DEFENDING THE WEST: SOFT POWER IS NOT ENOUGH

June 9, 2017

Washington Times on June 6, 2017, published a review of an important new book by Professor Eliot A. Cohen on the necessity of military force in strategic policy. ”The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force” (Basic Books, 2017) should be required reading for policy makers. Excerpts from Dan Negrea’s review below:

Professor Eliot A. Cohen, a Johns Hopkins University historian who served as an adviser in both the Defense and State Departments,…argues forcefully that strong American leadership is indispensable for peace and prosperity in the world, and relying on soft power alone to provide it is unrealistic.

Facts are stubborn, the reality of world conflicts is not pretty, and…leaders better be prepared to deal competently and unsentimentally with the tough decisions they must make.

The author’s overview of America’s adversaries starts with increasingly aggressive China, whose rapid economic and military rise he views as the most important international phenomenon of the 21st century. Still, China has many obstacles on the road to becoming a superpower and a weak strategic position because of its border disputes with every single one of its neighbors.

As for confronting al Qaeda, ISIL and other terrorist organizations, Mr. Cohen asks for clarity of purpose: We need to state plainly that their ideology is rooted in Islam and that we are engaged in a generational war to eradicate them. But he also believes that their barbarism limits their appeal and will eventually halt their momentum.

A chapter titled “Dangerous States” Cohen treats…adversaries [like Russia] and Iran They are…authoritarian, willing to use force, and economically fragile. And their nuclear weapons or nuclear aspirations are central to their national defense…[They] have a “paranoid style” in politics, with their media filled with presumed plots by enemies both foreign and domestic.

…America’s military spending dwarfs that of its opponents. Since it represents today just 3 percent of our GDP (compared to 8 percent in the Reagan years), America’s strategic solvency is high. Its many alliances are a critical asset that give it “an extraordinary global logistical infrastructure.” And considering its powerful economy, positive demographics and robust political system, the odds are that America will prevail: “No other country, or collection of countries, has a better hand to play in international politics.”

…this is a book about difficult decisions imposed by unforgiving facts. Diplomacy has an important place in the tool kit of statecraft, even when it requires political compromises with “odious regimes.” So does soft power, which, Mr. Cohen argues, is not always gentle: Sanctions, for example, can deprive a country’s poor of food and medicine.

But when all else fails, our leaders must make politically difficult decisions involving hard power. Like increasing military spending to at least 4 percent. Or like stationing troops for many years in areas of potential conflict, which worked well in the past: Leaving American troops for decades in Germany and South Korea helped those two war-torn nations find their way to democracy and prosperity. In the interest of global stability, today’s American politicians must find the courage to station American troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Poland and the Baltic states.

The ultimate hard power decisions, though, deal with going to war and even doing so preemptively. The most sobering passages of the book regard pre-emptive strikes, especially necessary if weapons of mass destruction fall into “utterly irresponsible hands.”

This is a lucid book about war by a man who loves peace…But he also knows that appeasing evil is not an option. Tragically, the world continues to add to what Churchill called the “dark and lamentable catalog of human crime.”

“The Big Stick” is a valuable resource for those trying to keep America’s flame of liberty burning bright in this stormy world.

Dan Negrea is a New York private equity investor.

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TRUMP VISITS SAUDI COUNTER-TERRORISM CENTER

May 22, 2017

Washington Examiner on May 21, 2017 reported that President Trump on that day visited Saudi Arabia’s headquarters for countering extremist ideologies in the Middle East. Excerpts below:

The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology is primarily focused on combating militant ideology and messaging. Saudi officials said the center will be used to counter the messaging used by groups like the Islamic State.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia signed a joint declaration on May 20 that called for the creation of a special commission to coordinate both country’s efforts on combating extremism by cutting off groups’ financing, countering their messaging and applying military force.

The commission will meet both in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. at least once annually to analyze the counter-terror strategy’s success and better coordinate both countries’ efforts.

Comment: The new center is an important indication that King Salman is willing to let Saudi Arabia take a more active part in the struggle against terrorism and violent extremism.

