Five Sentence Abstract:
Keep Europe slightly divided to act as the beachhead into western Eurasia that NATO can push east. Pretend to care about Japan, as an "international leader", while working on relations with China to create a mainland eastern Eurasian jumping off point. A "backward" Russia should be integrated into Europe or even broken in 3 separate states to allow for the exploitation of central Eurasian resources in places like the Caspian sea. Pipelines can be utilized to export the oil through several states, preventing any single nation from being able to hold the energy hostage.To accomplish this, much scheming should be done under the guise of economics, "cooperation", and "global community".
A look into the mind of how the power-brokering elite see the world, as a game.
People, institution, and even nations are nothing more than pawns in their
quest for empire and domination.
Couched the in predestination of the USA being the first and last global
super-power that will exist before the emergence of a global governance. This
global governance will be directed, as it emerges, by the USA. Anyone that
doesn't accept the dominance and leadership of the USA is simply "backward" or
When Russia schemes to regain its former geographic footprint the author
attacks on the ground that Russia needs to accept the new reality, but then
turns around and talks openly about the exploitation of the Caspian Sea's
natural resource treasures. Similarly if China shows any ambition to be
anything more than a region leader, it is painted negatively. Meanwhile, the
whole book is essentially a guide to world domination.
On the other hand, as long as Russia and China essentially do as their told in
terms of "modernizing", there will be peace and stability. It reminds of of the
Old Testament - kill everyone and call it peace.
In short, it seems like a 1990's version of divide and conquer politics. By
keeping the Chinese, Japanese, Russians, or anyone else that may useful
negotiating on the USA's terms, each nation can be kept off balance of their
true national interests. Alongside the 1970's DoD MindWar concept that populations
can be easier won with words than conquered with force, this blueprint seems
more akin to building a global governance for and of the oligarchy rather than
of anything as silly as nations or people.
// designates my notes.
@@@ designates important.
Chapter 1 - Hegemony of a New Type:
In brief, Rome exercised its sway largely through superior military
organization and cultural appeal. China relied heavily on an efficient
bureaucracy to rule an empire based on shared ethnic identity, reinforcing its
control through a highly developed sense of cultural superiority. The Mongol
Empire combined advanced military tactics for conquest with an inclination
toward assimilation as the basis for rule. The British (as well as the Spanish,
Dutch, and French) gained preeminence as their flag followed their trade, their
control likewise reinforced by superior military organization and cultural
assertiveness. But none of these empires were truly global. Even Great Britain
was not a truly global power. It did not control Europe but only balanced it. A
stable Europe was crucial to British international preeminence, and Europe's
self-destruction inevitably marked the end of British primacy.
America's economic dynamism provides the necessary precondition for the
exercise of global primacy. Initially, immediately after World War II,
America's economy stood apart from all others, accounting alone for more than
50 percent of the world's GNP. The economic recovery of Western Europe and
Japan, followed by the wider phenomenon of Asia's economic dynamism, meant that
the American share of global GNP eventually had to shrink from the
disproportionately high levels of the immediate postwar era. Nonetheless, by
the time the subsequent Cold War had ended, America's share of global GNP, and
more specifically its share of the world's manufacturing output, had stabilized
at about 30 percent, a level that had been the norm for most of this century,
apart from those exceptional years immediately after World War II.
American mastery in the cutting-edge sectors of tomorrow's economy suggests
that American technological domination is not likely to be undone soon,
especially given that in the economically decisive fields, Americans are
maintaining or even widening their advantage in productivity over their Western
European and Japanese rivals.
In brief, America stands supreme in the four decisive domains of global power,
militarily, it has an unmatched global reach; economically, it remains the main
locomotive of global growth, even if challenged in some aspects by Japan and
Germany (neither of which enjoys the other attributes of global might);
technologically, it retains the overall lead in the cutting-edge areas of
innovation; and culturally, despite some crassness, it enjoys an appeal that is
unrivaled, especially among the world's youth—all of which gives the United
States a political clout that no other state comes close to matching. It is the
combination of all four that makes America the only comprehensive global
The quest for national glory, "the white man's burden," "la mission
civilisatrice," not to speak of the opportunities for personal profit—all
served to mobilize support for imperial adventures and to sustain essentially
hierarchical imperial power pyramids.
...the American global system emphasizes the technique of co-optation (as in
the case of defeated rivals—Germany, Japan, and lately even Russia) to a much
greater extent than the earlier imperial systems did. It likewise relies
heavily on the indirect exercise of influence on dependent foreign elites...
...reinforced by the massive but intangible impact of the American domination
of global communications, popular entertainment, and mass culture and by the
potentially very tangible clout of America's technological edge and global
@@@ Cultural domination has been an underappreciated
facet of American global power. Whatever one may think of its aesthetic values,
America's mass culture exercises a magnetic appeal, especially on the world's
youth. Its attraction may be derived from the hedonistic quality of the
lifestyle it projects, but its global appeal is undeniable. American television
programs and films account for about three-fourths of the global market.
