Many question the morality of the USA’s decision to maintain a strong relationship with the Republic of Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. How can the bastion of global democracy associate itself with a well-established theocracy, as well as what seems like one that poised to adopt a similar model? Geostrategy isn’t as simple as it may seem- one cannot only ally with whomever they deem as morally correct. This is most apparent during the geopolitical equivalents of tectonic shifts, ie wars- when new realities rise and fall so often. If ideology were the only factor, it is almost certain that the USSR and the Third Reich would never sign the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. Thus, ideological barriers crumble even in cases of the most confirmed enemies, under the unstoppable forces that garner geopolitical interests of nations, in this case, the German and Soviet ones.
In the case of America and Turkey, there are two major reasons as to why they maintain a love-hate relationship. One of these reasons was what caused Russia to annex the Crimean peninsula- that is, the strategic advantages of holding the straits of Bosforus and Dardanelle, with Istanbul/historical Constantinople as the epicenter of political control of the region. If Turkey was to lose control of the city, Russia would fulfill its historical dream of becoming a naval AND Orthodox Christian supreme power by annexing Constantinople. Why? There are two reasons. The first is that Russia feels the moral obligation of restoring it’s religious capital, as the title of Tsar came from Imperial Russia roots are based in the tradition of Eastern Rome. Securing Constantinople would create a complete monopoly on Orthodoxy for Russia, which perfectly fits in with their pan-Slavic aspirations of the 19th century. It was this time in which Russia fought an exceptionally underestimated war with Turkey. The outcome of this war proved that Russia was for the first time capable of being taken down by a European power. Surprisingly, Turkey, being foreign in its culture and civilization to Europe received the support of Sardinia, the UK, and France during the Crimean war of 1853. A new threat to European imperialism emerged for with Constantinople, Russia would be able to partake in the colonization of Africa, having finally gained access to the Mediterranean, as well as potentially conquer Greece. Russian influence in the Mediterranean would allow them to control not only Austria’s trade through the Black Sea but also its access to trade in the Adriatic Sea. After crushing what was then the only strong Germanic state, Russia was uninhibited in its path to becoming the sole power of Europe… except for the Poles.
In contrast to Slovaks, Czechs, and Croats, Poles were the only people who felt even more violated by Russia than by Germanic nations. Of course, Russia tried to loosen its grip on the Poles after the Vienna Congress, thinking that stirring up pro-Russian sentiment was possible. Yet the Poles resisted, causing Russia to act self detrimentally, crushing rebellions and with them Russia’s chances of peacefully uniting all Slavs under one banner. The goal of uniting Slavic groups was becoming less and less possible, considering that what later became Austria-Hungary gave Galicia, a region which is now part of both Poland and Ukraine, extreme autonomy. This could have been done with the goal of dismantling Russia’s plans. While Poles fought against the potential threat of Russian dominance, Prussia grew in power, and with it, grew the UK’s safety from another invasion by France. At their own disadvantage, the British failed to consider that the Prussian identity was inherently against the last factor keeping Russia away from hegemony- the Second Reich also had an extreme anti-Polish set of policies. Although it seemed like a stronger Prussia was a potential safeguard against Russia.
Now, Turkey will have an even greater potential impact on Russia- the construction of the Istanbul Canal will finally make it possible for large navy vessels to enter the Black Sea, letting Russia’s soft underbelly to the East of Ukraine become an easy target for an American offensive. To be clear, it is not that America favors Turkey and its regime, which controls the straits, but just like it’s predecessors in marine power, France and the UK, it must secure access to the straits for its own gain. It is for this reason that the US is seeking to maintain a partnership with Turkey.
Yet how does America make sure that Turkey doesn’t become too strong? Using Saudi Arabia. With the house of Saud controlling what was formerly much of the South-East of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey is kept strong enough to disrupt Russia’s Mediterranean trade if necessary, whilst too weak to control the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. This, in turn, explains why the USA cannot let Saudi Arabia fail. If Saudi Arabia lost influence, Turkey would become too strong and could monopolise the West’s counter-influence to Iran and Russia.
For an insight into the struggle for world dominance between Russia, China, and the USA, I suggest these works:
71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!
One simply cannot deny the modern geopolitical warfare going on between China and the USA. On the surface, China is ahead, winning influence over land in Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Of course, America, the world power of our era, cannot be earning much, since they already dominate so much of the globe. But how can the USA maintain its power?
China and the Line of Defense
Firstly, the “line of defense against China’s rise”. This is exactly what the USA used against the Soviet Union. Instead of an open conflict, they want a geopolitical version of Reagan’s military buildup. This caused the Soviets, who wanted to out-compete America, to go bankrupt and ultimately collapse.
