Forward-looking reflections on the future of geopolitics

Among the sayings that were entrenched in the minds, accepted and engraved in the conscience, “Geography is one of the destinies, and this is undoubted in general terms, but the phrase has been used in a specific context, that the laws of geography determine the fates of contiguousness. And cooperation and influence between countries, as it distributed contradictions (wealth, capabilities, difficulties, and challenges) in a way that cannot be overcome.

This particular context of the phrase is no longer so in today’s world; The infrastructure revolution (infrastructures) played a major role in connecting continents, bringing cultures together, and overcoming challenges. In fact, I would argue that the vast global infrastructure (roads, railroads, oil and gas transmission lines, power grids, transcontinental fibre-optic lines, airlines, shipping, airports, and ports) has transformed entire geography. The lines representing international borders in today’s maps have become less important compared to the lines representing electricity networks, the Internet, and pipelines (pipeline), so that we live in a world whose hallmark is connectivity (which I like translation of the term “connectivity” rather than “boarders”). ), and this is what prompts me to modify the aforementioned statement that “Connectivity is Destiny”.

And if we change our traditional view of the nature of the world in which we live and the infrastructure that connects its vast outskirts, we will find that geography is nothing but an enormous body whose ends are distributed among the continents of the world; And that the infrastructures (the networks that we described above) are the nervous system that controls these parties. This conception (closest to the metaphysical) is likely to bring about a conceptual revolution through which a new world beyond states and an extended society is stronger and deeper connected between its single components (global society).

This conceptual development will change the way we interact with maps; In addition to natural and political maps, a new type of map will emerge that focuses on the distribution of infrastructure in countries and continents, and how they are linked and integrated with each other. These “connectivity maps” will enable us to understand and comprehend regional and global geopolitics and how they interact, and the dynamics that control great powers, megacities, and transcontinental companies. In addition to the future of competition between these components in resources, markets and skilled labor. We live The beginning of a new era in which super cities transcend the importance of states, and the power of supply chains outweighs the hegemony of armies.

The military’s priorities may even shift from protecting states and cities to expanding supply chains and securing them from cyber attacks or political upheaval and mass revolts. Here it is necessary to recall the impact that the Iranian revolution had at the end of the seventies on the global oil market and navigation in the Persian Gulf, and how the Libyan revolution in the past decade affected the price of oil, and even the shares of international energy companies.

The contemplator on the international political scene, and the manifestations of the conflict between the dominant West (America and Europe) and the rebellious East (Russia and China), must be stopped by the phenomenon of the decline of the star of the old continent, and the entry of new players on the scene of international decision. Not surprisingly, days have proven that the G7 summit (which all share its ethnic affiliation and Western culture, except for Japan) no longer has the necessary tools to deal with the rising powers; The initiative came to expand the umbrella of participation through the formation of the G20 Summit, in which the non-imperialist countries with non-Western culture were represented by 12 countries (Russia, China, Japan, India, Brazil, South Korea, Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, and South Africa). and Saudi Arabia). This great expansion in favor of the emerging powers represented an explicit recognition by the traditional powers that they could no longer impose their hegemony on the new world. Despite the continued dominance of traditional forces over a number of international actors, especially the UN Security Council, the state of rejection of these institutions and the arrogant voices calling for the need to correct representation in them may have led to the restructuring of these institutions and the entry of new players, such as India and South Africa, to the Security Council.

What distinguishes the old continent is that it is the most continent ever in terms of integration in infrastructure and communication between its different parts, which gives it a preferential advantage over the rest of the emerging powers; The railways, electricity networks, gas pipelines, and road routes that spread across Europe made it one country and not a united continent. The future struggle between the coming powers will involve domination of the supply lines. The promising thing is that this conflict will not take the bloody character that has characterized all conflicts throughout history, nor will it be limited to the “Great Seven” countries; A country like Turkey will have more strategic importance than great countries such as Japan and Britain. Turkey, which was historically known as the land of conflict between Asia and Europe, today represents the link between the two continents, not only through the Bosphorus and gas pipelines, but also through the new Istanbul Airport, which is one of the largest crossings in Europe, and Istanbul has deservedly joined the list of major cities ( Supper Cities) in today’s world, and has become a home for millions of people of different nationalities.

It is expected that the communication revolution will change the shape of economic activities and the map of wealth. It will be relatively easy to move resources from areas of abundance to areas of scarcity, and the labor force will be able to move between areas of production in the countryside and the countryside and city centers.

On the other hand, societies will be able to diversify their sources of imports and exports, and find logical alternatives in the event of environmental disasters or regional and international conflicts. The famous economist Keynes did not view infrastructure spending as a luxury, but rather as a strategic investment in the future.

This is what prompted the US government, in the period of economic recession between the two world wars, to massive expansion of infrastructure projects. Until the contribution of infrastructure to the gross national product (until the middle of the last century) exceeded 20%, but the decline in spending on infrastructure made some emerging powers outperform them in many respects.

In contrast, some studies have found that China’s consumption of cement from 2008 to 2020 exceeded that of the United States within a century. As for the Gulf countries, they recorded an honorable presence in this race, so that the quality of their infrastructure exceeded that of many countries in the world. Indeed, some Gulf metropolises such as Dubai and Doha got too caught up in the matter, and exaggerated spending on towers, hotels, shopping centers and football stadiums. My American colleague expressed the matter spontaneously after her participation in the Dubai Expo, and she was fascinated by what she saw. “It turns out that Houston is only a third world city, everything in that country is so beautiful and so beautiful, they are so beautiful.”

Before I conclude, I want to point out that the communicative process will often encounter some difficulties. America is unlikely to view the Silk Road (China’s vital project) or Nord Stream (Russia’s strategic project, which enables it to sell gas to Germany) with some kind of satisfaction, and might try to block these projects one way or another. China and Russia, in turn, will try to disrupt America’s strategic projects in Africa and Asia, and there are many evidences that we can market and separate, which show the attempt of various international and regional players to influence the strategic projects of their rival countries and alliances.

But in the end; These conflicting forces will reach the fact that cooperation and negotiation are better than conflict and estrangement, and without you the tireless attempts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table over its nuclear project. The great international cooperation witnessed by the telecommunications and technology sector represents a model of positive cooperation that has benefited mankind. The great powers used a kind of pragmatism. While America preferred to monopolize the software sector and inventions (software), China found its opportunity and monopolized the hardware and semiconductors sector. This cooperation made China the first consumer of Apple products (the first company in history to exceed the $3 trillion market price), and America became the first consumer of Chinese technology products.

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