American popular music is equally dominant, while American fads, eating habits,
and even clothing are increasingly imitated worldwide. The language of the
Internet is English, and an overwhelming proportion of the global computer
chatter also originates from America, influencing the content of global
conversation. Lastly, America has become a Mecca for those seeking advanced
education, with approximately half a million foreign students flocking to the
United States, with many of the ablest never returning home. Graduates from
American universities are to be found in almost every Cabinet on every
@@@ As the imitation of American ways
gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the
exercise of the indirect and seemingly consensual American hegemony. And as in
the case of the domestic American system, that hegemony involves a complex
structure of interlocking institutions and procedures, designed to generate
consensus and obscure asymmetries in power and influence.
Unlike earlier empires, this vast and complex global system is not a
hierarchical pyramid. Rather, America stands at the center of an interlocking
universe, one in which power is exercised through continuous bargaining,
dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus, even though that power
originates ultimately from a single source, namely, Washington, D.C.
// foreign entities lobby in the US
Chapter 2 - The Eurasian Chessboard:
America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively
its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained
Obviously, that condition is temporary. But its duration, and what follows it,
is of critical importance not only to America's well-being but more generally
to international peace. The sudden emergence of the first and only global power
has created a situation in which an equally quick end to its supremacy—either
because of America's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden
emergence of a successful rival—would produce massive international
instability. In effect, it would prompt global anarchy. The Harvard political
scientist Samuel P. Huntington is right in boldly asserting:
A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder
and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States
continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global
affairs. The sustained international primacy of the United States is central to
the welfare and security of Americans and to the future of freedom, democracy,
open economies, and international order in the world.1
- Samuel P. Huntington. "Why International Primacy Matters," International
Security (Spring 1993):83.
// anarchy != violence and disorder... anarchy == no rulers
A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost
automatically entail Africa's subordination
- @@@ This huge, oddly shaped Eurasian
chessboard—extending from Lisbon to Vladivostok—provides the setting for "the
game." If the middle space can be drawn increasingly into the expanding orbit
of the West (where America preponderates), if the southern region is not
subjected to domination by a single player, and if the East is not unified in a
manner that prompts the expulsion of America from its offshore bases, America
can then be said to prevail. But if the middle space rebuffs the West, becomes
an assertive single entity, and either gains control over the South or forms an
alliance with the major Eastern actor, then America's primacy in Eurasia
shrinks dramatically. The same would be the case if the two major Eastern
players were somehow to unite. Finally, any ejection of America by its Western
partners from its perch on the western periphery would automatically spell the
end of America's participation in the game on the Eurasian chessboard, even
though that would probably also mean the eventual subordination of the western
extremity to a revived player occupying the middle space.
- Empires were also built through the careful seizure and retention of vital
geographic assets, such as Gibraltar or the Suez Canal or Singapore, which
served as key choke points or linchpins in a system of imperial control.
Economic prowess, and its translation into technological innovation, can also
be a key criterion of power. Japan provides the supreme example
Harold Mackinder, pioneered the discussion early in this century with his
successive concepts of the Eurasian "pivot area" (which was said to include all
of Siberia and much of Central Asia) and, later, of the Central-East European
"heartland" as the vital springboards for the attainment of continental
domination. He popularized his heartland concept by the famous dictum:
Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
- Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
- Who rules the World-Island commands the world.
In brief, for the United States, Eurasian geostrategy involves the purposeful
management of geostrategically dynamic states and the careful handling of
geopolitically catalytic states, in keeping with the twin interests of America
in the short-term preservation of its unique global power and in the long-run
transformation of it into increasingly institutionalized global cooperation. To
put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient
empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent
collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep
tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming
In the current global circumstances, at least five key geostrategic players
and five geopolitical pivots (with two of the latter perhaps also partially
qualifying as players) can be identified on Eurasia's new political map.
France, Germany, Russia, China, and India are major and active players, whereas
Great Britain, Japan, and Indonesia, while admittedly very important countries,
do not so qualify. Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey, and Iran play the
role of critically important geopolitical pivots, though both Turkey and Iran
are to some extent—within their more limited capabilities—also geostrategically
Sir Roy Denman, a former British senior official in the European Commission,
recalls in his memoirs that as early as the 1955 conference in Messina, which
previewed the formation of a European Union, the official spokesman for Britain
flatly asserted to the assembled would-be architects of Europe:
The future treaty which you are discussing has no chance of being agreed; if
it was agreed, it would have no chance of being applied. And if it was
applied, it would be totally unacceptable to Britain.. .. au revoir et bonne
- Roy Denman, Missed Chances (London: Cassell, 1996).
Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a
geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps
to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.
Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then
become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into
debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful
of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow
Islamic states to the south. China would also be likely to oppose any
restoration of Russian domination over Central Asia, given its increasing
interest in the newly independent states there. However, if Moscow regains
control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as
its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal
to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia. Ukraine's loss
of independence would have immediate consequences for Central Europe,
transforming Poland into the geopolitical pivot on the eastern frontier of a
Despite its limited size and small population, Azerbaijan, with its vast
energy resources, is also geopolitically critical. It is the cork in the
bottle containing the riches of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia.
Both Turkey and Iran, however, are primarily important geopolitical pivots.
Turkey stabilizes the Black Sea region, controls access from it to the
Mediterranean Sea, balances Russia in the Caucasus, still offers an antidote to
Muslim fundamentalism, and serves as the southern anchor for NATO. A
destabilized Turkey would be likely to unleash more violence in the southern
Balkans, while facilitating the reimposition of Russian control over the newly
independent states of the Caucasus.
Finally, South Korea is a Far Eastern geopolitical pivot. Its close links to
the United States enable America to shield Japan and thereby to keep Japan
from becoming an independent and major military power, without an overbearing
American presence within Japan itself. Any significant change- in South Korea's
status, cither through unification and/or through a shift into an expanding
Chinese sphere of influence, would necessarily alter dramatically America's
role in the Far East, thus altering Japan's as well. In addition, South Korea's
growing economic power also makes it a more important "space" in its own right,
control over which becomes increasingly valuable.
The above list of geostrategic players and geopolitical pivots is neither
permanent nor fixed.
- Internal Russian recovery is essential to Russia's democratization and
- A possible challenge to American primacy from Islamic fundamentalism could be
part of the problem in this unstable region. By exploiting religious hostility
to the American way of life and taking advantage of the Arab-Israeli conflict,
Islamic fundamentalism could undermine several pro-Western Middle Eastern
governments and eventually jeopardize American regional interests, especially
in the Persian Gulf. However, without political cohesion and in the absence of
a single genuinely powerful Islamic state, a challenge from Islamic
fundamentalism would lack a geopolitical core and would thus be more likely to
express itself through diffuse violence.
how large a Chinese sphere of influence, and where, should America be
prepared to accept as part of a policy of successfully co-opting China into
world affairs? What areas now outside of China's political radius might have to
be conceded to the realm of the reemerging Celestial Empire? In that context,
the retention of the American presence in South Korea becomes especially
important. Without it, it is difficult to envisage the American-Japanese
defense arrangement continuing in its present form, for Japan would have to
become militarily more self-sufficient. But any movement toward Korean
reunification is likely to disturb the basis for the continued U.S. military
presence in South Korea. A reunified Korea may choose not to perpetuate
American military protection; that, indeed, could be the price exacted by China
for throwing its decisive weight behind the reunification of the peninsula. In
brief, U.S. management of its relationship with China will inevitably have
direct consequences for the stability of the American-Japanese- Korean
triangular security relationship.
// some ways rivals could emerge against the USA:
// China-Russia-Iran alliance, based on grievences
// China-Japan alliance, "farsighted American policy in the Far East should
certainly be able to prevent this eventuality from occurring."
German-Russian collusion or a Franco-Russian entente... would require not
only a massive mishandling by America of its European policy but also a
dramatic reorientation on the part of the key European states.
Chapter 3. The Democratic Bridgehead
- On the central issues of the Cold War, France was a loyal, dedicated, and
determined ally. It stood shoulder lo shoulder with America when the chips were
down. Whether during the two Berlin blockades or during the Cuban missile
crisis, there was no doubt about French steadfastness.
- A breakdown of Franco-German cooperation would be a fatal setback for Europe
and a disaster for America's position in Europe.
The crisis of political legitimacy and economic vitality that Western Europe
increasingly confronts—but is unable to overcome—is deeply rooted in the
pervasive expansion of the state- sponsored social structure that favors
paternalism, protectionism, and parochialism. The result is a cultural
condition that combines escapist hedonism with spiritual emptiness—a condition
that can be exploited by nationalist extremists or dogmatic ideologues.
// isn't that what the USA does?
new problems of Europe—be they immigration or economic-technological
competitiveness with America or Asia
But if the unification and enlargement of Europe should stall, there is some
reason to assume that a more nationalist definition of Germany's concept of the
European "order" would then surface, to the potential detriment of European
stability. Wolfgang Schauble, the leader of the Christian Democrats in the
Bundestag and a possible successor to Chancellor Kohl, expressed that mindset
when he stated that Germany is no longer "the western bulwark against the East;
we have become the center of Europe," pointedly adding that in "the long
periods during the Middle Ages... Germany was involved in creating order in
- Politiken Sondag, August 2, 1996
Europe would then cease to be the Eurasian bridgehead for American power and
the potential springboard for the democratic global system's expansion into
Eurasia. This is why unambiguous and tangible American support for Europe's
unification must be sustained.