At the center various details were presented about the main room to both the president and Saudi King Salman. The center was described as a dashboard utilizing artificial intelligence data to track and monitor sentiments posted online.

There is a media monitoring system that can process up to 100 television channels in 11 different languages.

It has been reported that 350 technicians are to work in the main rooms rows of computers and workstations.

NORTH KOREA’S CYBER OPERATIONS

May 20, 2017

Fox News on May 18, 2017, reported North Korean hackers, believed to be some of the best in the world. Excerpts below:

North Korea and the group to which they are being linked, have quite a resume when it comes to aggression in cyberspace.

A 2013 Department of Defense report suggests the sluggishness of North Korea’s economy may be the reason why they are pursuing operations in the digital space, and that “[offensive cyber operations] may be seen as a cost-effective way to develop asymmetric, deniable military options.”

Cost-effectiveness aside, experts agree that the Hermit Kingdom’s cyber capabilities are undeniable. In April 2016, Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, now the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the North Koreans “are among the best in the world and the best organized” when it comes to cyber threats.

South Korea has claimed that the North’s digital army could number as many as 6,000, a number confirmed by a North Korean defector in a 2015 BBC interview.

That same defector, Professor Kim Heung-kwang, suggests that Bureau 121 was established decades ago, and initially began in China. Experts believe that North Korea continues to conduct illicit activities in China, though Kim suggests China-based operations have been scaled back significantly.

The [so called] Lazarus Group [connected to North Korea] has been linked to last year’s $81 million digital heist from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett has reportedly argued that if North Korea had anything to do with the attack, “that means that a nation state is robbing banks,” something he calls “a big deal.”
Lazarus was also implicated in the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment…

…researchers describe the scale of the Lazarus Group’s operations as “shocking,” and suggested the “rare cases when they are caught [using the same kind of code twice] are operational mistakes, because the group seems to be so large that one part doesn’t always know what the other is doing.”

AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE TO FOCUS ON NORTH KOREAN THREAT

May 14, 2017

Fox News on May 11, 2017, reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had opened a mission center with the sole task to monitor North Korea. Excerpts below:

Many of the details about the center are not yet known. It is led by an unnamed CIA veteran, who was tapped as the new assistant director for Korea. The CIA offshoot will work closely with the intelligence and national security community, the agency said.

“Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “It also reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges.”

The opening of the mission center comes as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea increased over the last few months.

PENTAGON STUDIES IRAN-NORTH KOREA MILITARY CONNECTION

May 5, 2017

Fox News on May 4, 2017, published an article on the growing concern in the United States that Iran and North Korea are cooperating in the military field. Excerpts below:

When Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a “midget” submarine earlier this week, Pentagon officials saw more evidence of North Korean influence in the Islamic Republic – with intelligence reports saying the submarine was based on a Pyongyang design, the same type that sank a South Korean warship in 2010.

Nonproliferation experts have long suspected North Korea and Iran are sharing expertise when it comes to their rogue missile programs.

“The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we’ve seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other’s countries, and we’ve seen all kinds of common hardware.”

When Iran tested a ballistic missile in late January, the Pentagon said it was based on a North Korean design.

Defense analysts say North Korea’s Taepodong missile looks almost identical to Iran’s Shahab.

Iran’s attempted cruise missile launch from the midget submarine in the Strait of Hormuz was believed to be one of the first times Iran has attempted such a feat. In 2015, North Korea successfully launched a missile from a submarine for the first time, and officials believe Tehran is not far behind.

Only two countries in the world deploy the Yono-class submarine – North Korea and Iran.

During [a recent] testimony, Adm. Harry Harris, the head of American forces in the Pacific, warned the United States has no land-based short- or medium-range missiles because it is a signatory to the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty signed in 1987 between Russia and the United States. But Iran and North Korea are under no such constraints.

Perhaps most worrisome for the United States is that Iran attempted this latest missile launch from a midget sub Tuesday in the narrow and crowded Strait of Hormuz, where much of the world’s oil passes each day.

