Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"Extending Influence": The Cartographic Key To Understanding USer Strategy In the Middle East , Trans-Caspian, & Central Asian Regions

PRINT THIS MAP, and keep it handy!
Post it somewhere prominent. Then, everytime/anytime you hear a story about trouble in south and/or central Asia, refer to it.
For example, remember the recent controversy between Bush and Putin on the location of missile intercept radars to warn against and forestall possible "Iranian" aggression?
Putin offers a big, old Soviet radar site, near Yeravan, Armenia (or was it in Azerbaijan?--more or less the same difference, geopolitically)...
Bush says, Nah, we want 'em in Poland.
Putin ses: Poland? WTF, where do you thing fucking Iran is, you asshole?
The map puts the conflicting positions in their proper context.
Snap Map-Quiz: : Find Armenia (or Azerbaijan--Hint: They're right next to one another), Tehran and Poland on the map.
Oh, yeah! I forgot. No Poland on a fucking map of south Asia (which is a king-hell big place, and has room for Poland, fer sher). Well, anyway, go head and use the "how far is it" link, below. Yeravan to Tehran? About 500 miles. From Tehran to Gdansk? About 2000 miles.
Think there might be something ELSE going on with the Poland location?For your convenience, you may calculate the strategic range between relevant potential flash points and choke-points here; bookmark it. This map--with the 'range' finder'--contains all the information you need to comprehend and even eventually predict the future unfolding of events in the region.
It is, for example, about 2200 miles from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Rawalpindi, Pakistan. From Kirkuk, Iraq, to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, about 1500 miles. The range of an F-15E (Israel's primary combat fighter)? It's combat radius is about 1100 miles (they don't tell you the 'range', per se, except as a factor of ferrying [3100 mi]). A USer Stealth aircraft operating out of Kirkuk could bring every population center between the Bosporus and the Aral Sea, as far as the Khyber Pass, under threat of sudden, frightful, horrifying attack.

THAT'S what, in military parlance, you could call "intermediate range extension of influence"...

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