Finally, France is not strong enough either to obstruct America on the
geostrategic fundamentals of America's European policy or to become by itself a
leader of Europe as such. Hence, its peculiarities and even its tantrums can be
Without the French sense of mission, Europe's southern flank would be much
more unstable and threatening. (Tunisia, Morocco)
but in the long run, Europe's construction cannot be based on it [Germany].
Too many memories still linger; too many fears are likely to surface. A Europe
constructed and led by Berlin is simply not feasible. That is why Germany
needs France, why Europe needs the Franco-German connection, and why America
cannot choose between Germany and France.
// "simply unfeasible"? Get out of here, absolutely feasible, even in the mid
- Somewhere between 2005 and 2010, Ukraine, especially if in the meantime the
country has made significant progress in its domestic reforms and has succeeded
in becoming more evidently identified as a Central European country, should
become ready for serious negotiations with both the EU and NATO.
- America's central geostrategic goal in Europe can be summed up quite simply:
it is to consolidate through a more genuine transatlantic partnership the U.S.
bridgehead on the Eurasian continent so that an enlarging Europe can become a
more viable springboard for projecting into Eurasia the international
democratic and cooperative order.
Chapter 4. The Black Hole
The Sino-Soviet bloc lasted roughly ten years; the Soviet Union about
// 4 generations, 4 turnings...
Russia's international status was significantly degraded, with one of the
world's two superpowers now viewed by many as little more than a Third World
// the author has a great vocabulary, except for a few twistings: Third World
(countries not aligned with US or USSR in cold war) and anarchy (no rulers). It
is almost like he WANTS to twist these words...
Its [Russia] economic policies were totally indifferent to ecological
concerns, with the result that both the environment and the health
of the people suffered greatly.
// Good thing USA and the rest of the world is so environmentally focused
and healthy these days...
Hardly a single Russian family has had the opportunity to lead a normal
// "Normal" aka what the author approves of
The new Russia was simply too weak, too devastated by three-quarters of a
century of Communist rule, and too socially backward to be a real global
// socially backward...
The moment to have done so // cozy up to Russia // was during the second half
of 1993, right after Yeltsin's public endorsement in August of Poland's
interest in joining the transatlantic alliance as being consistent with "the
interests of Russia." Instead, the Clinton administration, then still pursuing
its "Russia first" policy, agonized for two more years, while the Kremlin
changed its tune and became increasingly hostile to the emerging but indecisive
signals of the American intention to widen NATO. By the time Washington
decided, in 1996, to make NATO enlargement a central goal in America's policy
of shaping a larger and more secure Euro-Atlantic community, the Russians had
locked themselves into rigid opposition. Hence, the year 1993 might be viewed
as the year of a missed historic opportunity.
Some opponents, to be sure, especially among the Russian military, partook of
a Cold War mentality, viewing NATO expansion not as an integral part of
Europe's own growth but rather as the advance toward Russia of an American-led
and still hostile alliance.
- Even while warning that a "confrontation with the United States ... is an
option that should be avoided," senior Russian analysts of American foreign
policy argued (not altogether incorrectly) that the United States was seeking
"the reorganization of interstate relations in the whole of Eurasia ... whereby
there was not one sole leading power on the continent but many medium,
relatively stable, and moderately strong ones ... but necessarily inferior to
the United States in their individual or even collective capabilities."4 4. A.
Bogaturov and V. Kremenyuk (both senior scholars in the Institute of the United
States and Canada), in "The Americans Themselves Will Never Stop,"
Nczdi'iaiiiKiyd Guzi'la, June 28, 1996.
Additionally, there were purely domestic reasons that a "mature strategic
partnership" between two "democracies" proved to be illusory. Russia was just
too backward and too devastated by Communist rule to be a viable democratic
partner of the United States. That central reality could not be obscured by
high-sounding rhetoric about partnership.
// same phrase repeated, almost feels like propaganda.
- Izvestiia reported on April 8, 1994, that Russia had succeeded in retaining
no fewer than twenty-eight military bases on the soil of the newly independent
states—and a line drawn on a map linking the Russian military deployments in
Kaliningrad, Moldova, Crimea, Armenia, Tajikistan, and the Kuril Islands would
roughly approximate the outer limits of the former Soviet Union, as in the map
on page 108.
September 1995 document also declared that Russian television and radio
broadcasting in the near abroad should be guaranteed, the dissemination of
Russian press in the region should be supported, and Russia should train
national cadres for CIS states. Special attention should be given to restoring
Russia's position as the main educational center on the territory of the
post-Soviet space, bearing in mind the need to educate the young generation in
CIS states in a spirit of friendly relations with Russia.
