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- Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition)
- Tim Marshall
- 27 June 2018
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition) Free download × 105 Read & Download Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition) Ieth century and there was still a clear ethnic religious division roughly marked by the river Then in battered by NATO from the air and the Kosovo Liberation Army on the ground the Yugoslav Serbian military retreated across the Ibar uickly followed by most of the remaining Serb population The river became the de facto border of what some countries now recognize as the independent state of Kosovo Mitrovica was also where the advancing NATO ground forces came to a halt During the three month war there had been veiled threats that NATO intended to invade all of Serbia In truth the restraints of both geography and politics meant the NATO leaders never really had that option Hungary had made it clear that it would not allow an invasion from its territory as it feared reprisals against the ethnic Hungarians in northern Serbia The alternative was an invasion from the south which would have gotten them to the Ibar in double uick time but NATO would then have faced the mountains above them I was working with a team of Serbs in Belgrade at the time and asked what would happen if NATO came We will put our cameras down Tim and pick up guns was the response They were liberal Serbs good friends of mine and opposed to their government but they still pulled out the maps and showed me where the Serbs would defend their territory in the mountains and where NATO would grind to a halt It was some relief to be given a geography lesson in why NATOs choices werelimited than the Brussels PR machine made public An understanding of how crucial the physical landscape was in reporting news in the Balkans stood me in good stead in the years that followed For example in a few weeks after I saw a demonstration of how even with todays modern technology climate still dictates the military possibilities of even the worlds most powerful armies I was in northern Afghanistan having crossed the border river from Tajikistan on a raft in order to link up with the Northern Alliance NA troops who were fighting the Taliban The American fighter jets and bombers were already overhead pounding Taliban and al aeda positions on the cold dusty plains and hills east of Mazar e Sharif in order to pave the way for the advance on Kabul After a few weeks it was obvious that the NA were gearing up to move south And then the world changed color The most intense sandstorm I have ever experienced blew in turning everything a mustard yellow color At the height of the storm you couldnt seethan a few yards ahead of you and the only thing clear was that the Americans satellite technology at the cutting edge of science was helpless blind in the face of the climate of this wild land Everyone from President Bush and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the NA troops on the ground just had to wait Then it rained and the sand that had settled on everything turned into mud The rain came down so hard that the baked mud huts we were living in looked as if they were melting Again it was clear that the move south was on hold until geography finished having its say The rules of geography which Hannibal Sun Tzu and Alexander the Great all knew still apply to todays leaders More recently in I was given another lesson in geostrategy As Syria descended into full blown civil war I was standing on a Syrian hilltop overlooking a valley south of the city of Hama and saw a hamlet burning in the distance Syrian friends pointed out a much larger village about a mile away from where they said the attack had come They then explained that if one side could push enough people from the other faction out of the valley then the valley could be joined onto other land that led to the countrys only motorway and as such would be useful in carving out a piece of contiguous viable territory that one day could be used to create a mini statelet if Syria could not be put back together again Where before I saw only a burning hamlet I could now see its strategic importance and understand how political realities are shaped by the most basic physical realities Geopolitics affects every country whether at war as in the examples above or at peace There will be instances in every region you can name In these pages I cannot explore each one Canada Australia and Indonesia among others get nothan a brief mention although a whole book could be dev.
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Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition) Free download × 105 Read & Download Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition) Oted to Australia alone and the ways in which its geography has shaped its connections with other parts of the world both physically and culturally Instead I have focused on the powers and regions that best illustrate the key points of the book covering the legacy of geopolitics from the past nation forming the most pressing situations we face today the troubles in Ukraine the expanding influence of China and looking to the future growing competition in the Arctic In Russia we see the influence of the Arctic and how it limits Russias ability to be a truly global power In China we see the limitations of power without a global navy and how in it became obvious the speed at which China is seeking to change this The chapter on the United States illustrates how shrewd decisions to expand its territory in key regions allowed it to achieve its modern destiny as a two ocean superpower Europe shows us the value of flatland and navigable rivers in connecting regions and producing a culture able to kick start the modern world while Africa is a prime example of the effects of isolation The chapter on the Middle East demonstrates why drawing lines on maps while disregarding the topography and eually important the geographical cultures in a given area is a recipe for trouble We will continue to witness that trouble this century The same theme surfaces in the chapters on Africa and India Pakistan The colonial powers used ink to draw lines that bore no relation to the physical realities of the region and created some of the most artificial borders the world has seen In the Middle East an attempt is now being made to redraw them in blood Very different from the examples of Kosovo or Syria are Japan and Korea in that they are mostly ethnically homogenous But they have other problems Japan is an island nation devoid of natural resources while the division of the Koreas is a problem still waiting to be solved Meanwhile Latin America is an anomaly In its far south it is so cut off from the outside world that global