The American Bear


Is there a new geopolitics? | Richard Falk

At this point, global politics is in a transitional phase. The Old Geopolitics has certainly not disappeared as is evident from the war dangers that remain in the world’s main conflict zones, but it is also rarely capable of translating its preferences into desired outcomes. At the same time, perhaps the menacing last hurrah of global militarism, its practices and technological innovations are turning the world into a borderless and terrorised war zone. The Old Geopolitics fashioned a dysfunctional set of responses to the 9/11 attacks on the United States. These devastating attacks posed a problem that could not be effectively addressed in the customary manner of the Old Geopolitics, that is, by a reliance on hard power - waging wars against distant countries as if the adversary was a series of territorial sovereign states rather than a non-territorial network of political extremists.

In this regard, the threats posed by such anti-system forces of resistance can only be successfully addressed effectively by exhausting soft power methods of response, including the identification of legitimate grievances that induced recourse to such desperate violent political behaviour in the first place. To harden territorial boundaries while engaging in a series of failing and bankrupting wars is almost certain to result in authoritarian rule at home while intensifying overseas insecurities. [++]