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Lecture 12. EUS-201 European Geography. James Leigh University of Nicosia. (Tracy Bucco). World Hegemony and “World Island” Geopolitics. James Leigh University of Nicosia. EurAsia: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0908/S00096.htm. Lecture’s reading handout. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of (Tracy Bucco)

  • (Tracy Bucco)EUS-201European GeographyJames Leigh University of NicosiaLecture 12

  • World Hegemony and World Island GeopoliticsJames Leigh University of Nicosia EurAsia: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0908/S00096.htm

  • Lectures reading handoutBordonaro, F. (2009) Rediscovering Spykman, Exploring Geopolitics, May, http://www.exploringgeopolitics.org/Publication_Bordonaro_Federico_Rediscovering_Spykman_Rimland_Geography_Peace_Foreign_Policy.html

  • World Island is EurasiaEurAsia: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0908/S00096.htmIndiaChinaRussiaJapanFranceGermanyU.K.IranSaudi ArabiaCyprusIraqIsraelTurkeyHEARTLAND

  • Spykmans Rimland http://www.oldenburger.us/gary/docs/TheColdWar.htm

  • IntroductionNicholas Spykman had a insightful worldview that few men ever developHis World Island Rimland geopolitics can greatly enhance our worldview to understand the history and portent of world eventshttp://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/bios/GlennGallery_2.html

  • PurposeTo interpret the relevance of the Eurasian Rimland geopolitics, of Nicolas Spykman, to the modern world, and its pursuit of world government.http://www.globalresearch.ca/coverStoryPictures/13070.jpg

  • Nicholas SpykmanYale University ProfessorDied 49 years old 1943His last book (1944) compiled (from his lecture notes and maps) by his research assistant Helen Nicholl.Part of the Mackinder (Heartland), Mahan (Naval power) and Spykman (Rimland) triad.

  • Their DifferenceSpykman:He who controls the Rimland [of air and maritime power] rules the EurasiaHe who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world.(Spykman, 1944, p. 43)Mackinder:He who controls Eastern Europe rules the Heartland [a natural fortress and resource]He who rules the Heartland rules the World IslandHe who rules the World Island rules the world.http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6423 http://www.oldenburger.us/gary/docs/TheColdWar.htm

  • Heartland TopographyTopography of Heartland: http://www.princeton.edu/~humcomp/map1.jpg

  • Nicholas Spykman (1893-1943) & RimlandControl of Rimland control the HeartlandRimland must be a land and sea powerGives maritime barrier to EurasiaEurasia resources are available and protectedControls VIP shipping lanes and chokepointsAmalgamates Europe (Germany) and Asia (Russia, China and Japan)Encircles North Americahttp://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6423

  • Spykmans viewSpykman examined the geopolitical factors that influenced the behavior, and affected the security, of the great powersHe saw geography as quintessential and stated that the geographic characteristics of states are relatively unchanging and unchangeable (Spykman, 1938, p. 29)He considered geopolitical effect of:Size (must be infrastructured and governed or it can lead to weakness) Location (most important)

  • World frameworkLandmassesEurasiaNorth AmericaThree islandsSouth AmericaAfricaAustraliaFive water bodiesSouth Polar SeaNorth Polar SeaIndian OceanPacific OceanAtlantic Ocean12453www.naturalhistoryonthenet.com/Continents/mainpage.htm

  • Four world power Spheres:US, Europe, Moscow, JapanUSA over the AmericasJapan over Far EastMoscow over HeartlandEurope over E AtlanticEurope over Indian OceanUS most favored location, access to all world, east and west, but protected by oceanic buffer(Spykman, 1938, p. 43)www.naturalhistoryonthenet.com/Continents/mainpage.htm

  • Types of StatesLand oriented (France, Germany, Russia with armies) Island (US, UK, Japan naval powers and colonizers)Dual states both land and sea frontiers (China, Italy)Spykman said a states foreign policy must deal with geographic facts. It can deal with them skillfully or ineptly; it can modify then; but it cannot ignore them. For geography does not argue. It simply is. He saw nation states as struggling power organisations (1938, p.236) All states have a tendency to expand and as the centres of power change new political realities appear (Spykman and Rollins, 1939a, p. 39)

  • National expansionOften along rivers: (Egypt Nile; Mesopotamia Tigris, Euphrates; China Hoang Ho; America Mississippi)Landlocked states seek maritime access: (Babylon and Assyria Mediterranean; Balkan powers Adriatic; Russia ice-free ports)Islands expand to mainland or colonize: (British Empire; Japan into East Asia)Circumferential and transmarine expansion: (Greece Aegean; Rome Mediterranean)Expand or control frontiers: (Russia, Germany, Roman Empire)(Spykman and Rollins, 1939b, p. 602)http://northbritain.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/us-shocked-by-scottish-independence/

  • League of NationsSpykman and Rollins were critical of the League to deal with the expansionist policies of Germany, Italy and Japan.They did not expect a change in the policies of these aggressive nations, there sees to be no reason to assume or expect that these behavior patterns of states will suddenly change of disappear (Spykman and Rollins, 1939b, p. 602).

