Strategic Significance of Border Conflicts

  • Hafeez Malik

Abstract

The lands which Halford Mackinder called the heartland of the world have also been described as the Asian vortex, where five states — the Soviet Union (and now the Central Asian states), the People’s Republic of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India meet. Iran, Nepal, Bhutan and the former states of Sikkim and Tibet also converge on this land-mass. In ancient times, this vast Asian vortex drew to its core the great empire builders, including the Persians, the Greeks, the Kushanas, the Scythians and the Mongols. Zaheer-ud-Din Babur, the founder (1526) of the Mughal empire in India, hailed from the Ferghana Valley, which is today part of Uzbekistan, and stretches into Tajikistan and Kirghizistan. In the nineteenth century, on the decline of the Mughal Empire, the expanding empires of Russia and Britain met in the Asian vortex in confrontation. Here in the twentieth century, the Soviet Union, China and the exogenous United States once again played the great game of the nineteenth century, while India and Pakistan tugged along in subsidiary roles.

Keywords

Vortex Petroleum Explosive Assure Assimilation 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Adapted with some modifications from Thomas G. Hart, Sino-Soviet Relations: Re-Examining the Prospects for Normalization (Brookfield: Gower Publishing, 1987), pp. 19–21; 69.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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  3. 3.
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  4. 6.
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    For these revolts, see an excellent study by Andrew D. W. Forbes, Warlords and Chinese Central Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), Chapters, I–V.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hafeez Malik 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hafeez Malik
    • 1
  1. 1.Villanova UniversityUSA

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