The Next World War: The “Great Game” and the Threat of Nuclear War
The “Great Game” never ended. It is the “long war” that Mackinder talked about to establish a “World-Empire.” It has changed names from the “Cold War” and the “Great War” to the “Global War on Terror.” It may end with World War III.
In PART I of this article, the formation of a counter-alliance in Eurasia was discussed. PART II provided an overview of the multiple fronts of the “Great Game” in different regions of the World. In Part III the dangers of a global nuclear war are analysed.
The "Great Game" and the Conquest of Eurasia: Towards a World War III Scenario?
The US-NATO March to War and the 21st Century "Great Game"
Mistrust between the Major Eurasian Powers
Mistrust between the triple entente of Eurasia — Russia, China, and Iran — and their other allies still exists. Ahead of a state visit to India in 2007, the Belarusian President, Aleksandr Lukashenko, expressed the tensions in the geo-political climate of Eurasia during an interview. He was asked about Minsk’s ambitions in regards to entering the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization). President Lukashenko stated: “We see great prospects for [the] SCO provided it can harmonise interests and overcome a certain mistrust among its members, for example between Russia and China, or India and China.” 
The nation-states of Eurasia are carefully working to eliminate this mutual mistrust. All the Eurasian powers are potential rivals and adversaries, but under the current realities of the global environment they realize that they must work together to challenge the strategic U.S.-NATO threat.
The alternative to Eurasian cooperation would be that the Eurasian nations themselves face collapse, dismantlement, and regime change, which could potentially transform them into foreign-controlled economic territories modelled on the successor republics of the former Yugoslavia.
The Eurasians also want to de-link the U.S. from its E.U. and NATO allies, specifically France and Germany. The Eurasianist strategy in the Kremlin still has plans for cooperation with the E.U. and for incorporating several European states into the Russian alliance with China and Iran. This also includes the objective of merging the E.U. within a broader geo-political Eurasian entity.
Once the distrust between the Eurasians is fully overcome, America and its partners will have no choice, but to give up their dreams of control over Eurasia or resort to other means, including acts of war. This is when the threat of full spectrum warfare involving nuclear weapons could become a real possibility.
The Writing on the Wall: The Rise of Eurasia
Since the end of the 1991 Gulf War, led against Iraq by the U.S., the groundwork for the campaign to control Eurasia was put in place. The objective was to prevent Eurasian cohesion and the rise of China as a superpower.
This campaign to control Eurasia was conveyed by George H.W. Bush Sr. in his Gulf War victory speech on March 6, 1991. In this speech he explained the meaning of this initative in the context of creating a “New World Order.”
As part of this campaign, continuous reports about the growing threats of Iran, Russia, and China emerged. The demonization process had begun. In 1996, U.S. Secretary of Defence, William Perry, started raising the alarms and saying that Iran was a “growing threat to stability in the [Persian] Gulf.” 
Before 2001, Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran were aware that the U.S. and its allies were preparing some form of land invasion into the Eurasian Heartland. On March 12, 2001 (six months before 9/11), the Russian Federation formally agreed to resume sales of Russian weaponry to Iran. Russia was helping Iran to develop its military capabilities in response to veiled U.S.-NATO threats. Moscow and Tehran also agreed to cooperate in the energy sector and on nuclear technology.  According to The New York Times :
[The] announcements, neither unexpected, came during the first meeting in four decades between Iranian and Russian heads of state. The warm session was billed in advance as a diplomatic turning point. Just as clearly, it was a pointed signal to the Bush Administration by both the Iranians and the Russians that they intend to limit American influence in the Middle East by both diplomatic and military means. Economically, Russia is interested in cooperation. And politically, Iran should be a self-sufficient, independent state that is ready to protect its national interests [e.g., in a military face-off against the U.S., Israel, and Britain], Mr. Putin said. 
As a sign of what was in store, on the same date as the signing of the Russian-Iranian agreement, The New York Times reported that Beijing could be the target of U.S. plans for a missile shield project that would threaten China.  During October 2000, the Kremlin also initiated the push for the formation of a Eurasian Union, which would mirror the European Union.  The seeds of this Eurasian Union under a customs union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus (and possibly Ukraine) will see entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a single entity. 
