Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up

China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“China’s president, Xi Jinping, wants to be able to challenge America’s military might in the western Pacific. He is making big progress. China’s once bloated armed forces are becoming leaner and a lot more capable. They are also benefiting from a defense budget that is growing at a steady 6-7% a year, in line with GDP. The IISS declares that China has become an innovator in military technology and is not merely ‘catching up’ with the West. For some of the most advanced science, Mr. Xi is tapping the private sector. The Pentagon has to woo skeptical Silicon Valley companies; firms in China do what the government tells them to do. In two years’ time, if not before, America is likely to lose its monopoly of radar-beating stealth combat aircraft with the introduction into service of China’s Chengdu J-20.”

 

Tags: political, military, China, geopolitics, East Asia.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 2018 3:56 PM
From reading this article, it is clear for one to see that China is not just "catching up" to America with their military technology, but are becoming a true rival. The President of China is clearly putting a larger emphasis on restructuring the Chinese military. The Chinese government is also trimming the fat their military has had before in the past and creating a larger, more organized budget for their military branch. One major advantage China has over America, is that its private sector non-state tech firms have to do what their government tells them to do. Unlike the American government where they have to create deals and contracts with non-state tech firms for new military technology. This allows China to demand whatever they want from their tech firms in order to advance their military technology. Although, as long as American tech firms continue improve in their technology at an advanced rate and maintain a good relationship with the American government, the U.S. military will continue to be a strong rival in the present day arms race. It remains clear though, that America will indeed have to break a sweat in order to supersede China in regards to advancement in military technology. 
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 4:21 AM
While it is always possible for a country to increase it's strength. It is still a slightly unsettling reality knowing this increases their influence on the globe, while opening the possibility of future confrontation from an equal military force.
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Capital Jerusalem

Capital Jerusalem | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Because Israel refused to recognize the U.N. plan for an internationalized Jerusalem and because of its annexation of occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, no country in the world has offered legal and diplomatic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Most states, however, have unofficially acknowledged Israel's sovereignty and actual possession, without recognition of lawful title."

Seth Dixon's insight:

That is, until now.  The United States is planning to move it's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a move that will have far more reaching implications than the relocation of just about any other embassy on Earth could have, given the geopolitical significance of Jerusalem to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader international ties.  Below are some resources to contextualize this shift: 

 

Questions to Ponder: How does this change the status quo at the local, national and international scales?  What might be some of the consequences of this move?  What would you recommend and why?  

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, borders, political, Middle East, geopolitics, historical.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 2018 2:12 PM
It was a major move by the Trump administration with far reaching complications.  Now it if you take out all of the past history in the area and all of the future political/military problems in the area does it make sense to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, well yes. However, in this world that we live in it surely is not that simple. With the past, current, and future arguments in the area between Israel and the Palestine's this further creates a rift between both and probably takes us further away from a resolution. From a geography and economic perspective Jerusalem would be a great central location in which to work from, however since there is so much contested space there it simply does not work. It isn't always the best place from a geographical standpoint (although in an ideal world that be perfect), but the one in our current political climate that makes the most sense for ones own country. This is a decision that we will have to look back at for the next decade or so and see eventually the impact that it will have on the current situation. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 22, 2018 4:36 PM
The decision by the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel totally and absolutely undermines almost any chance at a two state solution. With this declaration, the US has taken sides and the idea that a two state solution with a Jerusalem under international government has essentially vanished. Even if the US were to reverse their decision in the future, the damage has already been done. 
David Stiger's curator insight, October 31, 2018 5:55 PM
Ever since taking an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during high school model U.N., I have always wondered how a two-state solution would deal with the city of Jerusalem. I wondered how any solution, single-state included, would handle the highly politicized, disputed ancient metropolis. While Jerusalem is Judaism's most holy city, it is the third most holy city in Islam - a faith with 1.6 billion adherents compared to 14 million Jews. Simply stated, both faiths are equally deserving of the right to live in, worship in, and experience Jerusalem. Because of this reality, it would be grossly unfair and unjust let only one faction inherit and rule the city. As the author Emmett argues, President Trump's decision to support permanent Israeli control over the city was a mistake - pure folly that will only exacerbate tensions. If the city cannot just be handed over to one side, another solution must be offered.