// Russia focused on "near abroad"
As early as the mid-1920s, this case was articulated persuasively by Prince
N. S. Trubetzkoy, a leading exponent of Eurasian-ism, who wrote that Communism
was in fact a disguised version of Europeanism in destroying the spiritual
foundations and national uniqueness of Russian life, in propagating there the
materialist frame of reference that actually governs both Europe and America
Our task is to create a completely new culture, our own culture, which
will not resemble European civilization . .. when Russia ceases to be a
distorted reflection of European civilization ... when she becomes once again
herself: Russia-Eurasia, the conscious heir to and bearer of the great legacy
of Genghis Khan.6 6. «N. S. Trubetzkoy. "The Legacy of Genghis Khan," Cross
Currents 9 (1990):68.
- In July 1996, the U.S. secretary of defense declared, "I cannot overestimate
the importance of Ukraine as an independent country to the security and
stability of all of Europe," while in September, the German
chancellor—notwithstanding his strong support for President Yeltsin—went even
further in declaring that "Ukraine's firm place in Europe can no longer be
challenged by anyone ... No one will be able any more to dispute Ukraine's
independence and territorial integrity."
Despite the rhetoric and the political agitation among the political elite
regarding Russia's special mission in the space of the former empire, the
Russian people—partially out of sheer fatigue but also out of pure common
sense—showed little enthusiasm for any ambitious program of imperial
restoration. They favored open borders, open trade, freedom of movement, and
special status for the Russian language, but political integration, especially
if it was to involve economic costs or require bloodshed, evoked little
// Common sense?
In early 1996, Yeltsin traveled to Beijing and signed a declaration that
explicitly denounced global "hegemonic" tendencies, thereby implying that the
two states would align themselves against the United States. In December, the
Chinese prime minister, Li Peng, returned the visit, and both sides not only
reiterated their opposition to an international system "dominated by one power"
but also endorsed the reinforcement of existing alliances. Russian commentators
welcomed this development, viewing it as a positive shift in the global
correlation of power and as an appropriate response to America's sponsorship of
However, a coalition allying Russia with both China and Iran can develop only
if the United States is shortsighted enough to antagonize China and Iran
simultaneously. To be sure, that eventuality cannot be excluded,
any such coalition would be essentially an alliance of a part of the Third
World against the most advanced portions of the First World. None of its
members would gain much, and China especially would risk losing its enormous
The alignment would eventually condemn all of its participants, whether two
or three in number, to prolonged isolation and shared backwardness.
// more third world word twisting and backwardness.
- Russia's only real geostrategic option—the option that could give Russia a
realistic international role and also maximize the opportunity of transforming
and socially modernizing itself—is Europe. And not just any Europe, but the
transatlantic Europe of the enlarging EU and NATO. Such a Europe is taking
shape, as we have seen in chapter 3, and it is also likely to remain linked
closely to America. That is the Europe to which Russia will have to relate, if
it is to avoid dangerous geopolitical isolation.
// The key pieces
it is equally important for the West, especially for America, to pursue
policies that perpetuate the dilemma of the one alternative for Russia. The
political and economic stabilization of the new post-Soviet states is a major
factor in necessitating Russia's historical self-redefinition. Hence, support
for the new post-Soviet states—for geopolitical pluralism in the space of the
former Soviet empire—has to be an integral part of a policy designed to induce
Russia to exercise unambiguously its European option. Among these states, three
are geopolitically especially important: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine.
An independent Azerbaijan can serve as a corridor for Western access to the
energy-rich Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia. Conversely, a subdued
Azerbaijan would mean that Central Asia can be sealed off from the outside
world and thus rendered politically vulnerable to Russian pressures for
reintegration. Uzbekistan, nationally the most vital and the most populous of
the Central Asian states, represents a major obstacle to any renewed Russian
control over the region. Its independence is critical to the survival of the
other Central Asian states, and it is the least vulnerable to Russian
Most important, however, is Ukraine. As the EU and NATO expand, Ukraine will
eventually be in the position to choose whether it wishes to be part of either
organization. It is likely that, in order to reinforce its separate status,
Ukraine will wish to join both, once they border upon it and once its own
internal transformation begins to qualify it for membership. Although that will
take time, it is not too early for the West—while further enhancing its
economic and security ties with Kiev—to begin pointing to the decade 2005- 2015
as a reasonable time frame for the initiation of Ukraine's progressive
inclusion, thereby reducing the risk that the Ukrainians may fear that Europe's
expansion will halt on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
Yet if Ukraine is to survive as an independent state, it will have to become
part of Central Europe rather than Eurasia, and if it is to be part of Central
Europe, then it will have to partake fully of Central Europe's links to NATO
and the European Union.
// join a group(s) to be independent...
Chapter 5. The Eurasian Balkans
the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic
prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in
the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold.
Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves
of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the
The nine are Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan,
Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia—all of them formerly part of the defunct
Soviet Union—as well as Afghanistan. The potential additions to the list are
Turkey and Iran, both of them much more politically and economically viable,
both active contestants for regional influence within the Eurasian Balkans, and
thus both significant geostrategic players in the region. At the same time,
both are potentially vulnerable to internal ethnic conflicts. If either or both
of them were to be destabilized, the internal problems of the region would
become unmanageable, while efforts to restrain regional domination by Russia
could even become futile.
// Eurasian Balkans
The Eurasian Balkans are an ethnic mosaic (see preceding table and map). The
frontiers of its states were drawn arbitrarily by Soviet cartographers in the
1920s and 1930s, when the respective Soviet republics were formally
established. (Afghanistan, never having been part of the Soviet Union, is the
exception.) Their borders were carved out largely on the ethnic principle, but
they also reflected the Kremlin's interest in keeping the southern region of
the Russian Empire internally divided and thus more subservient.
// Balfort (sp?, post ww1 cutting up the middle east) what?
Armenia's less than 4 million people and Azerbaijan's more than 8 million
promptly became embroiled in open warfare over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh,
a largely Armenian-populated enclave within Azerbaijan. The conflict generated
large-scale ethnic cleansings, with hundreds of thousands of refugees and
expellees fleeing in both directions. Given the fact that Armenia is Christian
and Azerbaijan Muslim, the war has some overtones of a religious conflict. The
economically devastating war made it much more difficult for either country to
establish itself as stably independent. Armenia was driven to rely more on
Russia, which had provided significant military help, while Azerhaijan's new
independence and internal stability were compromised by the loss of
Azerbaijan's vulnerability has wider regional implications because the
country's location makes it a geopolitical pivot. It can be described as the
vitally important "cork" controlling access to the "bottle" that contains the
riches of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia. An independent,
Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan, with pipelines running from it to the ethnically
related and politically supportive Turkey, would prevent Russia from exercising
a monopoly on access to the region and would thus also deprive Russia of
decisive political leverage over the policies of the new Central Asian states.
- Of the five newly independent Central Asian states, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan
are the most important.
Once pipelines to the area have been developed, Turkmenistan's truly vast
natural gas reserves augur a prosperous future for the country's people.
// Most of the countries making up the caucuses are internally divided
ethnically. This helps keep them fighting among themselves. Seems about the same
as the Balfort(sp?) agreement carving up the middle east after WW1.
Afghanistan's current state of disarray is likewise a Soviet legacy, even
though the country is not a former Soviet republic. Fragmented by the Soviet
occupation and the prolonged guerrilla warfare conducted against it,
Afghanistan is a nation-state in name only.
// Don't the underdogs usually do the guerilla war thing, not the empires?
Iran's future orientation is even more problematic. The fundamentalist Shiite
revolution that triumphed in the late 1970s may be entering its "Thermidorian"
phase, and that heightens the uncertainty regarding Iran's geostrategic role.
Outside of the Kurds and the Azeris, the others at present do not have the
capacity to threaten Iran's national integrity, especially given the high
degree of national, even imperial, consciousness among the Persians. But that
could change quite quickly, particularly in the event of a new political crisis
in Iranian politics.
- Each was at one time or another either the politically or the culturally
dominant power in the region. Each views the others with suspicion. Although
head-on warfare among them is unlikely, the cumulative impact of their external
rivalry could contribute to regional chaos.
Ukraine has supported Georgia's efforts to become the westward route for
Azeri oil exports. Ukraine has also collaborated with Turkey in order to weaken
Russian influence in the Black Sea and has supported Turkish efforts to direct
oil flows from Central Asia to Turkish terminals.
to benefit eventually from any pipeline construction linking Central Asia
with the Arabian Sea.
- It is this consideration that has made the pipeline issue so central to the
future of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia. If the main pipelines to the
region continue to pass through Russian territory to the Russian outlet on the
Black Sea at Novorossiysk, the political consequences of this condition will
make themselves felt, even without any overt Russian power plays. The region
will remain a political dependency, with Moscow in a strong position to
determine how the region's new wealth is to be shared. Conversely, if another
pipeline crosses the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and thence to the Mediterranean
through Turkey and if one more goes to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan, no
single power will have monopoly over access.
- For Russia, Azerbaijan has to be a priority target. Its subordination would
help to seal off Central Asia from the West, especially from Turkey, thereby
further increasing Russia's leverage vis-a-vis the recalcitrant Uzbekistan and
- In 1995, amid much fanfare, a new rail link between Turkmenistan and Iran was
opened, making it feasible for Europe to trade with Central Asia by rail,
skirting Russia altogether. There was a touch of symbolic drama to this
reopening of the ancient Silk Route, with Russia thus no longer able to
separate Europe from Asia.
It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single
power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community
has unhindered financial and economic access to it.
However, the exclusion of Russia from the area is neither desirable nor
feasible, nor is the fanning of hostility between the area's new states and
Russia. In fact, Russia's active economic participation in the region's
development is essential to the area's stability—and having Russia as a
partner, but not as an exclusive dominator, can also reap significant economic
benefits as a result.
