This will be a somewhat different roundup than normal due to it being the first entry. The blog will not normally be so bloggy with links and whatnot and in the future I would like to take the time to address one or two articles at length. Also, I’ll just assume that anyone reading isn’t acutely aware of the information that I chose to highlight, such as Central Asia which is not an easily discernible geographic region. 

Occasionally I will post a roundup of articles relating to current events or a topic of study and for the forseeable future that will be Central Asia and the peripheral area (essentially the southern reach of Mackinder’s Pivot, pictured above) including Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Caucasus. Central Asia consists of  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

Stratfor has the best maps

  • One of the continuing problems with defining the term geopolitics is the difficulty of scholars to agree upon what, exactly, the word means. The ever-changing interpretation is highlighted in this article that considers ten scholarly definitions in multiple languages. There is a common theme to be sure but the ideas vary from: multiple forms of spatial determinism, a euphemism for “Cold War rhetoric” and “state competition”, and an agreement to disagree. I prefer the authors interpretation of David Criekeman’s definition that geopolitics is “part of both Political Geography and International Relations.” It’s so perfectly concise and vague. This is going to be a reoccurring topic.
  •  I don’t agree with everything in this older article, but it’s a great read and an example of  the type of realtime and non-aligned analysis that I appreciate and will usually post for it’s relevance.
  • The Asia Times Online has some great contributor’s and this particular article is from a former Indian Ambassador who has a knack for dressing up a story. Here he gives an update on the new Great Game and a more current status of Central Asia. If you read one of these, this should be the one.
  • Ok, if you’ve read everything so far and you’re still interested (I doubt it) then go ahead and read this article by F. William  Engdahl that takes an extensive look at the US military buildup in the Pacific and the Obama’s administration’s shift in focus to Asia.