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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/17/14

Unforeseen outcome of a failed hegemonic strategy

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message Jean-Luc Basle

The United States accumulate failures. Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq are the most recent examples. They come after older and more tragic ones, such as Vietnam. Yet, these may pale in comparison with an unforeseen but likely outcome: an alliance between Germany, Russia, and China. The United States would do well to rethink its geostrategic goal before it materializes.


To achieve world dominance, the United States took upon itself to subdue Russia, China, and Iran. What happens if or when Germany joins Russia and China in a geopolitical grand scheme to protect its vital interests? Much has been said about Angela Merkel's mobile-phone surveillance by the NSA. Bad as it is, this did not bother Germans as much as did surveillance of their industrial know-how -- pride and economic success of an entire nation. The NSA's surveillance is all the more incomprehensible that Germany replaces Great Britain and France as the United States' surest and strongest ally in Europe.


The Gazprom agreement is the beginning of a closer Russo-German alliance. The relationship between the two countries goes way back in history. German corporations industrialized Russia in the 19th century. No one has forgotten the cynical Ribbentrop-Molotov pact that, unbeknown to most, follows an authorization by the Soviets to let the Reichswehr test their tanks in Ukrainian plains. In 1919, in his book: "Democratic ideals and reality", Sir Halford Mackinder writes: "The 'heartland', which included the former German Reich, Austria-Hungary and the Tsarist Empire, was a 'vast triple base of man-power' that remained beyond the control of 'sea-power' and was thus a potentially mortal threat to the western democracies." By 'sea-power' and 'western democracies', Mackinder means Great Britain and the United States. This is why the United States intervened in Europe in 1917 and again in 1941. It could not accept the formation of a superpower in Europe. Democratic ideals, trumpeted as they were, were secondary to their involvement in two world wars.*


Allied to China, Germany and Russia would constitute a formidable menace the United States could not contend with. Ironically, just as American policies move Germany away, they also bring Russia and China closer together. Concomitantly, commercial links are bringing Germany closer to the 'Middle Kingdom'. China is building an 11.100-kilometer railroad going from Chongqing in Southwest China to Duisburg in Germany, going through Russia. Christened the 'silk road railways', this track will boost commercial links among the three nations. Economic and geopolitical interests being closely linked, it is easy to imagine what this rapprochement may mean strategically. This vast expanse of land, this 'pivot era', as Mackinder called it, would then constitute a forbidding counterweight to the United States' world dominance. ** It is up to the United States to relinquish a surreal hegemonic goal that brought Americans nothing other than deaths, debts, and a sullied image -- a goal whose foundation rests on a hazy "exceptional nation" concept that was never properly defined. ***


Short of renouncing this goal, a confrontation is inevitable. It will be as cold as the previous war and no less detrimental to the world. Europe, NATO's strongest base, will be destroyed in the process as so will the United Stat es' overbearing power.



*Brendan Simms: "Europe, the struggle for democracy" (2013).

**In 2011, the United States' defense budget totaled $675 billion against $228 billion for these nations, i.e. a 3 to 1 ratio. In 2022, the ratio could be 1.5 to 1.

***Barack Obama used the concept in his September 11, 2013 speech. Vladimir Putin ridiculed it the next day in the New York Times.

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Former Vice President Citigroup New York (retired) Columbia University -- Business School Princeton University -- Woodrow Wilson School

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