Using this method, Trump wants to tie China’s hands and give better deals than the Asian nation. China proposed building a new silk road? Trump gave Central Europe the support for the Intermarium. China proposed being the arbitrator of Israel-Palestine talks? Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. China wants a good deal with Duterte? The Trump administration has been trying to schedule Duterte’s visit to the White House since May 2017. He even recently had the U.S. Ambassador to Manila say that America has a “strong interest” in pursuing Duterte’s visit. North Korea is China’s closest ally in East Asia? Trump manages to secure peace talks with Kim Jong Un, and pushes for reunification, just to move the Chinese sphere of influence back to its border.
Another great resource that the USA can use against China is the rise of India. Since they are so close, their spheres of strategic interest collide, especially in Asia. The division of influence between America and India would be much more useful for America than one with China. This is simply because India does not have as much of a global outreach as China does.
China is also already trying to grip on India by allying with their biggest regional rival: Pakistan. To weaken its neighbor, India would likely seek the help of the USA. They could also try to outmaneuver the Western superpower, but this would be immensely difficult and irrational, considering that the two countries have no major fight right now.
The Key Role of Russia
A great advantage that America has in the fight for control of Central Europe is its historic rivalry with Russia. This plays in stark contrast to China’s alliance with Russia in the New Silk Road initiative. For most of Europe, Russia still holds the negative stigma of Soviet imperialism. Alas, America does not even have to prove its might. It simply has to prove itself better than Russia, which is not difficult to do, in their eyes.
Ironically, America’s chance is in its established brand, whereas China may have a more uphill battle towards continued success. Will Uncle Sam fulfill his potential? Only time will tell.
Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!
Since the dawn of time, empires have been competing with each other. Whether it was during antiquity- Athens with Sparta, Rome with Carthage, or even the competition between the UK and France during their colonial peaks, the race to be the world’s strongest has been the Holy Grail of geopolitics. This has been so since even before geopolitics itself existed.
An Era of Competing Powers
To become the 20th-century global hegemon, without doubt, was impossible for all but two: the Soviet Union and the USA. As we all know, the latter finally won and became the first definite world power. At the same time, it became the only non-secluded geopolitical player to not need to strive for a balance of power, but instead, to express it wherever and however it would want.
In practice, this caused the world to get used to the comfortable (for most) American protection on the world’s oceans. What’s the catch? Well, countries have to either be a very key piece in the American strategic puzzle, such as Saudi Arabia, or comply with its political system and the economic interests of its elites. The latter of the two lost America the world.
Greater Tolerance from China
The only reason why countries would leave the American sphere in favor of the Chinese one was ironically the lack of what many Americans value most: independence. More precisely, countries wanted more sovereignty in their own actions. So, they started re-evaluating their decisions and compared the two superpowers. China, many found, cared far less about the internal structure of allied states. Three main factors led to this.
First of all, the Chinese ideological footprint, originally Marxism, was convoluted and impure. They essentially had no solid principle to claim to stand behind. So, considering they are not solidly communist, it would not be practical or sensical for them to force Marxism on allies. The second factor is that no matter who rules China, the state’s main goal is to secure national sovereignty by de facto castrating the West’s ability to levy control over China again. Thirdly, China’s government has no moral obligation to be consistent in actions, as long as it is effective.
This is the key difference between the West’s virtue of idealism: even if a government is in no way idealist, it is expected to act as such by the general public. In contrast, China’s morality is more based around the philosopher Sun Tzu. Basically, he rejected the use of Poland’s “Bóg, Honor Ojczyzna” or France’s “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”. Instead, Sun Tzu favored a more behind-the-scenes, closed-door approach to politics.
The acceptance of espionage as a viable, ethical political tactic, for example, is not uncommon in the East. In the West, however, such a notion is reprehensible, as Americans make clear on the daily. In fact, Sun Tzu’s morality closely resembles that of Niccolo Machiavelli. The West viewed the philosopher as demonic and unworthy of following. Nonetheless, China gains power while nations increasingly hold anti-American sentiment. After decades of the American spread of democracy and nation-building, we finally begin to see the results: the superpower’s efforts are backfiring.
Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media duopoly. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here.Thank you very much for your support!
Russia’s geopolitical model is based upon the following main components- Having an impenetrable Tundra, highlands guarding their Southern and South-Eastern border, complete dominance over the Smolensk gate, a lack of a strong geo-strategic player to it’s West, the South-West defended by the Caucasus, and the frozen Arctic blocking any sea access. The end result of this, is Russia being too large to be effectively occupied by an outside power, and making the Eurasian heartland mostly centred in Russia- but there’s a catch.
