Sunday, September 7, 2008


Oleh: Prof. Aymeric Chauprade

Geopolitics, as we will see, is actually a special approach within the international relations. Your big country, the one which held the famous Bandung Conference (Asia Africa Conference/ Konferensi Asia Afrika) in 1955 has already possessed a strong and long tradition both in term of practical as well as study of the international relations. Indonesia possesses a number of study centers, as well as think tanks, one of which gave me the honor today to be present here before you. Concerning the geopolitics, I perceive that the perception held in here, for sure, as it is in many other countries which have also been victims, is a reductionist conception and it is oriented, in this matter, primarily on the basis of suspicions.

It is true that the history of geopolitics, as Karl Haushofer, a geopolitical of the “l'espace vital” of the IIIrd Reich, until the cut-out of the Middle East that is commended by some Israeli-American theoreticians of neo-conservatives, as well as the renown Mackinder and his theory of heartland, has proven that this matter often used to be passed from the comprehension of the world on the remodeling of states. And yet, as you can see, it's not a sign of refusal of science if someone tries to oppose the malpractices of this notion, instead it is the real science.

Therefore, I will now begin my presentation by defining this discipline. Indeed, we define the geopolitics, as that in the study of the political relations among three types of powers, namely the power of the state, the power of intra-states (secessionist movement, rebellion, etc.), the power of trans-states (crime network, terrorist network, multinational company, etc), from the factors of physical geography (situation of the territory, characteristic of the territory), of the geographic identity (or the geographic of population), as well as of the geography of resources.

This definition has triggered numerous comments. The first dimension, that geopolitics departs from the reality of power, which refers to the states, and also the actors who often represent the challenges against the states, such as inter-state actors, such as separatist movements, and the trans-state actors, such as the religious extremist network. The reference of the geopolitics thus are the state and the problems that threat the state, be it in the domestic level (the identity of all its sorts), external (the claims made by the neighboring countries, or the imperialism exercised by big powers), or the combination between both (trans-state network, which means covering both domestic and external). Therefore, by this construction, this discipline doesn't hold an opposite position against the state, but instead, it plays as a lucid analysis that will enable all states to prevent any disease that is likely to pose a threat to it. However, as it is always stated in the medical sector, all medicines could be a poison if they are not used to no-matter-who and no-matter-how method. Of which we obtain the importance of never leaving geopolitics to others under the pretext that it will serve as a science of “imperialism” just as the Bolsheviks and Maoists believe.

The second dimension: the geopolitical approach is a multi-causal one. We should never reduce the analysis on a country or any geographical area to a mere single factor; there is nothing caused purely by ethnics, nor all religion, for instance. If my work entitled “Geopolitics, Constants and Changes Throughout History” is so voluminous, it is due to the fact that it is the fruit of my years of work identifying and assembling the factors influencing the geopolitics.

This one is an extremely important point: those who don't understand whatsoever about the geopolitical approach sustain that such a thing or such a state is not a nation-state as there are so many ethnic as well as religious fractures within. They often forget something fundamental: certain nations, despite its strong diversity of ethnics and religions, are indeed the solid formation because there are the products of some particular historical circumstances. Hence, the emancipation that faces a trusteeship has gone down into the same melting-pot of a diverse identity characteristic, and in turn determined the nation's future. In these particular circumstances, then they will add some strong state will power of a center towards the peripheries in order to forge a national identity.

All nations in the world that currently still last have been confronted with the challenges of the internal identity, an issue of which I will take the first example of my own country, France. An old nation-state, which constantly produces efforts initiated by the central government towards the peripheries which in some times rebelled. France has been surviving throughout centuries since the central government has always managed to stabilize the relation between national identity with the local identity without ever cede to emphasize the primacy of the centre towards its peripheries.

