The Coming Anarchy by pengtt

VIEWS: 139 PAGES: 21

                        by ROBERT D. KAI)LA N

                                  How sc a rcity,
                         c r im e, o v e r p opulat ion"
                          t r iba lis m , and di sea se
               a r e r a p id ly d e st ro y ing t h e so cial
                           f ab ric of o n r pla n e t

                                            HE Minister's eyes were
       L egg yolks, an aftereffect of some of the many illnesses,
       malaria especially. endemic in his cou ntry. There was also
       an irrefutable sadness in his eye s. He spoke in a slow and
       creak ing voice, the voice of hope about to expire. Flame
       trees, coconut palms, and a ballpoint-blue Atlantic composed
       the background. None of it seemed beautiful, though. " In
       forty-five years I have never seen things so bad. We did not
       manage ourselves well after the British departed. But what
       we have now is something worse-the revenge of the poor,
       of the social failures, of the people least able to bring up chil-
       dren in a modem society." T hen he referred to the recent
       coup in the West African country Sierra Leone. "The boys
       who look power in Sierra Leone come from houses li ke
                                               this." The Minister jabbed his
     Righi : oil lilid e M o nrol"" _
                                               f inger at a corrugated metal
      Lib eria . ci v i l/ a n " l el ; m lf
0/ c i v i l ID a I'. du mp ed n ear Ih e
                                               shack teem ing with children.
  airp or' . 1" 0 1' ";6"' : K o v e r n -     " In three month s these boys
 m enl '1'001' . In S ie r r a Le o n e        confiscated all the officia l
    r eo c cup :r a r eb el p Oll/l l on       Mercedes, Volvos, and BMWs

and wi llfully wrec ked them on the road ." Th e Minister men-
tioned one o f the co up's leaders, Solomon Anthony Joseph
Musa, who shot the peop le who had paid for his schoolin g.
"in order to erase Lhe humiliation and mitigate the powerhis
midd le-class sponso rs held over him ."
  Ty ranny is nothing new in Sierra Leone or in the rest of
West Africa. But it is now pan and parcel of an incre asing
lawlessness that is far more significant than any coup, rebel
incursion, or episodic experiment in democracy. Crime was
what my friend-a top-ranking African official whose life
wo uld be threate ned were I to identify him more precisely-
reall y wa nted to tal k about. Crime is wha t makes West
Africa a natural point of departure for my re port on what the
po litica l character of our planet is likely to be in the twenty-
first ce ntury ,
   Th e cities of West Africa at night are some of the unsafest
places in the world. Stree ts are unlit; the police o ften lack
gasoline for their vehicles; armed burglars, carjacker. and
muggers prolifer ate. "The gove rnmen t in Sierra Leone has

no writ after dark." says a foreig n resident. shrugging. When
I was in the capital. Freetown. last September, eight men
armed wi th A K-47s broke into the house of an American
man. They tied him up and sto le everything of value. Forget
Miami : direct flights betwee n the United States and the Mur-
tala Muhammed Airpo rt, in neigh borin g Nigeria ' s largest
city, Lagos, have been suspended by order of the U.S. Sec-
retary of Transportation because of ineffective security at the
termi nal and its environs. A State Depanment report cited
the airport for "extortion by law-enforcement and immigra-
tion offic ials." Th is is one of the few times that the U.S. gov -
ernme nt has embargoed a foreign airpo rt for reasons that are
linked purely to c rime. In Ab idj an. effectively the capital of
the Co te d ' Ivoire, or I vory Coast. restaurants have stick- and
gun-wielding guards who walk you the fiftee n feet or so be-
tween yo ur car and the entrance, givi ng you an eerie taste of
what American cities mi ght be li ke in the future. An It ali an
ambassador was killed by gunfire when robbers invaded an
A bidj an restaurant. The fam ily of the Nigerian am bassador

                                   was tied up a nd robbed at          could cross 10 the arm y's positions and there bury charms
                                   gunpoint in the ambassador's        .. . to improve the rebels' chances of success."
                                   residence. Arte r university           Finally my friend the Minister ment ioned polygamy . De- _
                                   st ude nts in the Ivor y Coast      signed for a pas to ral way of life, po lygamy conti nue s to
                                   ca ught band its who had been       thrive in sub-Saharan Afr ica eve n though it is increasing ly
             .~.......- IE RA
                          R        p laguing th eir dor ms, th e y     uncommon in Arab North Afri ca. Most youths I met on the
                                   exec ute d th em b y h an gin g     road in West Africa told me that they were from "extended"
LEONE IS AMICROCOSM                tires around their necks and        families, with a mother in one place and a father in another.
                                   setting the tires on fire. In one   Translated to an urban environment, loose family structures
OF WHAT IS OCCURRING               instance Ivorian po lic emen        are largely responsible for the world's highest birth rates and
                                   stoo d by a nd wa tc he d th e      the exp losion of the HIV virus on the co ntinent. Like the
   IN WEST AFRICA AND              " necklacings." afraid to inter-    communalism and animi m, they provide a weak shield
                                   vene. Each time I went to the       against the corrosive social effects of life in cities. In those
  MUCH OF THE UNDER-               Ab idjan bu term inal, groups       cities African culture is being redefi ned while desertification
                                   of yo ung me n wit h res tless ,    and deforestation-also tied to overpopulation-drive more
DEVELOPED WORLD: THE               scanning eyes surrounded my         and more African peasants out of the cou ntrys ide.
                                   taxi. putt ing the ir hand s all
   WITHERING AWAY OF               ove r the windows, dema nding                        A PR EMO NITI ON OF
                                   " tip s" fo r ca rryin g my lug -
                                                                                              T ilE FlTt RE
                                   gage even though I had only a

