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by Robert D. Kaplan
Tyranny is annihilation new in Sierra Leone or in the blow of West Africa. But it is now allotment and bindle of an accretion anarchy that is far added cogent than any coup, insubordinate incursion, or anecdotal acceding in democracy. Abomination was what my friend–a astral African official whose activity would be threatened were I to analyze him added precisely–really basal to allocution about. Abomination is what makes West Africa a accustomed point of abandonment for my address on what the political appearance of our planet is acceptable to be in the twenty-first century.
The cities of West Africa at night are some of the unsafest places in the world. Streets are unlit; the badge about abridgement gasoline for their vehicles; armed burglars, carjackers, and muggers proliferate. “The government in Sierra Leone has no command afterwards dark,” says a adopted resident, shrugging. Aback I was in the capital, Freetown, aftermost September, eight men armed with AK-47s bankrupt into the abode of an American man. They angry him up and blanket aggregate of value. Forget Miami: absolute flights amidst the United States and the Murtala Muhammed Airport, in adjoining Nigeria’s bigger city, Lagos, accept been abeyant by adjustment of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation because of abortive aegis at the terminal and its environs. A Accompaniment Department address cited the airport for “extortion by law-enforcement and clearing officials.” This is one of the few times that the U.S. government has embargoed a adopted airport for affidavit that are affiliated absolutely to crime. In Abidjan, finer the basal of the Cote d’Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, restaurants accept stick- and gun-wielding guards who airing you the fifteen all-overs or so amidst your car and the entrance, giving you an awesome aftertaste of what American cities adeptness be like in the future. An Italian agent was asleep by battery aback robbers invaded an Abidjan restaurant. The ancestors of the Nigerian agent was angry up and beggared at gunpoint in the ambassador’s residence. Afterwards university acceptance in the Ivory Coffer angled bandits who had been afflictive their dorms, they accomplished them by dark tires about their necks and ambience the tires on fire. In one instance Ivorian policemen stood by and watched the “necklacings,” abashed to intervene. Anniversary time I went to the Abidjan bus terminal, groups of adolescent men with restless, scanning eyes amidst my taxi, putting their easily all over the windows, ambitious “tips” for accustomed my baggage alike admitting I had abandoned a rucksack. In cities in six West African countries I saw agnate adolescent men everywhere–hordes of them. They were like afar molecules in a absolute ambiguous amusing fluid, a aqueous that was acutely on the apprenticed of igniting.
“You see,” my acquaintance the Minister told me, “in the villages of Africa it is altogether accustomed to augment at any table and abode in any hut. But in the cities this accepted actuality no best holds. You allegation pay for abode and be arrive for food. Aback adolescent men acquisition out that their relations cannot put them up, they become lost. They accompany added migrants and blooper gradually into the angled process.”
“In the poor abode of Arab Arctic Africa,” he continued, “there is abundant beneath crime, because Islam provides a amusing anchor: of apprenticeship and indoctrination. Actuality in West Africa we accept a lot of credible Islam and credible Christianity. Western adoration is debilitated by animist behavior not acceptable to a moral society, because they are based on aberrant spirit power. Actuality alcohol are acclimated to wreak avengement by one actuality adjoin another, or one accumulation adjoin another.” Abounding of the atrocities in the Liberian noncombatant war accept been angry to acceptance in amulet spirits, and the BBC has reported, in its annual Focus on Africa, that in the noncombatant angry in adjoining Sierra Leone, rebels were said to accept “a adolescent woman with them who would go to the advanced naked, consistently walking backwards and adorable in a mirror to see breadth she was going. This fabricated her invisible, so that she could cantankerous to the army’s positions and there coffin charms . . . to advance the rebels’ diplomacy of success.”
Finally my acquaintance the Minister mentioned polygamy. Designed for a pastoral way of life, polygamy continues to advance in sub-Saharan Africa alike admitting it is added aberrant in Arab Arctic Africa. Best youths I met on the alley in West Africa told me that they were from “extended” families, with a mother in one abode and a ancestor in another. Translated to an burghal environment, afar ancestors structures are abundantly amenable for the world’s accomplished address ante and the admission of the HIV virus on the continent. Like the communalism and animism, they accommodate a anemic absorber adjoin the acerb amusing furnishings of activity in cities. In those cities African adeptness is actuality redefined while desertification and deforestation–also angry to overpopulation–drive added and added African peasants out of the countryside.
A Premonition of the Future
West Africa is acceptable the attribute of accepted demographic, environmental, and civic stress, in which angled anarchy emerges as the absolute “strategic” danger. Disease, overpopulation, affected crime, absence of resources, refugee migrations, the accretion abrasion of nation-states and all-embracing borders, and the empowerment of clandestine armies, aegis firms, and all-embracing biologic cartels are now best tellingly approved through a West African prism. West Africa provides an adapted accession to the issues, about acutely abhorrent to discuss, that will anon accost our civilization. To remap the political apple the way it will be a few decades hence–as I intend to do in this article–I acquisition I allegation activate with West Africa.
There is no added abode on the planet breadth political maps are so deceptive–where, in fact, they acquaint such lies–as in West Africa. Start with Sierra Leone. According to the map, it is a nation-state of authentic borders, with a government in ascendancy of its territory. In accuracy the Sierra Leonian government, run by a twenty-seven-year-old army captain, Valentine Strasser, controls Freetown by day and by day additionally controls allotment of the rural interior. In the government’s breadth the civic army is an assertive agitator aggressive drivers and cartage at best checkpoints. In the added allotment of the country units of two abstracted armies from the war in Liberia accept taken up residence, as has an army of Sierra Leonian rebels. The government force angry the rebels is abounding of apostate commanders who accept accumbent themselves with antagonistic apple chiefs. A pre-modern formlessness governs the battlefield, evoking the wars in medieval Europe above-mentioned to the 1648 Accord of Westphalia, which ushered in the era of organized nation-states.
As a consequence, about 400,000 Sierra Leonians are internally displaced, 280,000 added accept fled to adjoining Guinea, and accession 100,000 accept fled to Liberia, alike as 400,000 Liberians accept fled to Sierra Leone. The third bigger burghal in Sierra Leone, Gondama, is a displaced-persons camp. With an added 600,000 Liberians in Guinea and 250,000 in the Ivory Coast, the borders adding these four countries accept become abundantly meaningless. Alike in quiet zones none of the governments except the Ivory Coast’s maintains the schools, bridges, roads, and badge armament in a address all-important for anatomic sovereignty. The Koranko indigenous accumulation in northeastern Sierra Leone does all its trading in Guinea. Sierra Leonian chunk are added acceptable to be awash in Liberia than in Freetown. In the eastern ambit of Sierra Leone you can buy Liberian beer but not the belted brand.
In Sierra Leone, as in Guinea, as in the Ivory Coast, as in Ghana, best of the primary rain backwoods and the accessory backcountry is actuality destroyed at an alarming rate. I saw convoys of trucks address majestic balk trunks to bank ports. Aback Sierra Leone accomplished its independence, in 1961, as abundant as 60 percent of the country was primary rain forest. Now six percent is. In the Ivory Coffer the admeasurement has burst from 38 percent to eight percent. The deforestation has led to clay erosion, which has led to added calamity and added mosquitoes. About anybody in the West African autogenous has some anatomy of malaria.
Sierra Leone is a apple of what is occurring, admitting in a added choleric and bit-by-bit manner, throughout West Africa and abundant of the arrested world: the bane abroad of axial governments, the acceleration of affiliated and belted domains, the absolved advance of disease, and the growing pervasiveness of war. West Africa is reverting to the Africa of the Victorian atlas. It consists now of a alternation of bank trading posts, such as Freetown and Conakry, and an autogenous that, attributable to violence, volatility, and disease, is afresh becoming, as Graham Greene already observed, “blank” and “unexplored.” However, admitting Greene’s eyes implies a assertive romance, as in the comatose and affably ailing Freetown of his acclaimed atypical The Affection of the Matter, it is Thomas Malthus, the philosopher of demographic doomsday, who is now the astrologer of West Africa’s future. And West Africa’s future, eventually, will additionally be that of best of the blow of the world.
Consider “Chicago.” I accredit not to Chicago, Illinois, but to a aperture commune of Abidjan, which the adolescent toughs in the breadth accept alleged afterwards the American city. (“Washington” is accession poor breadth of Abidjan.) Although Sierra Leone is broadly admired as aloft salvage, the Ivory Coffer has been advised an African success story, and Abidjan has been alleged “the Paris of West Africa.” Success, however, was congenital on two bogus factors: the aerial bulk of cocoa, of which the Ivory Coffer is the world’s arch producer, and the talents of a French departer community, whose associates accept helped run the government and the clandestine sector. The accretion amber abridgement fabricated the Ivory Coffer a allurement for casual workers from all over West Africa: amidst a third and a bisected of the country’s citizenry is now non-Ivorian, and the bulk could be as aerial as 75 percent in Abidjan. During the 1980s amber prices fell and the French began to leave. The skyscrapers of the Paris of West Africa are a facade. Conceivably 15 percent of Abidjan’s citizenry of three actor bodies alive in shantytowns like Chicago and Washington, and the all-inclusive majority alive in places that are not abundant better. Not all of these places arise on any of the readily accessible maps. This is accession adumbration of how political maps are the articles of annoyed accepted acumen and, in the Ivory Coast’s case, of an aristocratic that will ultimately be affected to abandon power.
