Location really does make a difference

Accidental superpower book imageIf you are interested in geopolitics, The Accidental Super Power by Peter Zeihan discusses the influence of geography on the foreign policy of a nation. You might think the subject matter would be dry and difficult to follow, but I found it was like reading a good mystery novel – a real page turner.

The author’s premise is that the United States has three things going for it – big time. The first is what he calls “the balance of transport.”  We have more navigable waterways and deep water ports than all of the rest of the world combined. It is easier for us to move things around the world than anyone else – by a wide margin. Second is our geography. We have more arable land, almost no borders to defend, and the ability to produce just about everything we need within our boundaries. Again we are unique in the world. With the ability to pull vast amounts of fossil fuels from shale, we are now approaching energy independence as well. And third is our demographic profile. We are aging more slowly than any other developed country. For the foreseeable future, we will have more workers as a percentage of the total population than any other developed nation.

When you add all of these together, the author concludes that it is unlikely anyone else can challenge the United States for supremacy for at least the next 30 years. These concepts are fairly obvious if you take the time to think about it. What makes this book great is not only that Zeihan describes things in careful and interesting detail, but he also explores what he thinks are some important conclusions.

–Barney Cohen

President, Business 360 Northwest

The Accidental Super Power was written by Peter Zeihan and published in 2014 by Twelve Books (Hatchette Book Group). You can learn more about Mr. Zeihan by visiting his website.

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