The states deserving America's strongest geopolitical support are Azerbaijan,
Uzbekistan, and (outside this region) Ukraine, all three being geopolitically
pivotal. Indeed, Kiev's role reinforces the argument that Ukraine is the
critical state, insofar as Russia's own future evolution is concerned.
Chapter 6. The Far Eastern Anchor
For China, America across the Pacific should be a natural ally since America
has no designs on the Asian mainland
[America] is now closely allied with Japan. America also has strong ties
with Taiwan and with several of the Southeast Asian nations.
// So USA does have designs?
The Chinese political elite remains organized as a self-contained, rigid,
disciplined, and monopolisti-cally intolerant hierarchy,...
// Really? I'd say the love being the monopoly
To accomplish such controlled democratization, the Chinese political elite
will have to be led with extraordinary skill, guided by pragmatic common sense,
and stay relatively united and willing to yield some of its monopoly on power
(and personal privilege)— while the population at largo will have to be both
patient and undemanding.
// And the USA will lead them right?
// Yield monopoly? I thought they didn't like monopolies...
if China were to control the Strait of Malacca and the geostrategic choke
point at Singapore, it would control Japan's access to Middle Eastern oil and
the rapidly growing demand for new energy sources has already made China
insistent on a dominant role in any regional exploitation of the seabed
deposits of the South China Sea.
- According to Yazhou Zhoukan (Asiaweek), September 25, 1994, the aggregate
assets of the 500 leading Chinese-owned companies in Southeast Asia totaled
about $540 billion. Other estimates are even higher: International Economy,.
November/December 1996, reported that the annual in-c'ome of the 50 million
overseas Chinese was approximately the above amount and thus roughly equal to
the GDP of, China's mainland. The overseas Chinese were said to control about
90 percent of Indonesia's economy, 75 percent of Thailand's, 50-60 percent of
Malaysia's, and the whole economy in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Concern
over this condition even led a former Indonesian ambassador to Japan to warn
publicly of a "Chinese economic intervention in the region," which might not
only exploit such Chinese presence but which could even lead to
Chinese-sponsored "puppet governments" (Saydiman Suryohadiprojo, "How to Deal
with China and Taiwan," AsahiShimbun [Tokyo], September 23, 1996).
Chinese analyst employed in the research arm of the Chinese Foreign Ministry:
"The U.S. strategic aim is to seek hegemony in the whole world and it cannot
tolerate the appearance of any big power on the European and Asian continents
that will constitute a threat to its leading position."5 Hence, simply by being
what it is and where it is, America becomes China's unintentional adversary
rather than its natural ally.
// We are the empire, "just the way it is".
- Song Yimin. "A Discussion of the Division and Grouping of Forces in the
World After the End of the Cold War," International Studies (China Institute of
International Studies, Beijing) 6-8 (1996):10. That this assessment of America
represents the view of China's top leadership is indicated by the fact that a
shorter version of the analysis appeared in the mass-circulation official organ
of the Party, Renmin Ribao (People's Daily), April 29, 1996.
There is a superficial similarity between Japan's situation in Eurasia's Far
East and Germany's in Eurasia's Far West. Both are the principal regional
allies of the United States. Indeed, American power in Europe and Asia is
derived directly from the close alliances with these two countries. Both have
respectable military establishments, but neither is independent in that regard:
Germany is constrained by its military integration into NATO, while Japan is
restricted by its own (though American-designed) constitutional limitations and
the U.S.- Japan Security Treaty. Both are trade and financial powerhouses,
regionally dominant and also preeminent on the global scale. Both can be
classified as quasi-global powers, and both chafe at the continuing denial to
them of formal recognition through permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
Japan is politically isolated in its region, whereas Germany is not.
the link with America remains Japan's central lifeline. Without it, Japan can
neither ensure itself a steady supply of oil nor protect itself from a Chinese
(and perhaps soon, also a Korean) nuclear bomb.
// North Korea is about to get nukes!
Shedding past fixation on the threat allegedly posed by Japan's economic
ascension and eschewing fears of Chinese political muscle could help to infuse
cool realism into a policy that must be based on careful strategic calculus:
how to channel Japanese energy in the international direction and how to steer
Chinese power into a regional accommodation.
- An "antihegemonic" coalition could become a last-resort option if China came
to feel that its national or regional aspirations were being blocked by the
United States (with Japan's support). But it would be a coalition of the poor,
who would then be likely lo remain collectively poor for quite sonic time.
- These considerations thus enhance the American and Japanese stakes in the
Korean status quo (though in each case, for somewhat different reasons), and if
that status quo is to be altered, it must occur in very slow stages, preferably
in a setting of a deepening American-Chinese regional accommodation.
Chapter 7. Conclusion
Short of a deliberate or unintentional American abdication, the only real
alternative to American global leadership in the foreseeable future is
// If we aren't in charge no one can be.
