Monday, February 06, 2006

The Geographical Element: An Introduction

Six Elements of Power: Geographical

Gee! There is a lot going on in the world that I’d love to weigh in on, but I promised myself I’d take care of all the groundwork and housekeeping first.

Anyhoooo…..The Geographical Element is one that most people wouldn’t think of in terms of National Power unless they really stop and think about it.

The Geographical Element of power is all the net power of a Nation-State that comes from its physical location and composition. Geography is the one element that is influenced least by a society: unless that society is engaged in something like Westward Expansion, building empires, or engaged in other means to gain geographical territory.

Geography enables counties with lots of arable land in the right latitudes to build on their economic power through agriculture. It enables tribal fiefdoms, who would otherwise be marginal actors on the world stage, to wield disproportionate influence on world affairs simply because they are sitting on large percentages of exploitable energy resources. Geography keeps darned near the entire Canadian population living within 50 miles of the US border.

Geography preserved the English people when Hitler found out he couldn’t cross a channel as easily as he had marched across Western Europe. Geography is the reason the country (and canal) of Panama even exists, and why Communist China (PRC) seeks to expand its influence there today. There are so many more examples, and no time to even hit all the best ones....