Geopolitics of a Region Is Determined By Its Resources
Geopolitics refers to the Physical and human geographical impact on foreign relations that accrue as a result of the resources a country possess. Geopolitics can also be viewed in an angle of a country’s economic dominance internationally in regard to what she produces. These factors can be natural or artificial which are of monetary value. Thus a country that is rich of natural resources like minerals dictates most of what other dependent countries does due to its command in the international market. There are vast resources a country or group of regional bodies can hold and make them has a greater say globally. Therefore, there are countries rich in valuable mineral, magnificent physical features and human resources in term of innovative ability and knowledge. (Ehteshami A. 2007) Most super power countries in the world have attained that status as result of their ability to utilize their resources into viable international business ventures.
As you will later learn in this paper, oil, gold, diamond, silver, and bronze among other minerals are some of the greatest bargaining powers in most of the super powers in the world. The superpower countries who do not have these minerals in abundance embrace their technological innovativeness resources to dictate command on the international scene (Ali T. 2003). The resources a country have then turns out to affect the politics of that particular region. A recent political development as a result of the scramble for natural resources is that one in Sudan where south Sudan had to separate from Sudan. South Sudan fought to separate itself from Sudan as a result of failure to benefit from the rich oil resources in her region that saw many South Sudanese languish in poverty. The revolution was therefore geared towards ensuring the South Sudanese benefitted fully from the oil resource they possess.
Another region whose geopolitics has been immensely affected by the presence of natural resources is the Middle East. It is a fact that whenever a region becomes rich in minerals and other physical features, the opinion leaders of nations starts to draw attention towards that particular direction as clearly illustrated in this paper. This paper is therefore aimed at highlighting how the Middle East politics among other countries have been influenced by the presence of natural resources.
Emissions from industries cause a lot of pollution attracting international attention on how the problem can be solved. Most countries raise eyebrows on the rampant effects of pollution caused by mining processes. The mining processes involve the emission of wastes into the environment that are harmful to living things. The Middle East countries have been put on spot by the United Nations Environmental Program to cut on the amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere (Bromley, S. 1994). The matter rose when effects of climatic change became severe as a result of destruction of the Ozone layer due to excessive amounts of the gas in the atmosphere.
In a bid to protect the earth from harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun, United Nations Environmental Program summoned all countries to reduce on the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Strict legislations have been put in place by which every country supposed to abide by. Countries from Middle East have from then been blamed for contributing a high percentage of the gas in the atmosphere as a result of the industrial works (Bromley, S. 1994). The super powers like America have been decrying the issue calling on the United Nations to put sanctions on countries like Iran and North Korea. These arguments which elicit global political debate as to why the Middle East countries should continue destroying the environment out of their own selfish ambitions of making profit. There has been an outcry for these countries to heed to the United Nations Environmental Program provisions lest they be barred from enjoying the international privileges. In turn, countries like South Korea together with other like minded nations from Middle East downplayed the International threats leveled against them and swore to continue with mining and production of nuclear energy.
The issue of nuclear energy production in the Middle East has also not been received warmly on the international scene. In as much as the countries blamed maintain that nuclear energy is meant for domestic use, the foreign bodies see it as a scheme to produce dangerous nuclear weapons. The paper reveals the antagonism between US in particular with Iran. In 2012, US together with the European Union directed member state against purchasing crude oil from Iran saying the country purposes to develop nuclear weapons (Hossein-Zadeh, I. (2007). The Iranian energy minister in the event faulted the move claiming that the country had a right to produce energy for peaceful purposes. “We have no problem in this regard. And we have other customers and, in fact, it's not possible to ignore US in the global market. If Europeans do not purchase our oil, we have also imposed sanctions on them. We have other customers today and more than sixty countries today, in fact, are purchasing our petrochemical and oil products and derivatives,” Rostam Qasemi Iran’s energy Minister said in a past interview with Press TV. The point here is that, Iran is being censured on how to use its own resources due to anticipated security threats. Altogether, Iran is barred from using its own resources the way it deem right as the international world sanctions the nation saying that the Iran had a hidden agenda. Contrary, Iran record an increase in sales in the market. Iran energy minister add, “As a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, we have the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.” After this word exchange between Iran and US it is clear that the geopolitics of the two regions is affected by the kind and amount of resources they can produce to the international market. The resource factor makes other super powers feel threatened if Iran developed further.
Another factor is fear of being overthrown from authority. A few countries have claimed political dominance over other nations for a long time. Thus there are countries which term themselves as superpowers while the rest are seen as less important with no concrete opinion worldwide. Thus some western countries like Britain, US and German among others have been opinion leaders to nations globally enjoying the benefits of earlier technology and development (Hossein-Zadeh, I. (2007). In order that countries like the above mentioned continue enjoying the global respect, they tend to bar any other country from developing its own innovations beneficial to the native citizens. Instead the termed super powers would strive to be associated with the particular innovation or in the event bar the innovative country from pursuing their dream. In this case, small Middle East countries rich of natural resources are restricted on the way they utilize those resources.
The superpowers fear that if the Middle East countries established themselves economically, the superpowers will not be in a good position to manipulate the economy growth of the developing countries. As a result of this fact the super powers would agree on an opinion and impose on the country feared of the threat (Hossein-Zadeh, I. (2007). This move is aimed at stunting the developing countries in order that they do not attain the development. In order for the developed countries to frustrate further the plans of development in other nations, they plot to use any mechanisms to ensure the dream of the nations under question do not take off by any means. The move by developed countries working to undermine innovation in third world countries is seen a way of preserving their honorable status world wide.