The resulting risks to global stability are likely to be further increased by
the prospect of a more general degradation of the human condition. Particularly
in the poorer countries of the world, the demographic explosion and the
simultaneous urbanization of these populations are rapidly generating a
congestion not only of the disadvantaged but especially of the hundreds of
millions of unemployed and increasingly restless young, whose level of
frustration is growing at an exponential rate. Modern communications intensify
their rupture with traditional authority, while making them increasingly
conscious—and resentful—of global inequality and thus more susceptible to
extremist mobilization. On the one hand, the rising phenomenon of global
migrations, already reaching into the tens of millions, may act as a temporary
safety valve, but on the other hand, it is also likely to serve as a vehicle
for the transcontinental conveyance of ethnic and social conflicts.
- A Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement, already advocated by a number of
prominent Atlantic leaders, could also mitigate the risk of growing economic
rivalry between a more united EU and the United States.
a more decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial
mobilization. A loosely confederated Russia—composed of a European Russia, a
Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic—would also find it easier to
cultivate closer economic relations with Europe, with the new states of Central
Asia, and with the Orient, which would thereby accelerate Russia's own
development. Each of the three confederated entities would also be more able to
tap local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow's heavy
// It would be great if Russia was broken up, it would be better (for USA).
it would make sense to coopt China into the G-7 annual summit of the world's
leading countries, especially since Russia's inclusion has widened the summit's
focus from economics to politics.
Thus for America, China's regional power, co-opted into a wider framework of
international cooperation, can be a vitally important geostrategic asset—in
that regard coequally important with Europe and more weighty than Japan—in
assuring Eurasia's stability.
A1though Japan cannot become a dominant Asian regional power, given the
strong regional aversion it evokes, it can become a leading international one.
Tokyo can carve out a globally influential role by cooperating closely with the
United States regarding what might be called the new agenda of global concerns,
// the new agenda of global concerns
It is through a close political relationship with Japan that America will
more safely be able to accommodate China's regional aspirations, while opposing
its more arbitrary manifestations. Only on that basis can an intricate
three-way accommodation—one that involves America's global power, China's
regional preeminence, and Japan's international leadership—be contrived.
- But to get there, NATO must first expand, while engaging Russia in a larger
regional framework of security cooperation.
Democratization is inimical to imperial mobilization.
Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may
find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except
in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external
threat. Such a consensus generally existed throughout World War II and even
during the Cold War.
on the one hand, the view that the end of the Cold War justifies a
significant reduction in America's global engagement, irrespective of the
consequences for America's global standing; and on the other, the perception
that the time has come for genuine international multilateralism, to which
America should even yield some of its sovereignty.
// So either reduce global engagement or give up soverignity?
More generally, cultural change in America may also be uncongenial to the
sustained exercise abroad of genuinely imperial power. That exercise requires a
high degree of doctrinal motivation, intellectual commitment, and patriotic
gratification. Yet the dominant culture of the country has become increasingly fixated on mass entertainment that has been
heavily dominated by personally hedonistic and socially escapist themes.
The cumulative effect has made it increasingly difficult to mobilize the needed
political consensus on behalf of sustained, and also occasionally costly,
American leadership abroad. Mass communications have been playing a
particularly important role in that regard, generating a strong revulsion
against any selective use of force that entails even low levels of casualties.
// Mass communications, playing down their biggest weapon to shape the
culture. Is he clueless or lying?
The resulting cultural crisis has been compounded by the spread of drugs and,
especially in America, by its linkage to the racial issue. Lastly, the rate of
economic growth is no longer able to keep up with growing material
expectations, with the latter stimulated by a culture that places a premium on
// The racial issue the mass communications are pushing?
widespread disappointment with the consequences of the end of the Cold War.
Instead of a "new world order" based on consensus and harmony, "things which
seemed to belong to the past" have all of a sudden become the future.
war is not likely to become obsolete for some time to come. With the
more-endowed nations constrained by their own higher technological capacity for
self-destruction as well as by self-interest, war may have become a luxury that
only the poor peoples of this world can afford. In the foreseeable future, the
impoverished two-thirds of humanity may not be motivated by the restraint of
In brief, the U.S. policy goal must be unapologetically twofold: to
perpetuate America's own dominant position for at least a generation and
preferably longer still; and to create a geopolitical framework that can absorb
the inevitable shocks and strains of social-political change while evolving
into the geopolitical core of shared responsibility for peaceful global management.
These efforts will have the added historical advantage of benefiting from the
new web of global linkages that is growing exponentially outside the more
traditional nation-state system. That web—woven by multinational corporations,
NGOs (nongovernmental organizations, with many of them transnational in
character) and scientific communities and reinforced by the Internet—already
creates an informal global system that is inherently congenial to more
institutionalized and inclusive global cooperation.