WATCH: Buck Sexton breaks down the triggers in the Middle East

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On last night’s Glenn Beck Program, TheBlaze national security editor Buck Sexton joined Glenn to discuss the escalating tensions in Egypt and the “trigger” events that the world should fear.

While Buck talked a lot about the upheaval in Egypt, he also spoke to Glenn about the triggers that could ignite World War 3.

Below is a transcript of the segment, although you really should watch the segment at the top of the page for a full understanding with visual aids:

Glenn: Okay, I asked you to come back on this program, and we’re not going to have time today to get to all of it, but I want you to share with one thing, because I got your briefing today. And I asked you to look at triggers that could trigger World War III, what that might look like, and also where could we reduce our presence.

I’d like to get to those two questions later, and it may be another episode. What I really want to talk about is something you brought to my attention in this briefing of Mackinder, is it Mackinder?

Buck: Mackinder.

Glenn: Mackinder’s Geographical Pivot of History, what is this? This is fascinating.

Buck: Well, I’ll show you on the map here, Glenn. This is…Mackinder was a turn-of-the-century geopolitical philosopher of sorts. He was really the father of modern geopolitical strategy, and what you have here is the map that is based upon his Geographical Pivot of History paper that he published in 1904. Now, what this essentially says is that for a country to rule the world, for it to be the preeminent power in the world, it has to control this area, the pivot area.

Now, a lot of his fellow Englishmen didn’t pay much attention to this theory. Who did was Haushofer, Karl Haushofer, who was a leading German general as well as political theorist who was the reason why they decided to invade Russia based upon this pivot theory. Now, why does this matter today, Glenn? If we were to talk about the areas of instability in the world as we are right now, we look at the Middle East, you see it comes right down here into the pivot area.

You have world powers squaring off – China, Russia, the U.S., and perhaps some people would push India in here. This area which now should extend down into the Middle East as well – he was doing this over 100 years ago, but he had a lot of foresight, Mackinder – this area is now the part of the world that’s being fought over by global powers. Anybody who controls this controls resources that have a dramatic impact on the geostrategic balance of the world.

And this, by the way, also gives us a sense of why is it now that the U.S. has bases? You asked me about bases – Okinawa, tens of thousands of U.S. troops; South Korea, tens of thousands of U.S. troops; Germany, tens of thousands of US troops. You look at where we have positioned our military strength abroad, and yes, it’s somewhat a remnant of the Cold War, but Glenn, the Cold War takes into account this theory as well. This is essentially where all the world powers meet, and it’s determined by geography, not even necessarily ideology.

Glenn: Show me where the Iron Curtain was. Can you roughly run your finger down where the Iron Curtain was?

Buck: It would’ve come down here, so a little outside of there. Now, part of this was he actually said, Mackinder actually said that whoever controls East Germany can then control the heartland, which is also called the pivot area, a name for the same thing. So that was why the Germans decided to push into this area.

The reason, Glenn, the reason for all this is that for a great land power, you need great resources. At the time, Mackinder was thinking about coal. He was thinking about timber. He was thinking about iron ore. That’s why he focused on this area; however, now with the fossil fuel economy, when you bring the Middle East into the equation, it dramatically changes the entire thing, and you understand why this is where the instability is. This is where the fighting is. And you have world powers and U.S. bases all around the rim in what’s known as the inner crescent.

Glenn: Okay. So that’s the part of the world that’s completely unstable here, Buck. So what is it that we should be doing? I mean, here’s my solution: That’s all on resources, so we should be forgetting about resources, and we should be exploiting our resources because it would allow us to maintain a power position in the world and be self-reliant. We wouldn’t have to worry about the rest.

Buck: This is the big question, Glenn, what happens if we abandon these strategic positions around here in what Mackinder called the rim land? This is where he said look, they’re fighting over this, but it’s not the powers within here necessarily. Obviously Russia at one point, the Soviet Union, controlled this. It’s those in the rim land around it that are fighting over what’s here in the middle, what is in that pivot area.

If we lose Okinawa, Glenn, if we lose South Korea, if we lose our bases in Germany – we have troops, by the way, in over 150 countries. In some countries, it’s three or four guys. In some it’s 40 or 50,000 depending. But if we pull them out from here, the world powers right now will continue to fight over this region, at least with regard to influence if not open war.

You’ve talked about global war, Glenn. You’ve talked about World War III. If it’s going to happen, it will be triggered in this area, because that’s the only place where these world powers collide. That is the collision point within Mackinder’s pivot area. It hasn’t really changed all that much.

Glenn: How well known is this to the thinkers in the Middle East? I mean, if you look at Putin, he clearly knows it because I mean, look what he’s doing. He’s right in that pivot area down at the bottom. He’s playing for all of that right now. That’s Syria and everything else that he has…they’re turning boats with bullets around that we, that the United States purchased from Russia. They’re turning those boats around and sending them back to Syria because they’re very serious about this. But how about the Middle East? I mean, how much sophistication is going on in the Middle East? Do they know about this?

Buck: Well, quite honestly, this tends to be the view taken by the global powers. Now, the Middle East is sort of the area that’s always being fought over here, including the stans. We always think of the stans, by the way, Glenn. It’s Persian for “land of.” So Afghanistan, land of Afghans, Tajikistan, land of Tajiks. They are the ones who have been caught in the middle of this.

