Prisioners of Geography

I finished this ebook a couple of days ago. It was really interesting and easy to digest. It gives you a different point of the current world based on geography and how a game of chess are the international relationships…

Russia: It is the biggest country. Its main weakness is Ukraine as it is plain and the only entry to the Mediterranean. Keep in mind that this book was written on 2016 so it doesnt surprise that Rusia has invaded Ukraine. As well, most of neighbors in the west are in NATO and Rusia/Putin doesnt want missile in his border. But playing with nukes is a zero-sum game? Russians are not europeans neither asians, they are Russians. So interesting that view from a country of that size.

China: I like the intro that China is not a country but a civilization. Its main goal is to build a fleet to match the USA navy. Not much issues inside the continent due to its massive population and borders with other countries. Himalayas with India is the most important. As well, for that reason invaded Tibet to remove the only option from India to attack and take the high grown. China plays India dealing with Pakistan to get access to the Indico. Taiwan is a horn as it is supported by USA. And I wonder, you invade Taiwan and chips production worldwide goes to shit.

USA: Luckiest guy. It has no really enemies in the borders. They bought Louisiana from France with Napoleon was in its worse as it was critical to maintain the Missisipi as it was key for commerce . Texas, New Mexico, California annexed from Mexico. And Alaska bought from Russia. So from east to west is free. North has Canada, an alley and not a threat. And Mexico has a desert between then and it is not match in any sense.

Western Europe: France is the one in best position. Access to North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Good internal routes. Germany main weakness is the east. It has only Poland between Russian and them. As well, the Danube is great as it connect many cities and is suitable for commerce. So Poland gets crashed very often. Spain is not very lucky, it has the Piryness in the north and then the internal communication as not great.

Africa: A mess created by Europe with the artificial borders that means nothing to the people.

Middle East: Another mess created by Europe with artificial borders and the conflicts of different views of Islam: Iran vs Irak/Arabia, etc. Israel in the middle of everything.

India and Pakistan: Mess from England, again due to artificial borders. India is superior in everything. The only issue is Pakistan has nukes too. It is interesting the game between Pakistan-Afghanistan-USA.

Korea and Japan: Neighbors that dont have a good past due to the invasion from Japan (and brutality) but China is a bigger problem. And North Korea.

Latin America: USA playground. Very unlucky region due to geography. Amazon is not good for commerce. Most population is in the coast. Communications with the interior as really bad so moving goods is expensive.

The Arctic: The new eldorado. USA, Russia, China, Denmark, etc claiming things. A lot of resources there but it is a dangerous area (climate) so expensive.

The Space: The new frontier and a lot of politics to agree how to “manage” it that obviously not all agree. I didnt know about Wernher von Braun (from the Nazi Germany to the Apollo XI in the moon). Russia had the lead with Yuri Gagarin, Sputnik, etc. Most space theory came from Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. He calculated the needed space to be able before the technology was available. I didnt know that Laika (Barking) died in her trip to space. Thanks to her, it was proved that humans could travel to space. At the end, USA landed Armstrong in the moon and the game is over. The very expensive business in space was over. Until now with SpaceX and similar wanting to go to Space/Moon/Mars, etc. The book suggest that cooperation is the only way for getting anywhere.

I didnt take notes but there is a lot of info in the book that you wouldnt think of so it gives you a new/different point of view of the current world.