Yes, the title above is suggestive, and sounds like a Steven Seagal movie about hunting down illegal immigrants, but it's not mine. It's how the Armed Forces Journal (AFJ) titled their article written by Ralph Peters on how to solve the Mid-east's current problems. The piece is a synopsis of the retired Lt. Colonel's new book, 'Never Quit the Fight.' Here is the AFJ editor's centerpiece on what Blood Borders means:
Peters' argument is actually much more sophisticated, it holds water in a long (very long) historical context, and it provides an ideal horizon to plan towards. He considers borders to have meaning only if they are "organic." That is, national borders should correspond to meaningful ethnic, religious, and geographical fault lines. This is very interesting, and applicable to places in the world with stability problems stemming from too many "synthetic" borders. Almost every border in the Mideast (except for Israel) was drawn at the end of WWI across tribal, ethnic, religious, and geographical features, specifically aiming to dilute their powers and make it easier to retreat from parts of the region. It was a form of rear-guard colonialism, theoretically reducing the force levels required to hold the region, and the book 'A Peace to End All Peace' explains how the British led this process. Where borders are out of sync with ethnographic realities, Peters advocates either moving like peoples together, or re-drawing borders to include them. For example, he states that the 15% of Saudis who are tribal Shiites would be much better off in something called "The Arab Shia State" (the acronym for which would be 'ASS') where Shiites in Iraq are now. The Saudi state in the map above looks quite a bit bigger to my eye than the one at present, but Peters also thinks Israel must go back inside its pre-1967 borders.Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works.
There are a few minor problems with putting the general theory into immediate practice, however. The first is that it accepts the region will destabilize, and implies this destabilization should be selectively encouraged. The second is that it offers no immediate solution to energy extraction needs and the counterproductive havoc further destabilization would surely wreak. The third is that the Bush Administration likes it.
On this last point, the Bush Administration's Pentagon caused a major diplomatic incident when a Colonel used the map above in a powerpoint presentation in Rome to NATO. Turkish officers were in attendance. You will notice that, on the map, The eastern part of Turkey is partitioned off into a new state called Free Kurdistan. When they saw it, the Turkish officers stormed out of the briefing room cursing, presumably to go get their weapons. Things calmed down, but not by much, and the matter has been covered by the Bullshit Curtain. Bottom line, the Bush Administration lacks the subtlety to successfully implement this kind of plan, not to mention the skill. If they try to do so, "Blood Borders" might be too tamely named. (I'll come up with supporting links later today, when a toddler isn't walking on my back and body-slamming me.)