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Contemporary conflicts and geopolitics interests

Presentation given to a class of UMN alumni, as one lecture in a prospective class on contemporary global issues.
Please note that images and text used in this powerpoint were taken from the internet but have not been cited in this version.

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Contemporary conflicts and geopolitics interests

  1. 1. Contemporaryconflictsand geopoliticalinterests
  2. 2. What is Geopolitics? Definition: politics, especially international relations, as influenced by geographical factors. Description: Your geographical location in the world is responsible for political, economic and military relations with your neighbors, regional powers and the international system. POWER GEOGRAPHY+
  3. 3. GEOPOLITICS IS: • Immensely complex – the more you research, the more complex it becomes. • Depends on politico-economic interests EVERYBODY ACTS FORTHEIR OWN INTEREST! • There is national and cultural memory – grievances are not forgotten
  4. 4. Recent Example UKRAINE! Nov. 2013: Ukraine's president,ViktorYanukovych, faced two choices: 1. Sign long-term, initially painful deal with EU to increase integration and trade, OR 2. Take $15bn loan from Russia and move toward a "Eurasian Union", with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. • Widespread protests, in Dec.2013. By Feb.2014 President fled to Russia. • Russia sent soldiers in February 2014. Why did they do it? Russian business newspaper Kommersant estimates the costs of integrating Crimea into Russia is $30 billion over the next decade, i.e. $3 billion per year. BUT Russia gets to control the area surrounding the Black Sea (nearly 3 times that of Crimea) - access to oil and gas reserves, BILLIONS of dollars!
  5. 5. Recent Example UKRAINE! The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – remnant of the Cold War
  6. 6. Afghanistan SOVIET UNION Rise of Islamic radical groups Saudi Billionaire – formation of Al Qaeda Massive refugees Massive refugees
  7. 7. From 1980 - 1988: Iraq vs. Iran War (ColdWar) 1990 - 1991: First Iraq War 1991 - 2003: Sanctions and grievances 2003 (March - May ): Second Iraq War 2003 - 2008: Internal strife and state collapse 2008 - 2014: Insurgency and sectarian war • April ’09: 1,200 killed • Oct ’13: 900 killed 2014 - Present: power vacuum; rise of Daesh (ISIS) Minority Sunni in power; Majority Shia Majority Shia U.S. led invasion to oust Saddam
  8. 8. From 1960 - 1980: Contentions with Lebanon and Israel 1980s: Supported Iran against Iraq 1991: Supported U.S. action against Iraq 2003: President Bush brandish Syria as one of the “axis of evil” 2007: Good relations with U.S, Europe & Iraq March 2011: Protests is Daraa, violent suppression July 2011: Unrest in Homs, violent suppression 2012 - 2013: Escalation of violence nationally, tensions withTurkey, Israel and global condemnation Dec. 2013: State collapse; power vacuum; rise of Daesh
  9. 9. Prager University
  10. 10. Conclusion -FoodforThought World-systems theory • 21st is the Global Century, not the American or Chinese. • Complexity of the global system requires leadership of all major and regional powers to keep world peace. • U.S. (+ EU) challenged to apply military & economic power to international affairs BUT recognize their limitations and responsibilities inherent in the exercise of power.
  11. 11. Each of the 45 black dots is a U.S. military base Conclusion -FoodforThought
  12. 12. THANK YOU
  13. 13. • What is it? • Islamic perspective about radical groups • How pervasive is it? • Causal Factors • Religious understanding of radicalization • The Solution especially-youth-and-causes-of-terrorim/