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Great Heartland – Rimland's thought or theory


Mehdi Motaharnia

PhD in Socio-Cultural Futurology and Technology from Imam Khomeini International University

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Amir Hooshang Mirkooshesh

PhD in International Relations and Faculty Member, Islamic Azad University of Iran, Semnan, Shahroud Branch

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Geographical location is a defined position that determines how a point is located on the planet. This geographical location plays an important role in the destiny of a country and its people. In this way, specialized concepts in this field are constructed. The geopolitical code refers to the geographical effect of a country on regional order and the international system. In other words, based on the geopolitical genome of any country which determines the political genetic map that influences that country's political behaviors and actions; it is called "geopolitical code".

 Here, according to the author, the "geostrategic genome" is created by the coefficient of interaction of the territory from the perspective of the impact of a geographical area with a special regional geopolitical code and its impact on the international dimension.

Considering the Iranian geostrategic genome in New-heartland, the present article intends to use the classical theories of Mackinder's Heartland and Spykman's Rimland to propose the situation of the Iranian plateau and its crescent as the most important area having a geostrategic genome in the 21st century. This idea - theory - was proposed by the author in various scientific and media circles in the early years of the 1380s, and now it is time to present it to the interested community in a more coherent format. The analytical-interpretive post-positivist epistemological basis, qualitative methodology, and library method in expressing the two theories of Heartland and Rimland, with a new interpretation of it in this article has been considered by the author. The result includes the expression of a new theory; and not necessarily novel in this area.
Keywords:Geopolitical Code, Geopolitical Genome, Genetic Map, Geostrategic Genome, Heartland, Rimland, Greater Heartland, Greater Rimland, Heartland - Greater Rimland, New Heartland, New-heartland, Upper Heartland,

In the late seventies and early 80s, when I was invited to various universities, especially centers related to strategic and military courses, and I was still not in the margins of successive marginalization; I started the expression of the theory of the Great Heartland in these circles and then because of the good communication I had with my close friends in the field of media and news agencies and their efforts to conduct various interviews in various political and international fields , I slowly brought it to the public arena of society's attitude and judgment. This theory was based on two key concepts, ancient and classical, Heartland and Rimland, and on the other hand, it covered two aspects of hegemony, namely simple and compound hegemony. Like many of my views, I am accustomed to dedicating my new words to my audience or message-seeker, like new wine in an old bottle. Experience has shown me that I must first speak, hear the criticisms, and then, in an appropriate situation, connect my scattered footprints in the divinely revealed snow left on the ground and make my own assumptions offer. Beneath all this divine white snow that descends from the sky of God's pure mercy, from time to time, low-capacity people like me dig deep wells in the ground and do not put it in warning caps. That is why there are holes and dark wells that sometimes, if you do not step cautiously in them, they will pull you down with all their might.
Now that the snowfall of the fifties has overshadowed the peak of my being and embraced the hair of my head and face more than ever, it is time for me to express it more and more seriously. Courage, according to Aristotle's theory of moderation, or Aristotle's Eudemonia, is the boundary between fearlessness and eloquence. Courage is to build words, behaviors, and actions in a timely manner and to know that every word has a place and every point has a place.
But then, remember that geographical location is a defined situation that determines how a point is located on the planet. This geographical location plays an important role in the destiny of a country and its people. The importance of a geopolitical location - regional - or the importance of a geographical location - geostrategic - global - can be very influential in the political and economic destiny of any country. There are many regions in the world that are regionally important, but places in the world that are of regional importance; Important with the global dimension, are few. In fact, those regions play a very sensitive role for the world and play an important role in global strategies. This importance has given rise to two very important theories in the political and international literature:
• Mackinder's Heartland thought
• Spykman's Rimland thought

1. Heartland thought
The term heartland is an ancient, classical term coined by Professor Halford Mackinder, an associate professor of geography at the University of Oxford and dean of the London School of Economics and Political Science, during a speech at the Royal Geographical Society of England on January 25, 1904. He used the term in the "geographical axis of history" theory, in which the subject of the lecture was geographically consistent with a space that was beyond the reach of shipping lines. According to him, this region was located between the Volga River and eastern Siberia and the Himalayas and the Antarctic Circle.
Mackinder attributed the planet to a three-part spatial structure centered on Heartland, followed by:
• Internal crescent
• External crescent
He linked this structure to power relations in the Bari and Maritime power struggles of the time, and believed that control of the Heartland by any power, especially Bari, could lead to world domination.
After more than a century of expression of this meaning and definition by Mackinder, we have witnessed the expression of another word called New Heartland, which has been proposed in Iran by Professor Mohammad Reza Hafeznia. He is one of the great and respected contributors of geopolitical science and has also been the editor of Geopolitical Quarterly, commented on the concept of New Heartland.
I moved to the Higher National Defense University of Iran for a short time as an advisor to the board and as a visiting professor, and I learned the strategy for the first time at the University of Tehran with Professor Dr. Ghasem Eftekhari, and I had heard about it in different meetings. However, I have expanded my view on this issue with regard to the background of its expression at the beginning of this decade with regard to this new concept of New Heartland.
He writes in the same memo: "The author believes that Heartland in the sense of geographical space that influences global politics and has a very strong political role in the formation of spherical political processes, as well as in terms of spatial-spatial, especially It has changed since the end of the Cold War and is now relocating to Southwest Asia, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the eastern Mediterranean, "The Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf."
However, this is not what the author of these lines has emphasized. I believe that New Heartland is not all of these areas but part of these areas and the geographical location of the West is "Greater Heartland". The meaning and definition of heartland is the same, and the great suffix does not refer to differences in definition, but from a different perspective on the current state of the world in relation to the geographical center of gravity affecting the future of the world through the perspective of a futurist or political historian. Next to this concept are the other two concepts of New Heartland, and Upper Heartland, and together form the Great Heartland.

2. Rimland thought
Another theory of particular importance in geopolitical issues is the theory of the "Rimland" marginal land theory by Nichols Spykman. This theory attaches great importance to the peripheral lands of Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East, and sees them as the keys to the security of the United States. According to this scholar, mastering each of these regions makes the encirclement of the new world possible. Spykman points to Rimland, which is modestly the same as Mackinder's inner crescent, and says that domination of any region threatens American security; as such a situation would make it possible to besiege the New World. Whoever controls Rimland, govern Eurasia and whoever governs Eurasia, having the destiny of the world.
Spykman's interpretation of the importance of Heartland's connection to the circle around it differs slightly from Mackinder's. Mackinder calls this area the Inner and Outer Crescent, but in Spykman's words, this area is called the Land of the Rimland, which is surrounded by water. Spykman's importance to the Rimland compared to the Heartland was because he believed that the region could better combine Ground and naval power. There are also the best human resources and ease of communication in this part of the world. By presenting this theory, Spykman wanted the United States to accept and recognize the following points.
1. The ultimate responsibility of each government in maintaining its own security;
2. The importance of a world balance power;
3. The need for use US force to establish and stabilize such a balance.
Accordingly, it is with this concept in mind that Heartland's need for the concept of Rimland and what Spykman has said about what is happening in the world today and in the future. New wine should be offered to people in old bottles.
The Heartland-Rimland theory is also based on the acceptance of the effect of the geopolitical code and the so-called geostrategic genome of a region's political geography on regional order and the international system. However, it encompasses a wider range of concepts, and a wider range of geographies in Heartland and New Heartland, and transcends the embodiments of these perspectives. Let's not forget:
• Assumed to be consistent with the facts observed in nature and prior knowledge.
• It is considered that it should provide the necessary tools for its test.
• It is thought that it should motivate research in society and provide the ground for new research.

Figure 1: Heartland and Rimland in its classical theories

- Other key concepts
The other two key concepts in this theory are:
- Simple hegemony
- Complex hegemony
Jay John Ikenberry believes that America's supremacy as a great superpower in modern history is unprecedented today. No other great power has ever had such multifaceted capabilities. It was on the eve of the 21st century that the United States pursued its central national security paradigm, which in the wake of the transition from the "founders' dream" to the "great American dream" , changed a superior atmosphere that has overshadowed other areas of thought, behavior, and action,
The Paradigm of Expanding the Future and Managing the Future: The Pioneering Doctrine of the Year: The Huntington and Spielberg Decade of 2011 and the Simple Hegemony of William Wolfforth Aimed at: Maintaining global military supremacy, striving for greater American economic power, and promoting free-market democracy internationally were on the US agenda. This orientation led to the US presence in Asia and took advantage of the 9/11 crisis. But so far it is completing its continuum with two other paradigms and doctrines.
1. The Future Management and Development Paradigm for Leadership Action: The Doctrine of Smarter American Power Year: 2006 Joseph Nye and the Cisi Institute Project Creating political legitimacy for the exercise of military power.
2. 2. The Paradigm of Chaos and the Expansion of complex Hegemony: The Crazy Actor Doctrine of the Year: The Epistemological Basis of Lorenz's Theory and Henry Kissinger's 2011 Theory and the Powerful American Theory by K. Coles James Multipolarity led by Joseph Joffe's complex hegemony.
Therefore, familiarity with the two concepts of simple and complex hegemony creates an inescapable necessity in the expression of the Great Heartland-Rimland theory.
- Simple hegemony
This concept was theorized by William Wolfforth. He believes that the superior power will find the opportunity to "institutionalize" its superiority in various fields and reveal the need for other powers to intervene and the role of the hegemon, and in addition to increase the costs of opposition to the hegemon in terms of potential threats that only the hegemon is able to manage, take on the role of {axis of world politics} alone.
- Complex hegemony
This concept was conceived by Joseph Joffe. According to him, simple power has the potentiality to produce a high negative reaction. This leads to a wide range of negative critical analysis claiming the "undisputed superiority of the hegemon." Hence, what is called hegemonic unilateralism faces opportunistic challenges and, according to Joseph Joffe, leads to hegemony becoming a single power. According to him, "lone powers" have always been challenged, and this situation can be repeated in the case of simple hegemony in the 21st century.