Russia’s fortress like structure allows it to win the majority of wars it participates in, as well as close to all defensive wars, because of it’s enemy’s core areas being too distant. At first, Russia’s geographic layout may seem perfect, yet it has several drawbacks. Russia has no proper warm sea ports, therefore effectively preventing them from participating in world trade, causing Russia to be forever economically disadvantaged. Because Russia has no warm water ports, sanctions have a diminished effect on Russia. Because of its reduced contact with the global economy, Russia must give up on the Western idea of power through trade, and constantly build up their army. Lastly, this partial isolationism causes them to organize as a very strict hierarchy, with a system in which only strong leaders may preside. These drawbacks restrict Russia’s influence the global political landscape, and Russia must be willing to expand through military force every so often.
It is a myth that the last group to manage to take over of Russia were the Mongols. Historically, Poland seized Moscow in 1610, during the Dimitriads- an era of an interregnum in Russia, when the Tsardom had many potential heirs to the throne. Poland lost control of Russia after about two years due to political feuds within Poland. During the same time, the Swedish empire was just as capable of taking over Russia, and nearly did so too. As we can see, when Russia didn’t fulfill two of the aforementioned geopolitical descriptions- namely having no influence on the West, and no control of Smolensk, it was ready to fall to it’s knees.
Russia fell for a second time 307 years later in the Bolshevik revolution. This time, Russia’s isolation from the West due to its distance failed. This was because Germany was not a perceived threat, much less as a strike from within. As Churchill said, “Lenin was sent into Russia by the Germans in the same way that you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city, and it worked with amazing accuracy.” But things are changing…
Many see global warming as an ecological threat- I am not here to judge them. Is global warming man made? I am not qualified to answer this either. Yet what I am certain of, is that Russia will finally get complete access to the world’s Oceans, if the Arctic melts. This will shake cause a great shift in the geopolitical strategies of nations. Firstly, gaining a huge coastline with possibly key cities for trade with Canada and America for many cheap labour producers in Asia would boost the Russian economy. Secondly, Russia’s North would become arable, allowing farming to be done in more places than just the west. Thirdly, Russia would be susceptible to a large scale invasion from the North. What’s more, it would be able to invade Canada quite easily, causing it to lessen it’s spending on the army, and to increase it on the navy.
As you now see, Russia will be a very good potential ally for any country seeking world dominance. There are three contenders for this position- the USA, China and India. India is unable to help fund Russia’s growth resource-wise because building a highway through the Himalayas/Pakistan would be very challenging. As for China, a land power itself, they are offering Russia the only possible alternative to what global warming would give them- the New Silk road initiative. It would effectively give Russia the benefits of trade, protecting it from attacks from the North, while only limiting it’s potential for invasion of Canada. However, invasion of Canada would only happen for defensive purposes, to counter America’s potential attack on them. The second option, is for America to divide it’s world influence with Russia, possibly along the lines of the former Soviet bloc. This time, Russia would possibly accept the deal struck after the Yalta conference, because it has a better economical model and provides access to the Ocean.
Since even allies must be carefully monitored not to become stronger than their counterparts, both- China and America have schemes to control Russia if either of the party becomes too strong.
Russian policy makers have been trying to decide on which proposal to undertake since the turn of the Putin era. On one side, China’s proposal is safer- yet it would create a rigid, asymmetric economical addiction to China. If China ever gained control of the Oceans, and could trade with Europe whilst bypassing Russia, Russia would suffer. China is already making many African countries their economical fiefs, as well as buying out Ukrainian land, and making Greece a political client of theirs. Greece even votes in China’s favour inside of the EU and NATO.
In case of Russia becoming a global power before China manages to become a maritime hegemony, China has the support of Greece, which would possibly let them block Russian access to the Mediterranean, especially if the lately unstable Turkey was to ever lose Istanbul to them. If this ever happened, America would lose its economic grip on Canada (the USA accounts for 50% of Canada’s imports), whilst China would vastly expand it’s already rapidly growing 17% of imports into Canada, to assure their ability to force Canada to blockade Russia’s new Northern Ocean access. What’s more, China will have enough influence in the world by then to also block the GIUK passage by striking a deal with The British, Danes and Islanders. These three components would again immobilize Russia’s trade, forcing them to comply to any, even territorial changes in favour of China (it’s worthwhile to remember that Northern Manchuria is still occupied by Russia, which isn’t exactly something China likes). However, in return, China has no need of keeping Central and Eastern European countries independent, as long as they get to keep the Russian core area from getting too well connected with the Northern Sea and through it, the Atlantic ocean.