trading is difficult and its internal geography is a barrier to creating a trading bloc as successful as the EU Finally we come to one of the most uninhabitable places on earththe Arctic For most of history humans have ignored it but in the twentieth century we found energy there and twenty first century diplomacy will determine who ownsand sellsthat resource Seeing geography as a decisive factor in the course of human history can be construed as a bleak view of the world which is why it is disliked in some intellectual circles It suggests that nature ispowerful than man and that we can go only so far in determining our own fate However other factors clearly have an influence on events too Any sensible person can see that technology is now bending the iron rules of geography It has found ways over under or through some of the barriers The Americans can now fly a plane all the way from Missouri to Mosul on a bombing mission without needing to land to refuel That along with their great aircraft carrier battle groups means they no longer absolutely have to have an ally or a colony in order to extend their global reach around the world Of course if they do have an air base on the island of Diego Garcia or permanent access to the port in Bahrain then they haveoptions but it is less essential So airpower has changed the rules as in a different way has the Internet But geography and the history of how nations have established themselves within that geography remains crucial to our understanding of the world today and to our future The conflict in Ira and Syria is rooted in colonial powers ignoring the rules of geography whereas the Chinese occupation of Tibet is rooted in obeying them Americas global foreign policy is dictated by them and even the power projection of the last superpower standing can only mitigate the rules that nature or God handed down What are those rules The place to begin is in the land where power is hard to defend and so for centuries its leaders have compensated by pushing outward It is the land without mountains to its west Russiauite simply one of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine reading it is like having a light shone on your understanding The Evening Standard In an evercomplexchaotic and interlinked wor.
Read & Download Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition)
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition) Free download × 105 Read & Download Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (English Edition) Prisoners of Geography INTRODUCTION Vladimir Putin says he is a religious man a great supporter of the Russian Orthodox Church If so he may well go to bed each night say his prayers and ask God Why didnt you put some mountains in Ukraine If God had built mountains in Ukraine then the great expanse of flatland that is the North European Plain would not be such encouraging territory from which to attack Russia repeatedly As it is Putin has no choice he must at least attempt to control the flatlands to the west So it is with all nations big or small The landscape imprisons their leaders giving them fewer choices and less room to maneuver than you might think This was true of the Athenian Empire the Persians the Babylonians and before it was true of every leader seeking high ground from which to protect their tribe The land on which we live has always shaped us It has shaped the wars the power politics and social development of the peoples that now inhabit nearly every part of the earth Technology may seem to overcome the distances between us in both mental and physical space but it is easy to forget that the land where we live work and raise our children is hugely important and that the choices of those who lead the seven billion inhabitants of this planet will to some degree always be shaped by the rivers mountains deserts lakes and seas that constrain us allas they always have Overall there is no one geographical factor that isimportant than any other Mountains are noimportant than deserts nor rivers than jungles In different parts of the planet different geographical features are among the dominant factors in determining what people can and cannot do Broadly speaking geopolitics looks at the ways in which international affairs can be understood through geographical factors not just the physical landscapethe natural barriers of mountains or connections of river networks for examplebut also climate demographics cultural regions and access to natural resources Factors such as these can have an important impact on many different aspects of our civilization from political and military strategy to human social development including language trade and religion The physical realities that underpin national and international politics are too often disregarded in both writing about history and in contemporary reporting of world affairs Geography is clearly a fundamental part of the why as well as the what Take for example China and India two massive countries with huge populations that share a very long border but are not politically or culturally aligned It wouldnt be surprising if these two giants had fought each other in several wars but in fact apart from one monthlong battle in they never have Why Because between them is the highest mountain range in the world and it is practically impossible to advance large military columns through or over the Himalayas As technology becomessophisticated of course ways are emerging of overcoming this obstacle but the physical barrier remains a deterrent and so both countries focus their foreign policy on other regions while keeping a wary eye on each other Individual leaders ideas technology and other factors all play a role in shaping events but they are temporary Each new generation will still face the physical obstructions created by the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas the challenges created by the rainy season and the disadvantages of limited access to natural minerals or food sources I first became interested in this subject when covering the wars in the Balkans in the s I watched close at hand as the leaders of various peoples be they Serbian Croat or Bosniak deliberately reminded their tribes of the ancient divisions and yes ancient suspicions in a region crowded with diversity Once they had pulled the peoples apart it didnt take much to then push them against each other The River Ibar in Kosovo is a prime example Ottoman rule over Serbia was cemented by the Battle of Kosovo Polje in fought near where the Ibar flows through the city of Mitrovica Over the following centuries the Serb population began to withdraw behind the Ibar as Muslim Albanians gradually descended from the mountainous Malesija region into Kosovo where they became a majority by the mid eighteenth century Fast forward to the twent.