Posts Tagged ‘geopolitics’

I may say quite an obvious thing, but China appears to be heading towards a major crisis. The economic growth that they’ve been experiencing for the last couple of decades (which, by the way, is slowing down rapidly) has its own downsides in countries with large populations. Social segregation is one of them. 

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Just to give you an abstract example, imagine a small Chinese town with a population of, say, 1 million people. The town becomes prosperous enough to allow every citizen to consume a proper beef steak for dinner at least once a week. In order to keep up with the demand, you have to produce hundreds of thousands of cows. Cattle requires pastures of enormous sizes, hundreds and hundreds of millions of litres of water to irrigate it all, then you have to produce fertilisers, transport it all, pay for logistics, infrastructure maintenance, employ millions of people to maintain it all, and these people need to eat something too, so, when you talk about everything needed to produce rice in quantities sufficient to meet the demand, the numbers will grow exponentially. Don’t forget that resources, both human and natural, are limited, so you can’t maintain a steady economic growth for too long. And even then, people who have to survive on rice to produce beef for the rich aren’t going to stay too happy for long. If you going to cut the beef production, you’re not going to meet the demand, which will cause an additional bunch of problems, as people don’t like it when their life quality (including the quality of food they eat) decreases. The changes in life quality are only welcome when they go up. The opposite direction causes social unrest…

So, the system naturally becomes unstable, creating a risk that everything will just burst into a bloodbath civil war (the Chinese history, pretty much, consists of these cycles when you end up with tens of millions dead at the end of each dynasty rule).

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China has been approaching its socio-economic limit (also, don’t forget that it’s been happening with the global economic recession in the background). The Occupy Hong-Kong protests that we saw last year is one of the earlier manifestation of such deep, systemic issues (additional issue for China here is that, these days, natural protests are easily hijacked by geopolitical competitors, who have rich experience in artificially worsening such things).

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters hold up yellow umbrellas, symbols of the Occupy Central movement, during a march in the streets to demand universal suffrage in Hong KongChinese historians and sociologists are, of course, aware of this. Over the recent years the government has been setting up multiple research centres all across the country to study the fall of the Soviet Union, to learn from its mistakes and to avoid repeating its faith (Russia was lucky in a way that the disintegration was happening at its periphery back during the late 1980s and the 1990s; if the same thing happens China, they are going to get it across their core).

At the same time, it appears that the Chinese are trying to solve their internal issues by expanding their economic and geopolitical influence over the globe (it’s a very capitalist thing to do). China has been very enthusiastic in investing into Africa, trying to stabilise the Middle East (that’s where Russian and Chinese interests match almost perfectly, by the way), then developing what has been termed the “New Silk Road”, and so on.

If you want to build up and maintain your geopolitical influence, you have to have proper military capabilities, accordingly. So we’ve seen China creating artificial islands in the South China Sea where it creates airbases, and stuff.

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No wonder the US neocons are getting frustrated, with all the influence America has been loosing (also, don’t forget Russia asserting its interests in the Middle East for the first time since the fall of the USSR, using airforce to conduct airstrikes in Syria, launching ballistic missiles against ISIS from the Caspian sea, and doing all sorts of amusing stuff).

The world appears to be getting multi-polar once again.
Interesting times we live in.

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This entry is a back-up copy of my Facebook post that I originally made on 15.08.2015. For better user experience, please read, like and/or comment the original post on FB.

There is one very interesting theory on the true motives Osama bin Laden had while executing the 9/11 attacks.

Going back to history, everyone knows that Osama bin Laden had a vision of a giant, united Grand Muslim Super State that would include over 40 countries all around the globe, ranging from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Kazakhstan to Albania, where people would be living under Salafi style Sharia law. He thought this project could be finished in the 21st century, by the year 2100. That was his life goal. He saw world’s big geopolitical powers as standing on his way, and, therefore, he was trying to strategically undermine them all, one by one.

