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UNITED STATES: Foreign policy, geopolitics, and Kirgizstan

It is stressed that the President is responsible for foreign affairs, and his team repeatedly stresses this. Nevertheless, many details suggest that policy is being made in the Defense Department, and more precisely by a small unidentified group there. The State Department is aware of the complexities of the Middle East political situation, but the Pentagon promotes realpolitik based on military force. It views Israel as apart of its apparatus. This was evident when John Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, spoke to the American Jewish Committee. In the remarks introducing him there were snide remarks about the State Department not being sufficiently pro-Israel.

The brings us back to geopolitics. My stress on the importance of geography have elicited comments which indicate that most American academics know little and care less about it. As for geopolitics, Robert Crow thinks that its importance has diminished. My contrary belief is born out by a long article entitled "Americans in a strange land" in The Economist (5/4-10/02), the strange land being Central Asia, and more particularly Kirgizstan. The operation is grounded in geopolitics: the article speaks of "the region's growing geopolitical importance" and "'the great game', a 19th-century term much used (and overused) in recent times". Clearly there is much talk about geopolitics.

But the real question in this realpolitik is: What is the US doing in Kirgizstan? It is tucked away on the borders of China, whose attitude toward these developments I do not know. Afghanistan and two "evil" countries, Iran and Iraq" form a bloc a considerable distance to the west. We must assume that the Pentagon planners, a small group working in secret, know what they are doing. History will tell us if they do.

Ronald Hilton - 5/13/02