 I once thought it would be wise to divide split Jerusalem - what Emmett calls "scattered sovereignty. The division would have to be considered because Arab and Israeli neighborhoods are mixed together. As a non-partisan, peace, it would seem, should be the ultimate aim as coexistence through compromise would benefit the most amount of people in the Israel-Palestinian region. After this article introduced the concept of an "internationalized city," it would seem best that Jerusalem take this route. No one has claim to the city because all have valid claims. This sentiment echoes the ideas established in 1948 under the United Nations Resolution 194. Following through on this idea would take the supercharged, contentious issue of control over Jerusalem off the table allowing peace negotiations to move forward. 
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The Geography and Area Studies Interface from WWII to the Cold War

The Geography and Area Studies Interface from WWII to the Cold War | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The [importance of this study is that it] examines the dynamic between geography and area studies through their distinct understandings of space. As I argue, the dominance of the regional concept in geography, which took the multiple ways of bounding space as its central problematic, was reduced in area studies rendering of global space. This study assesses the transformation of geography during the two decades before and after the Second World War. This era was one of contrasts. On the one hand, geography was central to the war effort and in the creation of post-war programs, most notably area studies. On the other, this era also marked the relative marginalization of geography as a discipline in higher education."

 

Tagseducation, geography, geography education, geopolitics, historical.

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CIA's Cartography Division Shares Declassified Maps

CIA's Cartography Division Shares Declassified Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"As much as James Bond is defined by his outlandish gadgets, one of the most important tools for real-life spies is actually much less flashy: maps. Whether used to gather information or plan an attack, good maps are an integral part of the tradecraft of espionage. Now, to celebrate 75 years of serious cartography, the Central Intelligence Agency has declassified and put decades of once-secret maps online.  These days, the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies rely more on digital mapping technologies and satellite images to make its maps, but for decades it relied on geographers and cartographers for planning and executing operations around the world. Because these maps could literally mean the difference between life and death for spies and soldiers alike, making them as accurate as possible was paramount, Greg Miller reports for National Geographic."

 

Tags: mapping, geopolitics, maphistorical, map archives

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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a non-partisan post and a video that is fairly balanced; this video nicely lays out some of the cultural and political factors that the next president of the United States should consider when crafting foreign policy in the especially problematic Middle East.  

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 2018 2:47 PM
Since this video was made we have already had a Presidential election and policy made to deal with some of these key issues. Within the past year US policy (some continuation from the Obama Era) under President Trump has been to destroy ISIS and for the most part it has be done. ISIS has been displaced from the region, however that does not mean that the fighting in Syria has stopped. There are still many issues in the area and one that will not simply be rectified within a few years, this is a battle that we will see repeat over and over again. Much like Afghanistan, this area is one with much upheaval and when one power goes away another one rises and new problems can arise. It is an area in which, like the video states a major conundrum. How can we support one place and not make a country like Turkey angry (the Kurd's example  from the video)? So one could say well just stay out of the whole area, while that can make sense it is to important as a world leader (especially America) to not be involved in both a key geographical area for Russia and human rights area.  While there is no doubt there has been improvements in the last year, it is the same story in the Middle East, what is the end game? How do we get to the finish line and does anyone have the right answers. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, May 4, 2018 6:15 AM
The video was published before the last presidential election, but some of the information in it is still accurate regarding the crisis  in Syria. For example this video talks about how Syrian refugees are fleeing from ISIS to other nations in order to escape them. There are many refugees being displaced because of the violence ISIS is causing in the middle east. Refugees that need a place to escape to flee to neighboring countries to get away from ISIS. There is still some debate in America about whether or not Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the U.S. as well. Ultimately something needs to be done about the terror havoc ISIS is reeking in the middle east.
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Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Erdogan’s aggressive nationalism is now spilling over Turkey’s borders, grabbing land in Greece and Iraq.

 

In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. President Erdogan criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for leaving the country too small. Turkey won’t be annexing part of Iraq anytime soon, but this combination of irredentist cartography and rhetoric nonetheless offers some insight into Turkey’s current foreign and domestic policies and Ankara’s self-image.  The military interventions and confrontational rhetoric this nationalism inspires may worsen Turkey’s security and regional standing.

 

Tags: political, irredentism, culture, Turkeyhistorical, bordersempire, geopolitics.

