By Tom Luongo
May 25, 2023
All of us so-called geopolitical analysts owe a debt to Halford John Mackinder. His 1904 paper, « The Geographical Pivot of History » is the basis for nearly all strategic thinking in today's policy rooms, think tanks, and military academies of the West.
We've all heard the first three rules of Mackinder:
Who rules Eastern Europe commands the Heartland
Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island
Who rules the World Island commands the world
Because of the dominance of Mackinder's ideas and the policies erected to support it, the world has been subjected to endless conflict over his conception of the « World Island, » which is basically Eurasia.
And that's why there can be no losing for the West in Ukraine. To the Mackinderists at the top of the power structures in London, Washington D.C. and Brussels, losing Ukraine means losing the entire world, because they have this very-outdated view of world geography.
Mackinder-ism in today's world is a tautology, reducing to: We have to control the Heartland because we can't lose the Heartland.
In this singular quest to win the Heartland the West has bankrupted itself — economically, morally, and most importantly, spiritually. This has led to a political crisis gnawing at the center of western society.
Alastair Crooke's latest piece sums up the situation perfectly, « The EU Is Over-Invested in the Ukrainian War-Project. »
But it isn't just the EU that has done this. So has the UK. So too the US.
The cost/benefit analysis of continuing the Ukraine project has reached the tipping point. The problem now is too many in power, like European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, still believe they have room to maneuver in a conflict looking increasingly stuck in the geopolitical mud of the Donbass.
We agreed that:
Security in Europe and Asia is indivisible and UN principles must be upheld;
Climate action will be stepped up;
Partnerships should be win-win.
The @G7 is more united than ever.
The optics at the G7 meeting couldn't be more stark. Meeting in the one city that is the ultimate symbol of Western madness, Hiroshima, the symbolism was very clear. We are united in our self-righteousness and if you don't like it, remember what happened to Japan.
We will destroy the planet in order to save it. Indivisible European/Asian security is a euphemism for global war.
No amount of failure seems to dissuade these people. Because failure is simply not an option.
The problem however, is that their myopia is predictable.
When you reduce all of your guiding principles to three lines of code, defeating that code becomes pretty easy, strategically. It doesn't matter if Mackinder was right or not. He wasn't. What matters is that the policy-makers think he was.
We've all spent too many words working through this. It's very simple.
If you know your opponent will throw everything they have at a conflict then your strategy is a simple one; destroy everything they throw at it until they run out of money, men, and materiel to throw into it.
And this is exactly what Russia has done.
It is exactly what I expected them to do at the outset of the war ( here, here, and here) failing a swift victory over Ukraine; continue their war of attrition across all theaters against the West until they either 1) sue for peace or 2) collapse under the weight of their own hubris.
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Who else?), put the kibosh on any early negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine.
To Crooke's point, the West's investment in Ukraine was simply too big to give up that easily. Believing the ultimate sanctions package would overthrow Putin and destabilize Russia, both Davos and the Anglo-neocons bet too heavily on this working. As my dad used to say about pro athletes, « he spends too much time reading his press clippings… »
Two very Establishment Anglo-American media in the UK (in which U.S. Establishment messages often surface) finally – and bitterly – have admitted: ‘Sanctions on Russia failed'. The Telegraph laments: They « are a joke »; « Russia was meant to have collapsed by now »
Do they not remember their failure in 2014/15 when this whole Ukraine War project started? They threw Viktor Yanukovich out of power and Russia took Crimea from them. So, their ‘shock and awe' then was to throw an epic temper tantrum crashing the price of oil from $125 to $25 per barrel.
This was the first instance of the « Ruble to Rubble » campaign. It didn't work then. In fact, it set Russia and the world on the path it's on today. There's a direct throughline from 2014 to today, not just on the ground but in the financial markets and the politics of the rest of Eastern Europe — The Heartland.
So, while sanctions are a joke, the use of them will only increase as an excuse now to keep third-parties, like say Hungary, from getting out of lock-step with the plan.
Too bad for them that no amount of arm-twisting by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock changed Hungary's decision to block any further EU aid to Ukraine. The Heartland, it seems, is increasingly not down with the Commintern.
Failure Is Not an Option, It's Just Inevitable
But this never seems to matter. No amount of failure has ever prompted these people to do a little second-guessing. Then again, when you can't see yourself in a mirror self-reflection isn't a dominant character trait.