While Tehran and Moscow signed an important cooperation agreement on March 12, 2001, a few months later Moscow and Beijing signed the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation (July 24, 2001, less than two months before September 11, 2001).
The Chinese, the Russians, and the Iranians all saw the writing on the wall. Geo-political conflict was on the horizon and the U.S. and NATO war machine was getting ready to march into Eurasia.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 were the first drum beats, or the opening salvos, of a much wider conflict.
Did U.S. foreign policy facilitate the creation of a Eurasian bloc? No doubt, Washington was aware that it was encouraging Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran to join hands.
Was the coming together of the main players of the Eurasian Heartland an inevitability or the result of U.S. actions?
America may have acted as a catalyst, but the 2000 proposal for a Eurasian Union and the Sino-Russian rapprochement show that Eurasian cohesion is an inevitability. It is this merger in Eurasia that the U.S. and the E.U. want to crush.
Seeds of the Next World War? Orwellian Perpetual War: Oceania versus Eurasia?
In regards to power projection, Friedrich Ratzel and Alfred Mahan both stipulated that sea power was superior to land power. Mackinder, who originally put a stronger emphasis on land power, would also come to emphasize sea power in the same way as Ratzel and Mahan.
Sea power is the basis of the strength of the U.S., Britain, much of Western Europe, and Japan. Land power on the other hand has traditionally been the basis of the strength of Russia, China, India, and Iran. It must be noted that these traditional land powers have in recent years significantly increased their naval capabilities.
Are the Eurasians acting to insure that they can extend their power beyond Eurasia in the event of a war? The land powers of Eurasia are developing their naval powers with a view to extending their influence worldwide.
The threats of war are getting louder. Such threats include those against Iran. Iran is a geo-strategic and security pillar for both Moscow and Beijing.
In 2007, Secretary-General Bordyuzha of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) alliance warned the U.S. government against any aggressive moves against Iran, saying there would be major consequences. The CSTO is a post-Soviet defense organization based in Europe, albeit its eastern fringes, and Asia. Any CSTO retaliations will have a direct effect on all of Europe, apart from the Middle East and Central Asia. Any American-led aggression against Iran will be limited as Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. agent, has suggested. 
It is in this context that Russian troops began to mobilize in the Caucasus region, near Iran’s borders. Similarly, Russia has reached a military agreement with Armenia, which allows for the use of Armenia’s military bases by Russian forces.  China has also started to upgrade its naval forces to protect China’s energy lifeline through the Indian Ocean in case of a major war.
In the event of a conflict, the U.S. and NATO have envisaged cutting off China’s sources of energy. This has been characterized by American pressure on Myanmar (Burma) as well as the creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Admiral Mullen’s objectives of uniting NATO’s navy into a “thousand ship navy” is largely directed against China. 
Moreover, the informal NATO-like military alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordon, Egypt, Bahrain, and the U.A.E. is also a challenge to the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition.
in response to these developments, Russian and Chinese planes and vessels have, since 2006, been venturing into the operating spaces of America and NATO extending from North America to the Pacific and the British Isles.
In turn, the Pentagon strategy calls for enhanced militarization as well as the creation of “a military belt” around Eurasia by NATO and its Asian allies including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, and Australia. The objective of this military encirclement is to neutralize both Russia and China.
Globally, there is a state of perpetual war. Several regional war theatres exist. Yet, all these regional theatres are part of a much larger global project, characterized by the clash between Eurasia on the one hand and the ocean-based powers of the Periphery, which lie on the fringe of Eurasia (Western Europe, North America, and the Pacific). Thus, these two geo-political entities are marching towards war.
The March to War: Nuclear Escalation
In 2007, Britain began to rearm itself with an updated Trident nuclear missile system, which was violently opposed in the British House of Commons.  British Prime Minister Tony Blair faced a revolt in his own party over the issue as well as protests in the streets of London. The move was a gross breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which stipulates that all nations with nuclear weapons must disarm. Britain is not alone; the U.S. has also continued to build its deadly nuclear arsenal in violation of the NPT.