It's indeed the multi-causal dimension that allows a real geopolitics not to conduct any reductionist analysis on a reality. For instance, the problems occurring few years ago in Moluccas often interpreted in the West as a pure religious conflict: “Christians versus Muslims”. However, a scientific analysis would combine the complexities of different cleavages, such as those of center and periphery, Muslims and Christians, religious moderates and extremists, traditional and modern elites, separatists and unitarians, as well as Moluccan and non-Moluccan ethnics, and so on.

The third dimension: our geopolitics notion is basically a cultural one. It underlines the importance of the cultural factors as the determinants of the history and the fact that the most important national identities are the national cultures.

Let's take for example, and there is nothing better than this: the United States of America. The North America has endured for two hundred years as a colony inhabited by messianic white Protestants. These colonies have founded the national culture of the Americans, that is, the famous culture of WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants). Afterwards, the colony step by step transformed into a nation of migrants. Nevertheless, these migrants, from their respective origins, have adopted the state of spirit of WASP. The America thus was founded by the protestant fundamentalist missionaries as well as Freemasons who inherited to their descendants, and thus to the migrants whom were welcomed by these descendants later on, a state of missionary spirit.

If we do not comprehend this dimension of the American history, of which shapes the state of spirit of the Americans, we won't likely to understand the sense (meaning) of the current global politics of the country. The national cultures is the ones shape the identity of the nations beyond the fractures of the physical geography, discontinuities of territory, as well as the fractures of ethnic and religious identities. This national culture is the product of history, of the will-power of the founding fathers of a nation which has perpetuated through state tradition, and kept in ways like armed forces in certain countries, cult of constitution for those like the United-States, by national language for the others, and so forth.

Now that I have underlined the three dimensions that characterize our French geopolitical approach, respectively the centrality of the state as well as the actor of power, multi-causality and culturally, I would like to now offer you a lecture on geopolitics that of the grand international dynamics, of which I had presented at the l'Ecole de Guerre Francaise, to our French officers as well as foreign officers from 70 nationalities, and also the one that I had presented to the students of Sorbonne and the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland.

I will bring about at the first place a dimension of geopolitics on which we're nowadays accustomed to call as the globalization (modularization in French).

Most of the explanations of globalization lie on one linear and progressive vision of history. The progress of science and technology favored throughout centuries the liberation of human in term of his relations with territory and on the traditionally rooted area. This progress favors, both in term of quantity and quality, the circulation of men, information and goods. It has also allowed the passing of, through centuries, the territory of local scale to the national territories, and, today, it favors the passing of nations while encouraging the regrouping of macro regional as well as the dynamics of (trans-state) networks. Nevertheless, it is not sufficient yet to us to really feel the real effect of globalization. Due to such a view, we often got the impression that globalization is a sort of neutral phenomenon that comes simply out of progress of sciences and technologies.

Therefore geopolitics, that puts a relationship between powers at the heart of its reflection, will complete this globalization analysis.

If we see the history of human society for long time, ever since the Antiquity, we found out in effect that there were many successful endeavors towards globalization, in the macro-regional scale in the period of Antiquity and Middle-Ages, as took place in Mediterranean area, for instance, or at the global scale on the period of Renaissance of Europe.

If we regard the history of human society for long time ago, ever since the antiquity, we could see that in fact there have been some successful efforts for globalization, in this case, at the macro-regional scale in the antiquity as well as in the middle age, for example, in Mediterranean, or at a global scale by the time of European renaissance.

A French historian, Ferrnand Braudle, once talked about the “world system” of Mediterranean with respect to the successive efforts to control the area conducted by the Phoenicians, the Greeks as well as the Romans.

We can also consider that the rapid invasion of Islam in the VIIth century in all Middle East, and afterwards in the direction of the west as well as east as a new phase of globalization.

The Muslim world, who would be soon fractured politically, after the four first caliphs, would occupy an inescapable central position from the VIIIth to XVIth century in the domain of economics and politics, between Europe and Asia. From this indisputable position, particularly in term of world commerce (since the Europeans should go to the Middle Eastern intermediaries to get your spices and wealth’s), Islam enjoyed the advantage to advance its richness and splendor. Many people at that time dreamed about the richness of central Asia, thanks to the famous Silk Road.