                                   rucksack. In cities in six West
                                   African co untries I saw simi-
                                   lar young men everyw here-
                                   hord es of the m. T hey we re
                                   like loose molec ules in a very
                                                                       W            EST Africa is becoming the symbol of worldw ide
                                                                                   demographic, environmental, and societal stress, in
                                                                                    which criminal anarchy emerges as the real "strate-
                                                                       gic" danger. Disease, overpopu lation. unprovoked crime,
                                                                       scarcity of resources, refugee migrations, the increasing ero-
                                   unstable soc ial fl uid, a flu id   sion of nation-states and international borders, and the em-
THE UNCHECKED SPREAD               that was clearly on the verge       powennent of private armies, security firms, and interna-
                                   of igniting.                        tio nal dru g ca nels a re now mo st tell ingly demonstrated
         OF DISEASE, AND              " You see," my friend the        thro ugh a West African prism. Wesl Africa provides an ap-
                                   Minister told me, "in the vil-      propriate introduction to the issues, often extremely unpleas-
  THE GROWING PERVA-               lages of Africa it is perfectly     ant to discuss, that will soon confront our civilization. T o
                                   natu ral to feed at a ny tabl e     rema p the political ea rth the way it will be a few decades
     SIVENESS OF WAR.              and lod ge in any hut. But in       hence-as I intend to do in this anicle-I find I must begi n
                                   the cities this communal exis-      with West Africa.
                                    ten ce no lon ge r holds. You         The re is no other place on the planet where political maps
    must pay for lodging and be invited for food . When yo ung         are so deceptive-where, in fact, they tell such lies as in-
    men find out that their relations can not put them up, they be-    West Africa. Start with Sierra Leone. Acco rding to the map, it
    come lost. They joi n other migrant s and slip gradually into      isa nation-state of defined borders, with a government in con-
    the criminal process."                                             trol of its territory. In truth the Sierra Leonian government, run
       " In the poor quarters of Arab North Africa," he contin-        by a twenty-seven-year-old army captain, Valent ine Strasser,
    ued, "there is much less crime, because Islam provides a so-       controls Freetown by day and by day also controls part of the
    cial anchor: of educat  ion and indoctrination. Here in West            l
                                                                       rura interior. In the government's terri tory the national anny
    Africa we have a lot of supe rficial Islam and supe rficial        is an unruly rabble threatening drive", and passengers at most
    Christianity. Western religion is underm ined by animist be-       checkpoints. In the other pan of the country units of two sep-
    liefs not suitable to a moral society, because they are based      arate arm ies from the war in Liberiahave taken up residence,
    on irrational spirit power. Here spirits are used to wreak         as has an army of Sierra Leonian rebels. The government
    vengeance by one person against another, or one group              force fighting the rebels is full of renegade commanders who
    against another." Many of the atrocities in the Liberian civil     have aligned themselves with disaffected village chiefs. A pre-
    war have been tied to belief in j uju spirits, and the BHe has     modern formlessness governs the battlefield, evoki ng the wars
    reported, in its magazine Focus 0 11 Africa . that in the civil    in medieval Europe prior to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia,
    fighting in adjacent Sierra Leone, rebels were said to have loa    which ushered in the era of organ ized nation-states.
    young woman with them who would go to the front naked,                As a consequence, roughly 400,000 Sierra Leonians are
    always walking backwards and looking in a mirror to see            internally disp laced, 280 ,000 more have fled to neighboring
    where she was going. This made her invisible, so that she          Guinea, and another 100,000 have fled to Liberia, even as

    46                                                                                                               f t: 8 RL ,\ R \ '   . ' !H
400 ,000 Liberian s ha ve n ed to Si erra Leon e. Th e thi rd        more mosquitoes. Virtually everyone in the West African in-
largest ci ty in Sierra Leone, Gondama, is a di splaced-per-         terior has some form of malaria.
sons camp. With an additional 600,000 Liberians in Guinea               Sierra Leone is a microcosm of what isoccurring, albeit in •
and 250 ,000 in the Ivory Coast. the borders dividing these          a more tempered and gradual manner, throughout West
four countries have beco   me largely meaningless. Even in           Africa and much of the underde veloped world: the withering
qui et zones none of the go vernme nts exce pt the Iv ory            away of central governments, the rise of tribal and regional
Coast's maintains the schools, bridges. roads, and police            domains, the unchecked sprea d of disease, and the grow ing
forces in a manner necessary for functional sovereignty. The         pervasiveness of war. West Africa is reverting to the Afri ca
Koranko et hnic gro up in north eastern Sie rra Leone doe s all      of the Victorian atlas. It consists now of a series of coastal
its trading in Gu inea. Sierra Leoni an di amonds are more           trading posts , such as Freetow n and Co nakry , and an interi-
likely to be sold in Liberia than in Freetown. In the eastern        or that, owing to violence, volatility, and disease, is again
                                                                     becoming, as G raham G reene once observed, " blan k" and
                                                                     "unexplored." However. whereas Greene's vision implies a
                                                                     certain romance, as in the somnolent and charmingly seedy
                                                                     Freetown of his ce lebrated novel The Heart of the Matter, it
                                                                     is Thomas Malthus, the philosoph er o f dem ographi c dooms-
                                                                     day , who is now the prophet of West Africa's futu re. And
                                                                     West Africa 's future, eventually, will also be that of most of
                                                                     the rest of the world.