In July 2016, two days before the anniversary of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile using North Korean technology, according to multiple intelligence officials.

It was the first time Iran attempted to launch a version of North Korea’s BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, potentially putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach if the problems are fixed.

In Washington Secretary of State Rex Tillerson [recently] tried to garner support for more United Nations sanctions against North Korea by hosting leaders from Southeast Asia. Days after Iran’s first ballistic missile test of the Trump administration, the White House put Iran “on notice.”

THE NUCLEAR BOMB B61-12 LIFE EXTENSION PROGRAM

April 27, 2017

The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) on April 14, 2017, reported that the USAF in March completed a qualification flight test of the B61-12 gravity bomb in Nevada.

The non-nuclear test assembly was dropped from an F-16 based at Nellis Air Force Base. The test evaluated both the weapon’s non-nuclear functions as well as the aircraft’s capability to deliver the nuclear weapon

This event is the first of a series that will be conducted over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service. Three successful development flight tests were conducted in 2015.

The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants, and mated to the tail-kit assembly section, designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

The B61-12 consolidates and replaces four B61 bomb variants in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The first production unit is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

Comment: The B61-12 nuclear bomb has a tail kit that can be used for precision-guidance.

A mechanism makes an adjustment of the explosive force possible. It can be adjusted from 50,000 tons of TNT to a low of 300 tons – and can be delivered by stealth jet bomber.

The weapon’s accuracy and variable power reduces the risk of collateral damage.

The B61 thermonuclear bomb was first produced in 1966. Major modifications have been made in 1975, 1977, 1979, and 1991. The lightweight bomb was designed by the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico. Over the years the B61 has been adapted to yield several other warheads – the W-80, W-81 (now retired and dismantled), W-84 (now retired and in the inactive stockpile), and the W-85 Pershing II warhead (which was retired, and then readapted to yield the B61 mod 10 variant).

CHINA IS WEAPONIZING OUTER SPACE

April 18, 2017

Harsh Vasani, an Indian geopolitician, on January 19, 2017, in The Diplomat warned of the rising power of China in Outer Space. Below are excerpts from his article:

In the highly “informatized” and technologically advanced battles that characterize the 21st century, outer space will play a dominant role. Space assets direct military operations and help in making crucial battleground decisions. In this regard, attempts to weaponize space and command this sphere are to be expected from great powers. The United States and USSR started weaponizing space in the in the 1950s and 1960s respectively, and China is now following suit.

The weaponization of space includes placing weapons in outer space or on heavenly bodies as well as creating weapons that will transit outer space or simply travel from Earth to attack or destroy targets in space. Examples include the placing of orbital or suborbital satellites with the intention of attacking enemy satellites, using ground-based direct ascent missiles to attack space assets, jamming signals sent from enemy satellites, using lasers to incapacitate enemy satellites, plasma attacks, orbital ballistic missiles, and satellite attacks on Earth targets. These can be further classified into direct-energy and kinetic-energy weapons.

The weaponization of space is different from the militarization of space, which includes using space-based assets for C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance). The militarization of space assists armies on the conventional battlefield, whereas via the weaponization of space, outer space itself emerges as the battleground, sometimes referred to as the “fourth frontier of war.”

China has been making impressive headway in its ICBM program and in theory, these ICBMs can target U.S. Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) satellites.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping… acknowledged that the space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger. “With the development of space programs, Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into space,” he said.

…the Chinese strategic community sees space as the ultimate high ground, the key to military success on the terrestrial battlefield.
Washington believes that underlying the various civilian aspects of China’s space program is an active military component. A 2015 report prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense suggests that China has invested in advanced space capabilities, with particular emphasis on “satellite communication (SATCOM), intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), satellite navigation (SATNAV), and meteorology, as well as manned, unmanned, and interplanetary space exploration.”

A report prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission states that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recognizes that in a time of war it must deny enemies the use of strategic information about troop and ship movements, incoming missiles, navigation, communication, etc, along with depriving its opponents the use of C4ISR systems.

