Wednesday, November 14, 2012

STRATFOR: Analysis Of The Changing Geopolitical Enviroment

Strafor has a well done article (free at the moment) George Freedom talks about the shifting geopolitical landscape. The only major quible I would make is that I think they underestimate the problems facing the United States:

The United States has a modestly growing economy and, rhetoric aside, does not face existential political problems. Where the European Union's survival is in serious question and the ability of China to resume its rate of growth is in doubt, the United States does not face a political crisis on the same order as the other two. The fiscal cliff is certainly there, but given American political culture, all crises signify the apocalypse. It is much easier to imagine a solution to the United States' immediate political problems than it is to imagine how Europe or China would solve their challenges.
 
I do think the US faces anexistential political problem, and in fact George Friedman has written in the past that he is concerned about the future of the republic.  The geopolitical entity that is America will survive, unless individuals like Vox are right about demographic infighting tearing apart the nation which is something I still haven't made my mind up on, but the republic is in grave danger. Even so, outside of concerns about demographics and possible balkanization, the prognosis doesn't change from what George Friedman has predicted in my opinion.

We have written extensively on why we think the European and Chinese crises are insoluble, and I won't repeat that here. What I am saying is not that Europe or China will disappear into a black hole but that each will change its behavior substantially. Europe will not become a united entity but will return to the pursuit of the interests of individual nations, though still in a wealthy continent. China will continue to be a major economic power, but its term as the leading growth engine in the world will end, causing institutional crises. Again, these powers will not fall off the map, but they will radically change their behaviors and expectations.

Since power is relative, this leaves the United States with no significant challenger for international primacy, not because the United States is particularly successful but because others are even less so. The United States has a decision to make right now. As the leading power, should it attempt to preserve the political order that has existed for the past 20 years or allow it to pass into history? Perhaps a better question to ask is whether the United States has the power to preserve a united Europe and a high-growth China, and if so, is the current configuration of the world worth preserving from the U.S. point of view?
The US will continue to be the worlds dominant power, but not because of excellence, but because of global weakness.  All in all it is a great article and I suggest that you read it before it is no longer available without charge.  Geopolitics matters and individuals should take care to educate themselves on what makes a nation, and why nations do what they do. Otherwise predictions on what will happen geopolitically on ideological world views, Arab Spring, Libya, Soviet Union, etc, and look how often those are wrong.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.