The Grand Chessboard

by Zbigniew Brzezinski

A book report by America is Babylon

The book starts off with the true definition of world hegemony, and which empire truly has accomplished this. He claims that, though there have been ancient empires, they have never truly domintated the entire globe as America has. Therefore he says, that America is truly the only and first global empire. World War I was the first interjection of America into world affairs, and World War II (the first truly global war according to him) was the finalization of America and her dominance in structuring world policies.

Following the second World War, America engaged in a ‘Cold War’ with the Soviet Union which strung out over the remaining 20th century. Zbigniew likens this global aspiration to world hegemony as a game of chess, with the most important chess piece being Eurasia. The Eurasian continent’s heart is the ‘stan’ nations to the south of Russia, and the north of the Middle East. This conflict has been waged on the ‘peripheries of Eurasia itself’. The Sino-Soviet bloc dominated most of Eurasia, but not the peripheries. The Sino-Soviet bloc is described as China and Russia respectively. The winner of this great stakes game will dominate the entire globe.

Many believe that Europe (made up of the old Roman Empire- specifically western Europe) is the strategic area these two super power nations (United States and the Sino-Soviet bloc) are fighting over. Then there are those who believe it is the Middle East (Israel and her adjoining neighbors, the Levant). These areas are not what the super power nations are fighting over. The key strategic place is the Central Eurasian countries, which have been relatively obscure to the average American. This is the most important piece of information to glean from this book. Once this is understood, then the entire past 150 years (geopolitically speaking) makes complete sense.

Despite being written over 20 years ago, this book is really critical to understanding the political landscapes of today. It explains what the Russians and the United States are truly fighting about, but refuse to come out in plain language and state (at least to the common people). This vagueness by these nations’ leaders in regards to what their true motives really are, is leaving the populace very ignorant. This state of ignorance is a dangerous place to be in.

The common individual is taught by established education an “accidental” viewpoint of history. This historical interpretation promulgates that all incidents in history as having just happened with no synchronicity or preplanned meditation of one event to the other. The world foreign policy makers, along with the nation’s leaders, are portrayed in media as bumblers. This is a niave label to say the least. Their actions are reported to the common man and woman as being confusing, impetuous, childish, and downright dumb. This could be further from the truth. Despite different administrations (Democrat and Republican) in control of the ‘White House’, there never seems to be any real gains that benefit the people. How could the world’s brightest and best educated men and women seem to be so “stupid”? The answer lies in what we are told, not what is truly being done behind the scenes.

This book is a compendium of the elites past, present, and future plans for the nations-from the Western perspectieve. Zbigniew maps out what the past conflicts (wars) were really about, and the possible wars of the future. It educates the reader to understand that every move by the elites is well planned, having been methodically thought out decades before. Once this undertanding is formed within the minds of the reader, it can then be seen just how nefarious our rulers truly are, and what actions we (as the common individual) need to take in order to hedge ourselves into a protective place (that place is in Christ) to minimize the effects of the horrors that are coming upon us.

I have compiled a list of quotations taken directly from the book which will illuminate the general thesis and outline of the book. These quotes are categorized by chapters.

INTRODUCTION:

SUPERPOWER POLITICS

1.”The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as the key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world’s paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in rapid ascendance of a Western hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole, and indeed, the first truly global power.”

2.”Eurasia however, retains its geopolitical importance. Not only is its western periphery-Europe- still the location of much of the world’s political and economic power, but its eastern region-Asia- has lately become a vital center of economic growth and rising political influence. Hence, the issue of how a globally engaged America copes with the complex Eurasian power relationships- and particularly whether it prevents the emergence of a dominant and antagonistic Eurasian power- remains central to America’s capacity to exercise global primacy.”

3. “Eurasia is thus the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played, and that sturggle involves geostrategy- the strategic management of geopolitical interests. It is noteworthy that as recently as 1940 two aspirants to global power, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, agreed explicity (in the secret negotiations of November of that year) that America should be excluded from Eurasia. Each realized that the injection of American power into Eurasia would preclude his ambitions regarding global domination. Each shared the assumption that Eurasia is the center of the world and that he who controls Eurasia controls the world.”

4. “The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.”

CHAPTER 1: HEGEMONY OF A NEW TYPE

  1. “The geopolitical dimension could not have been clearer: North America versus Eurasia, with the world at stake. The winner would truly dominate the globe.”

