This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. E-IR publishes student essays & dissertations to allow our readers to broaden their understanding of what is possible when answering similar questions in their own studies.
In four books from 1997 to 2008 Zbigniew Brzezinski outlined a comprehensive American foreign posture around the geopolitical grail of Central Asia. Since 1945 the United States has been largely defined as the first non-Eurasian thalassocracy to prevail in the Great Game, yet for how long? Maybe the superpower in the position to rule the wave while avoiding the making of formal dominions in its most vital areas of interest still felt at a disadvantage against the Eurasian Great Gamers. This stance was underlined by that the Cold War shaped most of the US strategic thinking. Once under pressure it will have chosen force to impose its will. The problem is that at least since the 16th century no empire has sustainably prevailed by force in Afghanistan. Besides, neocon strategists never provided a convincing answer to the question “why would you succeed where the Russians failed?” The way the Great Game will evolve after 2011 shall lay the foundations of the whole 21st century geopolitics. In this article we provide a historical analysis of the Great Game emphasizing the contribution of the most local human factor to global geopolitical changes. We also try to anticipate a few trends underlining the growing power of projecting popular hope, prosperity and dignity in advancing political interests. Man is thus free to demonstrate the realist political profitability of peace and the millennium development goals in this new round of the Great Game, which shall open with a grand new deal to which each thinker may contribute. In particular, we anticipate it be defined by noopolitik and the knowledge economy, beyond geography, the most promising means for any Great Gamer to decisively prevail over the many others.