First, he lead guerrilla fight against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan (with Zbigniew Brzezinski facilitating him and his people through the CIA in Pakistan with weapons, logistics and intelligence, as well as assisting them with information warfare). The 9-year war in Afghanistan caused multiple problems for the USSR, adding to the internal issues that eventually lead to its collapse in 1991. bin Laden saw the fall of the Soviet Union as the first major victory for the Islamic world.

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The United States, as the only remaining global superpower, was his next target. And that’s the point from where it gets interesting. Some analysts suggest that he planned major attacks on the United States soil specifically to provoke a military intervention in Afghanistan. bin Laden was hoping, as some suggest, that Americans will get stuck in Afghanistan, fighting for many months, even years, the same way as it happened to Russians a couple of decades earlier. He hoped that the fierce fighting will result in massive civil casualties. He was then planning to use images of killed Muslim women and children for propaganda purposes, to unite people in the Middle East against the United States, evoking waves of radical islamism (to the point when local islamist groups would become coherent enough to start taking over regional governments) and then use the momentum to 1) decrease the US global influence and 2) to gain more influence for Al-Qaeda and similar groups, approaching closer to the Grand Muslim Super State dream.

It’s highly likely that he had this plan in mind while executing the 9/11 attacks. But he miscalculated. He never accounted for one geopolitical figure while planning his strategies – Vladimir Putin. Not many Western people remember it now, but Putin used to be very friendly to the United States and Western Europe during the early years of his presidency, seeking close partnership and economic collaboration (it was later during his political career, after he got fooled, betrayed and lied to on multiple occasions by the Western leaders, many of those times face to face, when he reached a conclusion that the West isn’t interested in working with Russia on equal grounds, that’s when he began pursuing a more independent path, but that’s a topic for another post). He was happy back then to offer Americans the support they needed after those terrible terrorist attacks, so he was able to convince some of the Central Asian leaders to let Bush use their military airbases to carry out airstrikes against the key Taliban positions. The US intervention went tactically much more effective than it was initially calculated by bin Laden, letting them to neutralise the major threats within weeks.

Therefore, Osama bin Laden miscalculated his strategy and lost. Interestingly, it could be speculated that he himself got played by other figures/organisation. Various conspiracy theorists say that the CIA did the 9/11, which I find highly unlikely, given the overwhelming amount of evidence that it was, indeed, the Al-Queda’s job. It should not be dismissed, however, that some elements in the United States ruling establishment might have known of the possibility of such attacks, yet, nevertheless, did nothing to prevent them, allowing bin Laden to be a useful idiot. After all, if you look into what the US military doctrine designers and strategists (e. g. the already mentioned Brzezinski) were saying back in the 1990s, you’ll see that some of them were openly suggesting that the US must take a more active military role in Eurasia, to remain its hegemony in the post-Cold War world. They were also saying that it would take long time to mobilise the American nation for such endeavour (Brzezinski was arguing that the democratic tendencies that are imprinted in the American social fabric will make people very reluctant to support the deployment of troops to another side of the world), UNLESS there will be some kind of a catalytic event that will speed it all up….

I don’t like crazy conspiracy theories, but if you take into account that Brzezinski personally knew bin Laden since as early as the early 1980s, and that too many of Brzezinski’s old ideas have been strangely coming to live (e. g. chaostization of the Eurasian continent, starting from the Middle-East (hello the Arab Spring and ISIS), pulling Ukraine away from Russia to prevent Russia from becoming an economic superpower (hello the Ukrainian Crisis), among other things), and that we now know declassified instances from recent history when security agencies were pulling terrorists attacks on their own citizens (e. g. Operation GLADIO), you will be getting really uncomfortable feeling about the whole thing…

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Also, don’t forget that the heroin production in Afghanistan has increased 30-40 times since 2001, so someone has surely been making crazy profits off this (would be interesting to see where all this money go; the rumours are that some of that stuff goes to finance “colour revolutions” and co ups in various interesting places).

So, either way, lots of stuff for researchers and analysts to explore.