A New Geopolitical Map Emerges

The world has entered an accelerated phase of restructuring of forces). The process is disorganized and carries dreadful consequences, since conflicts and divisions weaken the human capacity to face common and significant problems. If Julius Cesar would live in our time, he´d write: “Mesopotamia divisa est in partes tres.” Because, dear readers, Iraq has simply ceased to exist. A country created by the artifice of Western powers in the early years of the last century has only been maintained as a whole due to the firm hand of a cruel dictator, and then when he was overthrown by a massive foreign occupation, which, despite the millions of squandered dollars, the numerous lives and resources that were lost, could not manage to put together a true nation, despite the fantasy of the improvised American neo-conservative strategists who launched the cold war´s surviving superpower to a mad and cruel adventure. Todav, eleven years after that quixotic endeavor, the consequences are dramatically visible.

Of former Iraq there are three parts left: Kurdistan, rich in terms of oil, in ambiguous and/or conflictive relationships with Turkey, but backed ¨discretely¨ and for several years now by Israel; a Sunni center, ancient bastion of Saddam Hussein, the overthrown tyrant, which has fallen today in the hands of a violent uprising, with the implicit or explicit support of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates, and lastly, the stronghold of the Shias majority, that is struggling to control the capital –Baghdad- and that is backed by Iran´s armed forces, with the connivance of a reemerging nationalist and aggressive Russia.

This three-way-division is not stable in itself, since the different parts are enemies, participate in fragile alliances, and are backed by foreign powers and interests as contradictory as they are changing. The emerging Sunistan, for instance, has fallen in the hands of an extreme movement willing to restore the medieval caliphate, more than five centuries after the fall of Granada and its king Boabdil. In short, Middle East has entered a phase of prolonged anarchy, with dreadful sequels in the wider global scenario. The American retreat from its external adventurism, the European weakness and clumsiness when it comes to international politics, and the rise of Chinese power, among other factors, stimulate the geopolitical chaos all over, with extraordinary and multiple violence focuses that transcend borders. The planet´s geopolitical map is completely undergoing a process of un-tracing. The worst danger is that such a stirred human race may not be able to face the environmental, demographic and social challenges burdening it.

I propose the following corollaries:

– Israel´s safety is guaranteed, not because of the anticipating policy of its government, which is sadly missing, but because of the chaos and the fratricide clashes of its enemies. It will take advantage of this situation by toughening its stance with the Palestinians.

– Iran´s relevance as a regional power in the Middle East will continue to grow, with slightly more sophisticated governments willing to negotiate, especially with Europe and United States.

– Russia´s comeback as an authoritarian petro-state with regional power is an incontrovertible fact. While NATO is expansive in the diplomatic front but weak in military muscle, Russia (increasingly stronger in the military front and counting with strategic resources) will patch up alliances that in the late Soviet Union were part of the Warsaw Pact, but that will now be a cordon sanitaire of neutral countries (meaning neutralized) in its immediate periphery.

– China´s dominance in the Far East keeps getting stronger. China is headed to be a powerful regional hegemon, but still reluctant to become fully active in the global scenario.

– Latin America will maintain its historic tradition of peaceful marginality while facing great global conflicts, with policies of different socioeconomic regimes drawing closer, where people-based governments will change the course towards policies that are more beneficial for investments and markets, and more openly capitalist countries will need to modify the course towards horizons of higher social equity and public investment.

– The risk of losing control or influence over regional conflicts will rise, with a strong chance of regional wars with external interventions of modular nature. The chance of miscalculations will rise, which as always will produce catastrophic consequences.

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