OUTFLANKING MACKINDER: CHINA’S SILK ROAD AND SPACEOctober 14, 2016
Yesterday and the day before, you'll recall, I blogged about two strange statements coming out of the Middle East, the first from Russian Major General Igor Konshenko, and the second, appearing two days prior to Konshenkov's remarks, from Iraqi Tansportation Minister Kazem Finjan. General Konshenkov made strange statements - clearly intended for Washington's benefit (and perhaps for someone else's as well) - that the Russian air and missile defense systems in Syria were operational, and that their range and capability to take out "all unidentified flying objects" would be a "surprise" to Washington (and whomever else the message was intended for). Minister Finjan, two days previously to this, made even stranger comments, based on the works of Zechariah Sitchin which he specifically referenced, that Iraq had been home to "extraterrestrial" spaceports some 7000 years ago. Prior to this, I noted, there were warnings from Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, that "tectonic" consequences would ensue if Washington continued on its warpath, and I suggested she was literally referring to earthquake weapons and other non-conventional weapons of mass destruction, other than the well-known triad of nuclear, biological, or chemical WMDs.
Howsoever one parses these statements, they clearly carried deeper possible interpretations than the merely conventional or prosaic. These three statements, coming in such quick succession and in more or less the same temporal and geopolitical context, suggest that there is a much deeper, much more hidden, much more "non-conventional" reading of events in the Middle East than meets the eye.
With this backdrop in mind, I want to consider the following article by one of my favorite commentators and researchers, F. William Engdahl, shared by Mr. C.S.:
While there's much food for thought in this article, I want to draw attention to one crucial observation that Mr. Engdahl makes:
The totality of the strategy behind Xi Jinping’s Eurasian One belt, One Road rail, sea and pipeline initiative, which is moving quietly and impressively forward, is transforming the world geopolitical map. In 1904 a British geographer, Sir Halford Mackinder, a fervid champion of the British Empire, unveiled a brilliant concept in a speech to the London Royal Geographical Society titled the Geographical Pivot of History. That essay has shaped both British and American global strategy of hegemony and domination to the present. It was complemented by US Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan’s 1890 work, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, which advocated “sea power,” stating that nations with domination of the seas, as the British Empire or later the USA, would dominate the world.
The One Belt, One Road, by linking all the contiguous land areas of Eurasia to the related network of strategic new or enlarged deep-water ports of OBOR’s Maritime Silk Road, has rendered US geopolitical strategy a devastating blow at a time the hegemony of America is failing as never in its short history. The Eurasian Century today is inevitable and unstoppable. Built on different principles of cooperation rather than domination, it just might offer a model for the bankrupt United States and the soon-bankrupt European Union, to build up true prosperity not based on looting and debt slavery.
Indeed, the Silk Road project does outflank MacKinder, for it effectively makes the Eurasian "world Island" impervious to sea power interdiction, the very basis of British, and now American, power and policy.
However, the project is under potential "outflanking" threat from the high ground of space, for all that infrastructure the Chinese want to build, railroads, pipelines, airports, highways and so on, is interdictable from space. In fact, of one stops and thinks about it, space is the best platform from which to do so.
Hence we are led to an inevitable conclusion: in order to make the Silk Road project not only work, but to keep it secure, the entire thing must have massive space-based defense systems. And of course, like it or not, the USSA remains the world's premier space power, by far. This means that any and all possible "extraterrestrial" speculations aside, that space is an inevitable component of the econonic-financial-geopolitics of China's Silk Road venture.
This will mean, predictably enough, that the Chinese, Russia, and Indian space programs will behave in an unusual way in the coming years, and that, upon close examination, will exhibit careful and close behind-the-scenes coordination. We've already encountered interesting developments in this respect, with the recent and dramatic launch of over twenty satellites in a week, by India, in a remarkable and stunning display of technological, logistical, and management prowess. One may also speculate and predict that with the European powers itching to get in on the action, that the European Space Agency, and inevitably JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, will become involved in these efforts, further isolating the USSA which continues on its dangerous unipolar path. Lest we forget, Germany has proposed that the ESA build a massive space station at the equigravisphere between the Earth and the Moon; China has launched its first quantum communications satellite; Russia has demonstrated its domestic "distributed ledger" capabilities.
All these argue that there is already a careful coordination in building out the Silk Road. And notably, none of them involve the USSA.
See you on the flips side...