The beginning of a new century has brought a lot of expectations about the future of the world, but also a certain fear and uncertainty about what’s going to happen to the new world order: who are going to be the new leaders or world-wide powers, the factors that could untie conflicts between nations, the places where this conflicts would take place or between which countries, etc. Also the issue about environment takes a main role in society and becomes a matter of importance in the new century. And this is where geopolitics shows up. Since geopolitics studies “the influence of geographical factors in states life and evolution in order to achieve political conclusions” (ARAGÓN, 2009); in the XXI century, geopolitics will doubtlessly help to reach a better understanding of the world situation, about the problems that can rise between nations because of the geographical situation of states, related also to the possession of valuable natural resources as oil, gas and water.
As Edward Luttwark said, everything is about money and that drives geopolitics. If a country gets money, it also means it gets power. That’s why the policies of a country tend to center on generating capital (TUATHAIL, 1998). The US is a clear example of the implementation of this kind of policies. Wars are the perfect excuse to accelerate the economy because of the weapon production, and also because this sector is crucial for the stability of the country. But this is not only about maintaining the industry by creating wars in any country; it has to do with satisfying interests like the seizing of resources that some countries –which are less powerful– have and other –more powerful– doesn’t.
There are some countries which don’t have a significant influence in the global issues because they are not rich and developed, so they are not considered for taking important decisions. The thing is that some of those countries do have a potential power because of what they posses: natural resources. In the search for oil, gas and other resources like water, powerful countries like the US put their eyes on countries like Iran, Iraq or Venezuela, which are rich in this aspect. That’s the reason why Halford Mackinder talks about the heartland of the Earth (Eastern Europe) where you can get most of the gas and oil, and whoever dominate this part of the world, would have the control over everything on it (ARAGÓN, 2009). All this creates conflicts between countries using lame excuses, but always trying to hide the real purposes of them. Now it can be understandable why the existence of the rogue states like Iran, Iraq, Libya, Siria, North Korea and the new one: Venezuela, according to what Michael T. Klare proposes, as they were created by the Pentagon to justify their military intervention in those states after the Cold War ended (TUATHAIL, 1998).
“Nowadays there are diverse conflicts around the world because of water, what makes us think that this will be the resource that will cause the next wars between the humanity” (Aguilera, 2009). Canada is the state in the world which posses the most amount of water, and the US has centered its attention on it. With the Project 2025, the US has taken approach of their neighbors’ vital resource for the benefit of their country. Like this, there are plenty of examples about water struggles like the one between Egypt and 9 countries in Africa and the one for the control of the Indo River, between India and Pakistan.
This also makes us think that the geographic position of the states is a relevant factor for establishing policies and relations between countries. Even if people in the US probably will never admit it, it is convenient for them to be in good terms with Mexico because it’s better to have it as an ally, than as an enemy because they are next to each other.
Probably geopolitics is not considered as relevant as it really is, but the reality is that most countries have problems because they haven’t considered geopolitical factors for the development of their policies and political projects. With the information presented on the current essay it’s clear that geographical factors are determining on the relationship between countries and they will be a key factor for having the possibility of future conflicts and probably major wars in the XXI century.
– AGUILERA, Heike y Alejandra de la Torre. Problemas por el agua: el caso de Egipto desde una perspectiva global. 2008. Pages 45-55. Course Reading.
– ARAGÓN, Alfonso. Course notes. Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México. January – May 2009.
– JALIFE-RAHME, Alfredo. Después del petróleo de México, el agua de Canadá. 2008. http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=68954 (May 14th, 2009).
– “Makinder’s Heartland Theory.” About.com. 2009 http://geography.about.com/library/misc/blmackinder.htm (May 14th, 2009).
– TUATHAIL, G. 1998. From Geopolitics to Geo-Economics: Logic of Conflict, Grammar of Commerce. Routledge. 344 pages.