A NAVAL SALUTE TO HALFORD MACKINDER
This should delight the boys at Coming Anarchy.
Proceedings, the journal of the U.S. Naval Institute, has an article ” Control of the Sea Protects the New Global Heartland ” (registration req.) by Commander Henry J. Hendrix that pays a nod to one of the fathers of geopolitical theory, Sir Halford J. Mackinder:
“Mackinder wrote in his original paper that the central Asian pivot area occupied “the central strategical position . . . she can strike on all sides and be struck from all sides . . . .”2 Today, Southwest Asia occupies the “central strategical position” internationally. But instead of drawing that importance from its geographic position, it finds itself pushed to the fore by its abundant energy reserves. Southwest Asia exports only about 25% of the world’s energy needs, but it has about 75% of the world’s energy reserves.3
Over the next ten years, as Asian powers such as India and China continue to improve the standard of living for their people, automobiles will become increasingly common. With larger population bases, this movement will in turn drive energy demand to the point where the oil beneath the sands of this strategic region will increasingly attract the interest of all global powers.4 One report predicts energy consumption will increase by 50% over the next two decades, a sharp rise over the 34% increase that occurred over the past 20 years.5 China alone is projected to see its energy consumption rise by 150%, while India is expected to double its energy demand. Energy will dominate these two nations’ foreign-policy calculations in the years ahead.6 “
Not a mind-blowing piece but it was nice to see an article about modern naval policy with that kind of historical connection.