The best chance for China to win over Russia? Stopping America’s ability to prove that it can make Russia rich. How will they do it? By stopping global warming, or at least reducing it drastically. You may not know about this, but the Middle Kingdom is the biggest producer and spender on renewable energy in the world. They are sincerely trying to balance economic growth and global warming regulations. This is being done in an effort to stop Russia from becoming independent, trade-wise. What’s more, China is re-foresting it’s North, planting a “Green Great Wall”. The purpose of the project is to stop the expansion of the Gobi desert (it is, of course a secondary reason to do it, nevertheless), to stop the destruction of Chinese agriculture. This is, to anyone who knows the demographics of China, not something that the Chinese government would care about in itself, at least enough to take such major steps. Ironically, China’s wall of trees is the thinnest in it’s strategically most important regions- the ones bordering the Yellow river estuary, including Beijing, which is full of Han people. Some may say that inner Mongolia is already forested enough, but this would definitely not be true- the region is called “the rusting belt” because of their dying out industries- these people would love to work, and the industry prior had definitely destroyed many forests for the production of goods.
Russia views alliance with America very skeptically. Yet, Russia is historically known for creating alliances to better the motherland. In turn, the USA knows that only a Russia with access to the world’s Oceans would even think of preferring the USA to China. Russia thinks strategically, and knows that spheres of influence are best upheld whilst close to home, so if they had to choose to either divide up America with China, or divide China with America, they’d decide on the latter.
Of course, the USA doesn’t want to let Russia be free to do whatever it likes. Subsequently, the chief strategists in Washington decided to:
1. Destroy potential new silk road routes via destabilizing the Middle-East.
2. Make threats on Tehran, and likely support for any uprising there.
3. Support the Kurdish bid for independence, until realizing that a weaker Turkey would cause a power vacuum in the Caucasus (which Russia would naturally fill in), and potentially make a Chinese controlled Greece stronger.
4. Encourage the creating of the Intermarium- an economic and diplomatic coalition of countries between the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas, with a potentially militaristic edge. This was done to create a possible blockade for the Chinese Silk Road initiative. The best proof for this theory, is that the Intermarium included Ukraine, until Russian separatists rendered it useless for the USA by making it very vulnerable to be cut away from the sea.
It is important to note that there were two main lines of thought before the last presidential election in the USA, in regards to Russia. The first, practiced by Obama and proposed by Hillary Clinton, was what we can call “floppy hostility”, or “the school shooter mentality”. Good examples of this were the cuts in military spending, the drawback from a plan to build an anti-missile system in Poland, yet disagreeing to any proper alliance with Russia. Sequentially, only threats of retaliation were issued after Russian nuisances such as flying over NATO air space- this is why the situation was comparable to a school shooter. Threats are made after many non-lethal attacks from the enemy, after which an out of proportionate blow (the shooting, or in the case of Obama and Hillary a possible war) come. It is very much possible, that because of the Thucydides trap, the Democrat establishment planned to actually go to war with both, China and Russia at the same time, to solve the potential danger via “minimising” damage. How do we know of this? As the Bible says (Mt. 7:15-20), “You will know them by their fruits”- the German government, as well as local governments in major Russian cities asked their citizens to stockpile food and water in November and October 2016. Why? During those months, the American election was around the corner, and Clinton had a 7-8% lead, making her seemingly unstoppable, and with it, world war three.
Like it or not, the President Trump is a very intelligent person- it is impossible to maintain such a good fortune with just sheer luck. Of course, he has his advisors helping him, yet he constantly manages to push his own line of defense against China’s rise- using the method that was used by the USA against the Soviet Union- instead of an open conflict, he wants a geopolitical version of Reagan’s military buildup. This caused the Soviets who wanted to out compete America, to go bankrupt and ultimately collapse.
Using this method, Trump wants to giving all of China’s potential allies better deals. China proposed building a new silk road? Trump gave Central Europe the support for the Intermarium. China proposed being the arbitrator of Israel-Palestine talks? Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. China wants a good deal with Duterte? The Trump administration has been trying to schedule Duterte’s visit to the White House since May 2017, and recently had the US Ambassador to Manila said that the US have “strong interest” in pursuing Duterte’s visit to Washington. North Korea is China’s closest ally in East Asia? Trump manages to secure peace talks with Kim Jong Un, and pushes for reunification, just to move the Chinese sphere of influence back to it’s border.
Russia must try to hit the sweet spot in time, right when its and America’s combined strength is still much larger than China’s (and China’s allies). For this reason, America pulled out of the Paris Agreement- to secure that Russia makes its more likely choice, of allying with the US, before China’s tentacles reach too far into Russia’s politics. Is it possible that the federal government planned some wildfires, in order to increase global warming? Who knows. What we do know though, is that interesting times are awaiting us, and ones that are potentially the most influential in history for Russia.
To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.