2. “In the geopolitical realm, the conflict was waged largely on the peripheries of Eurasia itself. The Sino-Soviet bloc dominated most of Eurasia, but did not control it’s peripheries. North America succeeded in entrenching itself on the both extreme western and eastern shores of the great Eurasian continent. The defense of these continental bridgeheads (epitomized on the western “front” by the Berlin blockade and on the eastern by the Korean War) was thus the first strategic test of what came to be known as the Cold War. In the Cold War’s final phase, a third defensive “front”-the southern- appeared on Eurasia’s map. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan precipitated a two pronged American response.”

3.”…….disintegration accelerated by economic social strains.” (referring to the collapse of the Soviet Union)

4. “The collapse of its rival left the United States in a unique position. It became simultaneously the first and the only truly global power.”

5. “Not only does the United States control all of the world’s oceans and seas, but it has developed an assertive military capability for amphibious shore control that enables it to project its power inland in politically significant ways. It’s military legions are firmly perched on the western and eastern extremities of Eurasia, and they also control the Persian Gulf. American vassals and tributaries, some yearning to be embraced by even more formal ties to Washington, dot the entire Eurasian continent.”

6. “American economic dynamism provides the necessary precondition for the exercise of global primacy.”

7. “Its lead in exploiting the latest scientific breakthroughs for military purposes, thereby creating a technological peerless military establishment.”

8. “To be sure, Russia and China are powers that resent this American hegemony.”

9. “Lacking the ability to project forces over long distances in order to impose their political will and being technologically much more backward than America, they do not have the means to exercise -nor soon attain- sustained political clout worldwide.” (regarding Russia)

10. “Militarily, economically, technologically, culturally, it is the combination of all four that makes America the only comprehensive global super power.”

11. “In recent times, the adoption by the former Communist countries of civilian supremacy over the military (especially as a precondition for NATO membership).”

12. “Military ties with Japan bind the most powerful Asian Economy to the United States, with Japan remaining (at least for the time being) essentially an American protectorate.”

CHAPTER 2: THE EURASIAN CHESSBOARD

  1. “For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia.”

2. “In that context, how America “manages” Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically and productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75% of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia counts for about 60% of the world GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s energy resources.”

3. “Eurasia is also the location of most of the world’s politically assertive and dynamic states. After the United States, the next six largest economies and the next six biggest spenders on military weaponry are located in Eurasia. All but one of the world’s overt nuclear powers and all but one of the covert ones are located in Eurasia. The world’s two most populous aspirants to regional hegemony and global influence are Eurasian.”

4. “All of the potential political and/or economic challengers to American primacy are Eurasian. Cumulatively, Eurasia’s power vastly overshadows America’s.”

5. “Eurasia is thus the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played.”

6. “Eurasian chessboard engages not just two, but several players, each possessing different amounts of power. The key players are located on the chessboard’s west, east, center, and south. The case of Eurasia’s small western periphery, American power is deployed directly on it. The far eastern mainland is the seat of an increasingly powerful and independent layer, controlling an enormous population, while the territory of its energetic rival- confined on several nearby islands- and half of a small far-eastern peinsula provide a perch for American power.”

7. “A rival that was once committed to the goal of pushing America out of Eurasia to the south of that large central Eurasian plateau lies a politically and anarchic but energy rich region of potentially great importance to both the western and the eastern Eurasian states.”

8. “This huge, oddly shaped Eurasian chessboard- extending from Lisbon to Vladivostok- provides the setting for “the game”. If the middle space can be drawn increasingly into the expanding orbit of the West (where America preponderates), if the Southern region is not subjected to domination by a single player, and if the East is not unified in a manner that prompts the expulsion of America from its offshore bases, America can then be said to prevail. But if the Middle space rebuffs the West, becomes an assertive single entity, and either gains control over the South or forms an alliance with the major Eastern actor, then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically.”

9. “But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being.”

10. “Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.”

11. “The growing economic interdependence among nations is making the political exploitation of economic blackmail less compelling.”

12. “The Russian insistence on retaining control over such non-Russian people as the Chechens, who live around a vital oil pipeline, has been justified by the claim that such control is essential to Russia’s status as a great power.”

13.”Increasingly, the ruling national elites………….”(in the Eurasian countries a ruling elite class is developing)

14. “The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

GEOSTRATEGIC PLAYERS, AND GEOPOLITICS

  1. “Active geostrategic players are the states that have the capacity and the national will to exercise power or influence beyond their borders in order to alter- to a degree that affects America’s interests- the existing geopolitcial state of affairs. They have the potential and/or the predisposition to be geopolitically volatile.”

