By Colin Dueck, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute
Americans are slowly relearning that ignoring geopolitics can be dangerous to the nation's security. The so-called Arab Spring has produced governments in the Middle East/North Africa region that are either unstable or hostile to U.S. security interests. Russia, though undergoing a "time of troubles," yearns to be a superpower once again. China seeks to outpace the U.S. economy and translate its growing economic power into strategic predominance in the Far East.
Colin Dueck, in a timely and insightful article on the FPRI website, points out that contrary to the prophecies of some foreign policy "experts," neither multilateral institutions, technological change, economic interdependence, global democratization, nor the personal qualities of the U.S. President have rendered irrelevant the "traditional patterns of international power politics." Yet such nostrums have been accepted by the current administration and much of the "foreign policy establishment" in the United States. The result, writes Dueck, is that the United States is "left drifting in an era where geopolitical competition between major world powers ... continues, without a firm understanding of it on the part of Western opinion."
Dueck argues that it is only by hearkening back to the wisdom of the classical geopolitical theorists that the United States and the West can regain an accurate appreciation of the fundamental aspects and "enduring truths" of global politics. He identifies a geopolitical triumvirate who collectively show the way for American statesmen to navigate the ship of state in the 21st century.
Alfred Thayer Mahan wrote prolifically in the late 19th-early 20th century about the importance of sea power in history and its geopolitical implications for the global balance of power. Dueck notes the importance of Mahan's 1890 The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783...