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Introducing ISIS

"The invasion of Iraq was supposed to turn the country into a democracy that posed no threat to the United States, or the rest of the world. Thirteen years later, Iraq has collapsed into three warring states. A third of the country is controlled by ISIS, who have also taken huge amounts of territory in Syria. VICE correspondent Ben Anderson gains exclusive access to the three front lines in Iraq, where Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces are fighting for their lives. Anderson visits with the Russian military forces in Syria, meets captured ISIS fighters in Kurdistan, and interviews US policymakers about how the situation in Iraq spun out of control."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many young students are especially baffled at how a terrorist organization can seize control of large chunks of territory.  If you are looking for a good video introduction that explains how and why ISIS was able to gain power and than gain and maintain territory, this is it (it's classroom safe despite the source). 

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring

How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Seth Dixon's insight:

Unraveling the situation on the ground in Syria is much like opening a Russian nesting doll, it's a battle, inside of a battle, inside of a battle. A complex series of local, regional, and global rivalries all playing out on the battle grounds of Syria, turning the country in a wasteland. It's created a nightmare for the millions of non-combatants forced to flee, and those stuck within the borders. What started as Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad cracking down on Arab spring protesters in early 2011, quickly escalated into a civil war. Regional rivals Iran, and Saudi Arabia then got involved sending aid to differing sides. Soon, as a result of the rise of ISIS, the west and Russia chose to intervene. Lost in the greater game of Geo-politics is the sad, slow death of the optimism that accompanied the Arab Spring. As Marc Lynch laments in 'How Syria ruined the Arab Spring', all of the momentum was lost and forgotten when Al-Assad resorted to force and Syria became a pawn in regional and global geopolitics.

 

Tagsop-ed, Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Middle East.

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Putin fills another U.S. leadership void in Nagorno-Karabakh

Putin fills another U.S. leadership void in Nagorno-Karabakh | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Russia exploits a conflict in Azerbijan’s breakaway region while Washington watches.

 

On April 1, an obscure conflict in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh nearly devolved back into full-scale war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Transatlantic leaders called for an end to the violence and for redoubled efforts to settle the underlying political conflict but did little else. Russian President Vladimir Putin, by contrast, launched decisive actions to shore up Russia’s international reputation and pull Armenia and Azerbaijan away from the West.

 

TagsArmenia, political, war, borders, political, geopolitics, Central AsiaAzerbaijanRussia.

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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 1, 2018 2:43 PM
Russia is filling the power vacuum that the US has created since the fall of the Soviet Union. If America and the West are concerned about growing Russian involvement in the South Caucasus region then it should provide aid to the region. If Russia wants to create a Eurasia version of the Eu then they should be able too. It would add competition to markets and bring a balance to global powers. However, Russia should be using diplomatic means in order to achieve this Union has opposed to using military force. If the West is opposed to his means of creating this "union" then they should intervene to show they will not tolerate military aggression. 
 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 22, 2018 10:54 PM
This seems to be a problem reoccurring for both The US and Russia since the cold war. When a country attempts to jump into another countries conflict it tends to make things worse and bring about no positive change( examples being US in Vietnam and Russia in Afghanistan). At the same time when one country sits idly by the other nation is able to do some good gaining much influence over the country.  International reputation and determination are important international factors on the global political field, but this must be balanced with not interfering to much causing more enemies when the situation is avoidable. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 4:36 PM
To keep Western influence out of Azerbaijan's conflict the Russians made sure to step up and take their own actions. Since they don't want the US coming into their region they want to make sure there is no war that happens between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 
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This map should change the way you think about foreign aid

This map should change the way you think about foreign aid | Geography Education | Scoop.it
As you can see, the biggest recipient by a long way is Israel (this is fiscal year 2014 data, but nothing's changing), and two other big ones are Egypt and Jordan, which both have aid packages that are tied up with their peace treaties with Israel. None of these are poor countries (indeed, Israel is downright rich), and the point of the money is to advance an American foreign policy agenda — not to help the poor. Pakistan and Afghanistan, which round out the top five, actually are pretty poor, but, again, the main American interest in them is clearly foreign policy rather than poverty.

 

Tags: political, geopolitics, development, economic.