However, the scientific and technological progress in the domain of navigation, which was earned by notably the Italians who passed this to the Portuguese and the Spanish, enabled Europeans to conduct the Great Discovery, which refers to the opening of a new sea route that allowed them to surround the Muslim world and come directly to the richness of the Asia, which actually refers to the islands and archipelago of the present Indonesia.

The XVIth century opened a new phase of globalization. It is the globalization that Europeans applied in the America and Asia not only by trade and war, but also missionaries. All efforts for globalization is at the same time actually a projection of a philosophic religious system of value, which seeks to implement it to others, and it is also the projection of economic interest, as well as projection of force.

And we can also say that the world history is actually the history about the people who, after being confronted by the successive phases of globalization, decided to choose, whether to accompany it and assimilate into it, or to resist it with their own proper system of value and interest.

The Europeans have been, from the XVIth century to the second half of XXth century, the major actors of the globalization, one of the expressions of which is the political religious transformation of the societies living in America, Africa and Asia, while its ‘other face is of course the colonial exploitation of the wealth of these societies.

And then the fraternal wars among Europeans weakened significantly these powers. The two world wars prevailed in France, England and Germany, which had been the greatest powers in Europe since the XVIIIth century, particularly regarded from their capacity to shape the world.

The First World War, as well as the second one, was the fruit of a ferocious confrontation between Anglo-Saxons of the New York and London, with their formidable financial power, against the Germans with their colossal industrial capacity. The war in 1914 exploded just at the time when the Germany became the first economic power in front of the Britain. Meanwhile the Second World War is a vigor effort to revenge conducted by the Germany who felt humiliated in her defeat in 1918 by the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxon. Furthermore, Germans also felt that, particularly before the eyes of her national socialist people, they were actually beaten by the powerful finance of the Jews.

After the decline of the old Europe, there were then two global powers tried to catch up and use their turn to shape the world history.

It was the USA and the Soviet Union. The first one took her start when Wilson put it in the right, the vision of the founding fathers of America: when the pilgrimage of mayflower who first saw the shores of America, after leaving their mother land in Netherlands and England, then the founding fathers of the American independence and the constitution of the united states, impregnated by the Masonic principles of the English philosophy and also the enlightenment of the French.

We are easily reminded to this vision when we look at the famous text of the manifest destiny of 1845. The United States, as it was stated there, has a mission that is to transform the world to be like her image, since she now has to act as the new roman liberator for the people.

In the mean time, the Soviet started its emergence based on the communist ideology which wanted to transform the world as well. However, it is in fact no more than a terrible marriage between the ancient lust for imperialism of the ancient Russia, which regards Moscow as the third Rome (the heir of the second, that is Byzantine), with the revolutionary ideology of Bolsheviks.

The confrontation happened during 1945-1990, or the cold war, is often called as “the bipolarity”, because during this time it seemed that the international relations was organized around only those two poles in both term of geopolitics as well as ideologies. This confrontation that happened between these two world powers was actually two revolutionary efforts to transform the world into the image of each of the respective poles, which in turn favored the formation of certain national identity.

Ideology is largely used as the instrument to serve the nationalism. The communism served the geopolitics ambition of Russia to dominate her neighboring countries, her peripheries. However, it appears that even communism-based friendship couldn’t prevent the ongoing traditional confrontation between, for example, the China and Russia, as well as China with Vietnam.

On the contrary, the threat of communism in Indonesia, just as in many other countries, allowed an acceleration for the national identity, at the same time conducted by some internal state effort, and also affirmation of the external politic of the third way, which holds the country not to join the imperialism of the united states nor the one of the communist. This third way politic was applied in Indonesia under Sukarno, in France under the general de Gaulle, in Yugoslavia under Tito, as well as in India under Nehru.