There is considerable merit in Washington’s claims about the dual-use nature of China’s space program. For instance, Colonel Li Daguang, writing in his book Space War published by National Defense University in 2001, recommends that the Chinese should combine military and civilian technology and integrate peacetime and wartime facilities. His rationale was that space equipment is costly to develop and maintain, hence it is important to have civil-use technology that can also have military applications.

A brief survey of recent tests by Beijing confirms that China is rapidly improving its counter space program and making advances in its anti-satellite systems. China’s first ASAT test was conducted in May 2005 and its capabilities have come a long way since.

A 2013 test by Beijing involved its new missile, the DN-2 or Dong Neng-2, and the test was conducted in “nearly geosynchronous orbit,” where most of the United States’ ISR satellites are located.

…The Washington Free Beacon quotes unnamed defense officials as saying that the DN-3 is “primarily a direct-ascent missile designed to ram into satellites and destroy them, even if intelligence assessments hold that the weapon has some missile defense capabilities.”

Beijing’s recent space activities indicate that it is developing co-orbital anti-satellite systems to target U.S. space assets. Co-orbital anti-satellite systems consist of a satellite “armed with a weapon such as an explosive charge, fragmentation device, kinetic energy weapon, laser, radio frequency weapon, jammer, or robotic arm.” Besides the “hard-kill” methods, Beijing is also testing soft-kill methods to incapacitate enemy satellites. For instance, China has been acquiring a number of foreign and indigenous ground-based satellite jammers since the mid-2000s. These jammers are designed to disrupt an adversary’s communications with a satellite by overpowering the signals being sent to or from it.

The Chinese believe that the greatest threat to them comes from the United States. To counter the United States’ conventional strength and gain strategic parity, Chinese strategists believe, Beijing will need to strike at the U.S. Achilles heel — Washington’s over-reliance on satellites for C4ISR. Beijing plans to exploit the vulnerable space infrastructure of the United States in the case of a war.
According to a recent RAND report, space and counterspace operations would be important elements in any armed confrontation between the United States and China.

The PLA’s interest in the use of space for military purposes gained momentum after the 1991 Gulf War, which has been referred to as the “first space war,” and has only increased since.

The DN-2 2013 test jolted Washington and made the United States realize that crucial national security satellites, parked in geostationary earth orbit, are well within the reach of Beijing. As a response, Pentagon announced the launch of a “Space War Center” to counter threats from China and Russia in space, part of a $5 billion boost in space security spending for the Department of Defense. However, over a year and a half later, precious little has come of the Center.

Harsh Vasani is a Postgraduate Research Scholar at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University.

Comment: The Chinese development of its warfare capability in space is growing threat to American national security. It is yet another area in which Democratic administrations after 1991 have neglected the rising threat of China. Beijing is not interested in ”strategic partnership”. The communis regime views America as an adversary. The first step for China is to displace U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region. It is modernizing its military forces especially in the nuclear field.

China does not want open war with the United States. It relies on Sun Tzu, the ancient Chines strategist who wrote: ”Supreme excellence in war consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”.

China is with Russia and Iran/Persia one of the three powers in the Rimland of Asia that are presently challenging the West. It is important that the United States reviews its nuclear posture and extends its control of outer space as one step to counter the three empires on the World Island.

EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY – PURCHASING ALASKA 150 YEARS AGO

April 2, 2017

”We should have such an Empire for Liberty as [the world] has never surveyed since the Creation…” wrote Thomas Jefferson to James Madison on April 27, 1809. After the defeat of Soviet communism in 1991 the United States has been an unchallenged hegemon in the world. Now it is challenged by three empires on the World Island: China, Russia and Iran/Persia. As America is promoting liberty it must not sacrifice the liberties it has at home. To continue to function as the strong defender of the West America must also heed the warnings of Jefferson. It must not be entangled in a profusion of treaties and institutions that will serve only to hinder it from defending its moral and national security interests. That is why the Iran deal of Obama was wrong and could only strengthen Iran to continue its attacks on the United States (and Israel).