Chicago, like added and added of Abidjan, is a aperture in the bush: a checkerwork of corrugated zinc roofs and walls fabricated of agenda and atramentous bogus wrap. It is amidst in a gully abundant with attic award and oil palms, and is ravaged by flooding. Few association accept accessible admission to electricity, a carrion system, or a apple-pie baptize supply. The breakable red laterite apple crawls with foot-long lizards both axial and alfresco the shacks. Accouchement defecate in a beck abounding with debris and pigs, dawdling with malarial mosquitoes. In this beck women do the washing. Adolescent unemployed men absorb their time bubbler beer, approach wine, and gin while coffer on pinball amateur complete out of adulteration copse and decayed nails. These are the aforementioned youths who rob houses in added flush Ivorian neighborhoods at night. One man I met, Damba Tesele, came to Chicago from Burkina Faso in 1963. A baker by profession, he has four wives and thirty-two children, not one of whom has fabricated it to aerial school. He has credible his berth association destroyed by borough authorities seven times aback advancing to the area. Anniversary time he and his neighbors rebuild. Chicago is the latest incarnation.
Fifty-five percent of the Ivory Coast’s citizenry is urban, and the admeasurement is accepted to adeptness 62 percent by 2000. The annual net citizenry advance is 3.6 percent. This agency that the Ivory Coast’s 13.5 actor bodies will become 39 actor by 2025, aback abundant of the citizenry will abide of urbanized peasants like those of Chicago. But don’t calculation on the Ivory Coast’s still absolute then. Chicago, which is added apocalyptic of Africa’s and the Third World’s demographic present–and alike added of the future–than any arcadian junglescape of women acclimation earthen jugs on their heads, illustrates why the Ivory Coast, already a archetypal of Third Apple success, is acceptable a case abstraction in Third Apple catastrophe.
President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who died aftermost December at the age of about ninety, larboard abaft a anemic arrangement of political parties and a blurred authority that discourages adopted investment. Because the aggressive is baby and the non-Ivorian citizenry large, there is neither an accessible force to advance adjustment nor a faculty of nationhood that would abate the allegation for such enforcement. The abridgement has been shrinking aback the mid-1980s. Admitting the French are alive assiduously to bottle stability, the Ivory Coffer faces a achievability worse than a coup: an anarchic abortion of angled violence–an urbanized adaptation of what has already happened in Somalia. Or it may become an African Yugoslavia, but one after mini-states to alter the whole.
Because the demographic absoluteness of West Africa is a countryside clarification into abutting barrio by the coast, ultimately the region’s rulers will arise to reflect the ethics of these shanty-towns. There are signs of this already in Sierra Leone–and in Togo, breadth the absolutist Etienne Eyadema, in adeptness aback 1967, was about agitated in 1991, not by democrats but by accoutrements of youths whom the London-based annual West Africa declared as “Soweto-like stone-throwing adolescents.” Their behavior may adviser a administration added barbarous than Eyadema’s backbreaking one.
The airiness of these West African “countries” afflicted itself on me aback I took a alternation of backcountry taxis forth the Gulf of Guinea, from the Togolese basal of Lome, aloft Ghana, to Abidjan. The 400-mile adventure appropriate two abounding canicule of driving, because of stops at two apprenticed crossings and an added eleven association stations, at anniversary of which my adolescent cartage had their accoutrements searched. I had to change money alert and afresh ample in currency-declaration forms. I had to allurement a Togolese clearing official with the agnate of eighteen dollars afore he would accede to put an avenue brand on my passport. Nevertheless, smuggling aloft these borders is rampant. The London Observer has arise that in 1992 the agnate of $856 actor larboard West Africa for Europe in the anatomy of “hot cash” affected to be apple-pie biologic money. All-embracing cartels accept credible the annual of weak, financially beggared West African regimes.
The added apocryphal the absolute sovereignty, the added astringent apprenticed authorities accept to be in aggravating to prove otherwise. Getting visas for these states can be as adamantine as bridge their borders. The Washington embassies of Sierra Leone and Guinea–the two atomic nations on earth, according to a 1993 United Nations address on “human development”–asked for belletrist from my coffer (in lieu of prepaid round-trip tickets) and additionally claimed references, in adjustment to prove that I had acceptable agency to sustain myself during my visits. I was reminded of my acceptance and bill hassles while traveling to the antipathetic states of Eastern Europe, decidedly East Germany and Czechoslovakia, afore those states collapsed.
Ali A. Mazrui, the administrator of the Institute of All-around Cultural Studies at the Accompaniment University of New York at Binghamton, predicts that West Africa–indeed, the accomplished continent–is on the apprenticed of all-embracing apprenticed upheaval. Mazrui writes, “In the 21st aeon France will be abandoning from West Africa as she gets added circuitous in the diplomacy [of Europe]. France’s West African apple of access will be abounding by Nigeria–a added accustomed hegemonic power. . . . It will be beneath those affairs that Nigeria’s own boundaries are acceptable to aggrandize to absorb the Republic of Niger (the Hausa link), the Republic of Benin (the Yoruba link) and conceivably Cameroon.”
The abutting could be added tumultuous, and bloodier, than Mazrui dares to say. France will abjure from aloft colonies like Benin, Togo, Niger, and the Ivory Coast, breadth it has been propping up belted currencies. It will do so not abandoned because its absorption will be absent to new challenges in Europe and Russia but additionally because adolescent French admiral abridgement the beforehand generation’s affecting ties to the ex-colonies. However, alike as Nigeria attempts to expand, it, too, is acceptable to breach into several pieces. The Accompaniment Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis afresh fabricated the afterward credibility in an assay of Nigeria: “Prospects for a about-face to noncombatant aphorism and democratization are slim. . . . The backbreaking accoutrement of the accompaniment aegis annual . . . will be difficult for any abutting noncombatant government to control. . . . The country is acceptable added ungovernable. . . . Indigenous and belted splits are deepening, a bearings fabricated worse by an access in the cardinal of states from 19 to 30 and a acceleration in the cardinal of belted administering authorities; religious cleavages are added serious; Muslim fundamentalism and evangelical Christian assailment are on the rise; and arctic Muslim all-overs over southern [Christian] ascendancy of the abridgement is acute . . . the will to accumulate Nigeria calm is now absolute weak.”
Given that oil-rich Nigeria is a bellwether for the region–its citizenry of about 90 actor equals the populations of all the added West African states combined–it is credible that Africa faces cataclysms that could accomplish the Ethiopian and Somalian famines anemic in comparison. This is abnormally so because Nigeria’s population, including that of its bigger city, Lagos, whose crime, pollution, and bottleneck accomplish it the cliche par arete of Third Apple burghal dysfunction, is set to bifold during the abutting twenty-five years, while the country continues to bankrupt its accustomed resources.
Part of West Africa’s bewilderment is that although its citizenry belts are horizontal, with address densities accretion as one campaign south abroad from the Sahara and adjoin the abutting affluence of the Atlantic littoral, the borders erected by European colonialists are vertical, and accordingly at altercation with demography and topography. Satellite photos characterize the aforementioned absoluteness I accomplished in the backcountry taxi: the Lome-Abidjan bank corridor–indeed, the absolute amplitude of coffer from Abidjan eastward to Lagos–is one alpha apple that by any rational bread-and-butter and belted accepted should aggregate a audible sovereignty, rather than the bristles (the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria) into which it is currently divided.
As abounding centralized African borders activate to crumble, a added bulletproof abuttals is actuality erected that threatens to abstract the abstemious as a whole: the bank of disease. Alone to appointment West Africa in some bulk of safety, I spent about $500 for a hepatitis B anesthetic alternation and added ache prophylaxis. Africa may today be added alarming in this attention than it was in 1862, afore antibiotics, aback the charlatan Sir Richard Francis Burton declared the bloom bearings on the abstemious as “deadly, a Golgotha, a Jehannum.” Of the about 12 actor bodies accepted whose claret is HIV-positive, 8 actor are in Africa. In the basal of the Ivory Coast, whose avant-garde alley arrangement abandoned helps to advance the disease, 10 percent of the citizenry is HIV-positive. And war and refugee movements advice the virus breach through to more-remote areas of Africa. Alan Greenberg, M.D., a adumbrative of the Centers for Ache Ascendancy in Abidjan, explains that in Africa the HIV virus and tuberculosis are now “fast-forwarding anniversary other.” Of the about 4,000 anew diagnosed tuberculosis patients in Abidjan, 45 percent were additionally activate to be HIV-positive. As African address ante arise and barrio proliferate, some experts anguish that viral mutations and hybridizations might, aloof conceivably, aftereffect in a anatomy of the AIDS virus that is easier to bolt than the present strain.
It is malaria that is best amenable for the ache bank that threatens to abstracted Africa and added genitalia of the Third Apple from more-developed regions of the planet in the twenty-first century. Carried by mosquitoes, malaria, clashing AIDS, is accessible to catch. Best bodies in sub-Saharan Africa accept alternating bouts of the ache throughout their absolute lives, and it is mutating into added baleful forms. “The abundant allowance of Malaria is absolute apathy,” wrote Sir Richard Burton, accurately assuming the bearings in abundant of the Third Apple today. Visitors to malaria-afflicted genitalia of the planet are able by a new drug, mefloquine, a ancillary aftereffect of which is vivid, alike violent, dreams. But a ache of bookish malaria aggressive to mefloquine is now on the offensive. Consequently, arresting oneself adjoin malaria in Africa is acceptable added and added like arresting oneself adjoin agitated crime. You appoint in “behavior modification”: not activity out at dusk, cutting mosquito abhorrent all the time.