2. “Geopolitical pivots are the states’ whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geostrategic players.”

3. “Most often, geopolitical pivots are determined by their geography, which in some cases gives them a special role either in defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player. In some cases, a geopolitical pivot may act as a defensive shield for a vital state or even a region.”

4. “There are at least 5 key geostrategic players and 5 geopolitical pivots:

France, Germany, Russia, China, and India are major and active players, whereas Great Britain, Japan, and Indonesia, while admittedly very important countries, do not so qualify.

Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey, and Iran play the role of critcically important geopolitical pivots, though both Turkey and Iran are to some extent- within their more limited capabilities- also geostrategically active. The same is true of the most important potential central European member of NATO and the EU, namely, Poland. Poland is too weak to be a geostrategic player, and it has only one option: to become integrated into the West.

Russia, it hardly needs saying, remains a major geostrategic player. Its very presence impacts massively on the new independent states with the vast Eurasian space of the former Soviet Union.”

5. “Much depends on how its internal politics evolve and especially on whether Russia becomes a European democracy or a Eurasian empire again.”

6. “China is a major player.

The rise of a “Greater China” will not leave the Taiwan issue dormant, and that will inevitably impact on the Amerian position in the far East.”

7. “Ukraine, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south.”

8. “China would also be likely to oppose any restoration of Russian domination over Central Asia, giving its increasing interest in the newly independent states there. However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia. Ukraine’s loss of independence would have immediate consequences for central Europe transforming Poland into the geopolitical pivot on the Eastern frontier of a United Europe.”

9. “Despite its limited size and small population, Azerbaijan with its vast energy resoures, is also geopolitically critical. It is the cork in the bottle containing the riches of the Caspian Sea basin in Central Asia. The independence of the Central Asian states can be rendered meaningless if Azerbaijan becomes fully subordinated to Moscow’s control.”

10. “In the case of Ukraine, the future of Azerbaijan and Central Asia is also crucial in defining what Russia might or might not become.”

11. “Turkey and Iran are engaged in establishing some degree of influence in the Caspian Sea- Central Asian region, exploiting the retraction of Russian power. For that reason, they might be considered geostrategic players. They are also rivals and thus tend to negate each other’s influence. Both Turkey and Iran, however, are primarily important geopolitical pivots.”

12. “Turkey stabilizes the Black Sea region, controls access from it to the Mediterranean Sea, balances Russia in the Caucasus, still offers an antidote to Muslim fundamentalism, and serves as the southern anchor for NATO.”

13. “South Korea is a far Eastern geopolitical pivot. Its close links to the United States enable America to shield Japan and thereby to keep Japan from becoming an independent and major military power.”

14. “The list of geostrategic players and geopolitical pivots is neither permanent or fixed. At times, some states might have to be added or subtracted. Certainly, in some respects, the case could be made that Taiwan, or Thailand, or Pakistan, or perhaps Kazakstan or Uzebekistan should also be included in the latter category (geopolitical pivots). However, at this stage, the case for none of the above seems compelling. Changes in the status of any one of them would represent major events and involve some shifts in the distribution of power, but is doubtful that the catalytic consequences would be far reaching. The only exception might involve the issue of Taiwan, if one chooses to view it apart from China. Even then, that issue would only arise if China were to use major force to conquer the island, in successful defiance of the United States, thereby threatening more generally America’s political credibility in the Far East. The probability of such a course of events seems low, but that consideration still has to be kept in mind.”

15. “Islamic fundamentalism could undermine several pro-Western Middle Eastern governments and eventually jeopardize American regional interests, especially in the Persian Gulf. However, without political cohesion and in the absence of a single genuinely powerful Islamic state, a challenge from Islamic fundamentalism would lack a geopolitical core and would thus be more likely to express itself through diffused violence.”

16. “In that context, the retention of the American presence in South Korea becomes especially important. Without it, it is difficult to envisage that American/Japanese defense arrangement continuing in its present form, for Japan would have to become militarily more self-sufficient. But any movement toward reunification is likely to disturb the basis for the continued U.S. military presence in South Korea. A reunified Korea may choose not to perpetuate American military protection; that, indeed, could be the price exacted by China for throwing its decisive weight behind the reunification of the peninsula.”

17. “Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an “anti-hegemonic” coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.”

CHAPTER 3: THE DEMOCRATIC BRIDGHEAD

  1. “Europe also serves as the springboard for the progressive expansion of democracy deeper into Eurasia.”