The purchase of Alaska in 1867 (celebrated in 2017) marked the end of Russian efforts to increase its imperial and colonial expansion to the East. For America it was the beginning of its rise in the Asia-Pacific. In 1725 Peter I sent the Dane Vitus Bering to explore the area around the strait that would later be named the Bering Strait. America had expanded over the continent to the west during the first half of the 19th century. It then had to compete with Russian traders. Fortunately the Russian empire lacked the financial resources to establish a heavy military presence in what was called Russian America.

Russia therefore in 1859 wanted to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859 but the American Civil War delayed the sale. It was not until after the war that Secretary of State William Seward agreed on March 30, 1867, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. The Senate approved the treaty of purchase and President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on May 28.

It was however not until October 18, 1867 that United States formally took posession of the new territory in a ceremony in Sitka, Alaska. In 1884 a civil government was constituted. It was not until 1896 that a major gold deposit was discovered in the Yukon and made Alaska into a gateway to the goldfields.

The strategic importance of Alaska was discovered during World War II and the Cold War. In 1959 the territory joined the United States as a state.

This contribution will be followed by a sketch of the influence of admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan and his classical geopolitical works on the policy of the United States after 1890 to secure the Empire For Liberty of Jefferson.

USAF B-2 SPIRIT STEALTH BOMBER – DEFENDING THE UNITED STATES AND THE REST OF THE WEST

March 22, 2017

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the B-2. Below some basic information from the website of the company:

The U.S. Air Force’s B-2 stealth bomber is a key component of the nation’s long-range strike arsenal, and one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. It can penetrate the most sophisticated enemy defenses andheavily defended targets. The B-2 has demonstrated its capabilities in several combat scenarios, including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and most recently, in Libya, during Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The B-2 is the only American aircraft that combines long range, large payload and stealth in a single platform, giving it the ability to project air power anywhere in the world. It can fly 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling. With its ability to carry more than 20 tons of conventional and nuclear ordnance and deliver it precisely under any weather conditions, the B-2 also has the ability to change the outcome of a conflict with a single mission.

Northrop Grumman is working with the Air Force to modernize the B-2 to ensure that it remains fully mission capable against evolving worldwide threats. A range of upgrade programs are improving the B-2’s lethality; its ability to collect, process and disseminate battlefield information with joint force commanders or other local first responders worldwide; and its ability to receive updated target information during a mission.

At present the B-2 fleet consists of 20 aircraft. Nineteen B-2s are currently based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., home of the 509th Bomb Wing, while one aircraft is assigned to flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. to validate software and weapon systems upgrades.

A book, ”B-2: The Spirit of Innovation ” (2013) by Rebecca Grant features interviews with former company, Air Force and Defense Department officials that worked on the B-2 program.

Grant writes about the technical challenges, breakthroughs, changing customer requirements and engineering of the once-secret bomber that was built to counter Soviet air defense systems.

The book also details the aircraft’s first test flight and its first operational use in 1999.

Dr. Rebecca Grant, president of IRIS Independent Research, has a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics, University of London. Her first job was with RAND in Santa Monica, California. She then spent three years on the Air Staff at the Pentagon working directly for Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice and then for Air Force Chief of Staff General Tony McPeak in his operations group. Her portfolio included strategic nuclear force reductions, the B-2 program, logistics and depot maintenance cost restructuring, and roles and missions.

RUDOLF KJELLÉN IN THE WORLD TODAY

February 15, 2017

Rudolf Kjellén (1864 – 1922), a Swedish geographer published his works in Swedish, which made him less accessible to those who were not familiar with the Swedish language. This denied large parts of academia the acquaintance with and examination of his work. Some of his books were translated into German, but there has so far been little interest in him in the Anglo-Saxon world.

One of his classical geopolitical works, The Great Powers (Stormakterna), appeared in a first edition 1905 in Sweden. It had over 20 editions in Germany.