In 1990, the world quitted the period of bipolarity along with the end of the Soviet American confrontation. This would also be the acceleration of the American globalism. However, the Americans knew well that the collapse of Soviet didn’t mean that they were entering an American world. Of course, the previously GATT now transformed into a World Trade Organization which welcomed many countries as its members. Of course the NATO kept continuing to enlarge and integrated new European countries and while doing so also pushes forwards its frontiers towards the Russia and China. But the United States, however, is still far away from the fulfilling of the Francis Fukuyama's promise, an influent member of the CFR (Council for Foreign Relations), that is, the promise of the American ends of history.

For most of the American strategists, China has become a major obstacle hampering their way towards an American world. Not only because China has been predicted as being capable to become the first world economic power before 2050, but also and most of all it is because China seems to be untamable for the Anglo-American capitalism. The formation of the new caste of the Mandarin capitalist in China didn't seem to mean anything but the growth of the Chinese and China's power. It doesn't either mean nothing but the great progress made by China into globalization and also, a change of relationship between the big powers.

Since 1990, the United States has realized that the western world, who already orchestrated largely the world history since the XVIth century, is being risked to loose its profitable status in the Asia pacific, with China emerged on their very eyes.

However, since 1945, the Anglo-American financial power has managed to maintain their hegemony over the world. They also managed to integrated many southern countries into their architecture of Breton Woods (GATT, IMF, World Bank).

United States also proved to manage to control the process of the European construction. Even though EU nowadays, on paper, is the first economic power in the world, but it doesn’t n fact make any significant difference, since it has no geopolitics reality and it doesn’t have any power as possessed by any government, nor it is capable to conduct a real foreign politics, an independent politics of energy, neither a monetary politics that allowed them to defend its industries in facing the competitive Asians.

Contrary to what many people believe in Asia regarding the real EU and its functions, actually the parties really considered serious in Europe were only several countries, namely France, Great Britain and Germany. The dominant tendency to underestimate the importance of these three nations, that still play important roles in international politics and world economy, and, on the other hand, to overestimate the EU which doesn't even have any geopolitics reality and the decisions of which made (be it in Brussels for the European Commission a well as Strasbourg, are actually the product of influence of the powerful network across the Atlantics (such as CFR, Bildelberg Group, Aspen Institute, and so forth).

The Iraq crisis in 2003 allowed us to see how many European countries were under the American influence. A large majority of European countries supported the American war and even sent contingents to help. The conjectural axe of Paris-Berlin-Moscow was broke up soon after rapidly. Today, we can say that the power of the Atlantic countries are never been the same powerful in front of those of French and German. An example of this is, that president Putin's politics is stigmatized by the big western medias which shaped public opinion by convincing them that Russia is actual a potential danger for the European strategic interest.

The EU didn’t have any politics of energy, except those of the renewable ones. In the years of 70, after the oil shocks, the American petrodollars ' interest, which had always been dominating the thought of the American executives, be it directly or through proxy of the big bankers of the New York, has pushed the united states to break the politics of nuclear export conducted by France and Germany to Brazil, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the dollar after 1973 couldn't anymore maintain its centrality but grace to the petrodollars. Whereas, all the powerful petrodollar countries after 1973 were conditioned in a nuclear politics’ game of the world.

However, France still managed to maintain her own nuclear politics, as so far as she could, and stand in a different position compared to other European countries; she chooses not to be dependent to the American in term of energy security, and therefore she is still able to conduct her proper own politics towards the Arab countries.

However, the rest of Europe such as Italy as well as Germany, where the American influence has been always so strong after the end of the second world war, see their nuclear politics are so weak, weak enough to convince them that it is unlikely to emerge the European nuclear politics.