In April 2010, there were two separate and very different nuclear disarmament summits held by the U.S. and Tehran. At the summit in Tehran, the main outcome was an Iranian-led demand for total global nuclear disarmament, while at the American summit, President Obama attempted to redefine the NPT by saying that Iran and North Korea would not be covered by the American pledge under international law not to use nuclear weapons against states complying with the NPT.  Tehran subsequently lodged a formal complaint to the U.N. about the threat of an American nuclear attack. 
General Leonid G. Ivashov (retired), a noted Russian military analyst has persistently warned of a planned Israeli-U.S. nuclear attack against Iran. Ivashov has also warned that the U.S. and NATO are threats to Russia and all Eurasia. Ivanshov was a major actor in the 2001 “turning point” military and diplomatic exchanges between Tehran and Moscow. He also made the headlines in Russia and the former U.S.S.R. by announcing under the auspices of the Geopolitical Science Academy of Russia that Moscow should use stronger wording to clarify its nuclear doctrine, with a view to protecting its CSTO allies.  The suggestions of Ivashov have been met: a Russian nuclear umbrella now exists over all CSTO members.
The CSTO was unveiled in 2002, after the 2001 invasion of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and whilst preparations were underway for the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. This in itself says something. The post-Soviet defence organization was initially founded on the framework of the Treaty on Collective Security (also known as the Collective Security Treaty or CST), which was signed on May 15, 1992.
The CSTO, however, is different from the post-Soviet CST, signed under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.). The CSTO focuses on collective security within an institutionalized organization, like NATO, with the aim of an expanded membership in Eurasia. The creation of the CSTO, like the SCO, was a Russian answer to U.S. and NATO expansionism in Eurasia. Moscow has also been pushing for the formal recognition of CSTO by NATO and a CSTO-NATO agreement on post-2001 Afghanistan, something NATO has been reluctant to do. 
Aside from a nuclear umbrella over the CSTO, Moscow has also adopted a new nuclear doctrine of pre-emptive attack that came into effect in 2010.  This new Russian pre-emptive nuclear attack doctrine is in response to the U.S.-NATO pre-emptive nuclear war doctrine. In other words, Moscow has made a defensive move that symmetrically mirrors that of the U.S. and NATO. This new nuclear attack doctrine would also allow Moscow to use nuclear weapons in regional theatres, as in the case of a war with Georgia, Japan, or the Baltic States. 
The military budget of Russia has grown annually by 20% since 2006 reaching about a trillion rubbles in 2008.  This is a significant increase. Beijing too, has been upgrading its military power and bolstering its nuclear weapons arsenal as a result of U.S. threats.
Coupled with the adoption of Russia’s pre-emptive nuclear attack doctrine, Moscow has also threatened to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In 2007, the head of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff intimated that Russia could withdraw from the Treaty in response to US NATO threats. 
Under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union in 1987, the Russian military is limited in its possession of short-range and medium-range or intermediate-range missiles, which are missiles that have striking distance ranges of 500 kilometres (300 miles) to 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles).
From a strategic military standpoint, in the event of a U.S.-NATO war against Russia and the CSTO, the Russian military would be forced to use its long-range or inter-continental ballistic missiles (IBMs) in Europe or regional war theatres near its borders instead of targeting the U.S. and the North American continent, which could remain unscathed. Russian threats to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Treaty in effect mean that the Kremlin wants the ability to be able to target and threaten the U.S. with a nuclear strike capability.
The CSTO-SCO Alliance versus NATO
Russia has also called for a full effort by the SCO to become involved in NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan. It has also challenged NATO’s so-called stabilization monopoly in Afghanistan.  Moreover, the CSTO and the U.N. signed a cooperation agreement in March 2010 similar to that secretly signed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and NATO on October 9, 2008. 
Both the SCO and CSTO are set to expand in Eurasia as counter-weights to NATO. Under the proper geo-political environment, Ukraine, Iran, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Serbia are possible candidates to join CSTO. After the 2010 election victory of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine, Moscow said that the Ukraine would be welcomed as a full member of the CSTO. 