                                                                     C     ONSlDER "C hicago. " I refer not to Chicago, Illinoi s,
                                                                           but to a s lum di stri ct o f Abidj an , whic h the yo ung
                                                                     tough in the area have named after the American city.
                                                                     (" Washing ton" is ano the r poor sectio n o f Ab idjan. ) Al-
                                                                     though Sierra Leone is widely regarded as beyond salvage ,
                                                                     the Ivory Coast has been con sidered an African success sto-
                                                                     ry, and Abidj an has been cal led " the Pari s of West Africa."
                                                                     Success, however, was built on two art ificia l factors: the
                                                                     high price of cocoa, of which the Ivory Coas t is the wo rld 's
                                                                     leading prod ucer , and the talents of a French ex patriate com-
                                                                     munity, whose members have helped run the government
                                                                     and Lhe private sector. The expanding cocoa economy made
                                                                     the Ivory Coast a magnet for migran t wo rkers from all ove r
                                                                     West Africa: betwee n a third and a half of the country's pop -
                                                                     ulation is now non-Ivorian , and the figure co uld be as high as
                                                                     75 perc ent in Ab idj an. During the 1980s cocoa prices feU
                                                                     and the French began to leave. The skyscrape rs of the Pari s
                                                                     of West Africa are a facade , Perhaps 15 percent of Abidjan 's
                                                                     pop ulation of three milli on people Jive in shantytowns like
                                                                     C hicago and Wa sh ingto n, and the va st majority live in
                                                                     places that are not much better, Not all of these places ap-
                                                                     pear on any of the readi ly availab le maps. Thi s is ano ther in-
                                                                     dication of how political maps are the prod ucts of tired co n-
provinces of Sierra Leone youcan buy Liberian beer bUI not           venti onal wisdom and, in the I vory Coast's case, of an elite
the local brand .                                        ,           that will ult imately be fo rced to relinqui sh power .
     In Sierra Leone, as in Guinea, as in the Ivory Coast. as in        Chicago, like more and more of Abidj an , is a slum in the
Ghana, most of the primary rain fores t and the secondary            bush: a checke rwo rk of co rruga ted zinc roofs and wal ls made
bush is bein g destro yed at an alarmin g rate . I saw co nvoys of   of cardboard and black plastic wrap. 11 is located in a gully
trucks bearing majestic hardwood trunks to coastal ports.            teeming with coconut palms
                                                                                                          T he pre lls 01 popula tion .
W hen Sierra Leone achieved its independence, in 1961, as            and oil palms, and is ravaged
                                                                                                          RiShl : doi n8 th e ."o sh In a
much as 60 pe rcent of the co untry was primary rain forest.         by flo oding . Fe w resident s 1080 0n i n A " l d j o n . tlt e t o o r y
Now six percent is. In the Ivory Coast the proportion has            have easy access to electricity, C OOllt. Lel t: Ih e n e arl}'
falle n from 38 perce nt to e ight perce nt. Th e de forestation     a sewage system, or a clean i m pollllo " ' e ,Iow n/ow n oj
has led to soil erosion, which has led to more flooding and          water supply. The crumbly red Lagos . N ig f!.r ia .

48                                                                                                                   F t: U Il UA R \   1 9 9-1
laterite earth crawls with foot-long lizards both inside and       demographic present- and eve n more of the future-than
outside the shacks. Children defecate in a stream filled with      any idyll icjunglescape of women balancing earthen j ugs on
garbage and pigs, droning with malarial mosquitoes. In this        their heads, illustrates why the Ivory Coast, once a model of
stream women do the w ashing. Y oung unemployed men                Third World succe ss, is beco ming a case study in Third
spend their time drinking beer, palm wine, and gin while           World catastrophe.
gambling on pinball games constructed out of rotting wood             President F61ix Houphouet-Boigny, who died last Decem-
and ru ty nails. These are the same youths who rob houses in       ber at the age of about ninety, left behind a weak cluster of
more prosperous Ivorian neighborhoods at night. One man I          political parties and a leaden bureaucracy that discourages
met, Damba Tesele, came to Chicago from Burkina Faso in            foreign investment. Because themilitary is small and the 000-
1963. A cook by profession, he has four wives and thirty-two       Ivorian population large, there is neither an obvious force to
children, not one of whom bas made it to high school. He has       maintain order nor a sense of nationhood that would lessen

seen his shanty community destroyed by municipal authori-          the need for such enforcement. The economy has been shrink-
ties seven times since coming to the area. Each time he and        ing since the mid-1980s. Though the French are working as-
his neighbors reb uild. Chicago is the latest incarnation.         siduously to preserve stability, the Ivory Coast faces a possi-
   Fifty-five percent of the Ivory Coast' population is ur-        bility worse than a coup: an anarchic implosion of criminal
ban, and the proportion is expected to reach 62 percent by         violence-an urbanized version of what has already happened
2000. The yearly net popu lation growth is 3.6 percent. This       in Somalia. Or it may become an African Yugoslavia, but one
means that the Ivory Coast' s 13.5 million people will be-         without mini-states to replace the whole.
come 39 million by 2025, when much of the population will             Becau e the demographic reality of West Africa is a coun-
consist of urbanized peasant s like those of Chicago. But          tryside draining into dense slums by the coast, ultimately the
don't co unt on the Ivory Coast' s still existing then. Chicago,   region's rulers will come to reflect the values of these shan-
which is more indicative of A frica' s and the Third W orld' s     ty-towns. T here are signs of this already in Sierra Leone-

