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I don't advocate any "better" way

Reader comment on item: The "Shocking Document" that Shaped the Middle East Turns 100
in response to reader comment: Borders are Drawn by Armies

Submitted by Michael S (United States), May 20, 2016 at 03:41

Hi, Sakovt

I agree with you about how borders are drawn. Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, recognized borders have been drawn and respected by agreement of the Great Powers; though as you say, such agreements generally came as the result of military activity.

There is an example of countries coming about without themselves actually fighting for their land; namely, the breakup of the Soviet Union and its puppet regimes in Eastern Europe. These resulted from the "Cold War" between the US and the USSR, a war fought mostly in Korea and Vietnam in the conventional sense, but also in a "Great Race" to build and deploy nuclear weapons and delivery systems -- a historically unique way to "fight". When the two great superpowers came to an agreement over the nuclear standoff, countries started appearing: Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Ukraine, etc., most of them without firing a shot. The lines were former borders of political divisions, and there have been some minor changes since then -- such as the re-annexing of Crimea to Russia.

I don't propose any "better" way of dividing up the world. There is a movement afoot, to make political boundaries meaningless by making us all part of a great dystopian "family" of statelets, abandoning the Westphalian model. The UN was an early effort to this end; but it hasn't worked well. In near future, I expect a replacement to be effected, built around free trade agreements and suchlike. I don't ADVOCATE such a system, any more than I advocate the present Wesphalian system; and I fully expect it to fail. My interest in the matter is that this is the way things are, and will be in the near future: it's just dealing with reality.

Shalom shalom :-)

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