The case of an Iranian bid to join CSTO or the SCO is complicated. The Secretary-General of the SCO, Bolat Kabdylkhamitovich Nurgaliyev, welcomed the Iranian bid to join the SCO as a full member in March 2008.  Iran, with the help of Tajikistan, has also accelerated and put greater muscle behind its drive to become a full member of the SCO.  Starting in 2007 Russia had openly, but quietly, lobbied for the full inclusion of Iran into the SCO.  Kyrgyzstan also started supporting Tehran’s bid at that time.  The Iranian bid, however, was rejected by the SCO in 2010.  This was a strategic move by Russia and China to push Tehran to entrench itself deeper into their triple entente.
After the death of Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov (“Turkmenbashi” or the “Leader of the Turkmen”), his successor, President Berdymukhammedov, removed Turkmenistan from its state of self-imposed neutrality and has brought Ashgabat (Ashkhabad) closer to Moscow, Tehran, and Beijing. Turkmenistan has also started to participate in SCO meetings and events. Belarus and Sri Lanka became dialogue partners in 2009 and began to participate within the SCO. The SCO has also started discussions about the framework for a bloc currency for its members.
Both the CSTO and the SCO cover much of the same space in Eurasia and the two Eurasian organizations may indeed merge when the time is right. The agreements being signed between the member states of these two organizations parallel those between NATO and the European Union. Both CSTO and the SCO are pushing towards the formation of a Eurasian Union. They have also signed a military cooperation agreement, which effectively makes China a member of CSTO and creates a unified defensive bloc from the Yellow Sea to Central Asia and Eastern Europe. 
In July 2007, the CSTO proposed that the SCO and CSTO collaborate together in NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.  In February 2008, the secretary-generals of the CSTO and the SCO, Nikolai Bordyuzha and Bolat Nurgaliyev, met at CSTO Headquarters in Moscow for a second round of consultations. The meeting between both men, one a former Russian colonel-general and the other a former Kazakhstani diplomat, was arranged to develop and implement the CSTO-SCO October 2007 agreement signed in Tajikistan.
Resumption of Cold War-style Flights
Cold War flight routes have been resumed. These flights are called strategic flights. What they are in essence is a military threat to strike rivals in the event of a war.
Interception of Russian combat aircraft by NATO fighters have become a common occurrence since Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the international waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean by order of Vladimir Putin in August, 2007. Since that time until the end of August, 2008 there were almost eighty such strategic Russian flights.
During flights over internationally neutral airspace, Russian jets and ships have been accompanied or monitored by NATO warplanes and vessels. On April 9, 2008 four Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers and four Il-78 aerial tankers flying near Alaska were intercepted and followed by NATO planes.  This was the second such incident in less than a month; on March 19, 2008 two Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers were intercepted and followed by F-16 Tornado fighter jets. 
The globe is not being de-militarized. Russia has since sent its warplanes and strategic nuclear bombers flying through the Caribbean and Latin America where the Bolivarian Bloc has greeted them as allies. These flights are synonymous with increasing global tensions.
War and Global Governance
The geo-political issues pertaining to Kosovo, Iraq, Korea, the Iranian nuclear energy program, NATO expansionism, and the U.S. missile shield project in Eastern Europe and Asia are interrelated. The inter-linked nature of all these geo-strategic conflicts is potentially unstable.
At its roots the state serves elitist interests. In this context it is worth quoting George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. An excerpt from a fictitious book, Emmanuel Goldstein’s The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, being read by Orwell’s protagonist Winston sums this point:
The war, therefore, if we judge it by standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. [...] But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognise their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word [and conceptualization of] ‘war’, therefore has been misleading. 
Today the globe is in the middle of an economic war, while a system of global governance is also being put in place to avert a global war over resources via political and economic takeovers. This is also what organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) are for.
Mackinder also stipulated about a future system of global governance: “[I]f the Freedom of Nations is to be secure, it must rest on a reasonable approach to equality of resources as between a certain number of the larger Nations.”  What Mackinder was implying was a compact between the so-called major powers that would turn the planet into a condominium to manage global resources.
