Sample Paper on Geographies of War Occupation Resistance and Terrorism

Geographies of War, Occupation, Resistance, and Terrorism

Many are considering the current international geopolitical strife between the world’s greatest powers and the world is raising economic powers as a third world war. On the one side stands America, UK and their allies such as Israel, France, Israel, Turkey and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, forming the Anglo-American Asian axis. On the other side of the divide are the rising economic powerhouses of Russia and China, whose axis has found new allies in Iran and Syria, particularly for the two countries’ (Iran and Syria) outright disagreements with the US concerning their nuclear programs. The current conflict therefore pities the US and its allies against these rising economic powerhouses, Russia in particular. While this may seem like a political strife between these two axes, the conflict indeed goes deeper than political motivations to economic, and the need to create a new world order as well as new geopolitical influences.

The geopolitical strife between the US-led axis and the Russia-led axis manifests itself from the number of sanctions slapped on Russia from the European Union, a close ally to the US. During the Ukrainian crisis, the EU and the US had hoped on an internal resolution of the crisis. Russia however made aggressive moves into Ukraine with its military, prompting the EU sanctions on Russia. Thus, the EU and US sanctions on Russia follow Russian invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea. According to the EU and the US, Russia violated Ukraine’s sovereignty by its invasion of the country during the crisis, as well as supporting the separatist groups in Ukraine. Moreover, the American axis has labelled the Crimean referendum as illegal, blacklisting a number of Russian officials as well as Ukrainian separatist commanders. The blacklisting has also include prominent businesspersons in Russia, particularly those within the president’s inner circle, an action that has also include asset freezing of some of the officials associated with the Kremlin.

Apart from blacklisting the Russian officials and Ukrainian separatist commanders, the US-EU sanctions have also targeted Russian finance, energy and military sectors, most of which are overseen by officials close to the Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Through the sanctions, Russian state banks are incapable of getting long-term loans in the European Union; EU-Russian weapons deals have been prohibited; exports to Russia for military equipment have been prohibited, in addition to bans of a variety of oil industry technology.

The Russian woes have however not been limited to sanctions, as they have been extended to other areas of political and diplomatic importance. The rescheduling of the G8 meeting from Sochi to Brussels was EU’s strong message against Russia. Thus, a G7 meeting took the place of the G8 summit sending a veiled message of kicking Russia out of the G8. The EU moreover, has been in support of suspending talks over Russia’s interest in joining the OECD and the International Energy Agency.

China’s actions on the other hand are an even better depiction of the crisis. Recently, China, along with Russia has been moving away from the dollar as a reserve currency, and in so doing, undermining the demand for the dollar. The Chinese and the Russian governments have so far made agreements to into sale and purchase of natural resources using other currencies other than the dollar. Moreover, China has also created, through cooperation with other countries, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a direct competitor to the US-controlled IMF and World Bank. Part of this move, apart from providing access to funds, is to undermine the US dollar, in addition to creating a competing entity outside the reigns of the dollar for international financial and trading systems. So far, many of the US allies and foes have joined the Chinese-Controlled bank including Turkey, Brazil, Netherlands, South Korea and Russia among others.

Conglomerating many of the countries in the Russian-led axis is the US’s veto, and seemingly “Big Brother” status in every matter in the world. This defiance, against the US, by the Russian-led axis is therefore a chance at independent governance. Moreover, most of the nations against the Anglo-American axis have similar economic policies; while the US and its allies are largely capitalist, most of the other countries are socialist. Both China and Russia have socialist economies, and while both have inclining towards capitalism, they are inherently socialist. These therefore see the US capitalism as tainting the economic and ideological underpinnings of their countries.

By the actions of the US and its allies in military conflicts, especially those involving weaker nations, the Russian-led axis have seen these as recurrent state sponsored theft by the US and its allies. By forming the alliance, these countries therefore see this as the only way to wad-off the Anglo-American Axis’ insurgence, and by extension protect the weak nations unable to protect themselves from the “Big Brother.” Even more is that these nations see this as a way of protecting their economic well-being from the influences of the cancerous and speculative economy that is capitalism.