In addition, superpowers nation fear losing the benefits to the developing resourceful Middle East countries. Technological facilities used in production are often manufactured in developed countries. When these countries see projects in developing countries economically viable, developed countries tend to acquire all the production rights in order that they benefit from the same (Alnasrawi, A.1991). As a result of evolution in technology and access to resources and information, developing countries have acquired the technological knowledge of producing and utilizing own resources. This makes the super power countries which used to benefit a lot from the projects to lack a profit share of the on going production eventually plotting on means of paralyzing the projects. Thus fear of losing superiority make the developed countries bury efforts aimed at bringing up some third world countries rather the developed countries opt to invest in third world countries, to exploit the many resources laying idle and reap more profit in comparison to what the natives get.
However, the countries in the Middle East have also retaliated to the geopolitics in the region by hoarding the crucial oil commodity. The countries, under the United Arab Oil Producing and Exporting Countries umbrella set prices for oil. The union decides on whether to raise or lower the oil prices leading to a situation known to as energy crisis (Alnasrawi, A.1991). Due to the fact that Middle East countries are reach oil producers they lobby among themselves on how to sale the oil. When one of the countries is sanctioned by a foreign nation for example U.S. or Western countries the nations gang up together in defense by hoarding oil leading to an increased rate of oil. The price of oil in the market therefore determines the prices at which other commodities sell. When oil prices increase, the cost of other commodities also go up leading to poor living standards among the people world wide thus the stable the market oil prices the cheaper the lives people live. In addition, the more peaceful and stable the Middle East countries are, the cheaper the living standards since there is ample time for oil production.
Furthermore, countries find themselves into crises over ownership of resources found on international administrative boundaries. There are natural resources found on boundaries between countries that have remained unexploited as a result of disputes as to which country should explore the resource. Countries have developed enmity prompting to mass killings. Kenya for instance has lost some citizens to Uganda soldiers over the Migingo Island in Lake Victoria strife (Bromley, S. 1994). Uganda claimed that water was hers while the Island belonged to Kenya and drove Kenyans from the Island since they could not fish in the Ugandan waters without authorization. Kenya on its part maintained that Migingo and its water was hers. Therefore arousing many questions than answers as to who is the rightful owner of the Island.
Another example is the Sudan and South Sudan who are still disputing over the one to explore oil deposits in Abbey. We can deduce that the diplomatic relation is to a large extent aimed at peaceful co-existence among countries (Hinnebusch, R. 2003). It is better to have a neighbor, when you are stuck he pulls you up rather than lead a desolate life and die alone when you would have been helped in an event of cooperation with others. This might not be the situation with many developing countries who want to attain the state of developed countries. This is because of the antagonism the countries receive from the well of countries. These factors usually affect the country’s international relations either positively or negatively depending on how the opinion leaders think out the situation.
In the case of countries from Middle East who are usually caught under the wave of sanctions, the unity within the like minded nations is what saves them. When they are barred from selling their products to other parts of the world, their allies come into to purchase the products and keep the economy growing (Halliday Fred 1995). This is the reason as to why the energy minister of Iran did not feel the burden in the economy the moment Western countries sanctioned the sale of his nation’s products in their respective countries only for Iranian government to report a sixty per cent increase in the sale of oil to other parts of the world. On the matter of international boundaries, nations practically raise against the neighbors in a bid to either overthrow the neighbor or take all the valuable natural resources or fight to secure the monopoly of utilizing the resource under question. The United Nations is often put o course to arbitrate and save the innocent lives from perishing. A very clear though internal is the case of Libya. A sect Libyans communities cited being sidelined as far as benefiting from the dividends of oil production was concerned. They claimed to live before the poverty line while the country was a renowned rich oil producer in Africa. Tension grew to an extent of overthrowing the government. Thus it is becoming clear that the richer a nation becomes in terms of oil and other mineral production is, the more the foreign world become interested by the specific country’s politics. It is usually done in a bid to ensure international peace. Developed countries are sometimes blamed for poking their noses into the internal matters of a nation to stop it from pursuing the goals of their own in regard to the exploration and use of natural energy.
In the above discussion, it is evident that the geopolitics of the region is influenced by the resources the region has. The international politics that arise out of mineral exploration activities can be negative or positive both to the country under question or to the international world. As explained above the developed countries are the ones which happen to monitor the operations of oil producing countries. We find US lobbying with the European Union to specifically bar Iran from selling oil to the foreign market. US are concerned that Iran is producing nuclear energy aimed at manufacturing nuclear weapons (Hossein-Zadeh, I. 2007) The move is seen to be aimed at paralyzing security worldwide though one might argue that US is simply afraid that if the nuclear weapons are made, Iran will become technologically advanced as far as security is concerned and in the event attack any nation it deems right.
Another issue raised in the discussion is the pollution factor resulting from energy exploration. The concerned countries go ahead to summon the United Nations Environmental Program to put regulations in place to reduce on the emission of carbon (iv) oxide in the environment in order to reduce on the effects of global warming. All countries commit to the regulation of ensuring the quantity of the gas in released from factories to the atmosphere is regulated to avert the consequences of climatic change (Al-Khafaji, Isam 2004). The essay have also shown that developed countries fear being overthrown in terms of the market share holding and opinion leadership of the world. In this regard, the developed nations will use any schemes possible to frustrate plans aimed at rising up another superpower. Based on these findings from the discussion, it can be concluded that the resource a region or nation has attracts international attention because of anticipated security, market, power and environmental threat.
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