  • US: Grand Strategy & StatesmanDevelop war and peace strategy based on ideal position of US:In the middle of Asia and EuropeHe saw world politics as anarchic, with each state acting out of self interest, in the absence of a world governing authority in short each state was struggling for power among other states(Spykman, 1942, pp. 8, 17, 18)

  • Composition of a State for PowerSizeNature of its territory and frontiersPopulationRaw materials possessed and producedEconomic and technological developmentPolitical stabilityNational spiritMilitary powerPower level of potential enemiesStates can only survive by vigilant devotion to power politics(Spykman, 1942, p. 18)http://www.infobarrel.com/Media/Fat_Man_Nuclear_Bomb_Mushroom_Cloud

  • Struggle for PowerSpykman saw the struggle for power could only be met by continually seeking power through:Alliances and weapons raceAll other meansHe said war is unpleasant but inherent in the world of sovereign nation states and to forget that invites disasterAnd so he argues war in the 20th century was waged militarily, politically, economically, and ideologically total war.(Spykman, 1942, p. 24)


  • Weak Europe Strong USASpykman said: Because there was never a United Europe [in recent times] to gainsay [the USA] and because no single European state ever obtained sufficient freedom of action to throw its whole military weight into a struggle in [the Western] hemisphere the US had achieved its manifest destiny. European nations were of necessity concerned with the balance of power in Europe and their own territorial security than with the power relations on the American continents(Spykman, 1942, p. 66)

  • Britain balances EuropeSpykman saw:That Britain had maintained some balancing of the power in Europe as Britain opposed whatever threatened to upset the balance of power on the continentBritain historically fostered coalitions of European powers to defeat hegemonic ambitions of for example: Hapsburgs, Louis XIV, and Napoleon.However Britain needed non-European (US) power and help to defeat Kaiser Wilhelm and later Hitler.Germany by the build up to WWII had destroyed the power foundations of the political structure of EuropeEurope no longer had a self-contained geopolitical system which could balance itself (Spykman, 1942, p. 114)

  • German geopolitical visionSpykman understood the implications for U.S. security of Germanys challenge to the European balance of power, and was also familiar with German geopolitical writings published by Karl Haushofer [a corruption of Mackinder] and associates at Munichs Institute of Geopolitik. Spykman said of the German geopolitical vision: The European land mass from the North Sea to the Ural Mountains will be organized on a continental basis as the economic heart of the great living space and the foundation of the war potential for the inter-continental struggle for power. The Near East, which controls the routes to the Indian Ocean and contains the oil on which European industrial life depends, will be integrated, economically and politically, in the form of semi-independent states controlled from Berlin (Spykman, 1942, p. 121).Africa would be economically colonized and politically controlled by Germany, as a cornucopia of raw materials and connection to South America across the Atlantic.If Germany consolidates control of the European continent and defeated GB, it would have powerful access to Western Hemisphere and the US. So the US in 1942 had to forcefully reintroduce the balance of power in Europe (Spykman, 1942, p. 128)In short Germany was planning to be the world hegemon.

  • US & transpacific zoneSpykman saw US Pacific presence to balance the power was vital and the US acquired:HawaiiPhilippinesGuamFor this influence in Asia, powerful and engaging US relationships were to fostered with:ChinaJapanRussiaHowever Japanese designs after WWI led to growing influence from that country upsetting the Asian balance of powerJapan expanded in Asia as Germany expanded in Europe [creating a threat to AngloSaxon dominance](Spykman, 1942, p. 146)

  • Heartland & maritime highwayIn 1800s once Russia was established in the heartland it sought to break through the ring of bordering states to the oceanBut was thwarted by the naval power UKFor Spykman the waterway region around Eurasia was a great maritime highway vital for: Sea lanesTradeOil from Middle EastAccess through overland routes to heartlandhttp://www.oldenburger.us/gary/docs/TheColdWar.htm

  • Spykman on America in WWIIIf Germany and Japan upset the world balance of power this could strangle the USWith technology the seas are not barriers but highwaysSo the US should