Both China and Russia hold strategic military and economic positions, and can therefore stand against the Anglo-American Axis. By its possession of nuclear weapons, wealth in natural resources and large land mass, as well as its current allegiance to China whose vast natural, demographic and economic resources have so far propelled it to the second largest economy give the Russian-led axis enough impetus to stand against the Anglo-American axis. Therefore, given Russia’s strategic position and the mass of wealth, as well as its defiance of the US and the EU, China and others (Syria and Iran) see Russia as a formidable partner in standing against the ghost of capitalism largely represented by the US and its allies.

Similar economic ideologies seem to be the uniting factors of the Anglo-American Axis. Largely capitalist, these countries, especially the US and Europe, see capitalism as the best economic ideology, far from the socialist/communist ideologies preached by the Russian-led axis. Through capitalist tendencies, the Anglo-American Axis feels that their economic and political agenda are far protected under such ideologies. Moreover, given America’s military might, countries such as Israel, as well as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and Turkey see an alliance with the Anglo-American alliance as the only way to survive. Israel, particularly, lives among enemies in the Middle East, being among the very few American allies. This allegiance to the US therefore seems like the only form of protection it has against enemy insurgence.

At the center of the Anglo-American Axis-Russian, led conflict is the power struggle for geopolitical influence and new world order. China and Russia’s rise as economic powerhouses threatens the US as the global economic power. With this threat also comes the threat of geopolitical shift to the East, a factor that is already in action. Many countries, particularly the developing, have slowly began shifting their focus, as some are “looking to the East” (China) for economic and political support. The shift in allegiance, especially for the developing countries whose economies are market places for the Anglo-American Axis’ products threatens the very livelihood of the Western economy. It is perhaps this realization that has pushed the Anglo-American Axis into new alert levels, particularly between China and the US.

Even more is that the US specifically has in the past, accused China of stealing trade secrets to propel its currently burgeoning economy. The US therefore sees China not as a fair competitor, but a thief growing out of the toils of the US people. Moreover, with its growing economy and its advances in science and technology, the US sees China as a threat to its hegemony. So far, the Chinese government has made moves that the US sees as direct defiance to its authority as the world largest economy. China’s creation of the AIIB as an alternative to the US-controlled IMF and World Bank is seenas a direct defiance of the US authority in the global landscape, given the country controlling the baking system will be able to influence and control the economic and trading rules in the larger Asia-Europe trade in the future.

Russia’s intervention in the Ukrainian coup is additionally a trigger to the current conflict. The US and its allies in the Anglo-American Axis saw Russia’s intervention and subsequent actions as interference with Ukrainian sovereignty and internal affairs. By slapping the country with sanctions, the US and its allies therefore seemed to be sending a stern warning to other countries that may do the same. At the center of the veiled sanctions is however, Russia and China’s deal to bypass the dollar in favor of the Yuan, as well as Russia’s support of the Syrian and Iranian governments, both of which are US enemies.

Replacing the dollar with the Yuan among the BRIC countries is an attempt to diminish influence of the dollar in international trade. This spells doom for the US, and although it will take some time, it shows the growing influence of the Chinese government. Moreover, this growth more than ever gives impetus to China as an international player in the global political scene. So far, through a deal with China, Russia has been able to reduce the effects of the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on trade, although the asset freeze and blacklisting continue to bite. The deal with China means that Moscow can continue in its trading activities, especially within the BRIC Alliance.  Although it has so far been difficult to get an alternative for dollar, it is likely that China’s rising popularity in the global political and economic scene will help improve the use of the Yuan for commerce. For the US, with a threat on its hegemony, it will have to look for ways to regain its stare as the global economic leader. While the threat of a third world war hangs on its actions, it is unlikely that the conflict will escalate to a full-fledged war.