Pepe wrote a superb piece on late Zbig and what comes down to an American vast field of geopolitical (on average fraudulent) forecasts at large. In a piece symptomatically titled The Art of Being a Spectacularly Misguided Oracle, Pepe notes:
Over the years, it was always amusing to follow the heights Dr. Zbig would reach with his Russophobia. But then, slowly but surely, he was forced to revise his great expectations. And finally he must have been truly horrified that his perennial Mackinder-style geopolitical fears came to pass – beyond the wildest nightmares. Not only Washington had prevented the emergence of a “peer competitor” in Eurasia, but the competitor is now configured as a strategic partnership between Russia and China.Dr. Zbig was not exactly versed in Chinese matters. His misreading of China may be found in his classic A Geostrategy for Eurasia published in – where else – Foreign Affairs in 1997.
In Soviet/Russian public schools this "geopolitics" is being taught as a course in Geography, both physical and economic. Here is an example of economic geography exam in Russian schools. This also qualifies to be the part of yet another constituent part of multiplication of pseudo-scientific essences such as Luttwak's introduction of "geoeconomics" being a separate study, as Luttwak insists, from "geopolitics". So, what was touted in the West as some kind of a separate study and highly vaunted expertise is nothing more than an eclectic approach to primarily an economic geography, history and economics, or those legitimate disciplines' lobotomized bastard child of political "science". And why not? In the academe which counts Queer Studies as a viable academic discipline and Ph.Ds in Gender are bestowed on people who can barely operate with basic logic, not to speak of vast arrays of complex information, it is absolutely not surprising and only natural, that people of Zbig's or Kissinger's backgrounds would be counted as Oracles, despite them, and many others from a vast cesspool of America's 'geopolitical and political science sinecures, being constantly wrong on pretty much any issue of modern geopolitics and global balance of power.
Oh, come on, let's face it, the only thing these pseudo-oracles could ever sell was a "reasoning" based on a complete factual BS which was and is treated as a "scientific" fact, while in reality being a figment of imagination of a class of America's fraudulent oracles, whose main task is a development of explanations of why their predictions never become a reality. Ah, those sinecures and pseudo-intellectual magazines serving as Ilf and Petrov once defined as "life-giving springs of remuneration." So, if Zbig, Fukuyama, Kissinger, Huntington or Luttwak never saw their "predictions" to pan out--don't be surprised, I never saw a successful routine appendectomy performed by a local grocery store custodian or even the best electrician from the best local company. Unless, of course, they decided to exchange their 8 years of study and internship in mdeical school for salaries of said custodian or electrician, which under modern conditions may not seem as far fetched. Some good level electricians today make a killing reaching sometimes $90 per hour, and I thought myself about doing this, but then again--I am relatively young and if I need to commit suicide, I have much better alternatives and my body will be still intact, relatively, compared to my sorry ass being turned into the pile of ash, with the only benefit being a free on-sire cremation. But I digress.
We all need to understand the name of the game--it is wrapping an acute ignorance into the veil of seemingly legitimate and respectable "scientific" verbiage. If predictions do not pan out, who cares. Well, in the United States of the last 30 years no "geopolitical" prediction, there were many of them, panned out precisely because of the American geopolitical Beau Monde being "not versed" in the the main constituent parts of good forecasting: modern real (industrial) economy and warfare. Both require a set of knowledge and skills which are beyond the scope of whatever passes today as "education" in geopolitics in the West. It is all fine and dandy to have an excellent background in economic geography, which is a legitimate field of study, but until one understands the impact of these two on US "foreign policy", one will continue to observe such arguments as Daniel Larison tries to make when addressing a complete neocon moron with Ph.D in "public policy" such as Robert Kagan:
U.S. hegemony was an artifact of a very peculiar period in world history that will never come again, and as we move out of that period we need to adapt our foreign policy strategy accordingly. Kagan and Rasmussen are products of that period and cling desperately to it because it is what they know. They are trying to preserve a U.S. role in the world that no longer makes any sense for the world as it is.
No, Mr. Larison, despite validity of your many points, Kagan, Rassmusen et al, are not just "products of that period". This is not it, I know a truckload of people who are "products of this period", me being one of them. The reason they cling to a myth of America's hegemony is because this is THE ONLY thing which dominates America's geopolitical Parnassus infested with people who are utterly uneducated and cannot possibly grasp a scale of the technological, industrial, scientific and military advances in the last 20 years. Kagan has degree in "public policy" and his loyalties are to Israel, Rassmussen has degree in social studies and was a Prime-Minister of the country, which is smaller than the couple of southern boroughs of Moscow, or St. Petersburg. Even if to imagine that they wanted to move on, which they don't, neoconservative-liberal interventionism is now in a stage four in the United States, they can't. They do not have intellectual wherewithal to do so. Can you imagine this fat ass Kagan studying real Operational Theory or how advanced weapons are designed and produced? Come on, let's be real. Look at the modern Europe today, at its degenerate political and media class, same goes for the United States.
We literally have "humanities-educated" class running things into the ground. As I state non-stop, I am all eyes and ears, rubbing my hands in anticipation, waiting for America's geopolitical Parnassus to produce a viable argument in favor of "learning historic lessons" from Peloponnese Wars as applied to operations of modern militaries, say in dense ECM-ECCM environment. I bet, this thing has way more profound impact on modern geopolitics, than late Zbig or Fukuyama, or Kissinger ever wrote on anything. As I say non-stop, I am not against humanities studies, they are part and parcel of classic education which we all sorely miss today among Western "elites" who are grotesquely uncultured, despite having access to an expensive Scotch and the best golf-clubs in the world. I am terrified of some "human rights" lawyer or Ph.D in "public policy" getting to the levers of a political power and trying to apply that precious little of value which was taught to him to the world which is so complex that it cannot afford anymore the class of "experts" who cannot predict their next own bowel movement, let alone the global transfiguration unfolding in a front of our own eyes. What we have today in the US is a class of people who, as Pepe correctly states, are spectacularly misguided oracles, who haven't got anything right in decades but who continue to push their own opinions and forecasts which are irredeemable both from academic-scientific and human points of view. Ignorance is not an extenuating circumstance in case of American "geopolitics", which in the last 30 years produced one failure after another thus justifying, directly or by proxy, a massive war crime a rotten Empire has committed trying to extend its self-proclaimed hegemonic life by means of robbery and violence. The accounts will be settled one way or another. But even a broken clock is right twice a day, not American geopolitical "academe".