In this regard, the trilateral November 2010 meeting between the foreign ministers of India, China, and Russia in Wuhan, China outlined the establishment of a shared system of global governance.  Their joint communiqué outlined this in various ways, such as outlining reforms at the U.N. Security Council. Of particular interest was Article 13:
The Ministers reiterated their support for the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and welcomed the decisions of the G20 summit in Seoul including on IMF quota reform. They reiterated that the goal of the reform of international financial institutions was to achieve, step by step, equitable distribution of voting power between developed and developing countries. 
Global tensions are also in part a result of friction over the configuration of a system of global governance and an incomplete consensus amongst global elites.
Each and every group is trying to maximize their share of global control and resources in an evolving system of global governance. The negotiations between Iran and the great powers through the “Permanent Five plus One” (P5+1) format, which includes the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany, as well as the E.U., also have ties to this process. The talks between Tehran and the P5+1 are much broader negotiations tied to the role that Iran would play in a system of global governance and are not merely focused on the Iranian nuclear energy program.
Inter-Play between Oceania and Eurasia for Control in a System of Global Governance?
The threat of war exists, but not merely against Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq are merely in the positions that Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were in the Balkans on the eve of the First World War when the Habsburg Empire or Austro-Hungary was searching for an excuse to invade and control Serbia within the broader framework of economic rivalry between major European and global powers. The tensions against Iran and Syria have the undertones of a far broader and historical conflict involving the Eurasian Heartland and the oceanic-states on the fringes of the Eurasian landmass and in North America — “Eurasia versus Oceania.”
Through a public relations (P.R.) toolbox, all types of excuses and pretexts are being wielded and fashioned to justify a future war against Iran and its allies including claims by Hillary Clinton that Iran is becoming a military dictatorship.
Hillary Clinton told a Qatari audience the following: “We see the government of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the parliament, is being supplanted and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship [under the Iranian Revolutionary Guard].”  Daniel Meridor, the deputy prime minister and intelligence and atomic energy minister of Israel, has gone on the record to say that the standing of the U.S. on the globe will be determined by the course of Iran and that the question of Iran is not essentially about nuclear weapons, but about the balance of global power. 
Commenting on this change in the global balance of power, the Syrian President told the Italian newspaper La Republica that a new geo-political alternative is arising through an alliance between Syria, Iran, Russia, and Turkey through their common interests and integration in the “centre of the world.”  In the context of this new geo-political reality in Eurasia, Tehran also provided support to military drills held in September 2010 between Chinese and Turkish air units by allowing Chinese military jets to use Iranian military bases.  The Turko-Chinese military drills are not as significant as Iran allowing the use of its airspace and facilities to the Chinese warplanes, because China and Turkey, like Israel and China, started military cooperation in the 1990s.
Mackinder said something very crucial to understanding the direction that these wars are headed towards:
The great wars of history — we have had a world-war about every hundred years for the last four centuries — are the outcome, direct or indirect, of the unequal growth of nations, and that unequal growth is not wholly due to the greater genius and energy of some nations as compared with others; in large measure it is the result of the uneven distribution of fertility and strategical opportunity upon the face of our Globe. In other words, there is in nature no such thing as equality of opportunity for the nations. Unless I wholly misread the facts of geography, I would go further, and say that the grouping of lands and seas, and of fertility and natural pathways, is such as to lead itself to the growth of empires, and in the end of a single World Empire. If we are to realise our ideal of a League of Nations which shall prevent war in the future, we must recognize these geographical realities and take steps to counter their influence. 
The nature of modern wars is based on usurping natural resources and the wealth of nations. Thus, these wars are materialist wars, either fought on strategic grounds to acquire wealth and power or to directly usurp it. Any ideological framework is used to deceive the masses. These wars are therefore criminal acts.
Thinking the Unthinkable: A Nuclear War in the Middle East against Iran?
“Iran is a complex nation and it does not appear that Israel has the power to challenge it.” -Javier Solana (Der Tagesspiegel, January 13, 2007)
The Iranian nuclear energy program is a pretext for aggression against Iran. The U.S. and its allies are seriously contemplating a nuclear attack against Iran. The political groundwork, the military procedures, the dissemination of disinformation, and the media work have all been underway for years.