The American world is incompatible with the multipolar world. For Washington, the bipolarity should give place to the unipolarity, instead of multipolarity. Such thing is, after the end of the Soviet Union, a central problem of the world geopolitics. For the Americans, it's all about to play the game in multipolar world in purpose to maintain their rank as the leader of the globalization.

What we see from this, more and more is actually the clashed between the unipolarity force which are united around the United States, and the multipolarity forces, which are more disunited but sometimes manage to form more conjuncture axes rather than structural ones.

The American geopolitics strategy to remain the first might be analyzed as being articulated around four directions. Each of these directions determines a strong problem of the actual geopolitics world.

1) First directions, to develop a big transatlantic bloc to conserve Europe in the status of periphery of Washington and to integrate the countries of the Russian peripheries (her neighboring countries) , the Baltic countries, as well as central Asian and Caucasian. This grand transatlantic block also integrates as the periphery, thanks to the NATO Dialogue of the Mediterranean, referring to the countries situated in the area. The idea actually is a western block that will surround the protective peripheries of Russia and china including Baltic countries, central and eastern Europe, Caucasian countries, Central Asia as well as Mediterranean countries. This program has been in the process of realization since 1990. NATO enlarged its frontiers towards Russia and China. The American s has managed to “NATO-nize” the ex-Yugoslavia. In the controlled part of Kosovo, they even have installed a gigantic military camp, the bond steal. They support the integration of the turkey into the EU because the country is one of the pillars of NATO and its adhesion will dilute a little bit the European projects. And furthermore they expect for a longer term that the integration of the EU will include also the countries situated in Caucasian and central Asia region. For them the frontiers of the EU should coincide with the one of NATO, and the project “West” should also be imposed to the project of “European power”. In a similar way, the one that we call as the colored revolution, is the result of the American activism in the ex-soviet countries and of the Washington’s willpower to eliminate the old pro Russian political class and replace them with the new pro American one, that will integrate the countries in central Europe, such as Ukraine, Caucasian, as well as Georgia, into the NATO. 2) Second direction, their main competitor, China, has a weakness that will hamper her way into the power. It is that the country depends on the energy relation the control of which is out of their access. The diversification politic over the energy material applied by Peking (nuclear and alternative energy), similarly as the huge reserves of its coals, won't be sufficient in the coming decade, to cover her deficit on petrol and gas. Whereas, 2/3 of the proven reserves of oils found in Middle East (Iran and Arab countries), and more than 1/3 of the gas equally (Iran and Qatar). While controlling politically the Middle East, the Americans control also the fate of their principal competitor's dependence on energy. In such a condition, for Peking, the access to the oil or gas from Russia and also with the central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America is therefore quite essential. In other words, it is the emergence of the china towards position of world super power that also contributes to accelerate, through the research over the azimuth of the oil and gas, her world projection. This fact explains the formidable and rapid development conducted by china in the Africa in one decade. But the fact also would favored more the constitution of the multipolar axes that is against the united states, such as the group of shanghai (China, Russia, Central Asia), or the axes for Peking-Caracas-Teheran. The geopolitics analysis thus agreed to a large proportion of energy factor. Without enter any error of the “unique case”. Regarding Iraq, we can't say that the united states fought threw the Saddam Hussein regime merely to control the oil, but we can say that this factor, which even added by the Israeli an interest that influences a lot the American choices in the middle east, has also been the determining factors. If the Saudi Arabia remains the first country containing the proven oil reserve, and Iran comes after at the second place, and afterwards Iraq, and if the united states someday manages to control these three countries as well as their smaller emirates neighbors, there the United States it self will control at least 50 % of the total proven reserve of oil without even counting their own! In the current Iran crisis, of course there is a will of the United States and Israel to hamper Iran to become one of the nuclear power countries, particularly in term of military. But there is also some effort to stop this country to be a country with civil nuclear energy. Whereas, Iran has always been want, even during the period of the Shah, the capability of civilian nuclear power for their own. Why? Because its economy of selling the oil and gas it produces cannot survive except if all of the gas and oil are exported and not consumed by the internal growth of the country. A civil nuclear power plant would be able to keep Iran’s position as an exporter of oil and gas and assures the durability of the regime in term of oil and gas. China, India as well as Japan need its gas. And the United States knows it. 3) The third direction of the global politics of the United States that constitutes equally a serious problem for the world geopolitics. It’s all about the logics of encirclement of china that is applied by Washington after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The