快无人自主平台、战略反导系统和战术核力量的研发部署。此外,今年美国太空开发和太空作战能力明显提升。

As the only country in the world that can counter the US on the military front, Russia, by developing asymmetrical and strong-deterrence combat forces, has prioritized new-generation warplanes, unmanned combat systems, stealth intelligent weapons, and global navigation and positioning systems in its military equipment development.

作为世界上唯一能在军事上与美国相抗衡的国家,俄罗斯以发展非对称和强威慑战力为依托,将新一代战机、无人作战系统、隐形化智能武器和全球导航定位系统作为军队装备优先发展的项目。

As the US and Russia are both intercontinental powers, and each represents the sea-power states and land-power states, a military confrontation between them is sure to endanger global peace and stability. The two countries will continue to scramble for resources and combat advantages in the polar regions, outer space, and cyber domain, stepping up the military research, development, and application of nuclear deterrence, hypersonic weapons, AI, and unmanned technologies. These will only make the world more insecure and unstable, leading to the accelerated military strength building of other countries out of concern for their own security. As a result, the global arms race will get increasingly fierce and severe.

由于美俄都是具有世界影响的洲际型国家,又分别是海权国家和陆权国家的代表,其军事对抗必将将会危及整个世界的和平与稳定。未来,美俄还将继续加紧对极地、太空、网络等领域资源和作战优势的争夺,持续推进核威慑、高超音速武器、人工智能和无人技术等领域的军事研发应用力度,这些都将会给全球安全带来更大的不稳定性,引发其他国家对自身安全的担忧,加快自身军力建设,从而使得全球军备竞赛愈演愈烈。

(The author is a researcher at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Development Studies, Nanjing University. This article is originally published on thepaper.cn, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.)

(作者系南京大学亚太发展研究中心研究员)

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