Wikileaks-cables-breakdow-008These are days of bare diplomacy. The cablegate opens the doors to the ins and outs of international geopolitics. Piecemeal information, as befits this era of flashes of decontextualized and ephemeral information. I propose three readings in order of interest. From geopolitical-fiction bordering on humor to a review of the emerging world, going through the imperial vision of the oceans.

Joel Kotkin, well-known political writer, urban planner and scholar of future trends, published a few weeks ago a < a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">article  in which he fantasized about a new geostrategic world order marked by the emergence of new global power groups such as a new Hanseatic League made up of the Nordic and Central European countries, the city-States, the North American alliance (formed by Canada and United States), the Bolivarian republics, the Wild East (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan,…), etc. Where do you place Spain? In a confused group of countries of Olive Republics, formed by Italy, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro or Slovenia, among others) marked -I understand- by ​​their belonging to the Mediterranean basin.

Exaggerated? Political-fiction? Reductionist? Probably. But, as stated Enric Juliana in his article on the subject In La Vanguardia, the bad image of Spain in the international arena is worrying. Not to mention, of course, the consideration of a republic that he gives to Spain. Who knows if in the future….. In any case, the author -to whom I refer too many times lately as an excuse to write when I rarely agree with his opinions- remains in a great boutade which also reflects a surprising and reductionist vision of the world, something that we discussed a few days ago in another post.

Beyond the Spanish case, the grouping of countries is also debatable. The category of liberalist countries in Central and South America seems built solely to oppose that feared group of Bolivarian republics, a classic effort by the United States to reserve in its backyard a defensive wall of ideologically close countries.O a category of .city-states that reduces to only four (London, Paris, Singapore and Tel Aviv)

On the other hand, the latest book by journalist and international policy analyst, Robert D. Kaplan, invites us to consider where the center of the world from a geopolitical perspective. Although it is true that the book, Monsoon, is written thinking about the interests of the United States and how this country can safeguard its economic and military strategy in the world considering the Indian Ocean as its main concern, the reflection can be generalized. The author attaches great importance to the control of maritime routes in a very complex area, highly fragmented into islands and regional powers. Is it an anachronism to look at such a “physical” factor in the digital age? It may be, but it is also true that the new economy continues to move in trucks and ships that transport the raw materials that are the gasoline of the economy. Could it be that there are strategic oil reserves there? The countries of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Indonesia,… also gravitate around this ocean, like West Africa.

A reading in the key of American politics. It is not about ordering the world with new categories -as we saw in Kotkin’s article- but about ordering the world for one’s own interests. The United States will only be saved from the decline of Western influence in the world if it is capable of taking the Indian Ocean by storm, surpassing China and India with economic and military power in the fight for control of the area.

To finish, to those who have some desire, a little curiosity and a pinch of time, I encourage you to read a book, The second world. Empires and influence in the new world order. Some have wanted to compare it with classic works of historical studies, those encyclopedic efforts that nobody reads anymore and that are cited less and less. I guess this is an exaggerated comparison, because studies by Spengler or Toynbee -no, I haven’t read of course- they have a more erudite magnitude and all-encompassing But there is merit in the effort that its author, Parag Khanna, has put into traversing by himself everyone looking for data and experiences to feed their research. Of course, superficial, because it cannot be otherwise a book that reviews the historical evolution and the current political reality of all corners of the globe, excepting Africa, by the way, which perhaps definitely reinforces the idea that the dark continent has already outside of any geopolitical logic that does not go through its total subordinate role, with the exception perhaps of the Mediterranean and South Africa.

And it is that the book is an update of the term “second world“, concept used years ago to designate the socialist economies, and that today Khanna proposes to allocate to the countries located in the sphere of influence of the three great powers (United States, China and the European Union). The main thesis of the book is that where the influence of these three geopolitical zones ends up being located in each of the countries that make up that second world will be decisive in establishing the next world supremacy of a new power. Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt….Which side of the scale will they definitely fall on in this stage of imperial reconfiguration?

The image corresponds to one of the visualizations that he has preparedThe Guardian on the origin of the cables leaked by wikileaks.