Ukraine has always represented the apotheosis of the Neocon/Neoliberal world order. As Crooke points out, they are facing a very unpleasant choice:
The war is now, in this way, being projected as a binary choice: ‘End the war' versus ‘Win the war'. Europe is tergiversating –standing at the cross-roads; hesitantly starting down one road, only to reverse, and indecisively take a few cautious steps down the other. The EU will both train Ukrainians to fly F-16s; and yet is coy about providing the planes. It smacks of tokenism; but tokenism is often the father to mission-creep.
Indeed it is. Because of the closed-mindedness of those in power in the West — their biases, racism, and arrogance — they will not stop in Ukraine until they are forced to by circumstances.
Those circumstances will likely be dictated by the revamped Russian military now configured to fight a longer and different kind of war than the one that began in February 2022.
Every day we see signs that Russia's military-industrial capacity is increasing rapidly while the EU languishes. The US is rapidly trying to bring back onshore manufacturing lost to the ZIRP and Greenspan Eras, but this is a slow and painful process especially since it has run out of room on the balance sheet to deficit spend to accelerate things.
« Biden » and his merry band of vandals in D.C. are more than happy to burn the place to the ground more thoroughly than the British did in the War of 1812 if they can't get their way on unlimited taxing and spending.
So, here we are. Bakhmut has fallen. The Ukrainian counter-offensive is non-existent. If anything it was already absorbed by Putin and Prigozhin. Zelenskyy will now get F-16s to attack Crimea and use that as some moral high ground for justifying NATO's official involvement after Russia's inevitable counter-attack.
Then the air will be thick with the smell of thermobarics in the morning.
But, regardless of any of that, there will be no truce in the Heartland. Russia will not back down. China will back them to the end, as will OPEC+ and the rest of Central Asia. But they will not escalate one inch further than they need to. Allowing the West to keep thinking they can win is the ultimate form of grinding out a superior opponent.
And even if Ukraine winds up being a decade-long meat grinder with no clear victor, it will serve everyday as a warning to the rest of Asia that there is no going back and their future is better served with their neighbors than accepting bribes to remain viceroys on the West's payroll.
That's why the fight for control over Pakistan is actually more important than Ukraine. Because Pakistan represents the East-West corridor tying the World Island together. While Ukraine is the key to breaking up Russia to destroy the North-South axis.
The Tragedy of Imran Khan in Pakistan is one of those side issues that's actually more important than the main issue, Ukraine. The unprecedented intervention by the Pakistani military, always aligned with western forces, is a clear sign that Mackinderism is alive and well in central Asia.
There is a clear civil war incipient in Pakistan as the civilian government attempts to wrest real control of the country away from the military and its globalist order-givers. Khan's support isn't a product of his brilliance as a leader. Like Donald Trump, he is a flawed figure, beset on all sides by traitors undermining him.
He was ousted through the worst kind of backroom dealing, of the type and kind which Italian deep staters were looking at and saying, « Damn! Bravo. »
But, also like Trump, the people understand implicitly that he's one of them. He's on their side, despite his faults. So, while we see the most amateurish headlines and ‘analysis' of what's happening there from our quisling media, the Pakistani people are coming out by the millions to elevate Khan as their champion.
He doesn't have to do anything more than survive and return to power to win the day in Pakistan.
While the West fights desperately to stave off defeat of the Heartland, it's clear the rest of the World Island is making plans to leave them behind. At some point there are simply too many people and too much pressure to keep pushing the world towards a conclusion it doesn't want to go.
And that's when everything changes, literally overnight. Until then, it will be another day, another escalation, another pointless political knife fight and thousands of people dying needlessly.
When he published that paper in 1904 all Mackinder did was formalize British imperial thinking into an easily-digested thesis for morons.
Today we are being gaslit by these morons into believing our lives depend on fighting for ‘freedom' in central Ukraine.
It was written as the British empire's grip on power was beginning to wane. World War I would put the capper on that.
It was a reflection of the growing anxiety bubbling up as the fringes of the empire rebelled. If we can't hold onto south Africa (The Boer War), for example, at least we should make sure no one controls the World Island as we retreat.
That's why Sykes-Picot left us with a Middle East in tribal conflict. Israel only made things there worse. Pakistan was created as anti-India and Ukraine was split off from the USSR in such a way as to ensure we would be exactly where we are today.
All because some imperial-minded Europeans can't bring themselves to share the world with brown people.
Reprinted with permission from Gold Goats ‘n Guns.