Eurasian Connectivity = End of US Dominance Part 1 (of a 2 Part Series)

The Silk Road started somewhere around 100 AD. Goods travelled from the East to the West. When the Mongol Empire began, capturing the Silk Road and China (the source) helped to increase their Empire. The main artery of this road travelled through Turkey to Europe. When the Turks finally captured Constantinople in 1453, they brought order to the trade. Prices went up. At the other end of Eurasia in Spain, the Moors were defeated and expelled in 1494.

China also began a maritime trading route, dating from around the same time as the Silk Road. The trade was mostly in Eastern Asia. When the Ming Dynasty was in power, a court eunuch by the name of Ma Ho-a Chinese Muslim of Mongol-Turkic mix was a top military leader. He was later called Cheng Ho. The West knows of him as “Sinbad the Sailor”. And became China’s first admiral. All in all, he conducted seven great naval expeditions that reached the Red Sea, eastern Africa, the Persian Gulf, and the south-east Asian islands. Each expedition numbered dozens of ships and 1000s of men. These expeditions – between 1400 and 1430 proved to be a great success. With the death of Emperor Yung Lo in 1424, Ming vitality died.  Within a few decades, the Chinese forgot more about shipbuilding than the West had yet learnt. A golden age of seafaring had ended. We find that the establishment of the Ottoman Empire at the critical juncture of the Silk Road had reduced trade on the Silk Road. At the same time, the Chinese withdrew from overseas trade and began to live in isolation. BUT, the demand for their goods INCREASED! It was at this time that certain business groups began to search for an alternative route to reach China. And so it was the Portuguese and Spanish who first began this search, which soon yielded results. The profits from this early trade were enormous, which thus began the rise of European imperialism.

Look at the map below. Up until the 15th Century, the two outer ends of Eurasia were connected by the Silk Route running from China to Europe, via central Eurasia (Turkey and Central Asia). Trade was conducted overland. When the Ottoman Empire came into being in 1453, European states such as Portugal, Spain, France and Britain began searching for new routes to the east via the seas. Thus, began the rise of the maritime powers and imperialism. By the 19th century, Britain became the dominant global power due to its control over the maritime routes. In the meantime, the over-land corridor between China and Europe withered away. Further, Britain would not allow any threat to its Empire by allowing any Eurasian power to build such transportation corridors that would threaten its hold over international trade. Even today, most of the world’s trade (90%) is conducted over maritime routes. Even the First World War was precipitated by Germany building a railway line from Berlin to Baghdad. The British Empire ruled the seas, and this fact enabled its domination as a global power. British power declined by the 1930s, only to be replaced by another rising maritime power- the United States, which would become a dominant global power- which is now being challenged by several Eurasian nations.

Maritime Power vs Land-Based Powers

Over the next 3 centuries, these European powers had managed to bring a large part of the globe under their control. The most successful of the European countries was Britain and France. The British Empire became a global power. This power was based on control of the maritime routes. This control helped Britain become the leading world power for 150 years; from 1800 to 1945. A key aspect of this was to exercise control over the maritime chokepoints of the world trade routes: such as Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Malacca straits.

 Look at the map, and one notices a distinction between two groups of world powers. The first is the maritime powers, such as Britain, Japan, and the USA. The second group of powers is land based, such as Russia, India, China and Germany. There has been a bitter rivalry between these groups for economic and financial domination. For the past 2 centuries, the power advantage rested with the maritime powers. If international trade is conducted by sea, this was to the advantage of the maritime powers. Were it to revert back to overland trade (e.g. via the Silk Road), then the geopolitical dominance of the maritime powers will decline. This is the key reason why the maritime powers of Britain and now the US, will not allow the development of Eurasian connectivity.

In order to better understand geopolitics, it is worth having a world map on hand. As one can see the map above, the Eurasian continent is the entire region of Europe and Asia – from Britain in the west to Japan in the east; from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, to the Middle East, and heading down to Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It’s a vast region, home to most of humanity.

Fast forward to the 20th century

At the end of World War 2 (WW2), in 1945, global power had shifted from Britain to America. During the next 45 years, the US, and its institutions came to dominate the world. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, the US emerged without any rivals, to contest it for global domination. The American financier elite, centered in New York, planned a final push to secure their position in the world.  A whole new equation was needed to go forward, in maintaining the status of the US as a dominant global power.

