A dependable web of policies is a reliable buoy that prevents a nation from sinking into a sea of chaos; one stable backbone on which internal security is founded, and in the international sense, a buffer against worldwide humiliation or condemnation, and a barrier preventing the outbreak of war. Yet an actual policy is only as strong as the principles from which it was conceived, and once those principles fail, the policy falls apart.
An ideal example is the United States’ “War on Terror” in Iraq. Vindicated by the 9-11 terrorist attacks and bolstered by worldwide sympathy and support, the U.S. launched their campaign in light of vanquishing terrorism and staunching the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet halfway through the endeavor, the principles founding U.S. policies in the Middle East were challenged by international scrutiny; and ever since, the winds seemed to blow against the States. The war extended beyond its guiding principles’ boundaries, coursing a tremor through the groundwork of many, if not all, U.S. policies in the Middle East.
The U.S., in the past, has also experienced this, though with greater ferocity, in the Vietnam War. It reached a point when anti-war demonstrations eroded into days of rioting in some parts of the nation. The former Soviet Union’s Diaspora was borne from a similar dilemma. With strict Marxist-Leninist laws, no one could have surmised the demise of communism in Russia. Perhaps, if not for reforms such as Perestroika and Glasnost, Russia, and not only its communism, would now lay in ruin.
When its laws and foreign policies disappoint, a nation not only suffers scoffs from a scornful international crowd, it could very well expect rebuff and reprisal, and at worst, even war.
Geopolitics is arguably profoundest in the Middle East, especially in the Arab-Moslem countries and Jewish Israel. It thrives, unfortunately, in the prevailing chaotic situation in the region, naturally in the abovementioned nations. Case in point: Israel and Pakistan.
The Israel-Palestine debacle spans territory, and of course, the immortal conflict of religion. The two countries have waged war before and after the Second World War, and perhaps will continue well into the indefinite future.
Israel, of course, has to protect its interests throughout the Middle East, and at the same time constantly anticipates having to dodge attacks from all the neighboring Moslem nations. Palestine, likewise, reserves the right to safeguard its assets, and like most of its fellow Moslem nations, constantly licks the wounds inflicted by conflicts within Islam itself—what with different Moslem factions, like the Shiite and Sunni, exchanging casualties and damage.
A truly extraordinary culmination of different cultures has spawned such rich geopolitics, albeit the situation remains far from peaceful. The Middle East condition exemplifies the significance of geopolitics in contemporary times as the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War era. Even as far back as sixty years ago, Nazi Germany’s geopolitics dictated their races’ superiority, and thus, righteousness to claim more territory and rule other races in Europe; Militarist Japan’s geopolitics ordained that it would be in Asia’s best interests to be ruled by the Japanese and their god-enthroned Emperor. Thus far, history has us entertain the notion that geopolitics could dictate war and peace.
Burchill, Scott. “This peace offer is an insult to Palestinians.” The Australian. September 21, 2001. Z Communications. June 19, 2007. <http://www.zmag.org/burchillpal.htm>
Jackson, James. “Soviet Union The First Hurrah.” Time. June 27, 1988. Time, in partnership with CNN. June 19, 2007. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,967774-5,00.html.>
Kraul, Chris and William Orme. “A Sometime Champion in Democracy.” Los Angeles Times April 21, 2002 CommonDreams.org News Center. June 19, 2007. <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0421-04.htm>
Ed. Richman, Sheldon. “Ancient History: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly Of Intervention.” CATO Institute, Publications. August 16, 1991. CATO University. June 19, 2007. < http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html>
Shah, Anup. “The Middle East conflict—a brief background.” Global Issues. July 30, 2006. June 19, 2007. <http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/MiddleEast/Palestine/Background.asp>