If you take a longer view back into history, by the way, the steppe peoples, the ones that went all the way across into Europe, really threatened all of Christendom at one point in time, the Mongols, the Huns, and made their way as far east as Japan, this area of the world has been the fulcrum for geopolitical change going back for more than centuries, millennia actually, and it’s because it is the center of what’s known as the World Island, which is this whole mass here.

Yes, we can play a major role in it, and we do. We’re the preeminent power in the world. But if we don’t control this, Glenn, if we pull out of here, the whole point is other countries may do it. And the Middle East knows that they are sitting on top of the golden goose.

Glenn: So are we, I contend; however, we just have to be willing to exploit those resources, and we can be self-sufficient. Buck, from New York, our national security advisor and also one of the real stars on the Real News which follows this program, thanks for joining us. Back in a minute.

  • Draxx

    I think other leaders in the Middle East are waiting to see how the super power nations are going to react to the Egyptian Coup, if nobody does anything then I things are going to escalate more rapidly into a Caliphate to gain stability.   Plus, the bad guys really don’t care how many innocent bystandards get killed in the process (which will eventually inflame the rest of the world into some kind of action)…

  • Gristle McThornbody

    Well isn’t that just great?

    Now Glenn is promoting Nazi geostrategy through the foggy lens of third-generation warfare.

    What an ass he is.

    • Silas Hand

       MacKinder published his theory in 1904, he has kind of nothing to do with Nazis, the Nazis are far away of being involved in this, please listen and use common sense before you post your crap.

      • Anonymous

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      • Gristle McThornbody

        The Heartland Theory was enthusiastically taken up by the German school of Geopolitik, in particular by its main proponent Karl Haushofer. Geopolitik was later embraced by the German Nazi regime in the 1930s. The German interpretation of the Heartland Theory is referred to explicitly (without mentioning the connection to Mackinder) in The Nazis Strike, the second of Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” series of American World War II propaganda films.

        Regardless, this antiquated geopolitical framework has been long since been abandoned and replaced.

        Also, Silas, considering the extreme lengths Glenn and company have gone to tie in particular things with Nazism, Communism, sub-state Islamist movements, and George Soros, you would think he would be a little more careful than not at all to be throwing the name of the German geostrategist that developed Geopolitik to support his twisted view of the world through dirty 3GW lens.

        • Anonymous

           It is oh so easy to stand back and take pot-shots, pointing out everything you can to satisfy what is obviously your hatred of Glenn and what he is trying to do.  I am sure most of the people here are aware that Glenn is not, and never has claimed to be, perfect; he can make mistakes just as anyone else can.  But he has devoted enormous amounts of time and treasure to trying to save this country, and I am willing to look at anything like this which comes up, and decide what I think about it.  It always bugs me when people think that they can attach whatever motive or method they can dream up to someone else’s actions, as though they can read the minds of others and thus, know what their motives are, and somehow magically know when they are trying to deceive. 

          During WWII, George Patton, one of our greatest tank commanders, often used “antiquated” ideas, tactics and strategies from past warriors such as Alexander the Great and Roman Generals, in his plans for defeating the Nazis.  The fact that a particular theory or other idea is not brand new does not mean it is useless; many of the tactics and strategies used in the past are just as valid today as they were then.  Targeting the Heartland Theory as “outdated” doesn’t lend validity to your criticisms.

          So, explain to us what you would base your “geopolitical framework” on.  Since you are so knowledgeable about all this, perhaps you have a master plan which can save us from the “fools” you are so happy to criticize without offering alternative solutions.

          • Gristle McThornbody

            I did not see a question posed. However, would there have been one, I would not wish to share knowledge with my enemy.

            When you say “our” country, what do you mean? 

            Mr. Sexton’s reasoning that the pivot area is still geographically relevant is rooted in the notion that regions and powers continue to maintain classical sovereignty. This is not the case, nor has it been for some time. The “United States of America” is nothing more than the charter member of the collective security apparatus that will, sooner or later, evolve into the common political authority you and I rely on for access to the international market economy and protection from pocket resistance to this inevitable global government.

            The reason I need not provide an alternative solution is due, in no small part, to the absence of one.

            Cheers and good hunting.

  • soybomb315

    Buck Sexton has changed alot in the last couple years.  To get a major spot on glenn’s TV show, you must sell your soul to progressive foreign policy

    • Anonymous

      Buck / Glenn Progressive????   You don’t have a clue soybean.

  • Kanak Attack

    Glenn and Buck aren’t promoting we control that part of the world.  They’re just pointing out the fact that this region is the catalyst of world wars and why it is important to watch what happens there.

    • Anonymous

       Good point Kanak, and also Draxx.  Considering the workload Glenn carries and all he tries to do, I don’t why we can’t cut him some slack once in a while, and step back to see how he develops his ideas, etc.  Unfortunately there a lot of “pots” lurking around ready to pounce, but not too many kettles…..

  • suz

    outstanding segment.

  • Mike Rudmin

    All nice and well, and from the political/strategy games that I have seen, the games are set up to generate this kind of a situation.

    But in every one of these games, there is usually a less obvious strategy, which if played correctly, dominates the game: it is to build the cheapest units possible, as fast as possible.

    Now, in line with this, it would mean that China and India, have been dominating the game for quite some time, because they HAVEN’T gotten into the geopolitical squareoffs (typically speaking), but have instead invested in production.

    China has vast mines generating iron, coal, oil, and even gold: it’s called recycled waste.

    China then sells our recycled waste baqk to us at four times the original cost… it makes sense.

    Now, if they are starting to get geopolitical, it might not go so well for them as it had.

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