r ne   AT I.ANT I (; '10 S T lll. \ '                                                                                         49
and in Togo, whe re the dictator Etienne Ey ade rna , in pow er           in Europe and Ru ssia but also because younger French offi-
since 1967, was nearly top pled in 1991 , not by dem ocrats               cials lack the older generation's emotional ties to the ex -
but by tho usands of you ths who m the Lon don -based maga-               co lonies. However, even as Nigeria attempts to expand, it,
zine West Af rica described as " Sowe to-like sto ne- thro wing           too , is likely to split into several pieces. T he State Depart-
adolescents." Their behav ior may herald a regime more bru -              ment's Bureau of Intelligence and Research recently made
taJ than Eyadema's repressive one.                                        the fo llow ing point s in an ana lysis of Nigeria:
   The fragility of these West African "countries" impressed
                                                                            Prospects for a transition to civilian rule and democratiza-
itsel f on me when I took a series of bush taxis along the Gulf
                                                                            tion are slim        The repressive apparatus of the state se-
of Guinea , from the Togolese capital of Lom e, acro ss G hana,             curity serv ice                                       e
                                                                                                  will be difficult for any futur civilian
to Abidjan . Th e 400-mile journey requ ired two full days of               government to control.           The country is becoming in-
driving, because of stops at two border crossings and an ad-                creas ingly ungovernable         Ethnic and regional splits are
ditio nal eleven customs stations, at each of which my fellow               deepening. a situat.ion made worse by an increase in the
passengers had their bags searched . I had to change money                  numberof states from 19 to 30 and a doubling in the num-
tw ice and repeated ly fill in currency -declaration form s. I had          ber of local govern ing authorities; religious cleavages are
to bribe a Togolese immi grati on offic ial with the eq uivalent            more serious; Muslim fundamentalism and evangelical
of eighteen doll ars before he wo uld agree to put an exit stamp            Christian militancy are on the rise; and northern Muslim
on my passport , Nevertheless, smuggling across these bor-                  anxiety over southern [Christian] control of the economy
                                                                            is intense . . . the will to keep Nigeria together is now very
ders is rampant. The London Observer has reported that in
1992 the eq uivalent of $856 milli on le ft West Af rica fo r Eu-
rope in the form of "hot cas h" assumed to be laun dered d rug               Gi ven that o il-rich Nige ria is a bellwether for the region-
money. International cartels have discovered the utili ty of              its populat ion of roughl y 90 million eq uals the populat io ns
weak, financiall y strapped West African regime s.                        of all the ot her We st African states co m bined-it is appare nt
  The more fictitious the actual sovereignty. the more severe             that Afri ca faces cata clysms that co uld make the Ethiop ian
border authorities seem to be in trying to prove otherwise.               and Somalian famines pale in comparison. This is especially
Getting visas for these stares can be as hard as crossing their           so because Nigeria's pop ulation, including that of its largest
borders. Th e Washingt o n em bassies of Si erra Leon e and               city, Lagos, whose crime, pollution, and overcrowding make
Guinea- the two poorest nations on earth, acco rding to a                 it the c liche par excellence of T hird Wor ld urban dysfunc-
1993 United Nations report on "human developm ent"- as ked                tion. is set to double during the next twenty -fi ve years, while
for letters from m y bank (in lieu of prepa id round-trip tickets)        the country continues to deplete its natural resources.
and also personal references, in orderto prove that I had suffi-            P art of West Af rica ' q uandary is that a ltho ugh its po pu-
cient means to sustain myself during my visits. I was remind-             lation belts are horizontal, with habitation densities increas-
ed of my visa and currency hassles while traveling to the com-            ing as one travels south away from the Sahara and toward
mun ist states of Eas te rn Europe, panicul arly East Germ any            the tro pical abunda nce of the Atlantic litto ral, the bo rders
and Czecho slo vakia, before those states co llapsed .                    erected by European co lonialists are vertical, and therefore
   Ali A . M azrui , the directo r of the In stitu te of G lo bal C ul-   at cross -purpo ses with de mograp hy and to pography . Sate l-
tur al Studies at the State Un iversit y of New York at Bing-             lite ph otos depict the sa me real ity I experienced in the bush
hamton , pred icts that West Africa- indeed , the whole conti-            taxi: the Lom e-Ab idjan coastal co rridor -indee d, the entire
nent-is on the verge of large-scale border upheaval. Mazru i              stretch of coast from Abidjan ea tw ard to Lagos- is on e
writes,                                                                   burgeoning megalopolis that by any rat ional economic and
                                                                          geog raphical standard should constitute a single sovere ignty,
   In the 21st century France will be withdrawing from West               rather than the five (the Ivo ry Coast, Ghana, Togo. Benin,
   Africa as she gets increasingly involved in the affairs [of
                                                                          and Nige ria ) int o which it is curre ntly divid ed .
   Europe]. France's West African sphere of influence will
                                                                             As many internal African borders beg in to crumble. a
   be filled by Nigeria-a more natural hegemonic power.
   .. . Itwill be underthose circumstances that Nigeria's own             more impenetrable boundary is being erected th ar threatens
   boundaries are likely to expand to incorporate the Repub-              to isolate t.he continent as a whole: the wall of disease. Mere-
     lic of Niger (the Hausa link), the Republic of Benin (the            ly to visit West Africa in some degree of safety, I spent
     Yoruba link) and co nceivably Cameroon.                              about $500 for a hepatitis B vaccination series and other dis-
                                                                          ease prophylaxis. Af rica may today be more dan ge rous in
                                                                          this rega rd than it was in 1862, before antibiotics, when the