2. “But first of all, Europe is America’s essential geopolitical bridgehead on the Eurasian continent. America’s geostrategic stake in Europe is enormous. The Atlantic alliance entrenches American political influence and military power directly on the Eurasian mainland. Without close transatlantic ties, America’s primacy in Eurasia promptly fades away.”

3. “The problem, however, is that a truly European “Europe” as such does not exist. It is a vision, a concept, a goal, but it is not yet reality. Western Europe is already a common market, but it is still far from being a single political entity. A political Europe has yet to emerge. The brutal fact is that Western Europe, and increasingly also Central Europe, remains largely an American protectorate, with its allied states reminiscent of ancient vassals and tributaries.”

4. “It is not clear whether most Europeans even want Europe to be a major power and whether they are prepared to do what is needed for it to become one.”

5. “The political momentum for Europe’s unification was once driven by three main impulses: the memories of the destructive two world wars, the desire for economic recovery, and the insecurity generated by the Soviet threat. By the mid-nineties, however, these impulses had faded.”

6. “Still, the political elite of two leading European nations- France and Germany- remain largely committed to the goal of shaping and defining a Europe that would truly be Europe. They are thus Europe’s principle architects. But each is committed to a somewhat different vision and design and neither is strong enough to prevail by itself.”

7. “France seeks reincarnation as Europe; Germany hopes for redemption through Europe. Without France and Germany, there will be no Europe. Left to themselves, the Europeans run the risk of becoming absorbed by their internal social concerns.”

8. “Hence, America must work particularly close with Germany in promoting the eastward expansion of Europe. Europe cannot be subordinated to Moscow’s objections.”

CHAPTER 4: THE BLACK HOLE

  1. “The collapse of the Soviet Union produced monumental geopolitical confusion.”

2. “The loss of the Caucasus revived strategic fears of resurgent Turkish influence; the loss of Central Asia generated a sense of deprivation regarding the enormous energy and mineral resources of the region as well as anxiety over a potential Islamic challenge. Before the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Caspian Sea was in effect a Russian lake, with a small southern sector falling within Iran’s perimeter. With the emergence of the independent and strongly nationalist Azerbaijan- reinforced by the influx of eager Western oil investors- and the similarly independent Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Russia became only one of the five claimants to the riches of the Caspian Sea basin.”

3. “These new states now controlled vast mineral and energy deposits that were bound to attract foreign interests. Kazakhstan……..endowed with enormous natural resources.”

4. “At the time of its empire being dissolved, Russia was also facing an ominous new geopolitical situation in the Far East. China had been weaker and more backward than Russia, however, China now is on its way to being a more advanced, more dynamic, and more successful state than Russia. China’s economic power wedded to the dynamic energy of its population reverses this equation between the countries, with the empty spaces of Siberia beckoning Chinese colonization.”

5. “This staggering new reality (in regards to China’s emergences as a power) was bound to affect the Russian sense of security in its Far Eastern regions as well as Russian interests in Central Asia.”

6. “Pakistan, India, and the distant America. Each of the three principal and most directly engaged contestants is driven not only by the prospect of future geopolitical and economic benefits but also by strong historical impulses.”

7. “In the case of the Russians, the attitude of hostility to the Turks verges on the obsessive.”

8. “The Turks reciprocate in kind and view their role as that of liberators of their brethren from prolonged Russian oppression. The Turks and the Iranians (Persians) have also been historical rivals in the region.”

9. “Moscow’s ambitions have a much broader sweep……..the Kremlin’s desire to reinstate Russia as a major global power.”

10. “The United States. . . . . .looms in the background. . . . . .preventing Russia from exclusively dominating the region’s geopolitical space. America is pursuing its own growing economic interests. . . “

11. “The particular focus of the contest, however, is on access. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, access to the region was monopolized by Moscow. All rail transport, gas and oil piplines, and even air travel were channeled through the center. Russian geopoliticians would prefer it to remain so, since they know that whoever controls or dominates access to the region is the one most likely to win the geopolitical and economic prize.”

12. “It is this consideration that has made the pipeline issue so central to the future of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia. If the main pipelines to the region continue to pass through Russian territory to the Russian outlet on the Black Sea at Novorossiysk, the political consequences of this condition will make themselves felt.”

13. “If another pipeline crosses the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and thence to the Mediterranean through Turkey and if one more goes to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan, no single power will have monopoly over access.”

14. “The troubling fact is some elements in the Russian political elite act as if they prefer that the area’s resources not be developed at all if Russia cannot have complete control over access.”