very idea is simple. The containment of china will be done through approaching its traditional neighbors and adversaries. So, we need to stop a tighter relationship that could happen between china and Russia, china and India as well as china and Japan. However, china has always been trying for the last thirty years to settle all the border problems with its neighbors. It also has managed to do the same totally with the Russia. It also has managed to make some progress with India, though still need a lot of handworks to attain the desired result. Let's do a tour over china. What will we see? Washington actually is dreaming about a clean and tight relationship with Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, as well as South Korea, to surround china. The Islamic terrorism emerged, at a certain point, after the collapse of soviet, the theme “convergence” that gave reason to Washington to accelerate its deployment to the whole world. It's in the name of this battle that the Americans tries to get more space in the western Europe, also its reinforcement in the Maghrib area (Algeria, Libya), and with the initiative of Pan-Sahel, also in the horn of Africa, as well as India, Philippines and Indonesia. The religious extremism is indeed has become a reality. There is no need to deny it. The whole world suffers of this, be it westerners as well as Muslims, and Indonesia has already paid a great price due to this extremism. Where does it come from? There is always such things in the Muslim world, which brings along with them violent radicalism. But these tendencies became even stronger during the cold war among the battle between the United States and the communists. To play against the communism, in the Arab world, just like in the Asia, the Americans and their moderate Muslim allies managed to come into conclusion that Islamism can be an ally based on objective, in order to defeat the atheist materialism. The Islamism has served, in the past, many moderate Muslim governments to accomplish many field task from ethnic cleansing to the repression of separatist minorities that were not able to be handled by the government's army's own. It is also clear that these extremist has benefited from such things: they kept the knowledge to get fund with them they kept the information on the powerful parties in the internal side of a state, even until the secret services, just as shown n the Pakistan case. The war in Afghanistan has been the first chance of the formation of the first international fundamentalist. The other war done after the end of the Soviet Union by the Americans, notably that in Bosnia has even brought about new chances of for the formation for the new Islamic generations. After the Afghanistan and the Bosnia, Iraq now becomes the third chance or melting pot in the process of formation of the third generation terrorists who will spread across the world if the United States manages to really control the situation in Iraq. Islamism might have attacked the United States, but it also gives benefits to US's geopolitics around the world. This movement now has replaced the function of communism and served the pretext for numerous interferences of the internal politics of many countries committed by the US. Do you know, for instance, that the EU has accepted to transmit to the Americans all the given personals of the European passengers on the flight across Atlantic? Not only that the strive against terrorism allowed the US to deploy troops and open new bases in the strategic territories that couldn't be taken by the US during the end of the Soviet, but it also gives the US a pretext to control the information for the world society. Our geopolitical approach on the religious extremism thus, not only by analyzing the causes and the characteristics it may carry with itself, but also to understand the instrumentalisation of the fact. 4) Fourth directions, the anti-missile shield. It is already understood that the multipolarity and dissuasion of nuclear are two most important problems. For the United States, the fact that many crescent countries nowadays manage to consolidate and to get shelter provided by nuclear armaments, is quite unacceptable. We have to know, however, that ever since the beginning, in the moment where the Soviet where trying to prepare their nuclear arms, the Americans have refused the notion of terror equilibrium. In 1947, they have proposed soviet a mise en commun of nuclear power to form a world nuclear government. But Stalin refused. In the decades of 70 there were many neoconservative strategist in the Ministry of Defense, such as Paul Wolfowitz, that has always been the promoter of the idea of a anti missile shield who allowed the logic of the adverse dissuasion. It was Reagan, the first republican president who was under influence of the neoconservatives, who launched the “Star War” (SDI, or Strategic Defense Initiative). G.W. Bush then launched the anti-missile shield. The strategic logic go side hand in hand with a political vision of the world. The united states supports its mission to change the world, to establish democracy, the market and western values. But how would they will do it if many people and civilizations they are about to interact are protected by nuclear? The September 11th 2001 has also given reason to accelerate this program. Two months after the event, the Americans have broken unilaterally the treaty of ABM that it had with Russia. If Russia opposes also the strengthening of today’s implantation of such a thing in Poland or Czech, it is not because the American shield will weaken the Russian attack power (this country has thousands of nuclear heads and new generation missiles which have very well performance and therefore can attack in return easily to the National Missile Defense of the America),, but it is because the United States is still trying to increase its control over the neighboring countries of Moscow. In reality, it's mostly china who