Thursday, February 18, 2010

The case of the Falklands

I always have been very skeptical to use the geopolitical theories when trying to explain foreign affairs. Under a sophisticated wrapping of words you try to excuse basic abuses and "raisons d'etat" of various kinds.
It is easier to explain situations on a case-by-case basis, using more or less recent historical situations, changes of mentalities, economic reasons, irational decisions took by decision-makers laking any kind of rationality.
Islands always played a big role in our human builded imagination, proof being the utopian and SF stories. Beyond literature and fantasies, islands were important as strategical avanposts and ways to exert certain influences. Or, at least, projecting such intentions. Cyprus could be a good example from this point of view, as a possible gate of Europe to the Middle East as well as a junction point of various cultures and influences.
On the other side, our need for resources, directly proportional with the sophistication of our needs and the increase of population is a reality of the last decade. We need more and the resources identified by far are limited. Thus, loooking for new potential energy hubs is a counter time long ride. Is not geopolitics or desire to impose a certain power, but a need of survival. Up to the position on the evolution scale, the survival is, of course, perceived differently.
Different as well are also the pressure and, not least, political resources the countries could use in order to defend and protect their economical interest. From this point of view, the recent tensions between Argentina and the UK around the issue of Falklands are showing the need to go beyond the old Cold War confrontational paradigm and think at a very practical level.
The increasing dependence of natural resources is changing on short, medium and long term habits and communities. And, more or less it is a change of perception among the representatives of the young generation, less focus on recent painful historical episodes and more interested about a better future. These perceptions could maintain a permanent pressure against over reacting outside pressure. If the drilling will start or not, or if meanwhile behind the mediatic buzz, negotiations are on the way, the final solution of the current conflict - but not the whole conflict - cannot neglect the high pressure of including both the concern for sharing more resources, but taking into account as well the needs of the local communities. Because, sooner or later, policies - including in foreign policy - will have to be understood more than confrontations of powers - in geopolitical terms - but as providing content and including pertinent solutions - as the environmental aspects together with answers to social and economic aspects.
For the moment, it looks like nother utopia of the island.

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