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lpatteson's curator insight, March 23, 2016 5:01 PM
I wonder what this would look like if it were a map of the US's federal aid to the 50 states.
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What Borders Mean to Europe

What Borders Mean to Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Europe today is a continent of borders. The second-smallest continent in the world has more than 50 distinct, sovereign nation-states. Many of these are part of the European Union. At the core of the EU project is an effort to reduce the power and significance of these borders without actually abolishing them — in theory, an achievable goal. But history is not kind to theoretical solutions.

Today, Europe faces three converging crises that are ultimately about national borders, what they mean and who controls them. These crises appear distinct: Immigration from the Islamic world, the Greek economic predicament, and the conflict in Ukraine would seem to have little to do with each other. But in fact they all derive, in different ways, from the question of what borders mean.


Tags: borders, political, geopolitics, Ukraine, Greece.

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dustin colprit's curator insight, September 5, 2018 8:33 PM
Immigration in the EU could have the potential to change the EU itself. Some countries believe in protecting their borders from potential terrorist threats, but the core of the EU calls for the sanctuary of refugees.. 
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Saudi Arabia forms 34-nation Islamic alliance to fight terrorists

Saudi Arabia forms 34-nation Islamic alliance to fight terrorists | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The new counterterrorism coalition includes nations such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt as well as war-torn countries with embattled militaries such as Libya and Yemen.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is too new for me to speculate as to the effectiveness or support that this new alliance will have.  What are the national, regional, and global motives of each of these 34 states?  I think we will all keep an eye on this moving forward  (Articles from CS Monitor, CNN and Al Jazeera).  Not everyone is convinced that this is anything more than public relations.

 

Tags:  political, terrorismIslam, geopolitics.

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Treathyl Fox's curator insight, December 25, 2015 3:45 PM

Does Allah know we (non-Muslims) needs peacemaking friends in the Muslim world?  Just thinkin'.

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Putin: Turkey's downing of jet a 'stab in the back'

Putin: Turkey's downing of jet a 'stab in the back' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Russian warplane crashes in Latakia province in Syria and two pilots seen ejecting from the aircraft.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A border is not a line in the sand but a vertical plane, defining airspace as well as underground assets. The protection of borders and airspace is something that sovereign states take very seriously and can lead to some tense situations.  


Tags: borders, political, conflict, geopolitics.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 9:48 PM

it is truly insane that turkey would shoot down a Russian jet engaging anyone in Syria, especially when the Turks are shooting at the Kurds, who are fighting the people that the Turks claim to hate. this is especially troubling, as Turkey is a part of NATO and may drag the rest of the NATO nations into any war they start.

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The Two Koreas

The Two Koreas | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. What follows is a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and where the crisis could go from here. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the peninsula. Tensions between north and south gradually mounted, until finally, in June 1950, hundreds of thousands of North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel. The unsuspecting South Korean defenders were outgunned and outnumbered, and beat a hasty retreat southward."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This excellent interactive was created by Esri's Story Maps team using the Story Map Cascade app--making it an great resources of the geography of the Korean Peninsula as well as a stellar example of how maps, infographics, videos, images and text can be combined using ArcGIS online.

 

Tags: mappingESRIStoryMapinfographic, visualizationNorth KoreaSouth Korea, East Asiaborders, political, geopolitics, historical.

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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 2:10 AM
The two Koreas are polar opposites literally, North and South. The Korean war that took place some 68 years ago never formally ended because they could not come to peace agreements. So the border between North and South Korea known as the DMZ is the most heavily fortified border in the world because tensions still run high. The DMZ is the cease fire line. Both sides fear invasion, however in the current state of things it seems as if the North is more aggressive towards invasion that the South, as the South has found some secret tunnels and fear there's more by the North Koreans. Economically the North is severely behind in the world because of there dictators. While the South has become an economic Tiger thanks to the UN and USA trying to promote democracy in the area.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 8:51 PM
The two Koreas are a great example of how Capitalism, Democracy, and liberty are far better than Communism. Just the difference in light visible from satellites at night in the two countries speaks volumes. The war being technically not over and only under cease-fire always leaves that chance for the conflict to reopen. Though today they are taking major steps toward peace and making moves that have never been done before. The amount of famine and overall  sub quality of life in North Korea is mind blowing, and with much of it kept secret its hard to imagine how bad it really is.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 8:54 PM
For the two Korean nations, there are stark contrasts in the standard of living and wealth of the people. While the Korean war began in the 1950's it never formally ended a ceasefire was called and has just not flared up in a massive battle again. The two nations are uneasy with each other having different ideas for what Korea should be, but both nations do want a joint Korea. Looking at a map of the energy consumption by the two nations there is a line between those who have it and those who do not. These two have shown solidarity as well in the Olympics joining as one nation, but tensions will continue to flare for a long time.
 