T    H E futurecould be more tum ultuous, and bloodier, than
     Mazrui dares to say. France will withdraw from fanner
colonies like Benin, Togo, Niger, and the Ivory Coast, where
                                                                          explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton described the health sit-
                                                                          uation on the continent as "deadly, a Golgotha, a Jeh an-
                                                                          num. " Of the approximately 12 million people worldwide
it has been propp ing up local currencies. II will do so not              whose blood is H1 V-po sitive, 8 million are in Africa. In the
only because its attention will be diverted to new challenges             ca pita l of the Ivory Coas t, whose modern road system only

52                                                                                                                       F I, II Il U \ II \'   19904
    hel ps to spread the disease , 10 percent of the po pulation is          rusted shipping co ntainers, j unked cars, and j umbles o f w ire
    HIV -posit ive. And wa r and refugee mo vem ents hel p the               mesh. T he streets we re one lo ng pudd le of floating garbage .
    virus brea k through to more-rem ote area s of Africa . A lan            Mosqu itoe s and flies were everywhe re. Child ren, many of
    Greenbe rg, M.D., a repr esent at ive of the Ce nters for Disease        who m had protru din g bellies, seemed as numerou s as ants.
    Co ntro l in Abidjan, ex plains that in Africa the HIV virus and         When the ride we nt o ut, de ad rats and the ske leto ns of cars
    tuberculosis are now " fast-fo rwarding each other." Of the              we re ex posed o n the muck y beach. In rwent y-e ight years
    approximately 4 ,000 ne wly dia gnosed tubercul osis patients            G uinea 's pop ulation wi ll do uble if grow th goes on at c urre nt
    in Ab idja n, 45 percent were also found to be HIV-positi ve.            rates. Hard wood logging co ntinues at a madcap speed, and
    As Africa n birth rates soar and slums pro liferate , so me ex -         peop le flee the G uinea n co untryside for Co nakry. ILseemed
    pert s wo rry that viral mu tat ions and hybrid izat ions migh t,        to me that here. as elsew here in A frica and the Thi rd Wo rld,
    ju st co nceivabl y, result in a fo rm of the AIDS virus that is         man is challenging nature far beyond its limits, and nature is
    easier to catc h than the present stra in.                               no w beginning to take its re ve nge .
        It 1S malaria that is most respon sible for the disease wall
    that threatens to separate Africa and other parts of the Third            ! FRICA may be as re lev ant 10 the futu re characte r of
    World from mor e -deve lop ed regio ns of the pl an et in the            .fl: wo rld po litic s as the Ba lka ns we re a hun dr ed yea rs
    twenty-first century. Carried by mosqu itoes, malaria, unlike                          o
                                                                             ago , prior L the two Bal kan wars and the First Worl d War .
    AIDS, is ea sy ro catc h. Most peop le in s ub-Sa haran A fric a         T hen the threat was the co llapse of empires and the birt h of
    have recurring bo uts of the di sease throu gh out their entire          nati on s based solely on tri be . No w the thr eat is more e le-
    Jives. and it is mut ating into i.ncreasin gly deadl y fonn s. "T he     ment al: nature unchecked. A frica 's immediate future could
                                       great g ift o f Mala ria is utter     be very bad . The com ing upheaval, in which for eig n em-
                                       apa thy ," w rot e Si r R ic ha rd    bassies are shut dow n, states co llapse. and co ntact w ith the
                                       Bu rto n, acc urate ly portraying     o utside wo rld takes place thro ugh dangerous, disease-ridden
                                       the situ ation in mu ch of th e       coa stal trading posts, will 1  00111 large in the ce ntury we are
                                       Third World today. Visitors to        e ntering. (Nine of twen ty-on e U.S. foreign-aid mission s to
                                       mal aria-afflict ed parts of the      be closed over the next three years are in Africa-a prologu e

                            TIS planet are protected by a new                to a co nsolidatio n of U.S . embassies them sel ves.) Prec isely
                                       drug, rnefloqu ine , a side effect    becau se much of Africa is set to go o ver the edge at a lime
                                       of which is vivid, even violent,      whe n the Co ld Wa r has e nde d. w he n e nvi ronme nta l and
         MALARIA THAT IS               dream s. B ut a strain of cere-       dem og raphic stress in o ther parts of the glo be is becoming
                                       bral malaria resistant to me flo-     critical , and whe n the post- First Wo rld War sys tem of na-
MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR                   q uine is now o n the offensive.      tion-states- not j ust in the Balkans but per hap s also in the
                                       Con sequ ently, defendi ng o ne-      Middle East- is abo ut to be to ppled , A frica suggests what
     THE DISEASE WALL                  se lf aga inst malaria in Africa      war, borders. and eth nic po litics will be like a few deca des
                                       is beco m ing mor e an d mor e        hence.
    THAT THREATENS TO                  like de fen din g oncscl f aga inst       To under stand the eve nts of the next fifty years, then , o ne
                                       violent crime. You engage in          mu st understand e nviro nme nta l scarcity, c ultural and raci al
  SEPARATE AFRICA AND                  "be ha vior modificati on " : no t    clash, ge og raphic destiny, and the tran sformation of war.
                                       go ing ou t at d usk , we a ring      T he o rde r in which I have named these is not accide nta l.
         OTHER PARTS OF                mosquito repellent all the time.      Each co nce pt ex cept the first re lies part ly o n the one or ones
                                           A nd the c ities keep gro w-      be fo re it , mean ing th at the last two-ne w approa c hes to
THE THIRD WORLD FROM                   ing. 1 go t a ge neral se nse o f     mapmak in g and to wa rfare-are the mo st import ant. Th ey
                                       the fut ure while drivin g from       are also the least understood . I will now look at each idea.
                                       the a irport to downtown Co n-        dra wi ng upon the wo rk of pec ia lists and also my ow n trav-
                                       akry, th e c apita l o f G uinea.     e l ex perience s in vario us pans of the globe besides Africa, in
                                       T he fort y-five-minute joumey        order to fill in the blanks of a new poli tical atlas.
REGIONS OF THE PLANET                  in heavy tr affic wa s thro ugh
                                       o n e ne ver- e n di n g s ha nt y-
  IN THE TWENTY-FIRST                  to wn : a nightm ar ish Dicken-
                                                                                          T il.;     E JH I K O J~~I EN T AS A