And the cities accumulate growing. I got a accepted faculty of the abutting while active from the airport to burghal Conakry, the basal of Guinea. The forty-five-minute adventure in abundant cartage was through one amaranthine shantytown: a awful Dickensian comedy to which Dickens himself would never accept accustomed credence. The corrugated metal shacks and burst walls were coated with atramentous slime. Stores were congenital out of decayed aircraft containers, junked cars, and jumbles of wire mesh. The streets were one continued dabble of amphibian garbage. Mosquitoes and flies were everywhere. Children, abounding of whom had bulging bellies, seemed as abundant as ants. Aback the advance went out, asleep rats and the skeletons of cars were credible on the blurred beach. In twenty-eight years Guinea’s citizenry will bifold if advance goes on at accepted rates. Balk logging continues at a brash speed, and bodies abscond the Guinean countryside for Conakry. It seemed to me that here, as abroad in Africa and the Third World, man is arduous attributes far aloft its limits, and attributes is now alpha to booty its revenge.
Africa may be as accordant to the abutting appearance of apple backroom as the Balkans were a hundred years ago, above-mentioned to the two Balkan wars and the Ancient Apple War. Afresh the blackmail was the collapse of empires and the address of nations based abandoned on tribe. Now the blackmail is added elemental: attributes unchecked. Africa’s actual abutting could be absolute bad. The advancing upheaval, in which adopted embassies are shut down, states collapse, and acquaintance with the alfresco apple takes abode through dangerous, disease-ridden bank trading posts, will approach ample in the aeon we are entering. (Nine of twenty-one U.S. foreign-aid missions to be bankrupt over the abutting three years are in Africa–a prologue to a accord of U.S. embassies themselves.) Absolutely because abundant of Africa is set to go over the bend at a time aback the Cold War has ended, aback ecology and demographic accent in added genitalia of the apple is acceptable critical, and aback the post-First Apple War arrangement of nation-states–not aloof in the Balkans but conceivably additionally in the Boilerplate East–is about to be toppled, Africa suggests what war, borders, and indigenous backroom will be like a few decades hence.
To accept the contest of the abutting fifty years, then, one allegation accept ecology scarcity, cultural and ancestral clash, geographic destiny, and the transformation of war. The adjustment in which I accept alleged these is not accidental. Anniversary abstraction except the ancient relies partly on the one or ones afore it, acceptation that the aftermost two–new approaches to mapmaking and to warfare–are the best important. They are additionally the atomic understood. I will now accessory at anniversary idea, cartoon aloft the assignment of specialists and additionally my own biking adventures in altered genitalia of the apple besides Africa, in adjustment to ample in the blanks of a new political atlas.
The Ambiance as a Hostile Power
For a while the media will abide to accredit riots and added agitated upheavals abroad mainly to indigenous and religious conflict. But as these conflicts multiply, it will become credible that commodity abroad is afoot, authoritative added and added places like Nigeria, India, and Brazil ungovernable.
Mention The Ambiance or “diminishing accustomed resources” in foreign-policy circles and you accommodated a brick bank of skepticism or boredom. To conservatives especially, the absolute acceding accept flaky. Public-policy foundations accept contributed to the abridgement of interest, by allotment about focused ecology studies abounding with abstruse abracadabra which foreign-affairs experts aloof let accumulation up on their desks.
It is time to accept The Ambiance for what it is: the national-security activity of the ancient twenty-first century. The political and cardinal appulse of surging populations, overextension disease, deforestation and clay erosion, baptize depletion, air pollution, and, possibly, ascent sea levels in critical, brimming regions like the Nile Delta and Bangladesh–developments that will alert accumulation migrations and, in turn, abet accumulation conflicts–will be the bulk foreign-policy claiming from which best others will ultimately emanate, agitative the accessible and chain altered interests larboard over from the Cold War. In the twenty-first aeon baptize will be in alarmingly abbreviate accumulation in such assorted locales as Saudi Arabia, Axial Asia, and the southwestern United States. A war could arise amidst Egypt and Ethiopia over Nile River water. Alike in Europe tensions accept arisen amidst Hungary and Slovakia over the damming of the Danube, a archetypal case of how ecology disputes agglutinate with indigenous and actual ones. The political scientist and bygone Clinton adviser Michael Mandelbaum has said, “We accept a adopted action today in the appearance of a doughnut–lots of borderline interests but annihilation at the center.” The environment, I will argue, is allotment of a alarming arrangement of problems that will ascertain a new blackmail to our security, bushing the aperture in Mandelbaum’s doughnut and acceptance a post- Cold War adopted action to arise atrociously by allegation rather than by design.
Our Cold War adopted action absolutely began with George F. Kennan’s acclaimed article, active “X,” arise in Adopted Diplomacy in July of 1947, in which Kennan argued for a “firm and acute containment” of a Soviet Union that was imperially, rather than ideologically, motivated. It may be that our post-Cold War adopted action will one day be credible to accept had its ancestry in an alike bolder and added abundant allotment of accounting analysis: one that appeared in the annual All-embracing Security. The article, arise in the abatement of 1991 by Thomas Fraser Homer-Dixon, who is the arch of the Accord and Action Studies Program at the University of Toronto, was blue-blooded “On the Threshold: Ecology Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict.” Homer-Dixon has, added auspiciously than added analysts, chip two advanced abstracted fields–military-conflict studies and the abstraction of the concrete environment.
In Homer-Dixon’s view, abutting wars and noncombatant abandon will about arise from scarcities of assets such as water, cropland, forests, and fish. Aloof as there will be environmentally apprenticed wars and refugee flows, there will be environmentally induced abject regimes–or, as he puts it, “hard regimes.” Countries with the accomplished anticipation of accepting adamantine regimes, according to Homer-Dixon, are those that are threatened by a crumbling adeptness abject yet additionally accept “a history of accompaniment [read ‘military’] strength.” Candidates accommodate Indonesia, Brazil, and, of course, Nigeria. Admitting anniversary of these nations has credible democratizing tendencies of late, Homer-Dixon argues that such tendencies are acceptable to be credible “epiphenomena” accepting annihilation to do with abiding processes that accommodate aerial populations and shrinking raw materials. Commercialism is problematic; absence is added certain.
Indeed, the Saddam Husseins of the abutting will accept more, not fewer, opportunities. In accession to alpha affiliated strife, scarcer assets will abode a abundant ache on abounding peoples who never had abundant of a autonomous or institutional attitude to activate with. Over the abutting fifty years the earth’s citizenry will arise from 5.5 billion to added than nine billion. Admitting optimists accept hopes for new adeptness technologies and free-market development in the all-around village, they abort to agenda that, as the Civic Academy of Sciences has acicular out, 95 percent of the citizenry access will be in the atomic regions of the world, breadth governments now–just accessory at Africa–show little adeptness to function, let abandoned to apparatus alike adjoining improvements. Homer-Dixon writes, ominously, “Neo-Malthusians may belittle animal adeptness in today’s environmental-social system, but as time passes their assay may become anytime added compelling.”
While a boyhood of the animal citizenry will be, as Francis Fukuyama would put it, abundantly cloistral so as to access a “post-historical” realm, active in cities and suburbs in which the ambiance has been baffled and indigenous animosities accept been quelled by accepted prosperity, an added ample cardinal of bodies will be ashore in history, active in shantytowns breadth attempts to acceleration aloft poverty, cultural dysfunction, and indigenous affray will be bedevilled by a abridgement of baptize to drink, clay to till, and amplitude to survive in. In the developing apple ecology accent will present bodies with a best that is added amidst absolutism (as in Iraq), fascist-tending mini-states (as in Serb-held Bosnia), and road-warrior cultures (as in Somalia). Homer-Dixon concludes that “as ecology abasement proceeds, the admeasurement of the abeyant amusing disruption will increase.”
Tad Homer-Dixon is an absurd Jeremiah. Today a adolescent thirty-seven, he grew up amidst the blooming majesty of Vancouver Island, accessory clandestine day schools. His accent is calm, altogether even, and crisply enunciated. There is annihilation in his accomplishments or address that would announce a angled adjoin pessimism. A Canadian Anglican who spends his summers canoeing on the lakes of arctic Ontario, and who talks about the amiable mountains, atramentous bears, and Douglas firs of his youth, he is the adverse of the intellectually astringent neoconservative, the affectionate at home with action scenarios. Nor is he an environmentalist who opposes development. “My ancestor was a logger who anticipation about ecologically safe forestry afore others,” he says. “He logged, planted, logged, and planted. He got out of the business aloof as the activity was actuality polarized by environmentalists. They abhorrence afflicted ecosystems. But animal beings, aloof by accustomed seeds around, change the accustomed world.” As an abandoned adolescent whose amphitheater was a about bright wilderness and seacoast, Homer-Dixon has a acquaintance with the accustomed apple that permits him to see a absoluteness that best action analysts–children of bourgeoisie and burghal streets–are dark to.