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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why [Updated]

"After four-plus years of fighting, Syria's war has killed at least hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. And, though it started as a civil war, it's become much more than that. It's a proxy war that has divided much of the Middle East, and has drawn in both Russia and the United States. To understand how Syria got to this place, it helps to start at the beginning and watch it unfold."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Over a year ago I posted a previous version of this video highlighting the complexities behind the Syrian war.  Much has happened since then and this updated version adds more detail and includes a very helpful timeline to show how more internal and external forces became involved in the fighting.  This is an incredibly complicated geopolitical situation because of all the regional and international players involved.  

 

TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 29, 2018 1:37 AM
The war in Syria has been devastating to Syrian's inhabitants. After six years of this conflict it has become a mess and is divided into four sections or groups, all backed different foreign backers. The backers have know become so confused on who there fighting for and what there fighting for, that is how messy this war has gotten. The use of chemical warfare has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. As to why there is a major Syrian refugee crisis. The conflict started as an internal war against Assad and rebels. This small civil war has know turned into a global conflict. I wish I could say what foreign countries are backing who and why but the lines are very blurred and there has been many back stabbing. All these foreign powers entering this war has established Syria as a great power dispute. The Assad and rebels conflict also brew the other two sections that are fighting in this region the Kurds who want their own nation. The Kurds are the largest cultural and ethnic group without a country. The entrance of the Kurds in the fighting brought in more foreign countries to either support their efforts or squash the Kurds hopes of obtaining a nation of there own. Then you have ISIS who formed as a branch out of the original rebels because there was an internal dispute. Overall this war is bloody and will never end if all these four sections cant come to an agreement. If there is no determination for peace there will never be peace.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 31, 2018 10:59 PM
Hearing about the news in Syria is usually tragic and frustrating. It is also equally confusing and this video helped to sort out its causes and important transformations over time. Even with the video's succinct explanation, the conflict is still a quagmire to understand. The fighting began during the 2011 Arab Spring when peaceful Syrian protesters were gunned down by Assad's military forces. Instead of backing down and caving into the violent repression, the Syrian civilians retaliated with small arms fire and were joined by Syrian army defectors. The now belligerent protesters formed their own rebel army, causing Syria to erupt into a civil war. Then Islamic extremists, including a terrorist groups, joined the rebels. Countries like Turkey and Jordan began funding and arming the rebels while Iran - a Shiite country - provided support to Assad. Appalled by the out-of-control death toll, the United States began training and arming the rebels - some of whom were from Al Qaeda! Assad's chemical weapons attack escalated U.S. involvement while Russia came to the side of Assad. Putin most likely supports Assad to maintain its lease of a key geographic asset - a warm-water naval base -while also discouraging internal rebellion. At some point a group of ethnic Kurds in northern Syria succeeded (Putin's fear) and began attacking Assad. But, Turkey started attacking the Kurds! Then in 2014 ISIS broke away from Al Qaeda and started attacking the Kurds and the rebels prompting the U.S. to redirect its focus away from the Assad regime. This has to be the messiest conflict in modern history and is entirely defined by proxy wars. Because the war is so convoluted and complicated, there is no end in sight. The relentless destruction over years has caused millions of refugees to flee to Europe because it is the closest stable place to Syria. This unprecedented wave of migrations will surely transform Europe and cripple Syria in the long run.  
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:18 AM
Syria's war has gotten crazier and crazier and doesn't seem like there is a end in sight. The insane cross fighting between outside countries and the inner working of independence inside Syria itself is still an issue. A local protest has turned into an international fight against top countries of US and Russia.
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Why are the Baltic states so rattled?

This week, soldiers from Germany and Belgium are settling into a new posting in Lithuania as part of the latest NATO troop deployment. Will their hosts—and the region—feel more secure as a result of their presence?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video from the Economist shows how shifting political situations in one country can create some powerful ripples elsewhere.  It also shows how fluid geopolitical alliances can either embolden a waxing power, or create anxiety among states that might be waning in regional influence.  Supranational allegiances can weigh heavily on smaller states. 

