6 April 2016

** Map of The Week: Central Asian Geography

April 2, 2016 

Can the region's strategic position and demographics help explain its instability? 

Dear Reader,

To understand why Central Asia is both strategically important and politically fragile, this map is where you must begin. Artificial borders drawn by outside powers set various clans and ethnic groups against each other as they compete for relatively limited resources. The 3,000-mile border to the north with Russia is flat and offers no protection from potential invaders. Trapped between several major powers, including Russia and China, Central Asia is deeply affected by instability in the countries that surround it. But due to its strategic position, instability in Central Asia can also create spillover effects in Russia, western China, Afghanistan and even Syria and Iraq, and can impact U.S. interests in South Asia and the Middle East. We forecast that, in 2016, Central Asia will destabilize due to the chaos and instability that surrounds it on the Eurasian landmass. But before we could make that forecast, we had to start with an understanding of Central Asia's geography.

If this type of analysis helps you understand the world better, we urge you to subscribe to Geopolitical Futures. Our forecasts are grounded by our understanding of geopolitics – which is, for us, a disciplined method for explaining the world, and not just a synonym for "international relations." Geopolitics includes careful study of what has happened and what is happening now, and maps like this one are some of the most important tools we use to predict the future accurately.


The Geopolitical Futures Team 

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