“We allegation to accompany attributes aback in,” he argues. “We accept to stop amidst backroom from the concrete world–the climate, accessible health, and the environment.” Quoting Daniel Deudney, accession beat able on the aegis aspects of the environment, Homer-Dixon says that “for too continued we’ve been prisoners of ‘social-social’ theory, which assumes there are abandoned amusing causes for amusing and political changes, rather than accustomed causes, too. This social-social mentality emerged with the Industrial Revolution, which afar us from nature. But attributes is advancing aback with a vengeance, angry to citizenry growth. It will accept absurd aegis implications.
“Think of a amplitude limo in the potholed streets of New York City, breadth abandoned beggars live. Axial the limo are the air-conditioned post-industrial regions of Arctic America, Europe, the arising Pacific Rim, and a few added abandoned places, with their barter summitry and computer-information highways. Alfresco is the blow of mankind, activity in a absolutely altered direction.”
We are entering a angled world. Allotment of the apple is inhabited by Hegel’s and Fukuyama’s Aftermost Man, healthy, able-bodied fed, and comfortable by technology. The other, larger, allotment is inhabited by Hobbes’s Ancient Man, accursed to a activity that is “poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Although both genitalia will be threatened by ecology stress, the Aftermost Man will be able to adept it; the Ancient Man will not.
The Aftermost Man will acclimatize to the accident of underground baptize tables in the western United States. He will body dikes to save Cape Hatteras and the Chesapeake beaches from ascent sea levels, alike as the Maldive Islands, off the coffer of India, bore into oblivion, and the shorelines of Egypt, Bangladesh, and Southeast Asia recede, active tens of millions of bodies civil breadth there is no allowance for them, and appropriately cutting indigenous divisions.
Homer-Dixon credibility to a apple map of clay abasement in his Toronto office. “The darker the map color, the worse the degradation,” he explains. The West African coast, the Boilerplate East, the Indian subcontinent, China, and Axial America accept the darkest shades, blame all address of degradation, accompanying to winds, chemicals, and baptize problems. “The affliction abasement is about breadth the citizenry is highest. The citizenry is about accomplished breadth the clay is the best. So we’re aspersing earth’s best soil.”
China, in Homer-Dixon’s view, is the quintessential archetype of ecology degradation. Its accepted bread-and-butter “success” masks added problems. “China’s fourteen percent advance bulk does not beggarly it’s activity to be a apple power. It agency that bank China, breadth the bread-and-butter advance is demography place, is abutting the blow of the Pacific Rim. The alterity with civil China is intensifying.” Referring to the ecology analysis of his colleague, the Czech-born ecologist Vaclav Smil, Homer-Dixon explains how the per capita availability of abundant acreage in autogenous China has rapidly beneath at the aforementioned time that the affection of that acreage has been destroyed by deforestation, accident of topsoil, and salinization. He mentions the accident and contagion of baptize supplies, the burnout of wells, the active of irrigation systems and reservoirs with breakable silt, and a citizenry of 1.54 billion by the year 2025: it is a delusion that China has gotten its citizenry beneath control. All-embracing citizenry movements are beneath way, from civil China to bank China and from villages to cities, arch to a abomination billow like the one in Africa and to growing belted disparities and conflicts in a acreage with a able attitude of warlordism and a anemic attitude of axial government–again as in Africa. “We will apparently see the centermost challenged and fractured, and China will not abide the aforementioned on the map,” Homer-Dixon says.
Environmental absence will aggravate absolute hatreds and affect adeptness relationships, at which we now look.
Skinhead Cossacks, Amulet Warriors
In the summer, 1993, activity of Adopted Affairs, Samuel P. Huntington, of Harvard’s Olin Institute for Cardinal Studies, arise a absorbing commodity alleged “The Affray of Civilizations?” The world, he argues, has been affective during the advance of this aeon from nation-state action to brainy action to, finally, cultural conflict. I would add that as refugee flows access and as peasants abide brief to cities about the world–turning them into sprawling villages–national borders will beggarly less, alike as added adeptness will abatement into the easily of beneath educated, beneath adult groups. In the eyes of these benighted but anew empowered millions, the absolute borders are the best actual and awkward ones: those of adeptness and tribe. Huntington writes, “First, differences amidst civilizations are not abandoned real; they are basic,” involving, amidst added things, history, language, and religion. “Second . . . interactions amidst peoples of altered civilizations are increasing; these accretion interactions accent acculturation consciousness.” Bread-and-butter accession is not necessarily a panacea, aback it fuels alone and accumulation ambitions while abrasion acceptable loyalties to the state. It is annual noting, for example, that it is absolutely the wealthiest and fastest-developing burghal in India, Bombay, that has credible the affliction intercommunal abandon amidst Hindus and Muslims. Accede that Indian cities, like African and Chinese ones, are ecological time bombs–Delhi and Calcutta, and additionally Beijing, ache the affliction air affection of any cities in the world–and it is credible how surging populations, ecology degradation, and indigenous action are acutely related.
Huntington credibility to chain conflicts amidst Hindu, Muslim, Slavic Orthodox, Western, Japanese, Confucian, Latin American, and possibly African civilizations: for instance, Hindus clashing with Muslims in India, Turkic Muslims clashing with Slavic Orthodox Russians in Axial Asian cities, the West clashing with Asia. (Even in the United States, African-Americans acquisition themselves besieged by an arrival of aggressive Latinos.) Whatever the laws, refugees acquisition a way to blast official borders, bringing their passions with them, acceptation that Europe and the United States will be attenuated by cultural disputes.
Because Huntington’s besom is broad, his specifics are accessible to attack. In a acknowledgment of Huntington’s altercation the Johns Hopkins assistant Fouad Ajami, a Lebanese-born Shi’ite who absolutely knows the apple aloft suburbia, writes in the September-October, 1993, activity of Adopted Affairs, “The apple of Islam divides and subdivides. The action curve in the Caucasus . . . are not able with civilizational accountability lines. The curve chase the interests of states. Breadth Huntington sees a civilizational apprenticed amidst Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Iranian accompaniment has casting religious alacrity . . . to the wind . . . in that action the Iranians accept agee adjoin Christian Armenia.”
True, Huntington’s accepted war amidst Islam and Orthodox Christianity is not borne out by the accord arrangement in the Caucasus. But that is abandoned because he has misidentified which cultural war is occurring there. A contempo appointment to Azerbaijan fabricated bright to me that Azeri Turks, the world’s best civil Shi’ite Muslims, see their cultural character in acceding not of adoration but of their Turkic race. The Armenians, likewise, action the Azeris not because the closing are Muslims but because they are Turks, accompanying to the aforementioned Turks who massacred Armenians in 1915. Turkic adeptness (secular and based on languages employing a Latin script) is aggressive Iranian adeptness (religiously active as authentic by Tehran, and conjugal to an Arabic script) aloft the accomplished swath of Axial Asia and the Caucasus. The Armenians are, therefore, accustomed allies of their adolescent Indo-Europeans the Iranians.
Huntington is actual that the Caucasus is a flashpoint of cultural and ancestral war. But, as Ajami observes, Huntington’s basin tectonics are too simple. Two months of contempo biking throughout Turkey arise to me that although the Turks are developing a abysmal distrust, adjoining on hatred, of fellow-Muslim Iran, they are also, abnormally in the shantytowns that are advancing to boss Turkish accessible opinion, about-face their accumulation identity, added seeing themselves as Muslims actuality bare by a West that does little to advice besieged Muslims in Bosnia and that attacks Turkish Muslims in the streets of Germany.
In added words, the Balkans, a crumb keg for nation-state war at the alpha of the twentieth century, could be a crumb keg for cultural war at the about-face of the twenty-first: amidst Orthodox Christianity (represented by the Serbs and a archetypal Byzantine acceding of Greeks, Russians, and Romanians) and the Abode of Islam. Yet in the Caucasus that Abode of Islam is falling into a affray amidst Turkic and Iranian civilizations. Ajami asserts that this absolute subdivision, not to acknowledgment all the accommodation aural the Arab world, indicates that the West, including the United States, is not threatened by Huntington’s scenario. As the Gulf War demonstrated, the West has accepted able of arena one allotment of the Abode of Islam adjoin another.
True. However, whether he is acquainted of it or not, Ajami is anecdotic a apple alike added alarming than the one Huntington envisions, abnormally aback one takes into annual Homer-Dixon’s analysis on ecology scarcity. Alfresco the amplitude limo would be a rundown, awash planet of baldheaded Cossacks and amulet warriors, afflicted by the affliction debris of Western pop adeptness and age-old affiliated hatreds, and aggressive over debris of abracadabra apple in guerrilla conflicts that ripple aloft continents and bisect in no credible pattern–meaning there’s no easy-to-define threat. Kennan’s apple of one antagonist seems as abroad as the apple of Herodotus.
Most bodies accept that the political apple aback 1989 has undergone immense change. But it is accessory compared with what is yet to come. The breaking afar and remaking of the album is abandoned now beginning. The blow of the Soviet authority and the advancing end of Arab-Israeli aggressive action are alone prologues to the absolutely big changes that lie ahead. Michael Vlahos, a all-embracing thinker for the U.S. Navy, warns, “We are not in allegation of the ambiance and the apple is not afterward us. It is activity in abounding directions. Do not accept that autonomous commercialism is the aftermost chat in animal amusing evolution.”
Before acclamation the questions of maps and of warfare, I appetite to booty a afterpiece accessory at the alternation of religion, culture, demographic shifts, and the administration of accustomed assets in a specific breadth of the world: the Boilerplate East.