 

Tags: Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, supranationalism, political.    

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James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 2018 1:07 PM
This is one of the many cases where it may be easy to understand each side but harder to understand a solution. Imagine being in the position the Baltic states are currently in? Russia will always put the pressure on them, or at least it seems Putin will.
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 6:02 PM
This post showcases how geopolitical relationships can really cause tension, fear, or even bring positivity between many countries. Russia has been on the offense, testing NATO and the Baltic states. The states feel the need to prepare for anything that could happen, one even calling in more troops and for conscription to bring back the feeling of safety in their country. However, this post also showcases how geopolitical relationships can be positive, as President Trump showed his admiration for Russia. This new bond one may call it, scares the Baltic states even more.
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 9, 2018 9:48 PM
The Baltic states seem to be rattled because Putin has been flexing his muscle lately.  Because Trump has vocally been threatening to leave NATO it seems as if Putin is trying to take advantage of a weak support of NATO.  Considering the Baltic states were at one point part of the USSR before they broke away it seems that now would be the right time to for a take over. 
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The unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to

The unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"An island, a territory, a self-governing entity, a renegade province, a breakaway part of China, the place formerly known as Formosa—call Taiwan any of those things, but never a country, a state, or a nation. The simple fact that it took a phone call between US president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to draw attention to one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies highlights the humiliating plight of Taiwan in the international arena. The irony that the US and other democratic countries cannot openly recognize Taiwan’s achievements for fear of incurring Beijing’s wrath has not been lost on many observers, who nevertheless fear that a cavalier move by Trump to upend diplomatic protocol in such a way could ultimately end badly for little Taiwan."

 

Tags: Taiwan, political, states, borders, geopoliticsEast Asia.

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Loreto Vargas's curator insight, December 12, 2016 3:01 PM
This behaviour towards Taiwan of the so-called “democratic” countries is unfair and their submission to China is unacceptable. But that’s the way things go and Chile is benefiting from this cowardice. Let’s put a stop to the made in China!
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 3:13 AM
(East Asia) The countries of the world cannot identify Taiwan's sovereignty because of China's indignation. Although Taiwan claims to be the true China, most countries recognize the hugely powerful PRC instead. China has prevented Taiwan from entering the United Nations and has pressured countries to perceive Taiwanese citizens as Chinese. However, Taiwan has followed the UN's regulations on issues such as climate change and may soon be the first Asian area to legalize same-sex marriage. While a strong democracy, China strong-arms other nations to exclude Taiwan.
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Who Likes Whom in The Middle East? Key players & Notable relationships

Who Likes Whom in The Middle East? Key players & Notable relationships | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An interactive network visualisation of key players & notable relationships in the Middle East region. Continually updated. Awesome looking.
Seth Dixon's insight:

News flash:the Middle East is complicated.  In a region where the enemy of an enemy can be your friend, keeping track of local, regional, and global interests can be a staggering proposition.  This flow chart is both incredibly complex, but also aids the user in making sense of the relationships that help to define the region.  

 

Tags: MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsregions.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 24, 2018 8:40 PM
This infograph is fun to play with and it shows who like who and who hates who in the middle east. it is interesting when you only look at the "love" reationships and realize how many nations don't have any. Though there are nations that  have no "love" relationships every one, but Oman, has at least two hate relationships, this is a great learning tool. 
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 9:45 PM
In geography it is important to understand what countries are enemies, what countries are alibis, and what countries have strained relationships. Without this knowledge, you really are left clueless to important relationships or causes to wars, or how each place affects another economy, politics, etc.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:40 AM
This chart is interesting, in that it shows the complex webbing of how each region is back by a certain country. It such a mess that trying to view this chart is such an eye sore, which is exactly how this region is, just a huge mess of a spider's web. 
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Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East

Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

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Kelly Bellar's curator insight, October 22, 2016 2:30 PM