                                       sian spectacle to which Dick-
                                                                                                   II OSTI u ; P OWER
          DEADLY FORMS.
                                       ens him sel f wo uld never have
                                       given crede nce. Th e co rruga t-
                                       ed metal shacks and scabrous
                                       wa lls were coated w ith black
                                       slime. Stores were bu ilt o ut of
                                                                             F     OR a while the medi a will cont inue to ascribe riots and
                                                                                   othe r violent uphea va ls abroad mainly to ethnic and re-
                                                                                   ligious co nflict. But as these co nflicts multiply, it will
                                                                             beco me apparent that so mething e lse is afoot, making more
                                                                             and more places like Nigeria, India, and Brazil ungovern able.

    54                                                                                                                       1' 1';11 11V A II , .   I !I !J "
  Mention "the environme nt" or "diminishing natural re-            tween Hungary and Slovakia over the damming of the Dan-
sources" in fore ign-policy circles and you meet a brick wall       ube, a classic case of how environmental disputes fuse with
of skepticism or boredom. To conservatives especially, the          ethnic and historical ones. The political scie ntist and e rst-
very terms seem flaky. Public-policy foundations have con-          while Clinton adviser Michael Mandelbaum has said, "We
tributed to the lack of interest, by funding narrowly focused       have a foreign policy today in the shape of a doughnut-
environmental studies replete with technical jargon which           lots of peripheral interests but nothing at the center." The
foreign-affairs expen s just let pile up on their desks.            e nvironment, I will argue, is part of a te rrifying array of
     It is time to understand "the environment" for what it is:     problems that will define a new threat to our secur ity, fi lling
the national-security issue of the early twenty-first ce ntury.     the hole in Mandelbaum's doughnut and allowing a post-
The political and strateg ic impact of surging populations,         Cold War foreign policy to emerge inexorably by need rath-
spreading disease, deforestation and soil erosion, water de-        er than by design.

pletion, air pollution, and, possibly, rising sea levels in crit-
ical, ove rcrowded regions like the Ni le Del ta and Bangla-
desh--dev elopments that will prompt mass migratio ns and,
                                                                    O   UR Cold War foreign policy truly began with George
                                                                        F. Kennan' s famous article, signed "X," published in
                                                                    Foreign Affa irs in July of J947, in which Kennan argued for
in turn , incite group conflicts-will be the core foreign-pol-      a "finn and vigilant containment" of a Soviet Union that. was
icy challenge from which most others will ultimately em-            imperially, rather than ideologically, motivated. It may be
anate, arousing the public and uniting assorted interests left      that our post-Cold War foreign policy will one day be seen
ove r from the Co ld War. In the twenty-first century water         to have had its beginnings in an even bolder and more de-
will be in dangerously short supply in such diverse locales         tailed piece of written analysis: one that appeared in the jour-
as Saudi Arabia, Central Asia, and the southwestern United          nal Inter national Sec urity . The article, published in the fall
States. A war could erupt betwee n Egypt and Ethiopia ove r         of 1991 by Thomas Fraser Homer-Dixon, who is the head of
N ile Rive r water. Even in Europe tensions have arisen be-         the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of