feels that its nuclear dissuasion is hampered by the NMD. Contrary to what people often believe, it is indeed because it will give America the capacity of the utilization of the conventional forces to face the power of nuclear. Thus, the NMD is strategically an offensive tool, instead of defensive one. Now that we have underlined these four directions very basic regarding the world geopolitics, and since finally all the countries of the world will be affected by this matter, i would like to give several elements of geopolitics reflection as the consequences of those mentioned. The globalization that we live in now is mainly the main mover of the American power. It lies on the centrality of dollar, American domination on the oil and the centrality of it, the super power capability of American military (½ of all world military power concentrated on this country), and also on the domination through the soft power (culture and dominant values). This globalization thus is a projection of one civilization, of its goods, of its missionaries, of its canons, over the others, as it was the case with the globalization of Islam in the VIIIth century which was later followed by the European globalization in the XVIth century. In a way, the principles remain the same. Being faced with such a projection, over the arrangement of the continents, the nationalism is the best guarantee for resistance. It occurs in china, in Latin America, in Europe, in Russia, and so is the national way of Indonesia, which conserves strong relationship with the United States but develops it also to other sides, such as with Russia and also with other European powers such as France and Germany. However, unfortunately, another expression of the resistance of the civilizations against this American globalization emerges in front of religious extremism, which is often transnational in characteristics, that we can see is improving, from the Arab world to Indonesia and Malaysia, from sub Saharan Africa (Nigeria, Mali) to the Maghrib. We can also see such a thing takes place in India with the raising of Hindu intolerant and violent extremism which is directed against the Muslim and Christian minorities. This strong tendency towards religious extremism interpreted differently in the Muslim world. First by the raising of Islamic legal parties in Morocco, Turkey ( where Islamism now is in power), and the second one is the problem of terrorism. So many factors have boosted this tendency of resistance against the modernization that is perceived by the Muslim society as westernization. Among them is the frustration caused by the Palestinian problems, the consequence of the strong alliance between United States and Israel and which has created many resentment against the west, mostly within the Muslim Arab world. This resentment comes out as the consequence of the belief that interprets the globalization and westernization as the real fact that there is a war against Islam now. Our geopolitics vision puts weight on states, but it doesn't miss the other factor: civilization. Some nations base a part of their foreign politics on the civilizational sentiment. The United States plays as the mover of the west. In the same way, in the Shiite world, Iran has seek to be the main mover, while in the Sunni, many countries try to move on the position, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan as well as Egypt. Therefore, I would like now to conclude this presentation, which is forcibly made into reduction over a multi-causal approach of geopolitics. I would like to end my presentation by taking Indonesia as a case. Indonesia is a very ideal case for a geopolitics analyst. Her complex geopolitics composes of so many factors: it is an archipelagic state, consisting of many islands. The sea serves as the tie, but also the separator, which is indeed another essential element of this country; this is really a major asset. Therefore, why don’t you develop a maritime power and thought? Indonesia is also a central state, a central which has given a will for various peripheries and sometimes so distant; a will power that is lowered by the law of decentralization. In addition to this, it also consists of diverse ethnics and religions, without yet countering about the formidable demographic power. Furthermore it is the resource factors, such as the oil issue within the relationship with the neighboring countries, particularly with Malaysia, East Timor or Australia.. If we have a purely analytical vision on the Indonesian geopolitics, we are being risked not to underline but solely the fractures and thus the risks of separation. We could have passed the factors that can lead to the unity. I believe that it is still fresh i your mind that i have emphasized from the beginning that my geopolitical perspective is integrated within the notion of national culture. My geopolitics is a culturally one. One of the hypotheses of this notion is that national cultures are one of the some other prime movers of the history. Indonesia is a nation established by having with he r the strong nationalist culture. This is of course can be trace back from the history. Many different people come along together, and surrounding the center in their struggle for collective effort against external imperialism, including within the Holland, as well as the communist and American globalization. The diversity of the population gives this country the conception of non-religious in the politics, despite the temptation to realize it promoted by some extremists to reduce the separatist minorities never ever bothered the central government. This singularity in Indonesia, a country which is not atheist or religious, is not merely imposed by the diversity of religions in the country, but also of the marriage between Islam and the local pre-Islamic cultures. Didn’t Pancasila have managed to meet the Muslim and Hindu cultures across times, and with the principles which are actually universal?

