Are there “natural” borders?

Very interesting article that argues while the obsession with the fake Middle East borders may be based in historical fact, borders across the world are in fact rarely “natural” and are often arbitrarily drawn. It’s unclear whether borders could necessarily be drawn better, as the majority of national borders were created through violence.

Then again, if many of these borders are arbitrary anyway, today’s boundaries could look very different, not necessarily better, through sheer chance. What if these two Americans’ map had been implemented for the Middle East instead of Sykes-Picot’s?

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One thought on “Are there “natural” borders?

  1. Much less internal conflict, much more powerful and partisan governments. I think a large part of the Sikes-Picot geography stems from intentional gerrymandering of borders to prevent any one ethnic or religious group from becoming too powerful, with Iraq being the prime example. Enough Shi’a to lessen Iranian influence, Kurds isolated in the north, and a Sunni minority to lessen the potential size of Syria.

    Of course, conveniently placed oil and shipping ports may have had an effect as well. 😉

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