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 28, 2018 6:49 PM
From the western perspective, it's easier just to assume the Middle East is constantly in conflict purely out of their own fault.  However, the story is more complicated than that and much of the conflict in the area is due to involvement from the west.  These four maps show the different factors that impact the countries in the Middle East.  The first one shows that countries that were fully formed states for longer, tend to be more stable.  This makes sense because they haven't had outside influence for longer and have had more time to create stronger governments.  Looking at just this map, it seems like Iran and Egypt should be more stable than Saudi Arabia today.  However, this map doesn't tell the whole story.  The second map shows the types of colonial rule that each country was under in recent history.  Turkey was the only country in the region that was able to stay fully independent.  Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Israel are some of the countries that were under full colonization.  Not surprisingly, the struggles they had to gain their independence still effects the stability of these countries today.  This shows that the involvement from outsiders has had negative, long-term effects on the area and that the west is not free from blame of what is happening in the Middle East.  The third map differentiates between the countries that changed regimes after World War II and those that did not.  There is a correlation between which countries experienced the change and the countries that are the least stable today.  The final map shows which countries were pro-western, pro-Soviet, or shifted alignments during the Cold War.  Once again the outside influence of both the west and in this case the Soviet Union, lead to further divide in the region.  The history and shifting geography of the Middle East in just the last hundred years helps to give insight to how the region has become as conflicted in some countries, yet stable in others.
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Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Ukraine is culturally, economically, and geographically connected with Russia. It is a territory that Russia cannot afford to lose as a part of their sphere of influence.  John Mearsheimer, in his article Why Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault, gives a detailed account of NATO expansion and how it effected the Russian demand for hegemony in East Europe. Ultimately it is his conclusion that it was this expansion that provoked the Russians, and the current crisis is on the hands of the West. The will of a majority of Ukrainians is be begin economically aligning more with EU/NATO countries.  Ukraine decided against Russia, and Russia responded with force.   Here is an article where scholars weigh in and mostly disagree with the author's provocative assessment

 

Tags: op-ed, Ukrainesupranationalism, Russia, geopoliticspolitical.

 

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Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 11, 2018 12:42 AM
This brings up some good points about a commonly opposed view in Europe and America. Often times we simply put Russia as the bad guy and Putin as its evil leader, but there is more to it then this. It is tough to say Russia's involvement in Ukraine is completely unjustified. To Russia the eastern nations of Europe are their buffer zone to NATO, and would like for them to stay aligned with Russia. When the Pro Russian Ukrainian president was ousted in a popular revolution (or a coup) many in the west simply deemed this as ok because the coup was pro NATO, to Russia this was seen as a threat. Then when Russia got involved the pro Russian "uprising" in Crimea seemed like Russia meddling in other nations internal affairs.  Dont forget that their are many Russians who live in Ukraine, and Russia sees these as their people who they need to protect. Either way this is a complicated situation that gets ignored all too often.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 21, 2018 4:28 AM
A good deal of Ukraine's crisis with Russia is centered around geopolitics. Russia annexed Crimea because of its seaport - a port that NATO had its eye on as a strategic position for keeping Russia in check. The territory of Ukraine as a whole serves as a buffer between Western Europe and Russia. If NATO were to incorporate and pro-Western Ukraine, Russia would feel threatened. As a major power with a history of pride, Russia would never tolerate a direct threat on its border. Making Ukraine into such a threat is not worth the potential political, economic, and military consequences from Russia. Since it is a thin place between two differing ideological powerhouses - Russia and the West - Ukraine might want to consider remaining neutral; even receiving help and assistance from the EU, the United States, and Russia. This route has not been taken because the West, specifically the U.S., has misunderstood Russia as an aging and weak country that would ultimately embrace the good-guy America as a benevolent friend. The U.S. needs to rethink its ideas about Russia and do the sensible thing of giving it a buffer zone and a little deference, just as the U.S. expects other major powers to keep away from Mexico and Central America. 

Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 22, 2018 10:41 PM
This hows a different perspective than the normal western one on the crisis in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Ukraine is more culturally and traditionally connected to Russia than the rest of Europe( historically Kiev was a capital of Russian empires, specifically the "Kieven Rus"). To Russia NATO is a threat, and constantly pushing east towards Russia. Russia wants some kind of friendly buffer Zone out of fears of influence from the west, and possible invasions. Historically Ukraine has been a buffer zone, but with the overthrow of the Russian friendly Ukrainian president and his replacement by a staunch Nato and western supporter Russia feals threaten. Though they denied any involvement at first, in the very least they have been supplying material and training to Crimean and other pro Russian separatist rebels whop are fighting the Ukrainian government in hopes of maintaining some sort of buffer zone.   
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A brief history of the U.S. and Cuba

150 years of tension may be coming to an end.
Seth Dixon's insight:

 

This video offers some good perspective on the competing historical visions that help to shape the tension between the United States and Cuba.  I enjoyed this one because it explicitly states during what many refer to as the age of imperialism.