     T oronto, was titled "On the T hreshold: Envi ronmental                       D ixon concludes that "as environmental degradation pro-
     Changes as Causes of Ac ute Co nflict." Homer -Di xon has,                    ceeds, the size of the potential social disruption will increase."
   • more succ essfully than other analysts, integrated two hither-                   T ad Homer-Dixon is an unlikely Jeremiah. Today a boy-
     to separate field s-military -conflict stud ies and the study of              ish thirty-seven, he gre w up amid the sylvan majesty of Van-
         the physical e nvironment.                                                co uve r Is land, attend ing private day schools. His speech is
             ill H omer-Di xon's view, future wars and civil violence              calm, perfectly even, and crisply enunciated. There is noth-
         will often arise from scarcities of resources such as water,              ing in his backgrou nd or manner that would indicate a bent
         cropland, forests, and fish. Just as there will be environmen-            toward pessimism . A Canadian Anglican who spends his
         tally driven wars and refugee flows, there will be environ-               summers canoeing on the lakesof north ern Ontario, and who
         mentally induced praetorian regimes-or, as he puts it, " hard             talks about the benign mount ains, black bears, and Douglas
          regimes." Countries with the highest probability of acquiring            fir s o f his yo uth, he is the opposite of the inte lle ctua lly
          hard regimes, according to Horner-D ixon, are those that are
          threatened by a declining resource base yet also have "a his-
          tory of state [read ' military' ] strength." Candidates in clude
          Indonesia, Brazil, and, of course. Nigeria. Though each of
          these nations has exhibited democratizing tendenciesof late,
          Homer-Di xon argues that such tendencies are Likely to be
          superficial "epiphenomena" having nothing to do with long-
          term processes tha t include soaring populations and shrink-
          ing raw materials. Democracy is problematic; scarcity is
          more certain,
             Indeed , the Saddam Hussein s o f the fut ure w ill have
          more, not fewer, opportunities. In addi tion to engendering
          tribal strife, scarcer resources will place a great strain on
          many peoples who never had much of a democratic or insti-
          tutional tradition to begin with. Over the next fifty years the
          earth 's pop ulation will soar from 5.5 billion to more tha n
          nine billion. Though optimists have hopes for new resource
          techn ologies and free-market developme nt in the global vil-
          lage, they fa il to note that, as the National Academy of Sci-
          ences has pointed out, 95 percent of the population increase
          will be in the poorest' regions of the world, where govern-
          ments now- ju st look at Afric a- show little ability to func-
          tion, let alone to implement even marginal improvements.
          Homer-D ixon writes, ominously, " Neo-Malthusians may
          underestimate human adaptability in todays environme ntal-
          social system, but as time passes their analysis may become
          ever more compelling."
             While a minority of the human population will be, as Fran-
          cis Fukuyama would put it, sufficiently sheltered so as LO en-
          ter a "post-historical" realm, living in cities and suburbs in
          which the environment has been mastered and ethnic ani-
          mosities have been quelled by bourgeois prosperity, an in-
          creasingly large number of people will be stuck in history, liv-         severe neoconservative, the kind at home with conflict sce-
          ing in shantytowns where attempts to rise above poverty,                 narios. Nor is he an environmentalist who opposes develop-
          c ultural dysfunction, and ethnic stri fe will be doomed by a            ment. " My father was a logger who thought about eco logi-
          lack of water to drink, soil to till, and space to survive in. In        call y safe forestry before others," he says. " He logged,
          the developing world environmental stress will present people            planted , logged, and planted. He got out of the business j ust
                                               with a choice that is increas-      as the issue was being polarized by environmentalists. They
I.-ell : £ 1 Plo p ln , f.' 1 S a l v a d Qr ,
                                               ingly among totalitar ianism        hate change d ecosystems. But human beings, ju st by carry-
      r epolriiorJ' of g a r b age alld
   d ealh - lltluad v ic li m N. Ri g hi:
                                               <as in Iraq ), fasc ist-te nd ing   ing seeds around, change the natural world." A s an only
         Rio d e Jan eiro ( 10 1' ) allli      mini-states (as in Serb-held        child whose playgrou nd was a virtually unto uched wilder-
 S h a ngh a i . c r o w d e d anti 8 1i ll    Bosnia), and road-warrior cul-      ness and seacoast, Homer-Di xon has a familiarity with the
                               g ro w i ng.    tures (as ill Somalia). Homer-      natural world that perm its him to see a reality that most pol-

       T il   u   ,\ l "I. A NT IC M n Nl' III. "                                                                                                59
icy analysts-children of suburbia and ci ty streets-are                ronmental research of his colleag ue, the Czec h-born eco lo-
blind 10.                                                              gist Vaclav Smil, Homer-Dixon explains how the per capita
      " We need to bring nature back in," he argues. "We have          ava ilability of ara ble land in interior China has rapidly de-               •
to stop separating po litics fro m the physical wor ld- the cli-       clined at the same time that the quality of that land has been
mate, public health. and the environment." Quoting Danie l             destroyed by deforestation , lo ss of topsoil , and salinization.
Deudney. another pioneering expert on the security aspects             He mentions the loss and co ntamination of water supplies,
of the environment, Homer-Dixon says that "for too long                the exhaustion of wells, the plugging of irrigation systems
we'v e been prisoners of 'social-social ' theory, which as-            and reservoirs with eroded silt, and a population of 1.54 bil-
sumes there are only soc ial causes for social and political           Li on by the year 2025: it is a misconception that China has
changes, rather than natural causes, too. This social-social           gotten its population under contro l. Large-sca le population
mentality emerged with the Ind ustrial Revolution, which               movements are under way , from inland China to coastal Chi-
separated us from nature. But nature is coming back with a             na and from villages to cit ies , leading to a crime surge like
vengea nce, tied to population growth. It will have incredible         the one in Africa and to g row ing reg io nal dis parities and
security implications.                                                 conflicts in a land wit h a strong tradition of warlordism and
   "Think of a stretch limo in the potholed streets of New             a weak tradition of central government -again as in Africa.
Yo rk City, where homeless beggars li ve. In side the lim o are        " We will probably see the center challenged and fractured,
the air-conditio ned post-industrial regio ns of North America,        and China will not remain the same on the map," Horner-
Europe, the emerging Pacific Rim, and a few other isol ated            Dixon says .
places. with the ir trade summitry and computer- information              Environmental scarcity will inflame ex isting hatreds and
high ways. Outside is the rest of mankind , go ing in a com-           affec t power relatio nships, at which we now look.
pletely different direc tion."
                                                                                      S KIN IIE AD COSSAC KS,