15. “The Tsarist expansion into the Caucasus and Central Asia occurred over a period of about three hundred years.”

16. “Russia is discouraging these states from creating their own separate armies, from fostering the use of their distinctive languages (in which they are gradually replacing the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin), from cultivating close ties with outsiders, and from developing new pipelines directly to outlets in the Arabian or Mediterranean Seas. If this policy succeeds, then Russia could dominate their foreign relations and determine revenue sharing.”

CHAPTER 5: THE EURASIAN BALKANS

1. “The Eurasian Balkans are much larger, more populated, even more religiously and ethnically heterogeneous. This area embraces portions of southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and parts of South Asia, the Persian Gulf area and the Middle East.”

2. “Although most of the states located in the Persian/gulf and the Middle East are also unstable, American power is that region’s ultimate arbiter. The unstable region in the outer zone is thus an area of single power hegemony and is tempered by that hegemony. In contrast, the Eurasian Balkans are truly reminiscent of the older, more familiar Balkans of southeastern Europe: not only are its political entities unstable but they tempt and invite the intrusion of more powerful neighbors, each of whom is determined to oppose the region’s domination by another.”

3. “The Eurasian Balkans, astride the inevitably emerging transportation network meant to link more directly Eurasia’s richest and most industrious western and eastern extremities, are also geopolitically significant. Moreover, they are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with China

. . . . . . . . . . . .”

4. “The Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold.”

5. “The Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.”

6. “The Eurasian Balkans include nine countries that one way or another fit the foregoing description, with two others as potential candidates. The nine are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia- all of them formerly part of the defunct Soviet Union- as well as Afghanistan. The potential additions of the list are Turkey and Iran, both of them much more politically and economically viable, both active contestants for regional influence within the Eurasian Balkans, and thus both significant geostrategic players in the region.”

7. “Efforts to restrain regional domination by Russia could even become futile.”

8. “Azerbaijan’s vulnerability has wider regional implication because the country’s location makes it a geopolitical pivot. It can be described as the vitally important ‘cork’ controlling access to the ‘bottle’ that contains the riches of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia. An independent, Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan, with pipelines running from it to the ethnically related and politically supportive Turkey, would prevent Russia from exercising a monopoly on access to the region and would thus also deprive Russia of decisive political leverage over the policies of the new Central Asian states. Yet Azerbaijan is very vulnerable to pressures from powerful Russia to the north and from Iran to the south.”

9. “Azerbaijan has become the object of combined Russian and Iranian pressures to restrict its dealings with the West.”

10. “Russia quietly backed political strifes within Georgia in order to compel Georgia to remain within the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and to accept Russian military bases on Georgian soil in order to seal the area off from Turkey.”

11. “Of the five newly independent Central Asian states, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are the most important. Regionally, Kazakhstan is the shield (from Russia) and Uzbekistan is the soul for the region’s diverse national awakenings.”

12. “Uzbekistan is, in fact, the prime candidate for regional leadership in Central Asia.”

13. “Moreover, the country’s political elite deliberately identifies the new state as the direct descendant of the vast medieval empire of Tamerlane ( 1336-1404), whose capital, Samarkand, became the region’s renowned center for the study of religion, astronomy, and the arts. This lineage imbues modern Uzbekistan with a deeper sense of historical continuity and regional mission than its neighbors.”

14. “Once pipelines to the area have been developed, Turkmenistan’s truly vast natural gas reserves augur a prosperous future for the country’s people.”

15. “Kyrgyzstan- although rich in minerals and endowed with a natural beauty that has led some to describe the country as the Switzerland of Central Asia (and thus potentially as a new tourist frontier). . . . . . “

16. “Afghanistan is a nation state in name only. Its 22 million people have become sharply divided along ethnic lines, with growing divisions among the country’s Pashtuns, Tajiks, and Hazaras.”

17. “Afghanistan thus has to be seen not only as a part of the Central Asian ethnic conundrum but also as politically very much part of the Eurasian Balkans.”

18. “Although all of the formerly Soviet Central Asian states, as well as Azerbaijan, are populated predominantly by Muslims, their political elites- still largely the products of the Soviet era- are almost uniformly nonreligious in outlook and the states are formally secular. However, as their populations shift from a primarily traditional clannish or tribal identity to a more modern national awareness, they are likely to become imbued with an intensifying Islamic consciousness. An Islamic revival, is determined to oppose any reintegration under Russian- and hence infidel-control.”