- Great Heartland - Rimland
According to this theory, Greater Heartland covers the area between the Maghreb in North Africa and North Africa to Tibet. I have called this area the "Golden Belt of Power" in the 21st century. This is a metaphor I used from the movie "The First" starring Jet Lee. The region itself is divided into three parts:

1. Western Heartland or New Heartland
2. Central Heartland or Heartland New
3. Eastern Heartland or Upper Heartland


Figure Two: The Great Heartland

New Heartland stretches from North Africa to the borders of the Iranian plateau in southern Iraq and eastern Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf.
New Heartland includes the countries on the Iranian plateau centered on Tehran and its crescent in relation to the Rimland from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden. According to a friend who accompanied us in a conversation about New Heartland - Chamran Bouyeh - this region can be considered a region with the logic of "Iran civilization" as opposed to the logic that can be called a region with "Arabic logic" about New Heartland. " The plateau of Iran, with an area of 3,700,000 square kilometers, in addition to present-day Iran, includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and parts of Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and China. Iran covers almost half of the Iranian plateau and is the most central and important part of New Heartland.

Figure Three: Plateau of Iran

Upper Heartland is a geographical area of western China, which was annexed to China from, 1950-51 and it was before an independent country. It has an area of about 2,400,000 square kilometers and is the highest plateau in the world at 4900 meters above sea level.

- Great Rimland
This theory refers to the periphery of the Americas, East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf, Australia, and the geopolitical parts of Latin America. But, specifically to countries:
Canada Japan
Korea Korean Peninsula
Australia Cuba
This strategic circle is considered as the "support belt" for the "Golden Belt of Power", and the connection between it and the Golden Belt of Power can be recovered in the center {the boundary between the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Aden or the outskirts of Greater Heartland}. Dominance over this region is seen as an inevitable goal for American hegemonic domination. The key to US security lies in "strategic priority" in the region, and a reassuring success in achieving its "strategic priority" depends on achieving that strategic priority.


Figure 4: Heartland - Greater Rimland and the future of the American world order

The 90's and the preparation for the 21st century
The eighth paradigm of American security on the eve of the 21st century is to expand the vision and management of the future to move from the "founders' dream" discourse to the "great American dream." The Predestined Doctrine of the Year was developed in the 1990s by Huntington and Spielberg and the simple hegemony of William Wolfforth. Based on the preemptive doctrine of approaches such as
- Maintaining military supremacy in the world,
- Efforts to further flourish American economic power,
- Promoting free market democracy internationally
Become prominent in American political and international literature. This doctrine provided a new triangle with three significant angles for constructing and applying for the future of the international system.


                  New world order
                      Clash of Civilizations Fighting Terrorism
                        Figure 5: US Eighth Security Doctrine "Prejudice"

Per-emption sought to dominate the political, economic, religious, security, and military bottlenecks of the present age. And it anticipates America's rival powers in shaping the future world order. Four scenarios:
- Gulliver's troubled world - King Khan
- Zaibatsu - Cyber battles
It was followed by the Rand Institute, and eventually led the Pentagon to conclude in two combined scenarios that although the importance of oil is coming down from the throne. However, on the carpet, the control of the oil and bridge crossing between the north and south and the west-east tunnel in the geostrategic genome of the US strategy for the new world order of the future should be considered.
In this view, the perspective of security from a political point of view with the focus on the geo-strategy of New-heartland returns to its zero point, where the geopolitical code of "Iran" is very significant and definable.

Figure 6: The position of New Heartland and Iran in the eighth US security paradigm in the new world order of the future


Thus, the United States must have a significant meaningful event in the last decade of the 21st century to dominate and enter the region. From the American point of view, this meaning was already provided in the "Iran Challenge". The death of the famous Iranian Americans, in parallel with its regional and supra-regional guidance, led to its exploitation to create a conducive environment for the growth of fundamentalism and, consequently, to the emergence of malignant and terrorist-oriented fundamentalism. This process-oriented contextualization required a discourse event that, by its very nature, paved the way for the "justification of strategic will" in the expansion of American power from post-Soviet Europe to Asia. "9/11" made this important.
A study of the 21st Century American Strategy Document, written by Gary Hart and Red Brown, former Colorado and Hampshire senators with a team of 150 people, shows that in the 1990s, the United States has planned to develop the meaningful and defined issue in the existing schools of its foreign policy from Europe to Asia futuristically.
It is based on this approach that in the film, the report of Spielberg Minority can be traced in the heart and text of this film. High intelligence in identifying risky behaviors and actions for the United States of America, before any practical action by its enemies and rivals, forms the backbone of the content of this film.
Thus the doctrine of preemption was written. According to its three angles, the United States can enter the logic of transition from its target geography of the twentieth century that is domination of the Western Hemisphere to domination of the Eastern Hemisphere and complete the process of American hegemony to cross this logic. That is why, after the 9/11 attacks, the United States saw this security crisis as an opportunity; It made the most of it, paving the way for its target geography over the thinned and inflamed geography of the region - Afghanistan - and sending troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. Let us not forget, however, that Afghanistan was not the ultimate goal, instead was to enter and conquer New Heartland to shape the future world order and future world geometry of power based on the American preferred scenario.

- Dual-axis security and military triangulation

To this end, the United States to triangulate two following strategic goals takes its action.
- Prioritized and
- Prioritized.
- The starting point was the deployment of troops in Afghanistan
- The next point was the Korean Peninsula under the pretext of defiance of the ruling regime of Pyongyang and
- The third point of the sides of this triangle is based on the arrival of a large number of military forces between the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Aden, with the aim of fighting the pro-terrorist regime in Tehran, according to the United States.
Based on this, a triangle with dual-axis application, with the two objectives of controlling strategic priority - Iran - and strategic priority - China - is formed in the New Heartland region inclined to Upper Heartland.

Figure 7: Dual military-security triangle in the heartland - Greater Rimland


Accordingly, in the international zoning of US military commands on a global scale, this region is under the effective command of Centcom. An examination of Centcom's position in the military-political literature of the United States reveals the region's special place in the perspective of American movement in the 21st century.

- American Hegemony and Great Heartland - Rimland
The United States in the 21st century in the light of the futurology of a wide network of think tanks and brainstorming, such as John Hopkins, Stanford, Rand, Heritage, etc. moved beyond the discourse of the founders' dream of American domination on a global scale, and turned to the great American dream of expanding American thinking, behavior, and action from the surface of earthly life to extraterrestrial and space life. The formation of the US Air Force, along with other US specialist forces in the US Army, can also be assessed in this regard.
Americans in their optimal scenario have followed two meaningful and defined options:
1. The Janus scenario
2. The peripheral gods scenario
In the first scenario, Janus, meaning the god of the gods, actually seeks simple Wolfforth hegemony. While in the second scenario, we see the creation of buffer powers in the target areas based on the division of US military command and US international partners within the framework of US global hegemony. This scenario actually leads to the desired "uni-multi polar world" scenario. This scenario approaches Joseph Joffe's complex hegemonic theory.
The preferred scenario among these favorable scenarios is the Janus scenario, which was followed in the second Bush era and with various obstacles caused by the logic of the transition period and the acceleration of developments, etc., led to an orientation based on the second scenario of a uni-multipolar world of the peripheral gods in the Obama era.
This means that the three US presidents within the framework of the three paradigms:
- The vision development paradigm and future management,
- Future management paradigm and breeding ground for action leadership,
- The paradigm of chaos and the spread of compound hegemony,
- With three doctrines:
- The preemption doctrine,
- The American smarter power doctrine,
- The crazy actor doctrine,
contradict the dream of the American founders, and end it to enter the fifth era of the Industrial Revolution, namely - artificial intelligence - the transition from "land-sea domination" to "space-celestial domination", and from the logic of "terrestrial geographical barrier", to "space sphere creator".



  - List of sources and references
Hafeznia, M. R., (2006).Principles and Concepts of Geopolitics, Mashhad: Papli Publications.
Ikenberry J. John, (2003). The Only Superpower: American Hegemony in the 21st Century, translated by Azim Fazlipour, Abrar International Institute for Contemporary Cultural Studies and Research, Tehran.
Joffe,J. (sparing 1995). "Bismarck or Britain? Toward an American Grand Strategy after Bipolarity", International security, Vol, 19, No. 4
Mackinder, H.J, (1904). the geographical Pilot of history. The Geographical journal, Vol, XXIII, NO 4.
William W. (summer 1999). the stability of a Unipolar World, international security, vol. 24, No.1


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