 As Henry Kissinger once remarked in the 1970s, “who controls food controls people. Who controls finance controls governments? Who controls oil controls the destinies of nations”? Kissinger at that time was the US Secretary of State. It is a well-known fact that Kissinger began his career serving the Rockefeller brothers, Nelson and David, beginning in the mid-1950s. And he has remained a loyal servant of the family to date. For the US, it was going to an economic war going forward, backed up by military force.  The Rockefeller family motto is “competition is a sin”. The two regions that posed the greatest economic rivals to the US was Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy) and East Asia (China and Japan). These were advanced economies whose key vulnerability was its reliance on imported energy, principally from the Middle East. The US reckoned that if they gained undisputed control of the energy resources of the Middle East and surrounding regions, then they would be in a position to dictate the economic well-being of these two zones, and ultimately gain control over these two zones. No rival economic bloc would be allowed to challenge American domination, and that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia, and thus challenging America. The US went about it, using all their tools on hand. These tools include finance, economics, military force, food, health, religion, color revolutions, and the manipulation of public opinion, amongst others. This is the key to understanding all that has happened since 1991 to present.

 This was the analysis of the Rockefeller Network of Power (or the New York elite). It was best summed up by another former US official, Carter’s National security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski (another loyal servant of David Rockefeller), in his best-selling book, “The Grand Chessboard”, published in 1997. A few quotes are as follows: –

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia – – – America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained”;

“In this context, how America ‘manages ‘Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination – – – “.

 “In brief, for the US, Eurasian geo-strategy involves the purposeful management of geo-strategically dynamic states – – – to put it into terminology that goes back to the most brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geo-strategy are to:-

 *Maintain security dependence among the vassals (the EU, Korea, and Japan)

 *To keep tributaries pliant and protected (the above plus others such as Israel, the Arab world)

 *To keep the barbarians from coming together (Russia, China, Iran).

 Fast forward to today….

The center of Eurasia and the Middle East is an oil-rich area. Control of this would be the key to the control of Eurasia, especially its western and eastern zones that rely on energy imports from the Middle East. Also, the center of Eurasia is the missing link, in terms of connecting both ends, via transportation corridors. This will enable Eurasia to become independent of the maritime powers, principally the US Navy. If both ends of Eurasia were connected to the center, and then to each other, then there would be no need for the US military presence in Eurasia. The US will become redundant. Its global dominance will decline, and American power will crumble. Look at the map below. The center of Eurasia is a zone of “potential instability”. Control the center, and one can control the both ends of Eurasia. So, the game-plan of the US could not have been more clearly spelt out. How they went about achieving this has been extensively discussed here on this site.

NATO & the Fall of the Soviet Union

 By 1989, it was becoming clear that the Soviet Union would cease to exist shortly. Historically, Germany and Russia were natural allies. Germany had the technological and industrial know how, which Russia lacked, and Russia had the natural resources which Germany needed. The British always feared a tie-up between these two countries. With the end of the Second World War, America put an Iron Curtain between Russia and Europe, and further divided Germany into 2 parts. Trade between Russia and Europe was very limited.

Following World War 2 and the defeat of Germany, the very word geopolitics became taboo as it was linked in many eyes with Hitler, and the Nazis. Geopolitics however is larger than that, the study of integrating politics, economics, and geography. The father of British geopolitics, Sir Halford Mackinder, first unveiled his concept of that relationship in an address to the Royal Geographical Society in 1904 in London, “The Geographical Pivot of History.”

 It was a brilliant attempt to look at the world as an entirety – or as a single whole, with what Mackinder termed ‘natural space’. For him Russia was a mammoth threat to the future of the dominant British Empire because of its vast geography as the world’s largest land power with its vast steppes, its huge natural resources and its people. He wrote, “The oversetting of the balance of power in favor of the pivot state, Russia, resulting in its expansion over the marginal lands of Euro-Asia would permit the use of vast continental resources for building a navy, and the empire of the world would then be in sight. That might happen if Germany were to ally herself with Germany.”

 Preventing that German-Russian alliance was the focus of British diplomatic machinations from 1900 that led London to initiate World War 1 against an encircled Germany, using Germany’s natural ally, Russia to do the dirty deed. As George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, had to say, “The prime interest of the United States, over which we have fought two world wars, has been the relationship between Germany and Russia because united there; they are the only force that could threaten us.” In his 1904 essay, Mackinder wrote, “True that the Trans – Siberian Railway is still a single line of communication, but the century will not be old before all Asia is covered with railways. The spaces within the Russian Empire and China are so vast, and their potential in population, wheat, cotton, fuel and metals so great, that it is inevitable that a vast economic world will develop there, inaccessible to marine commerce.”

 He meant inaccessible to the British control of the oceans. Instead, two world wars, and five decades of NATO Cold War delayed that natural fusion of the economies of all Eurasia with railways. Basically it was a fight between “maritime powers” versus “land powers”. And so far, the globe has been dominated by a maritime power; first Britain, and now America.