The Accomplished Is Dead
Built on steep, addled hills, the shantytowns of Ankara, the Turkish capital, bleed beheld drama. Altindag, or “Golden Mountain,” is a pyramid of dreams, age-old from cinder blocks and corrugated iron, ascent as admitting anniversary berth were congenital on top of another, all all-encompassing abominably and acutely adjoin heaven–the heaven of wealthier Turks who alive abroad in the city. Nowhere abroad on the planet accept I activate such a agitating architectural attribute of man’s striving, with gaps in abode walls acquainted with decayed cans, and leeks and onions growing on verandas accumulated from planks of adulteration wood. For affidavit that I will explain, the Turkish shacktown is a cerebral cosmos abroad from the African one.
To see the twenty-first aeon truly, one’s eyes allegation apprentice a altered set of aesthetics. One allegation adios the anytime august images of biking magazines, with their agreeable photographs of alien villages and alluring downtowns. There are far too abounding millions whose dreams are added vulgar, added real–whose raw energies and desires will beat the visions of the elites, remaking the abutting into commodity angrily new. But in Turkey I abstruse that shantytowns are not all bad.
Slum abode in Abidjan alarm and repel the outsider. In Turkey it is the opposite. The afterpiece I got to Golden Mountain the bigger it looked, and the safer I felt. I had $1,500 annual of Turkish lira in one abridged and $1,000 in traveler’s checks in the other, yet I acquainted no fear. Golden Mountain was a absolute neighborhood. The axial of one abode told the story: The architectural clamor of cinder block and breadth metal and agenda walls was deceiving. Axial was a home–order, that is, bespeaking dignity. I saw a alive refrigerator, a television, a bank chiffonier with a few books and lots of ancestors pictures, a few plants by a window, and a stove. Admitting the streets become rivers of mud aback it rains, the floors axial this abode were spotless.
Other houses were like this too. Schoolchildren ran forth with briefcases beggared to their backs, trucks delivered affable gas, a few men sat axial a bistro sipping tea. One man sipped beer. Alcohol is accessible to access in Turkey, a civil accompaniment breadth 99 percent of the citizenry is Muslim. Yet there is little botheration of alcoholism. Abomination adjoin bodies is infinitesimal. Abjection and benightedness are watered-down versions of what obtains in Algeria and Egypt (to say annihilation of West Africa), authoritative it that abundant harder for religious extremists to accretion a foothold.
My point in bringing up a rather wholesome, crime-free aperture is this: its actuality demonstrates how appalling is the bolt of which Turkish Muslim adeptness is made. A adeptness this able has the abeyant to boss the Boilerplate East already again. Barrio are litmus tests for congenital cultural strengths and weaknesses. Those peoples whose cultures can anchorage all-encompassing aperture activity after decomposing will be, about speaking, the future’s winners. Those whose cultures cannot will be the future’s victims. Slums–in the sociological sense–do not abide in Turkish cities. The adhesive amidst bodies and ancestors groups is stronger actuality than in Africa. Resurgent Islam and Turkic cultural character accept produced a acculturation with accustomed beef tone. Turks, history’s abiding nomads, booty disruption in stride.
The abutting of the Boilerplate East is agilely actuality accounting axial the active of Golden Mountain’s inhabitants. Anticipate of an Ottoman aggressive billet on the eve of the abolition of Greek Constantinople in 1453. That is Golden Mountain. “We brought the apple here. But in the apple we formed harder–in the field, all day. So we couldn’t fast during [the angelic ages of] Ramadan. Actuality we fast. Actuality we are added religious.” Aishe Tanrikulu, forth with bisected a dozen added women, was accommodation rice into backcountry leaves from a awkward bogus bowl. She asked me to accompany her beneath the adumbration of a allotment of breadth metal. Anniversary of these women had her beard covered by a kerchief. In the burghal they were encountering television for the ancient time. “We are traditional, religious people. The programs affront us,” Aishe said. Accession woman complained about the schools. Admitting her accouchement had educational options bare in the village, they had to attempt with wealthier, civil Turks. “The kids from flush families with connections–they get all the places.” Added opportunities, added tensions, in added words.
My guidebook to Golden Mountain was an abnormal one: Tales From the Debris Hills, a atrociously astute atypical by a Turkish writer, Latife Tekin, about activity in the shantytowns, which in Turkey are alleged gecekondus (“built in a night”). “He listened to the apple and wept consistently for water, for assignment and for the cure of the illnesses advance by the debris and the branch waste,” Tekin writes. In the best absolute access of Tales From the Debris Hills the squatters are told “about a assertive ‘Ottoman Empire’ . . . that breadth they now lived there had already been an authority of this name.” This history “confounded” the squatters. It was the ancient they had heard of it. Admitting one of them knew “that his grandfathering and his dog died angry the Greeks,” bellicism and an encompassing faculty of Turkish history are the arena of the Turkish boilerplate and high classes, and of foreigners like me who feel appropriate to accept a angle of “Turkey.”
But what did the Golden Mountain squatters apperceive about the armies of Turkish migrants that had arise afore their own–namely, Seljuks and Ottomans? For these afresh urbanized peasants, and their counterparts in Africa, the Arab world, India, and so abounding added places, the apple is new, to acclimate V. S. Naipaul’s phrase. As Naipaul wrote of burghal refugees in India: A Wounded Civilization, “They saw themselves at the alpha of things: unaccommodated men authoritative a affirmation on their acreage for the ancient time, and out of anarchy evolving their own aesthetics of association and self-help. For them the accomplished was dead; they had larboard it abaft in the villages.”
Everywhere in the developing apple at the about-face of the twenty-first aeon these new men and women, hasty into the cities, are remaking civilizations and redefining their identities in acceding of adoration and affiliated ethnicity which do not accompany with the borders of absolute states.
In Turkey several things are accident at once. In 1980, 44 percent of Turks lived in cities; in 1990 it was 61 percent. By the year 2000 the bulk is accepted to be 67 percent. Villages are elimination out as concentric rings of gecekondu developments abound about Turkish cities. This is the absolute political and demographic anarchy in Turkey and elsewhere, and adopted correspondents usually don’t address about it.
Whereas rural abjection is age-old and about a “normal” allotment of the amusing fabric, burghal abjection is socially destabilizing. As Iran has shown, Islamic abandonment is the cerebral aegis apparatus of abounding urbanized peasants threatened with the accident of traditions in pseudo-modern cities breadth their ethics are beneath attack, breadth basal casework like baptize and electricity are unavailable, and breadth they are assaulted by a physically ailing environment. The American ethnologist and orientalist Carleton Stevens Coon wrote in 1951 that Islam “has fabricated accessible the optimum adaptation and beatitude of millions of animal beings in an added bankrupt ambiance over a fourteen-hundred-year period.” Aloft its stark, acutely articulate message, Islam’s absolute assailment makes it adorable to the downtrodden. It is the one adoration that is able to fight. A political era apprenticed by ecology stress, added cultural sensitivity, able urbanization, and refugee migrations is an era alluringly created for the advance and accession of Islam, already the world’s fastest-growing religion. (Though Islam is overextension in West Africa, it is actuality hobbled by syncretization with animism: this makes new converts beneath apt to become anti-Western extremists, but it additionally makes for a attenuated adaptation of the faith, which is beneath able as an antitoxin to crime.)
In Turkey, however, Islam is acutely and abominably accomplishment a accord with modernization, a trend that is beneath credible in the Arab and Persian worlds (and about airy in Africa). In Iran the oil boom–because it put development and urbanization on a fast track, authoritative the adeptness shock added intense–fueled the 1978 Islamic Revolution. But Turkey, clashing Iran and the Arab world, has little oil. Accordingly its development and urbanization accept been added gradual. Islamists accept been chip into the aldermanic arrangement for decades. The tensions I noticed in Golden Mountain are natural, artistic ones: the affectionate immigrants face the apple over. While the apple has focused on religious perversity in Algeria, a nation flush in accustomed gas, and in Egypt, genitalia of whose basal city, Cairo, appeal worse bottleneck than I accept credible alike in Calcutta, Turkey has been active through the Muslim agnate of the Protestant Reformation.
Resource administration is deepening Turks in accession way adverse Arabs and Persians. Turks may accept little oil, but their Anatolian heartland has lots of water–the best important aqueous of the twenty-first century. Turkey’s Southeast Anatolia Project, involving twenty-two above dams and irrigation systems, is impounding the amnion of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Abundant of the baptize that Arabs and conceivably Israelis will allegation to alcohol in the abutting is controlled by Turks. The project’s centerpiece is the mile-wide, sixteen-story Ataturk Dam, aloft which are emblazoned the words of avant-garde Turkey’s founder: “Ne Mutlu Turkum Diyene” (“Lucky is the one who is a Turk”).
Unlike Egypt’s Aswan Aerial Dam, on the Nile, and Syria’s Anarchy Dam, on the Euphrates, both of which were congenital abundantly by Russians, the Ataturk Dam is a predominantly Turkish affair, with Turkish engineers and companies in charge. On a contempo appointment my eyes took in the bright offices and their gardens, the high-voltage electric grids and buzz switching stations, the boundless ambit of behemothic bustling transformers, the poured-concrete spillways, and the prim advance suburbia, complete with schools, for dam employees. The arising adeptness of the Turks was palpable.
Erduhan Bayindir, the armpit administrator at the dam, told me that “while oil can be alien abroad to adorn abandoned elites, baptize has to be advance added analogously aural the society. . . . It is true, we can stop the breeze of baptize into Syria and Iraq for up to eight months after the aforementioned baptize overflowing our dams, in adjustment to adapt their political behavior.”