Latin America

Today he is probably best known in South America, where classical geopolitics has remained strong (see Phillip Kelly, Checkerboards & Shatterbelts – The Geopolitics of South America, Austin: University of Texas Press 1997).
In 1902 Kjellén had been appointed professor of political science and statistics at the University of Gothenburg.

Japan

Kjellén was interested in Japan and its rise in the Far East. In his view Japan and China, once free of Western control, would be great powers of the future. Their rise would come as the European powers declined. He was also critical of colonialism and racism.

In 1909 he traveled to Japan and China, a journey that would have significant influence on his geopolitical research. On this trip around the world he travelled first by train through Siberia and arrived in Beijing in April 1909. After 12 days in the Chinese capital he concluded in his diary that the days of European power were coming to an end. The powers, in his view, acted with hubris and arrogance.

On steamer he continued to Japan and made his base in Yokohama. There he was invited to stay in the home of the Swedish diplomat Gustaf Oskar Wallenberg (1863 – 1937).

For more on Kjellén and Japan see Bert Edström’s “Rudolf Kjellén och Japan”, journal Orientaliska studier, No. 89, 1996, pp. 12 – 35 and Storsvensken i Yttersta Östern – G.O. Wallenberg som svenskt sändebud i Japan, 1906 – 1918, Working Paper 52, August 1999, Center for Pacific Asia Studies, University of Stockholm.

In June he sailed on the “Empress of India” across the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver. From there he crossed Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway to board the Atlantic liner for Europe and Sweden. On July 13 he was back in Gothenburg after a four month tour.

In the autumn of 1916 Kjellén wrote the introduction to a work that would give him international fame, ”The State as a Life-Form”. The book was a bestseller in its Japanese edition.

Great Britain and Russia

After the Great War he saw Great Britain and Russia grow into “planetarian” powers or superpowers in today’s terminology. The United States is today a hegemon far more powerful than the United Kingdom. Already in 1919, he predicted a development towards superpower influence in the world. These views were based on the future strength of geographically and demographically large countries. In fact his predictions were proven correct. During the Cold War, for instance, the United States and the Soviet Union were the geographically large and dominating superpowers. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 China and India, for example, have risen to become great powers, both having large populations.

Kjellen and the Genocidal Vladimir I Lenin

The Swedish geopolitician published a number of articles with sharp criticism of Lenin and communist ideology. The article on Lenin ended with the words: “Only history will in the future show if Vladimir I. Lenin was a scourge or God or the devil.”

On Marx he remarked that he was a curious bastard of Hegel (form) and Rousseau (content). Half a million Bolsheviks ruled the 100 million of Russia. This half million was controlled by a couple of hundred tyrants in the Kremlin. If one of the usual labels is to be attached to that kind of state, it would be that of aristocracy in the degenerate form known as oligarchy.

Finally Kjellén focused on the question of the “historical side” of a state and movements that can occur. The “historical side” of Russia has for instance been the movement from the Baltic Sea-the Barents Sea to the Black Sea-the Mediterranean and then (1878) to the Far East and after 1905 mainly southward. An important aspect of this is also the movement of capital cities: Moscow to St. Petersburg and back to Moscow and in Turkey from Istanbul to Ankara.

Geopolitics, both as Kjellén viewed it and in its main Western stream, (Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman et al) is a science between history, geography and political science but it can also be regarded as an aid to all three.

Kjellén correctly predicted the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the gradual decline of France as a great power and the decay of the British Empire.

These predictions were based on the view that the European great powers were influenced by hubris of superiority, which would lead to resistance and liberation in the colonial world. The father of geopolitics also believed Islam would be a rising threat in global politics due to the weakening of European great powers.

He also correctly predicted the coming of World War I already in 1899. In that he was not of course alone. Kjellén based the forecast on the growing antagonism of on one side of Great Britain and France. On the other side was Germany and Austria.

Conclusion

It is possible that Kjellen would today have viewed Russia, China and Iran (Persia) as the foremost challengers to the United States, Great Britain and Japan. The Swedish geopolitician could in the 21st century be a valuable tool for grand strategists, geopoliticians and geostrategists. We live