Geo Politics

Despite all the domestic commotion, the big story is, the new world order is coming to an end. Just as it started to get comfortable, it became obsolete. New opportunities are arising and new challenges stand in our way. It definitely be tumultuous.

Here’s the bottom line,

The united states will dominate the world for the next century, without the need for NATO to offset the Soviet block. Breton woods is dead  NATO is dead. The new world order is dead. The EU is dead. They don’t realize it yet,  it they are. The U.S. will ignore developments in Europe, Asia and everywhere except North America. The rest of the world faces tough sledding for the next century. What will the world look like is a decade?

As the number one producer of oil & energy, the U.S. has no need or interest in keeping the New World Order in place. We well along pulling our troops and our Navy back home. Already we are calling for Europe & the Middle East to protect themselves and the trade routes they use.  All we need in the way of international trade are are available from our NAFTA neighbors. We don’t need anyone going forward by ourselves.

The outlook for China & Russia doesn’t look so good. Both have demographic issues that will be difficult to overcome.  China will inevitably will collapse into a Balkanized form of their former selves. Without access to cheap energy, the ability to protect their shipping and to hold their far flung nation together, China will soon wither away into a former shadow of themselves.

Due to changing demographics, Russia will soon be unable to mount an army large enough to protect their far flung borders. Inevitably they will lose land to Turkey, Poland & Germany. Their border with all three are indefensible. They will still be a nuclear power, but what good are  nuke’s when the fighting is street to street?

    • U.S has secure borders immune to invasion
    • energy – shale – largest reserves in world – cheapest production costs besides Saudi Arabia, best talent,
    • navigable waterways
    • midwest is the largest farmland area in the world
    • drained by the largest navigable river system in the world
    • largest & strongest navy in the world by far
    • best educated talent in the world
    • best education system
    • breton woods is dead
    • nato is dead
    • old world order is dead

The U.S.’ sudden rise to dominance as the world leader in oil & oil exports is leading to the demise of NATO.  Nor does U.S. any longer have any need or interest in policing the Middle East.  This comes just as European countries start challenging U.S. positions world wide. That probably won’t work out well. It will probably lead to the end of NATO & the New World Order.

The New World Order worked like this. The U.S. protected Europe, Israel & Saudi Arabia and kept the Sea Lanes open in exchange in exchange for resisting Russia and the Communist Block. The Communist Block fell decades. Only open shipping lanes for shipments of oil to the U.S. kept the New World Order together.  Now that the U.S. rise to the top energy exporter in the world, the U.S. has no need for the New World Order.  for not falling into the communist block  & to protect US access to raw materials  We didn’t want anything from them. We just expected them to behave. Today, under the leadership of Germany & Merkel, the European Union & the old World Order appears to be shattering.

The old world order

The new world order

China problems in the transition

Russia problems in the transition

Russia & China. Ultimately, both countries will fade away. In their place Turkey, Japan, UK & Poland will arise. But no country in Europe will ever be dominant. The landscape makes European companies too vulnerable to invasion. Island nations are the safest, and therefore most likely to be world powers

“Geopolitics is ultimately the study of the balance between options and limitations. A country’s geography determines in large part what vulnerabilities it faces and what tools it holds. Countries with flat tracks of land—think Poland or Russia—find building infrastructure easier and so become rich faster, but also find themselves on the receiving end of invasions. This necessitates substantial standing armies, but the very act of attempting to gain a bit of security automatically triggers angst and paranoia in the neighbors. Countries with navigable rivers—France and Argentina being premier examples—start the game with some “infrastructure” already baked in. Such ease of internal transport not only makes these countries socially unified, wealthy, and cosmopolitan, but also more than a touch self-important. They show a distressing habit of becoming overimpressed with themselves—and so tend to overreach. Island nations enjoy security—think the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan—in part because of the physical separation from rivals, but also because they have no choice but to develop navies that help them keep others away from their shores. Armed with such tools, they find themselves actively meddling in the affairs of countries not just within arm’s reach, but half a world away.” Peter Ziehan, The Absent Superpower.

The middle of this map is why the United States is the global superpower, and will remain so long beyond the lives of your grandchildren. The Greater Midwest is the largest and most productive piece of arable land on the planet, out-producing the next two put together. But as important as that sounds (and is!) that’s really the side show. The real deal is the Greater Mississippi River system that perfectly overlays the Midwest. The first rule of geopolitics is that transport matters. Moving things by water is easy—so easy that today the cost of transporting goods by water is one-twelfth that of moving them by road. The Greater Mississippi system has more than 12,000 miles of interconnected waterways—more than the rest of the world put together. So long as this is true, the United States can move goods and grains and people about its system at a cost that seems laughably low compared to the internal transport costs of most countries.

Cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Memphis, Mobile, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Francisco, St. Louis and so on, owe not just their existence but also much of their wealth to the cheapness of water transport. All also are, to varying degrees, financial centers. All that cargo throughput requires back-end support in inventorying, repackaging, buying and selling, which in turn requires a 24-hour-a-day ability to process goods and money. As such, cities rooted in water transport almost without exception also have a strong local banking culture. Since those banks were formed to service pre-existing economic needs rather than (geo) political ambitions, American banks also tend to be more measured in their borrowing and lending policies than banks created to serve the needs of the state, such as their peer institutions in Japan, China, Germany, or Greece. Put simply, American banks are independent institutions who see money as an economic good, while many of their foreign peers are little more than tools of state policy. That makes the foreign crowd far better at directing resources to achieve political goals such as maximum employment or infrastructure development or funding the government’s deficit, but the American system is far better at achieving long-term economic stability—ergo it is the United States that holds the title of the world’s financial superpower. Of course waterways aren’t responsible for moving all U.S. goods. In fact, the proportion of water-transported stuff in the United States has been dropping steadily for over a century. The first limiter on American maritime transport is politics. In 1920 Congress passed the Jones Act, which barred any ship from plying the American waterways that was not American-built, American-owned, American-captained, and American-crewed. The idea was to keep America’s maritime jobs with Americans and ensure the United States maintained a strong merchant marine, but like most protectionist measures, it had unwanted side effects. The cost of water transport tripled, shipping shifted wholesale for rail and road (which were no longer so much more expensive than water transport), lower demand for vessels prompted America’s shipyards to fall into disrepair, and nearly a century later most Americans are not even aware that water played (and still plays) such a central role in their country’s success. Washington and the state capitals also lost sight of this fact. America’s maritime infrastructure has been creeping into decay for decades—the average age of the locks is more than 60 years, with many now well over a century old and in need of wholesale replacement. 1

Peter Ziehan

George Friedman, Stratfor

 

 

 

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