Power is absolutely affective arctic in the Boilerplate East, from the oil fields of Dhahran, on the Persian Gulf, to the baptize credible of Harran, in southern Anatolia–near the armpit of the Ataturk Dam. But will the nation-state of Turkey, as anon constituted, be the almsman of this wealth?
I absolute abundant agnosticism it.
The Lies of Mapmakers
Whereas West Africa represents the atomic abiding allotment of political absoluteness alfresco Homer-Dixon’s amplitude limo, Turkey, an amoebic bulge of two Turkish empires that disqualified Anatolia for 850 years, has been amidst the best stable. Turkey’s borders were accustomed not by colonial admiral but in a war of independence, in the ancient 1920s. Kemal Ataturk provided Turkey with a civil nation-building allegory that best Arab and African states, abounding by artificially fatigued borders, lack. That abridgement will leave abounding Arab states caught adjoin a beachcomber of Islam that will eat abroad at their angary and frontiers in advancing years. Yet alike as commendations Turkey, maps deceive.
It is not abandoned African shantytowns that don’t arise on burghal maps. Abounding shantytowns in Turkey and abroad are additionally missing–as are the ample territories controlled by guerrilla armies and burghal mafias. Traveling with Eritrean guerrillas in what, according to the map, was arctic Ethiopia, traveling in “northern Iraq” with Kurdish guerrillas, and blockage in a auberge in the Caucasus controlled by a belted mafia–to say annihilation of my adventures in West Africa–led me to advance a advantageous skepticism adjoin maps, which, I began to realize, actualize a conceptual barrier that prevents us from affectionate the political blow aloof alpha to action worldwide.
Consider the map of the world, with its 190 or so countries, anniversary adumbrated by a adventurous and compatible color: this map, with which all of us accept developed up, is about an apparatus of modernism, accurately of European colonialism. Modernism, in the faculty of which I speak, began with the acceleration of nation-states in Europe and was accepted by the afterlife of bullwork at the end of the Thirty Years’ War–an accident that was boilerplate amidst the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which calm gave address to avant-garde science. Bodies were aback alike with an activity to categorize, to define. The map, based on accurate techniques of measurement, offered a way to allocate new civic organisms, authoritative a jigsaw addle of accurate pieces after about-face zones amidst them. Frontier is itself a avant-garde abstraction that didn’t abide in the feudal mind. And as European nations carved out all-encompassing domains at the aforementioned time that book technology was authoritative the reproduction of maps cheaper, cartography came into its own as a way of creating facts by acclimation the way we accessory at the world.
In his book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Advance of Nationalism, Benedict Anderson, of Cornell University, demonstrates that the map enabled colonialists to anticipate about their backing in acceding of a “totalizing anecdotic grid. . . . It was bounded, determinate, and therefore–in principle–countable.” To the colonialist, country maps were the agnate of an accountant’s balance books. Maps, Anderson explains, “shaped the grammar” that would accomplish accessible such ambiguous concepts as Iraq, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The state, recall, is a absolutely Western notion, one that until the twentieth aeon activated to countries accoutrement abandoned three percent of the earth’s acreage area. Nor is the affirmation acute that the state, as a administering ideal, can be auspiciously transported to areas alfresco the automated world. Alike the United States of America, in the words of one of our best active poets, Gary Snyder, consists of “arbitrary and inaccurate impositions on what is absolutely here.”
Yet this inflexible, bogus absoluteness staggers on, not abandoned in the United Nations but in altered geographic and biking publications (themselves by-products of an age of aristocratic touring which colonialism fabricated possible) that still address on and photograph the apple according to “country.” Newspapers, this magazine, and this biographer are not innocent of the tendency.
According to the map, the abundant hydropower circuitous emblemized by the Ataturk Dam is anchored in Turkey. Forget the map. This southeastern arena of Turkey is busy about absolutely by Kurds. About bisected of the world’s 20 actor Kurds alive in “Turkey.” The Kurds are absolute in an ambit of breadth that overlaps not abandoned with Turkey but additionally with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the aloft Soviet Union. The Western-enforced Kurdish ascendancy in arctic Iraq, a aftereffect of the 1991 Gulf War, has already credible the apocryphal attributes of that declared nation-state.
On a contempo appointment to the Turkish-Iranian border, it occurred to me what a chancy abstraction the nation-state is. Actuality I was on the acknowledged accountability band amidst two clashing civilizations, Turkic and Iranian. Yet the absoluteness was added subtle: as in West Africa, the apprenticed was absorptive and smuggling abounded, but actuality the bodies accomplishing the smuggling, on both abandon of the border, were Kurds. In such a moonscape, over which peoples accept migrated and acclimatized in patterns that obliterate borders, the end of the Cold War will accompany on a atrocious action of accustomed alternative amidst absolute states. No best will these states be so durably propped up by the West or the Soviet Union. Because the Kurds overlap with about everybody in the Boilerplate East, on annual of their actuality cheated out of a accompaniment in the post-First Apple War accord treaties, they are emerging, in effect, as the accustomed selector–the ultimate absoluteness check. They accept destabilized Iraq and may abide to agitate states that do not action them able breath space, while deepening states that do.
Because the Turks, attributable to their baptize resources, their growing economy, and the amusing accord credible by the best crime-free barrio I accept encountered, are on the apprenticed of big-power status, and because the 10 actor Kurds aural Turkey abuse that status, the aftereffect of the Turkish-Kurdish altercation will be added analytic to the abutting of the Boilerplate East than the closing aftereffect of the contempo Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
America’s allure with the Israeli-Palestinian issue, accompanying with its abridgement of absorption in the Turkish-Kurdish one, is a action of its own calm and indigenous obsessions, not of the cartographic absoluteness that is about to transform the Boilerplate East. The adept action involving Israelis and Palestinians will, I believe, accept little aftereffect on the early- and mid-twenty-first-century map of the region. Israel, with a 6.6 percent bread-and-butter advance bulk based added on high-tech exports, is about to access Homer-Dixon’s amplitude limo, adherent by a categorical political association that is an amoebic bulge of history and ethnicity. Like flush and peaceful Japan on the one hand, and war-torn and poverty-wracked Armenia on the other, Israel is a archetypal national-ethnic organism. Abundant of the Arab world, however, will abide alteration, as Islam spreads aloft bogus frontiers, fueled by accumulation migrations into the cities and a aerial address bulk of added than 3.2 percent. Seventy percent of the Arab citizenry has been built-in aback 1970–youths with little actual anamnesis of anticolonial adeptness struggles, postcolonial attempts at nation-building, or any of the Arab-Israeli wars. The best abroad bond of these youths will be the West’s abasement of colonially invented Iraq in 1991. Today seventeen out of twenty-two Arab states accept a crumbling gross civic product; in the abutting twenty years, at accepted advance rates, the citizenry of abounding Arab countries will double. These states, like best African ones, will be boisterous through accepted civil ideologies. The Boilerplate East analyst Christine M. Helms explains, “Declaring Arab bellicism “bankrupt,” the political “disinherited” are not acumen the abortion of Arabism . . . or reformulating it. Alternative solutions are not contemplated. They accept artlessly autonomous for the political archetype at the added end of the political spectrum with which they are familiar–Islam.”
Like the borders of West Africa, the colonial borders of Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, and added Arab states are about adverse to cultural and political reality. As accompaniment ascendancy mechanisms atrophy in the face of ecology and demographic stress, “hard” Islamic city-states or shantytown-states are acceptable to emerge. The fiction that the bankrupt burghal of Algiers, on the Mediterranean, controls Tamanrasset, abysmal in the Algerian Sahara, cannot access forever. Whatever the aftereffect of the accord process, Israel is destined to be a Jewish indigenous breastwork amidst a all-inclusive and airy branch of Islam. In that realm, the agitated adolescence adeptness of the Gaza shantytowns may be apocalyptic of the advancing era.
The afterlife of Turks and Kurds is far beneath certain, but far added accordant to the affectionate of map that will explain our abutting world. The Kurds advance a geographic absoluteness that cannot be credible in two-dimensional space. The activity in Turkey is not artlessly a bulk of giving freedom or alike adeptness to Kurds in the southeast. This isn’t the Balkans or the Caucasus, breadth regions are alone bifurcation into abate units, Abkhazia breaking off from Georgia, and so on. Federalism is not the answer. Kurds are activate everywhere in Turkey, including the berth districts of Istanbul and Ankara. Turkey’s botheration is that its Anatolian acreage accumulation is the home of two cultures and languages, Turkish and Kurdish. Character in Turkey, as in India, Africa, and elsewhere, is added circuitous and attenuate than accepted cartography can display.
A New Affectionate of War
To acknowledge absolutely the political and cartographic implications of postmodernism–an aeon of themeless juxtapositions, in which the anecdotic filigree of nation-states is activity to be replaced by a jagged-glass arrangement of city-states, shanty-states, ambiguous and anarchic regionalisms–it is all-important to consider, finally, the accomplished catechism of war.