19. “Turkey and Iran- are themselves volatile in their geopolitial orientation and are internally potentially vulnerable.”

20. “Turkey, a post imperial state still in the process of redefining its indentity, is pulled in three directions: the modernists would like to see it become a European state and thus look to the west; the Islamists lean in the direction of the Middle East and a Muslim community and thus look to the south; and the historically minded nationalists see in the Turkic peoples of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia a new mission for a regionally dominant Turkey and thus look eastward. Each of these perspectives posits a different strategic axis.”

21. “Iran’s hostility to the United States has inclined Teheran to adopt at least a tactically pro-Moscow orientation, reinforced by Iran’s concerns regarding the impact on its own cohesion of Azerbaijan’s new independence.”

22. “Today’s competition within the Eurasian Balkans also directly involves three neighboring powers: Russia, Turkey, and Iran, though China may eventually become a major protagonist as well. Also involved in the competition, but more remotely is Ukraine.”

23. “Azerbaijan-encouraged by both Turkey and America- has thus not only rejected Russian demands for military bases but also defied Russian demands for a single pipeline to a Russian Black Sea port, opting instead for a dual solution involving a second pipeline through Georgia to Turkey.”

24. “Turkmenistan, for much the same reason, has been actively exploring the construction of a new pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea, in addition to the energetic construction of new rail links with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to the north and with Iran and Afghanistan to the south. Talks have been held between the Kazaks, the Chinese, and the Japanese regarding an ambitious pipeline project that would stretch from Central Asia to the China Sea.”

25. “It follows America’s primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space.”

CHAPTER 6: THE FAR EASTERN ANCHOR

  1. “Three major powers- America, China, and Japan- creates a potentially dangerous regional conundrum and is almost certain to generate geopolitically tectonic shifts.”

2. “What is even more ominous is the scale of Asia’s arms buildup.”

3. “Potential flash points in East Asia present a large number of contentious issues.”

4. “China’s resentment of Taiwan’s separate status is intensifying as China gains in strength and as the increasingly prosperous Taiwan begins to flirt with separate status as a nation-state.”

5. “The Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea pose risk of collisions between China and her southeast Asian neighbors.”

6. “The Senkaku Islands are contested by both Japan and China.”

7. “The division of Korea and the inherently instability of North Korea- made all the more dangerous by North Korea’s quest for nuclear capability- pose the risk that a sudden explosion could engulf the peninsula in warfare, which in turn would engage the United States and indirectly involve Japan.”

8. “Korea, the geopolitically pivotal state in Northeast Asia, could again become a source of contention between America and China. As long as Korea remains divided and potentially vulnerable to a war between the unstable North and increasingly rich South, American forces will have to remain on the peninsula.”

9. “Any unilateral U.S. withdrawal would not only be likely to precipitate a new war, but would, in all probability, also signal the end of the American military presence in Japan. Rapid Japanese rearmament would be the most likely consequence, with broadly destabilizing consequences in the region as a whole.”

10. “Korea’s reunification, however, would also be likely to pose serious geopolitical dilemmas. If American forces were to remain in a reunified Korea, they would inevitably be viewed by the Chinese as pointed against China. In fact, it is doubtful that the Chinese would acquiesce in reunification under these circumstances.”

CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION

  1. “American geostrategy for Eurasia will be: 1. a single state is a truly global power 2. a non-Eurasian state is globally the preeminent state 3. the globe’s central area, Eurasia, is dominated by a non-Eurasian power.”

2. “This condition places a premium on geostrategic insight and on the deliberately selective deployment of America’s resources on the huge Eurasian chessboard. And since America’s unprecedented power is bound to diminish over time, the priority must be to manage the rise of other regional powers in ways that do not threaten America’s global primacy.”

3. “As in chess, American global planners must think several moves ahead, anticipating possible countermoves.”

4. “In the short run, it is in America’s interest to consolidate and perpetuate the prevailing geopolitical pluralism on the map of Eurasia. That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy.”

5. “Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is likely to be the very last.”

6. “These efforts will have the added historical advantage of benefiting from the new web of global linkages that is growing exponentially outside the more traditional nation-state system. That web-woven by multinational corporations, NGOs (non-governmental organizations, with many of them transnational in character) and scientific communities and reinforced by the Internet-already creates an informal global system that is inherently congenial to more institutionalized and inclusive global cooperation.”

Brzezinski’s final conclusion: that as American primacy fades in the future, what will manifest will be a multinational world confederation. A New World Order, so to speak.

Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books, 2016. 

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