In the current world, the problem face by Indonesia and France similarly is big enough to be taken care of. It's all about how to construct a balanced foreign policy. Sweep off the entire fundamentalism which poses threats to the world. France population has changed a lot during the last thirty years, and it won't be easy to live with the whole world in a good and harmonious relation. France will be trapped into the questions of identities in her internal scale, while at the same time; she always maintains a balanced foreign politics while she has to face empires. For centuries, she has been faced with the imperialism of the holy roman empire of Germany, and afterwards during the cold war she puts into effect the third way politics that is comparable with that of the non-aligned. Indonesia is confronted with the challenges coming out as the impact of the peak duel between United States and china. Indonesia is really a power indeed, not only from the demographic perspective, but also geographic, political as well as economic factors. She has affirmed her will in the UN to take a role in the international level, by keep sending contingents to the UN Peacekeeping Forces both to Lebanon as well as Darfour, and at the same time also by becoming the member of the many actors that plays role in the decision making of the Security Council of the UN. At the same time, Indonesia also proves her independence and courage in her recent decisions concerning Iran. In my opinion, Indonesia can be one of the powers, together with Russia and India, which could help to place the balance of the world, and prevent the evolution towards another bipolarization currently is in the process of taking place between the united states and china. Indonesia has all assets needed to develop a grand balanced politics on the international level. All for a reason quite simple, that is, the grand balance of the future will depend very much on the relations with the Western/Islam/China. Indonesia knows every party of those mentioned, not only in term of geographic but also of her interior identity and of her foreign politics. A French expert on Indonesia, Denys Lombard, and one day qualified your country as a country of intersection. Indeed, such is really the case: Indonesia is an intersection: from the sides of cultures, civilizations, people, religions, etc. And being a real intersection doesn't make sense to say that it's indispensable? Now, I believe, we can reasonably say that the solicitation of Indonesia by big powers is only the beginning. And in such a new situation, in this new world, the questions of sovereignty and political identity are the pillars and guarantee for the survival. Indonesia would have to face one of the biggest threats posed by current globalization: the fragmentation of the states of which the multinational companies will reap the benefits by taking the separated small territories. The weight of such an international crime in the world finance has proven to lead to the Kosovo's independence. An organized crime, such as that done by the multinational companies, would like to get rid of the power of state. Therefore they really hope for the fragmentation of the country. Indeed, a geopolitical analysis should enable us to put in enlightenment all these risks and afterwards to study the ways to prevent the development of the separatist gangrenes that threaten the state's balance.

No comments: