A fascinating article I came across, written by a German academic. It discusses the classic theories of geopolitics and how they now impact on the war in Syria.
It was Sir Halford Mackinder who developed the "Heartland Theory". This theory argued that whoever controlled Eastern Europe could control the "Heartland" of Eurasia. The Heartland is a vast area from the Volga to the Yangtze river in China and from Tibet to the Arctic. And controlling this area could lead to world domination.
Mackinder's student, the American Nicholas Spykman, later modified Mackinder's theory to argue that it was the "Rimland" of Eurasia, not the Heartland, that was the most decisive zone. The Rimland runs from Scandinavia through the centre of Eastern Europe down into the Middle East and then along the shores of the Indian Ocean and on to Indo-China and the coast of China. Spykman argued that Maritime powers such as America could dominate this "Rimland" area. It is this "Rimland" area that has seen many American interventions since the beginning of the Cold War.
Now Russia and its allies have directly challenged America in the Rimland.An actual victory by Russia and its allies in Syria could have the severest consequences for America's prestige and freedom of action in the "Rimland". It looks like the Syrian war may continue and is already becoming a proxxy war between Russia and America.It appears that China and Russia perceive themselves in a common position of co-dominance over the South Asian realm, and their fierce ‘no’ against an intervention by western powers in Syria can well be seen in the sense of a political-international-legal doctrine of an, at least hinted at, ban on interventions by powers from outside the region, directed chiefly at America.Washington cannot, simply in their very own interest, afford to leave these Eurasian Rim Land regions to their fate, let alone to the two Asian world powers.
Whoever Controls Eurasia Controls the World