 

Questions to Ponder:  How would you feel about the normalizing of political and economic relations between the United States and Cuba if you grew up in Cuba?  What if you were from a Cuban-American family that fled Castro's regime?   

 

TagsCuba, historical, conflict, political, geopoliticscolonialism, video.

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Here Are The Self-Declared Nations You Won't See At The UN

Here Are The Self-Declared Nations You Won't See At The UN | Geography Education | Scoop.it
These nations might not have representation, but they play a major role in international affairs.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tagspolitical, states, borders, geopolitics.

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Dee Dee Deeken's curator insight, March 29, 2016 4:26 AM

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tags: political, states, borders, geopolitics.

degrowth economy and ecology's curator insight, March 31, 2016 2:41 PM

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tags: political, states, borders, geopolitics.

MsPerry's curator insight, March 31, 2016 5:56 PM

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tags: political, states, borders, geopolitics.

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Geography textbook changed after Crimea row

Geography textbook changed after Crimea row | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A geography textbook that prompted a complaint from the Ukrainian embassy for showing Crimea as part of Russia is changed.
Seth Dixon's insight:

How we describe and categorize geopolitical shifts matter, and can ocassionally ruffle some feathers.  More important than the ruffled feathers is the fact that how we present the issues helps to shape students' perspectives.  In a somewhat related article, the Russian annexation of Crimea has magnified internal divisions in Kazakhstan.  

 

Tags: UkraineRussia, geopoliticspolitical, Kazakhstan.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 15, 2018 7:00 PM
This image shows how inaccurate textbooks can be. Winston Churchill said "History is written by the victors" this quote shows that the history that is told in textbooks is not always the most accurate. This case with Crimea shows that the textbook is inaccurate which in this case the textbook company acknowledged and corrected but errors in textbooks so often go unfixed, and if they do get fixed, many children are still learning from the old version of the textbook depending on which school district they are in.  
Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 20, 2018 3:57 PM
This article shows how describing international events like territorial changes can cause significant international backlash should the event in question be described in ways that do not respect the views of the bereaved party. In this case, the textbook failed to provide sufficient context that highlighted the Ukrainian position that the territory was illegally seized by Russia. This show that how an issue is described can shed significant light on which side that person appears to be taking. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 22, 2018 3:19 PM
(Russia) The Oxford University Press was forced to revise a textbook because of their description of Crimea. The original edition had an illustration showing Crimea in a different color than Ukraine, explaining that Crimea is owned by Ukraine but voted to become part of Russia. Readers believed this did not reflect the history of Crimea's annexation, when pro-Russian Crimeans took over the peninsula and held an illegal referendum. The new edition spends more time discussing the annexation and explains that Crimea legally belongs to Ukraine but is under Russian control.
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How geography shapes international politics

How geography shapes international politics | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Tim Marshall explains how world geography colors national development and foreign relations.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I haven't read the book yet, but am interested to see how Tim Marshall handles the topic to see it is a nuanced telling of how geographic impacts politics or if it strays into environmental determinism.  Based solely on the reviews it should be worth a read and my copy is on it's way. 

 

Tags: book reviews, historical, geopolitics.

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The Myth of the Caliphate

The Myth of the Caliphate | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Myth Article #1: Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and twentieth centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstances.


Myth Article #2: ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.


Myth Video #1: This video points to the reasons that recruits are attracted to extremism (not just poverty and ignorance).


Tags: politicalgovernance, religion, Islam, historical, terrorism, geopolitics, ISIS.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 26, 2015 10:12 AM

Myth

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 30, 2015 7:32 PM

The idea of the Caliphate seems to be more of what all the groups which called themselves Caliphates seem to be pursuing. It seems to me that the fact of the matter is less important than the idea, as what happened one hundred years ago is far less important than what is believed to have happened. That ISIS is a state can be argued, but the fact that they are fighting a conventional war is indisputable. Yes, the tactics we use must be shifted, but this means that support from aircraft or by indirect means are even more viable than they were during the Second Gulf War.