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Challenge: Redraw the Middle East


Priory_of_Sion
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If by some events occur that lead to the current nations of the Mid East to collapse and new nations form to take their place, what could the map look like? Ethnic, religious, cultural, and linguistics could play a major role in creating new nations. Some Kurds, Assyrians, Turkemen, and other groups are looking for independent states. Yemen, Iraq, and Syria are loosely held together as is and the other nations in the region are not too stable. What do you guys think the Middle East should, not necessarily will, look like? 

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Things will get a lot more interesting when Iran finally gets the Atom Bomb. We'd see the Saudis get there's next and - who knows - maybe the Turks as well. 

 

The map above needs to feature a lot more Trinitite deposits*.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Yes, I know that Trinitite is specific to the Trinity bomb tests but you get the point and I also like using the old timey phrase "Atom Bomb".

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I'd honestly expect the Kurds to come out with a solid chunk of land, especially if they can keep things smooth with Turkey.

Wouldn't be surprising in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan. Iranian and Turkish Kurdistan would be a little harder to unify. If we go in the spirit of the thread that sorta assumes the map can be completely re-written then multiple Kurdish states(North Khorasan, Kurmanji Language State, Sorani State, Gorani State, Feyli State). I have had trouble discerning where the divisions between Kurdish language and religious groups of Kurds occur though, especially in western Iran. 

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As a general rule of thumb, if you assume that for every set of muslims who fit into a given combination of national, religious and regional identities, there will be members who disagree with being a part of a state based on two of those three. There's nothing like the common unspoken assumption that nations should be based on a common culture, and there's no real background of similar religious compromises getting worked out, because governance was basically determined by being part of the Ottoman Empire, and that's hardly helpful these days. There was a heady dream of pan-Arab national identity, but that broke like a wave on Israel and basically got permanently discredited when Egypt made a mess of things regarding the United Arab Republic. Frankly the Cold War was exactly the wrong time for a pan-anything movement, but that ship has pretty firmly sailed.

 

Honestly I think the right allotment focuses a whole hell of a lot less on which nit-pickingly tiny group ends up in the right borders and which spreads the natural geographic wealth (mainly oil and the Suez canal, but other stuff too) wide, because the only model that's worked well consistently is a setup where enough wealth gets spread that people are personally invested in the system. Painstakingly crafted ethnic balances are nice and all, but we don't want a repeat of Lebanon's nice little confessional balance collapsing because refugees flocked there and weren't enfranchised under the system. Regimes based on exploiting minorities to provide a privileged minority with a stake in suppressing the rest of the population tend to boil over.

 

What makes stable states work? For better or worse, I'd say that the first greatest consideration is feeling that the current state is a good option, and trying to destroy the status quo is playing russian roulette with a semi-auto. In an area where so much of the wealth is in resource extraction, I'd say something that makes sure that money gets spread around well is the best bet for states that people are invested in, and provides a good platform for making more modern economies based on educated labor.

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Yeah, the problem is figuring out (a) state(s) that people will want to keep being a part of, and I agree that those two factors matter more than anything else. States are going to have people who don't fit in, and if you rig it up so they don't give it ten years and let the immigration from poorer areas to richer happen, and they will then.

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I do agree that economics can make a very stable nation, but I'm not too convinced that the economies of some Mid East nations can become that good and stable for that to be plausible for every nation. Power structure and management are probably more important that economies in the long run, but right now the current governments there are doing a pretty poor job across the board. 

 

Multicultural states with varying ethno-religious groups have existed before but many end up splitting up like Yugoslavia which is a scenario which I think is very plausible at this time. 

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I'm very unconvinced that all the economies can become that stable and functional, but I think that they'd need to have that factor working lest they splinter again into problem zones like Yugoslavia (which is actually a great comparison point, the ex-Ottoman areas of Eastern Europe are every bit as much of a culturally/religiously split mess with no real coherent national identities that work for everybody). A working economy isn't the only thing, but a properly working economy where even the worst losers don't feel like they're really losing is a hell of a buffer for a state that otherwise doesn't have a reason to exist to stay together long enough for things to get sorted out, and I think that region needs that buffer.

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If by some events occur that lead to the current nations of the Mid East to collapse and new nations form to take their place, what could the map look like? Ethnic, religious, cultural, and linguistics could play a major role in creating new nations. Some Kurds, Assyrians, Turkemen, and other groups are looking for independent states. Yemen, Iraq, and Syria are loosely held together as is and the other nations in the region are not too stable. What do you guys think the Middle East should, not necessarily will, look like? 

You forgot the most problematic group, the Palestinians.  Where are we going to put them?

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