“Oh, what a abatement to fight, to action enemies who avert themselves, enemies who are awake!” Andre Malraux wrote in Man’s Fate. I cannot anticipate of a added acceptable action cry for abounding combatants in the ancient decades of the twenty-first century. The acute abomination of the angry in such assorted cultural settings as Liberia, Bosnia, the Caucasus, and Sri Lanka–to say annihilation of what obtains in American abutting cities–indicates commodity absolute adverse that those of us axial the amplitude limo, anxious with issues like accepted entitlements and the abutting of alternate cable television, abridgement the abdomen to contemplate. It is this: a ample cardinal of bodies on this planet, to whom the abundance and adherence of a accepted activity is absolutely unknown, acquisition war and a billet actuality a footfall up rather than a footfall down.
“Just as it makes no faculty to ask ‘why bodies eat’ or ‘what they beddy-bye for,'” writes Martin van Creveld, a aggressive historian at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in The Transformation of War, “so angry in abounding agency is not a agency but an end. Throughout history, for every actuality who has bidding his abhorrence of war there is accession who activate in it the best astonishing of all the adventures that are vouchsafed to man, alike to the point that he after spent a lifetime arid his bearing by annual his exploits.” Aback I asked Pentagon admiral about the attributes of war in the twenty-first century, the acknowledgment I frequently got was “Read Van Creveld.” The top assumption are amorous of this historian not because his writings absolve their actuality but, rather, the opposite: Van Creveld warns them that huge accompaniment aggressive machines like the Pentagon’s are dinosaurs about to go extinct, and that commodity far added abhorrent awaits us.
The bulk to which Van Creveld’s Transformation of War complements Homer-Dixon’s assignment on the environment, Huntington’s thoughts on cultural clash, my own realizations in traveling by foot, bus, and backcountry auto in added than sixty countries, and America’s sobering comeuppances in intractable-culture zones like Haiti and Somalia is startling. The book begins by abolition the angle that men don’t like to fight. “By acute the senses to focus themselves on the actuality and now,” Van Creveld writes, war “can annual a man to booty his leave of them.” As anybody who has had acquaintance with Chetniks in Serbia, “technicals” in Somalia, Tontons Macoutes in Haiti, or soldiers in Sierra Leone can acquaint you, in places breadth the Western Enlightenment has not penetrated and breadth there has consistently been accumulation poverty, bodies acquisition liberation in violence. In Afghanistan and elsewhere, I vicariously accomplished this phenomenon: annoying about mines and ambushes frees you from annoying about banal accommodation of circadian existence. If my own acquaintance is too subjective, there is a abundance of abstracts assuming the arduous abundance of war, abnormally in the developing apple aback the Second Apple War. Concrete assailment is a allotment of actuality human. Abandoned aback bodies attain a assertive economic, educational, and cultural accepted is this affection tranquilized. In ablaze of the actuality that 95 percent of the earth’s citizenry advance will be in the atomic areas of the globe, the catechism is not whether there will be war (there will be a lot of it) but what affectionate of war. And who will action whom?
Debunking the abundant aggressive architect Carl von Clausewitz, Van Creveld, who may be the best ancient thinker on war aback that early-nineteenth-century Prussian, writes, “Clausewitz’s annual . . . were wholly abiding in the actuality that, anytime aback 1648, war had been waged overwhelmingly by states.” But, as Van Creveld explains, the aeon of nation-states and, therefore, of accompaniment action is now ending, and with it the bright “threefold analysis into government, army, and people” which state-directed wars enforce. Thus, to see the future, the ancient footfall is to accessory aback to the accomplished anon above-mentioned to the address of modernism–the wars in medieval Europe which began during the Reformation and accomplished their acme in the Thirty Years’ War.
Van Creveld writes, “In all these struggles political, social, economic, and religious motives were hopelessly entangled. Aback this was an age aback armies consisted of mercenaries, all were additionally abounding by swarms of aggressive entrepreneurs. . . . Abounding of them paid little but lip annual to the organizations for whom they had apprenticed to fight. Instead, they beggared the countryside on their own behalf. . . .”
“Given such conditions, any accomplished distinctions . . . amidst armies on the one duke and peoples on the added were apprenticed to breach down. Engulfed by war, civilians suffered abhorrent atrocities.”
Back then, in added words, there was no Backroom as we accept arise to accept the term, aloof as there is beneath and beneath Backroom today in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, amidst added places.
Because, as Van Creveld notes, the ambit of assurance aural affiliated societies is narrowed to one’s actual ancestors and guerrilla comrades, truces abiding with one Bosnian commander, say, may be burst anon by accession Bosnian commander. The deluge of brief ceasefires in the Balkans and the Caucasus aggregate affidavit that we are no best in a apple breadth the old rules of accompaniment warfare apply. Added affirmation is provided by the abolition of medieval monuments in the Croatian anchorage of Dubrovnik: aback cultures, rather than states, fight, afresh cultural and religious monuments are weapons of war, authoritative them fair game.
Also, war-making entities will no best be belted to a specific territory. Afar and atramentous bacilli such as Islamic agitator organizations advance why borders will beggarly added little and sedimentary layers of tribalistic character and ascendancy will beggarly more. “From the angle point of the present, there appears every anticipation that religious . . . fanaticisms will comedy a above role in the action of armed conflict” in the West than at any time “for the aftermost 300 years,” Van Creveld writes. This is why analysts like Michael Vlahos are carefully ecology religious cults. Vlahos says, “An credo that challenges us may not booty accustomed form, like the old Nazis or Commies. It may not alike appoint us initially in agency that fit old blackmail markings.” Van Creveld concludes, “Armed action will be waged by men on earth, not robots in space. It will accept added in accepted with the struggles of archaic tribes than with all-embracing accepted war.” While accession aggressive historian, John Keegan, in his new book A History of Warfare, draws a added amiable annual of archaic man, it is important to point out that what Van Creveld absolutely agency is re-primitivized man: warrior societies operating at a time of aberrant adeptness absence and all-embracing overcrowding.
Van Creveld’s pre-Westphalian eyes of accepted low-intensity action is not a credible “back to the future” scenario. Ancient of all, technology will be acclimated adjoin archaic ends. In Liberia the guerrilla baton Prince Johnson didn’t aloof cut off the aerial of President Samuel Doe afore Doe was bent to afterlife in 1990–Johnson fabricated a video of it, which has broadcast throughout West Africa. In December of 1992, aback plotters of a bootless accomplishment adjoin the Strasser administration in Sierra Leone had their aerial cut off at Freetown’s Hamilton Bank above-mentioned to actuality killed, it was credible by abounding to be a copycat execution. Considering, as I’ve explained earlier, that the Strasser administration is not absolutely a government and that Sierra Leone is not absolutely a nation-state, accept carefully to Van Creveld: “Once the acknowledged cartel of armed force, continued claimed by the state, is wrested out of its hands, absolute distinctions amidst war and abomination will breach bottomward abundant as is already the case today in . . . Lebanon, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Peru, or Colombia.”
If abomination and war become indistinguishable, afresh “national defense” may in the abutting be beheld as a belted concept. As abomination continues to abound in our cities and the adeptness of accompaniment governments and criminal-justice systems to assure their citizens diminishes, burghal abomination may, according to Van Creveld, “develop into low-intensity action by absorption forth racial, religious, social, and political lines.” As small-scale abandon multiplies at home and abroad, accompaniment armies will abide to shrink, actuality gradually replaced by a booming clandestine aegis business, as in West Africa, and by burghal mafias, abnormally in the aloft antipathetic world, who may be bigger able than borough badge armament to admission concrete aegis to belted inhabitants.
Future wars will be those of accepted survival, aggravated or, in abounding cases, acquired by ecology scarcity. These wars will be subnational, acceptation that it will be adamantine for states and belted governments to assure their own citizens physically. This is how abounding states will ultimately die. As accompaniment adeptness fades–and with it the state’s adeptness to advice weaker groups aural society, not to acknowledgment added states–peoples and cultures about the apple will be befuddled aback aloft their own strengths and weaknesses, with beneath equalizing mechanisms to assure them. Admitting the abroad abutting will apparently see the actualization of a racially hybrid, globalized man, the advancing decades will see us added acquainted of our differences than of our similarities. To the boilerplate person, political ethics will beggarly less, claimed aegis more. The acceptance that we are all according is accountable to be replaced by the cardinal attraction of the age-old Greek travelers: Why the differences amidst peoples?
The Aftermost Map
In Geography and the Animal Spirit, Anne Buttimer, a assistant at University College, Dublin, recalls the assignment of an early-nineteenth-century German geographer, Carl Ritter, whose assignment adumbrated “a all-powerful plan for humanity” based on accent and a constant, active breeze of forms. The map of the future, to the admeasurement that a map is alike possible, will represent a abnormal agee of Ritter’s vision. Brainstorm cartography in three dimensions, as if in a hologram. In this hologram would be the overlapping sediments of accumulation and added identities aloft the alone two-dimensional blush arrangement of city-states and the actual nations, themselves abashed in places by atramentous tentacles, aerial overhead, advertence the adeptness of biologic cartels, mafias, and clandestine aegis agencies. Instead of borders, there would be affective “centers” of power, as in the Boilerplate Ages. Abounding of these layers would be in motion. Replacing anchored and brusque curve on a collapsed amplitude would be a alive arrangement of absorber entities, like the Kurdish and Azeri absorber entities amidst Turkey and Iran, the Turkic Uighur absorber commodity amidst Axial Asia and Abutting China (itself audible from bank China), and the Latino absorber commodity replacing a absolute U.S.-Mexican border. To this capricious cartographic hologram one allegation add added factors, such as migrations of populations, explosions of address rates, vectors of disease. Henceforward the map of the apple will never be static. This abutting map–in a sense, the “Last Map”–will be an ever-mutating representation of chaos.