Two examples will suffice to highlight this point.

  • In the late 19th century, Russia embarked on building the Trans-Siberian Railway. This would help to unify Russia’s hold on its interior and its eastern regions. Were this to go through, it would hamper British/Rothschild plans. Britain used its vassal Japan to go to war with Russia in 1904/5.
  • In the first decade of the 19th century, Germany and the Ottoman Empire were allies. A deal was made to build a railway line connecting Berlin to Baghdad. This also went against British policy, as this line would threaten its hold over the Middle East and India. And, this was the detonator that brought about World War 1.

Just as building new oil and gas pipeline routes were the cause of wars and coups in the past 3 decades, so it was it railways in the early part of the 20th century.  Mackinder’s idea of geopolitics shaped the Anglo-Saxon world until British financial policies caused her defeat in the two world wars to the emerging power of the world’s second land power – North America.  He shaped the idea of postwar military strategy from Henry Kissinger to Zbigniew Brzezinski.

 However, both the Chinese and Russian high command also studied Mackinder thoroughly- and acted accordingly. This is today’s Silk Road, integrating for the first time in history the vast untapped resources of Eurasia. This is what is now unfolding before our eyes. This is what creates such alarm in Washington and London.

 Given that both Beijing and Moscow know that they face the same “geopolitical opponent”, namely an American superpower in terminal decline, the invitation to the EU and the Central Asian countries to join the Silk Road is a brilliant further development in the creation of a multi-polar world to replace a NATO-Washington Superpower dictatorship.

 Seen from Berlin, Paris and Rome, the Eurasian emerging to their east with the multi-trillion dollar trade potentials around the creation of the world’s largest rail infrastructure development is creating the magnet for rescuing the EU from its own foolishness. It will not be long before German industrial circles bring Berlin onto that constellation, even if kicking and screaming. The world is simply tired of these endless wars for nothing.

 Beginning with the marvelous tales of Marco Polo’s travels across Eurasia to China, the Silk Road has never ceased to entrance the world. Now, the ancient cities of Samarkand, Baku, Tashkent, and Bukhara are once again firing the world’s imagination.  China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken in human history: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world. It is also seen by many as the first shot in a battle between East and West for dominance in Eurasia.

 The ambitious vision is to resurrect the ancient Silk Road as a modern transit, trade, and economic corridor that runs from Shanghai to Berlin. The “Road “will traverse China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, extending more than 13, 000 kilometers, creating an economic zone that extends from east to west. The plan envisions building high-speed railroads, roads, and highways, energy transmission and distribution networks, and fiber optic networks. Cities and ports will be targeted for economic development. An equally essential part of the plan is a sea-based “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR) component, as ambitious as its land-based project, linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. These both have been the “One Belt-One Road” project. When completed, like the ancient Silk Road, it will connect three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa. The chain of infrastructure projects will create the world’s largest economic corridor, covering a population of 4.4 billion people and an economic output of $21 trillion. In the process creating around 1.5 billion sustainable jobs! This is not a typo. Truly, 1.5 billion NEW JOBS.

The Eurasian Landbridge concept was first promulgated by American economist Lyndon LaRouche, in Berlin in 1989. His ideas were put into practice from the early 1990s, but in piece-meal form. When the 1997-2000 market crash hit the Chinese economy hard, Beijing rolled out a road-building program. Following the 2008 crash, Beijing embarked on building a rail network across China and to certain other areas in Central Asia. In 2012, uber-nationalist Xi Jinping became China’s leader. The idea for reviving the new Silk Road was first announced in 2013 by the Chinese President Xi Jinping.  As part of the financing of the plan, in 2014, the Chinese leader also announced the launch of an Asian International Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) providing seed funding for the project. But, we are getting ahead of ourselves. First the key players, Russia and China, had to secure themselves from the destabilizing games of London and New York.

The China Pivot

In 2012, the Obama White House announced a “pivot to Asia”. This was meant to counter China’s new Silk Road/Eurasian Landbridge program, which Xi renamed the “Belt & Road Initiative”, or BRI.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, Washington went on a rampage, trying to weaken its rivals. This rampage enveloped the Middle East, and various parts of Eurasia. From the Arab Spring, the Georgian war, the Syrian regime-change operation, etc., until the Ukraine war.

With the West failing to topple its rivals, and becoming weaker in the process, its rivals were becoming stronger. This is true for the 4 Eurasian giants – Russia, China, India and Iran. As explained before, there are 5 major power centers in the world- New York, London, Moscow, Beijing and Riyadh. Here, we will discuss BRI issues for Russia, India, China and Iran- the 4 countries that really matter in Eurasian  power politics.

The story continues in Part 2 – – –

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