Today’s geography plays a leading role in relations between the different nations, as can be seen with NATO (the USA and its allies) and Russia (Moscow) over Ukraine’s conflict. The crisis began with NATO’s plan to deploy NATO bases across the Ukraine; it seemed that Russia was unwilling to accept that Ukraine would become part of the west, and for this reason, the conflict began and the Ukraine crisis ensued. These events necessitate our exploration of the following two questions: why, in an age of globalisation does geography still matter, and what is the role of geography in politics?
There are many nations from Europe which are NATO members (see Appendix A), but it must be borne in mind that member states such as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic were satellite state during the former USSR regime (see Appendix B).
At present, if there were to be another conflict between West and East, the West would benefit from states that are NATO members (one only has to imagine what would happen if Ukraine were to become a member of NATO; Russia would not have any defensive breathing space, and NATO bases could end up in close proximity with its borders – that is why the steps taken by current Russian President Putin acted in accordance with the geopolitical interests of the country). No superpower (neither Great Britain, China, the USA nor Russia) wants to have another superpower on its doorsteps.
As we have seen, nations will always fight to maintain their security interests, and also to preserve the geographical integrity of their “lands”. This tells us that the role of geography in politics is to preseve nations’ land, or to expand if it is possible and in the interests of the nation, as, for example, with Russia. In the current historical moment, geography is of critical importance, not least because states have nuclear weapons which can destroy the Earth, and we have superpowers who are keen to demonstrate their power (or at least attempt to do so). For these reasons, smart steps need to be taken by nations who want to fulfil their national interests (whether in the name of states or institutions).
Appendix A: ,,NATO expansion” http://www.workers.org/articles/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/nato_0327.jpg (downloaded 15. 12. 2016)
Appendix B: ,,USSR: Eastern Bloc Members” https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/EasternBloc_BasicMembersOnly.svg/2000px-EasternBloc_BasicMembersOnly.svg.png (downloaded 15. 12. 2016)