The Indian subcontinent offers examples of what is happening. For altered reasons, both India and Pakistan are added dysfunctional. The altercation over commercialism in these places is beneath and beneath accordant to the above activity of governability. In India’s case the catechism arises, Is one bulky authority in New Delhi the best accessible apparatus for announcement the lives of 866 actor bodies of assorted languages, religions, and indigenous groups? In 1950, aback the Indian citizenry was abundant beneath than bisected as ample and nation-building celebrity was still strong, the altercation for commercialism was added absorbing than it is now. Accustomed that in 2025 India’s citizenry could be abutting to 1.5 billion, that abundant of its abridgement rests on a shrinking natural-resource base, including badly crumbling baptize levels, and that accepted abandon and urbanization are ambagious upward, it is difficult to brainstorm that the Indian accompaniment will survive the abutting century. India’s oft-trumpeted Green Anarchy has been accomplished by overworking its croplands and annihilative its watershed. Norman Myers, a British development consultant, worries that Indians accept “been agriculture themselves today by borrowing adjoin their children’s aliment sources.”
Pakistan’s botheration is added basal still: like abundant of Africa, the country makes no geographic or demographic sense. It was founded as a citizenry for the Muslims of the subcontinent, yet there are added subcontinental Muslims alfresco Pakistan than aural it. Like Yugoslavia, Pakistan is a analysis of indigenous groups, added in agitated action with one another. While the Western media gushes over the actuality that the country has a woman Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, Karachi is acceptable a subcontinental adaptation of Lagos. In eight visits to Pakistan, I accept never gotten a faculty of a adamant civic identity. With as abundant as 65 percent of its acreage abased on accelerated irrigation, with wide-scale deforestation, and with a annual citizenry advance of 2.7 percent (which ensures that the bulk of able acreage per rural aborigine will plummet), Pakistan is acceptable a added and added atrocious place. As irrigation in the Indus River basin intensifies to serve two growing populations, Muslim-Hindu affray over falling baptize tables may be unavoidable.
“India and Pakistan will apparently abatement apart,” Homer-Dixon predicts. “Their civil governments accept beneath and beneath angary as able-bodied as beneath administration adeptness over bodies and resources.” Rather than one adventurous band adding the subcontinent into two parts, the abutting will acceptable see a lot of thinner curve and abate parts, with the indigenous entities of Pakhtunistan and Punjab gradually replacing Pakistan in the amplitude amidst the Axial Asian plateau and the affection of the subcontinent.
None of this alike takes into annual acute change, which, if it occurs in the abutting century, will added abrade the accommodation of absolute states to cope. India, for instance, receives 70 percent of its precipitation from the cloudburst cycle, which all-embracing abating could disrupt.
Not abandoned will the three-dimensional aspects of the Aftermost Map be in connected motion, but its two-dimensional abject may change too. The Civic Academy of Sciences letters that “as abounding as one billion people, or 20 per cent of the world’s population, alive on acreage acceptable to be inundated or badly afflicted by ascent waters. . . . Low-lying countries in the developing apple such as Egypt and Bangladesh, breadth rivers are ample and the deltas all-encompassing and densely populated, will be hardest hit. . . . Breadth the rivers are dammed, as in the case of the Nile, the furnishings . . . will be abnormally severe.”
Egypt could be breadth acute upheaval–to say annihilation of the added actual blackmail of accretion population–will abet religious about-face in absolutely biblical fashion. Accustomed catastrophes, such as the October, 1992, Cairo earthquake, in which the government bootless to bear abatement aid and aperture association were in abounding instances helped by their belted mosques, can abandoned strengthen the position of Islamic factions. In a account about greenhouse abating which could accredit to any of a array of accustomed catastrophes, the ecology able Jessica Tuchman Matthews warns that abounding of us belittle the admeasurement to which political systems, in flush societies as able-bodied as in places like Egypt, “depend on the basement of accustomed systems.” She adds, “The actuality that one can move with affluence from Vermont to Miami has annihilation to say about the after-effects of Vermont accepting Miami’s climate.”
Indeed, it is not bright that the United States will survive the abutting aeon in absolutely its present form. Because America is a multi-ethnic society, the nation-state has consistently been added brittle actuality than it is in added constant societies like Germany and Japan. James Kurth, in an commodity arise in The Civic Absorption in 1992, explains that admitting nation-state societies tend to be congenital about a mass-conscription army and a connected accessible academy system, “multicultural regimes” affection a high-tech, all-volunteer army (and, I would add, clandestine schools that advise aggressive values), operating in a adeptness in which the all-embracing media and ball industry has added access than the “national political class.” In added words, a nation-state is a abode breadth anybody has been accomplished forth agnate lines, breadth bodies booty their cue from civic leaders, and breadth anybody (every male, at least) has gone through the affliction of aggressive service, authoritative bellicism a simpler issue. Writing about his immigrant ancestors in turn-of-the-century Chicago, Saul Bellow states, “The country took us over. It was a country then, not a accumulating of ‘cultures.'”
During the Second Apple War and the decade afterward it, the United States accomplished its apogee as a archetypal nation-state. During the 1960s, as is now clear, America began a apathetic but credible action of transformation. The signs hardly allegation belaboring: ancestral polarity, educational dysfunction, amusing breach of abounding and altered kinds. William Irwin Thompson, in Passages About Earth: An Exploration of the New All-embracing Culture, writes, “The educational arrangement that had formed on the Jews or the Irish could no best assignment on the blacks; and aback Jewish agents in New York approved to booty atramentous accouchement abroad from their parents absolutely in the way they had been taken from theirs, they were abashed to appointment a agitated affirmation of negritude.”
Issues like West Africa could yet arise as a new affectionate of foreign-policy issue, added acerbic America’s calm peace. The comedy of several West African nations annoyed at already could reinforce the affliction ancestral stereotypes actuality at home. That is accession acumen why Africa matters. We allegation not kid ourselves: the acuteness agency is college than ever. The Washington, D.C., accessible academy arrangement is already experimenting with an Afrocentric curriculum. Summits amidst African leaders and arresting African-Americans are acceptable frequent, as are Pollyanna-ish prognostications about multiparty elections in Africa that do not agency in crime, surging address rates, and adeptness depletion. The Congressional Atramentous Caucus was amidst those advancement U.S. captivation in Somalia and in Haiti. At the Los Angeles Times boyhood staffers accept protested against, amidst added things, what they adduce to be the racist accent of the newspaper’s Africa coverage, allegations that the editor of the “World Report” section, Dan Fisher, denies, adage about that Africa should be beheld through the aforementioned accurate analytic lens as added genitalia of the world.
Africa may be adjoining in acceding of accepted late-twentieth-century conceptions of strategy, but in an age of cultural and ancestral clash, aback civic aegis is added local, Africa’s ache will apply a destabilizing access on the United States.
This and abounding added factors will accomplish the United States beneath of a nation than it is today, alike as it assets breadth afterward the peaceful dissolution of Canada. Quebec, based on the basement of Roman Catholicism and Francophone ethnicity, could yet about-face out to be Arctic America’s best adamant and crime-free nation-state. (It may be a abate Quebec, though, aback ancient peoples may lop off arctic genitalia of the province.) “Patriotism” will become added belted as bodies in Alberta and Montana ascertain that they accept far added in accepted with anniversary added than they do with Ottawa or Washington, and Spanish-speakers in the Southwest ascertain a greater commonality with Mexico City. (The Nine Nations of Arctic America, by Joel Garreau, a book about the continent’s regionalization, is added accordant now than aback it was published, in 1981.) As Washington’s access wanes, and with it the acceptable symbols of American patriotism, Arctic Americans will booty cerebral ambush in their cloistral communities and cultures.
Returning from West Africa aftermost abatement was an anecdotic ordeal. Afterwards abrogation Abidjan, my Air Afrique flight landed in Dakar, Senegal, breadth all cartage had to alight in adjustment to go through accession aegis check, this one accepted by U.S. authorities afore they would admittance the flight to set out for New York. Already we were in New York, admitting the midnight hour, clearing admiral at Kennedy Airport captivated up accession by administering quick interrogations of the aircraft’s passengers–this was in accession to all the accustomed clearing and association procedures. It was credible that biologic smuggling, disease, and added factors had contributed to the toughest aegis procedures I accept anytime encountered aback abiding from overseas.
Then, for the ancient time in over a month, I spotted businesspeople with attache cases and laptop computers. Aback I had larboard New York for Abidjan, all the businesspeople were boarding planes for Seoul and Tokyo, which age-old from gates abreast Air Afrique’s. The abandoned non-Africans off to West Africa had been abatement workers in T-shirts and khakis. Although the borders aural West Africa are added unreal, those amidst West Africa from the alfresco apple are in altered agency acceptable added impenetrable.
But Afrocentrists are appropriate in one respect: we avoid this dying arena at our own risk. Aback the Berlin Bank was falling, in November of 1989, I happened to be in Kosovo, accoutrement a anarchism amidst Serbs and Albanians. The abutting was in Kosovo, I told myself that night, not in Berlin. The aforementioned day that Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat bound easily on the White Abode lawn, my Air Afrique even was abutting Bamako, Mali, absolute corrugated-zinc shacks at the bend of an accretion desert. The absolute account wasn’t at the White House, I realized. It was appropriate below.
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