Nations are products of their environments, and not the other way around. They simply have to behave in certain ways if they want to remain nations, and more often than not their behavior is expressed not by what they can do but what they can’t do. Nations can’t move mountains or rivers. They can’t create farmland from scratch. They can’t produce more resources than what the ground allows.
Particularly bound by these kinds of constraints is South America. The geography of this often overlooked continent is oddly egalitarian: Some nations are stronger and richer than others, of course, but the preponderance is less pronounced than it is in other regions of the world. For this reason, South America may seem inconsequential, so uninvolved is it in the wars of the Middle East, U.S.-Russia sanctions, Islamic terrorism and the South China Sea. But its apparent complacency elides more pressing geopolitical imperatives. The following report explains why.