Despite its psychological warfare and all its propaganda for creating the mirage of being a military powerhouse, Tel Aviv is incapable of waging and winning a conventional war against the Iranians. Despite the large Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), Iran is a far stronger military power than Israel. In 2009, Iranian military power started being reviewed under the same annual assessments that the U.S. reserves for Chinese military expansion.  Even the former commander of the entire Israeli military, Daniel Halutz, has warned that Israel cannot tackle Iran by itself.  This is why Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government have asked the U.S. to militarily engage Iran. 
Any attack on Iran will be a joint operation between Israel, the U.S., and NATO. Such an attack will escalate into a major war. The U.S. could attack Iran, but can not win a conventional war. General Yuri Baluyevsky, the former chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff and Russian deputy defence minister, even publicly came forward in 2007 to warn that an attack on Iran would be a global disaster and unwinnable for the Pentagon. 
Such a war against Iran and its allies in the Middle East would lead to the use of nuclear weapons against Iran as the only means to defeat it. Even Saddam Hussein, who during his day once commanded the most powerful Arab state and military force, was aware of this. In July 25, 1990, in a meeting with April C. Glaspie, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein stated: “But you know you [meaning the U.S.] are not the ones who protected your friends during the war with Iran. I assure you, had the Iranians overrun the region, the American troops would not have stopped them, except by the use of nuclear weapons.” 
The diabolically unthinkable is no longer a taboo: the use of nuclear weapons once again against another country by the U.S. military. This will be a violation of the NPT and international law. Any nuclear attack on Iran will have major, long-term environmental impacts. A nuclear attack on Iran will also contaminate far-reaching areas that will go far beyond Iran to places such as Europe, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, Pakistan, and India.
Within the NATO alliance and amongst U.S. allies a consensus has been underway to legitimize and normalize the idea of using nuclear weapons. This consenus aims at paving the way for a nuclear strike against Iran and/or other countries in the future. This groundwork also includes the normalization of Israeli nukes.
Towards the end of 2006, Robert Gates stated that Israel has nuclear weapons, which was soon followed by a conveniently-timed slip of the tongue by Ehud Olmert stating that Tel Aviv possessed nuclear weapons.  Within this framework, Fumio Kyuma, a former Japanese defence minister, during a speech at Reitaku University in 2007 that followed the statements of Gates and Olmert, tried to publicly legitimize the dropping of atom bombs by the U.S. on Japanese civilians.  Because of the massive public outrage in Japanese society, Kyuma was forced to resign his post as defence minister. 
The Uncertain Road Ahead: Armageddon at Our Doorstep? The March into the Unknown Horizon...
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Beijing is a barometre on whether Iran will be attacked and it seems unlikely by the acceleration in trade between China and Iran.  Still a major war in the Middle East and an even more dangerous global war with the use of nuclear weapons should not be ruled out. The globe is facing a state of worldwide military escalation. What is looming in front of humanity is the possibility of an all-out nuclear war and the extinction of most life on this planet as we know it.
Nor do the events leading to a new global war necessarily need to be based on a large destructive event that arises at all at once. The events could be numerous and the process slow and calculated. The first Cold War never really ended, or at least the mentality behind the first Cold War never really went away.
The United States, Britain, NATO, and their allies have been positioning themselves globally for conflict. They have literally been preparing the global chessboard for warfare. In this context, the U.S. is entrenching itself in pivotal areas that can be used as control points, strategic launch pads, and chokepoints in future military conflicts.
In Yemen the U.S. is setting up bases to control one of the most vital global maritime routes, which connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. In Eastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Baltic, the U.S. and NATO are deploying troops and setting up extensive military infrastructure to castrate and dominate Belarus, Ukraine, and the European core of Russia. In the Caucasus, the U.S. and NATO are using Georgia to challenge Russia. In the Persian Gulf the military forces of the U.S., Britain, France, Israel, and NATO are working to tackle Iran and to ultimately control substantial amounts of global energy. In Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula the U.S. military is actively involved in war preparations against North Korea and mainland China and is deliberately arming Taipei against Beijing as part of a broader military circle being raised around the People’s Republic of China. Finally, Columbia is being used by the U.S. as a bridgehead against Venezuela and Ecuador and Haiti is being used as a U.S. base in the Caribbean.
What is certain is that the so-called “Great Game” never ended — it has always been part of the “long war” that Mackinder talked about in the historical process of establishing a “World-Empire” — it only changed its name. Yesterday it was the “Cold War,” the day before it was the “Great War” and today it is the “Global War on Terror.” Who knows what it will be called tomorrow — maybe World War III — and where it will take humanity. It is no game and there is nothing great about it, but this so-called “Great Game” may lead humanity to the footsteps of Megiddo and Yathrib.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
 Vladimir Radyuhin, “India is top priority for Belarus”, The Hindu, April 16, 2007.
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 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “The March to War: Détente in the Middle East or ‘Calm before the Storm?’” Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), July 10, 2007; Harutunian, “Russia extends military”, Op. cit.
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “The Globalization of Military Power: NATO Expansion”, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), May 17, 2007.
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 “Mottaki: Iran ready to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization”, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), March 24, 2008; “Iran seeks quick SCO membership”, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), April 11, 2008.
 “Iran’s SCO Membership on the Cards - Lavrov”, Kommersant, July 11, 2007.
 “Mottaki: Iran spares no efforts to broaden ties with Kyrgyzstan”, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), February 21, 2008; “Mottaki: Tehran calls for expansion of all-out ties with Bishkek”, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), February 21, 2008.
 “Shanghai group set to deny membership to Iran”, Agence France-Presse (AFP), June 11, 2010.
 Vladimir Radyuhin, “Defence pact to balance NATO”, The Hindu, October 7, 2007.
 “CSTO proposes to SCO joint effort on post-conflict Afghanistan”, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), July 31, 2007.
 “NATO fighters again accompany Russian bombers near Alaska”, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), April 9, 2008.
 “NATO fighters scramble again to intercept Russian Bear bombers”, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), March 19, 2008.
 George Orwell, Nineteen Eight-Four (Toronto: Penguin Books, 2000), p.207.
 Halford John Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality (London, U.K.: Constables and Company Ltd., 1919), p.236.
 Joint Communiqué of the Tenth Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation and the Republic of India, signed November 15, 2010, People’s Republic of China - Republic of India - Russian Federation, Ministry of External Affairs of India: <http://meaindia.nic.in/mystart.php?id=100016682&pid=1869>.
 Borzou Daragahi, “Iran moving toward military dictatorship, Clinton says”, The Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2010.
 Herb Keion, “Assad: US has lost influence in the ME”, The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2010.
 “Chinese warplanes refueled in Iran en route to Turkey”, Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review, October 11, 2010.
 Mackinder, Democratic Ideals, Op. cit., pp.2-3.
 Viola Gienger, “Iran’s Military Power Subject to New U.S. Study Used for China”, Bloomberg, November 3, 3009.
 Dan Williams, “Israel general doubts power to hit Iran atom sites”, ed. Mark Trevelyan, Reuters, February 13, 2010.
 Jeffrey Heller, “Netanyahu to press U.S. for military threat on Iran”, ed. Christopher Wilson, Reuters, November 7, 2010.
 “U.S. could strike Iran but not win: Russian general”, Reuters, April 3, 2007.
 “Excerpts From Iraqi Document on Meeting with US Envoy”, The New York Times, Septmber 22, 1990, p.19; it should be noted that more than one transcript exists from the 1990 meeting of President Hussein and Ambassador Glaspie and the one cited from The New York Times was done so out of convenience.
 “Incoming U.S. Defense Secretary tells Senate panel Israel has nuclear weapons”, Associated Press (AP), December 9, 2006; Allyn Fisher-Ilan, “Olmert, in Europe, hints Israel has nuclear arms”, Reuters, December 11, 2006; Philippe Naughton, “Olmert’s nuclear slip-up sparks outrage in Israel”, The Times (U.K.) December 12, 2006.
 Christopher Hogg, “Japan gets woman defence minister”, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, July 4, 2007.
 Clayton Jones, “China is a barometer on whether Israel will attack nuclear plants in Iran warplanes refueled in Iran” Christian Science Monitor, August 6, 2010.