W      E are e nteri ng a bifurcate d world. Part of the globe
       is inhabited by Hegel's and Fukuyarn a' s Last Man ,
                                                                                         JUJ U WARRIORS

health y, well fed, and pamp ered by tec hnology . T he ot he r,          N the summer, 1993, issue of Foreign Affairs, Samuel
lar ger, pa rt is inh abit ed by Hob bes ' s Fir st Ma n, co n -          P. Hunt ington, of Harvard 's Olin Institute for Strategic
demn ed to a life that is "poor, nasty, brutish , and sho rt."            Studi es, published a thought-provoking article ca lled
Altho ugh bot h parts wi ll be threatened by e nv ironmen ta l         "The Clash of C ivilizations?" The wo rld, he arg ues, has
stress, the Last Man will be able to master it; the First M an         been mo ving during the co urse of this ce ntury from nation-
will not.                                                              state conflict to ideo logic al conflict to, finally, cult ural con-
   The Last Man will adjust to the loss of underground water           flict. I wo uld add that as refugee flo ws increase and as peas-
tables in the western United States. He will build dikes to            ants continue migrating to cities around the wo rld- turning
save Cape Hatteras and the Chesapeake beac hes from rising             them into sprawling villages- national borders wi ll mean
sea levels, even as the Mald ive Islands, off the coa st of In-        less, even as more power will fall into the hands of less ed -
di a, s in k in to ob livio n, a nd th e sho re l ines of Egy pt ,     ucated, less sophisticated groups. In the eyes of these uned -
Bangladesh , and Southeast Asia recede, driving tens of mil-           ucated but newly empowe red mill ions, the real borders are
lions of people inland where there is no room for them , and           the most tangible and intractable ones: those of culture and
thus sharpening ethnic di visions.                                     tribe. Huntingto n writes, "First, diffe rences among civil iza-
   Homer-Dixon points to a world map of soil degradation in            tion s are not only real; they are basic ," invol vin g , among
his To ronto office. "The darker the map co lor, the worse the         other things, history. language, and relig ion. "Sec ond ... in-
degra dation," he ex plains. The West African coast, the Mid-          teractions between peoples of different civ ilizations are in-
dle East, the Indian subcontinent, China, and Central Amer-            creasing; these increasing interaction s intensify civ ilizatio n
ica have the darkest shades, signifying all manner o f degra-          co nsciousness." Eco nom ic modernization is not necessarily
dation, related to wi nds, chem icals, and wa ter proble ms.           a panace a, s ince it fue ls indiv idual and g roup am bitio ns
"The wo rst degradation is ge nerally where the population is          while weake ning tradit ional loyalties to the state. It is worth
highest. The pop ulation is generally highest where the soil is        noting, fo r ex ample , that it is precisely the wea lthiest and
the best. So we' re degrading eart h' s best soil."                    fastest-developing city in India, Bomb ay, that has seen the
   China, in Homer-Dixon's view , is the quintesse ntial ex-           wo rst intercommunal vio lence bet ween Hindus and Mus -
ample of env ironmental degradation. Its c urrent economic             lims. Consider that Indian cit ies, like African and Chinese
"succes s" masks deeper problems. "China's fo uneen perce nt           o nes, are eco log ica l time bombs -De lhi and Calc utta, and
growt h rate doe s not mean it's go ing to be a wo rld pow er. It      also Beijin g , suffer the worst air quality of any cities in the
means that coastal China, where the economic growth is tak-            wo rld-and it is appare nt ho w surg ing pop ulatio ns , e n-
ing p.lace , is joi ning the rest o f the Paci fic Rim. The dispari-   v ironmental deg radation , and e thnic confl ict are dee ply
ty w ith inland China is intensi fying ." Re ferring to the envi-      related .

611                                                                                                                    t' I~ 8 Il UA R Y   19 9 ..
         Huntington points to interlocking co nfl. icts among Hindu,
      Muslim, Slavic Orthodo x, We stern, Japanese , Co nfucian,
      Latin American, and possibly African ci viliz ations: for in-
      stance, Hindus clashin g with Muslims in India, Turk ic Mus-
      lims clas hing w ith S lav ic Orthodox R us sians in Ce ntra l
      Asian cities, the West. clashing with Asia. (Eve n in the Unit-
      ed States, Afr ican-American s find themse lves besieged by
      an in flux of competing Lat inos.) Whatever the laws, refu-
      gees find a way to crash offi cial border s, brin ging their pas-
      sions with them , meaning that Europe and the United State s
      will be weakened by cultural disput es.
         Becau se Hunt ington ' s bru sh is bro ad, hi s spec ifics are
      vulnerable to attack . In a reb una l of Huntington 's argume nt
      the John s Hopkins profe ssor Fouad Ajami , a Le banese-born
      Sh i' ite who ce rtainly know s the world beyond suburbia,
      writes in the September -O ctober , 1993, issue of Foreign
           The world of Islam divid es and subdivides . The battle
           lines in the Caucasus . . . are not coex tensive with civ i-
           lizational fault lines. The lines follow the interests of
           states . Where Huntington sees a civi lizational duel be·
           tween Amenia and Azerbaijan, the Iranian state has cast
           religious zeal . . . to the wind . . . in that battle the Irani ans
           have L ilted towardChristian Armenia.
         T rue, Huntington 's hypo thesized war betwe en Islam and
     Orthodox Christianity is not borne out. by the alliance network
     in the Cau casus. Bu t that is only because he has misiden tified
     which cultural war is occ urri ng there. A recent visit to Azer-
     baijan made clear to me that Azeri Turks, the world's most
     sec ular Shi'ite Muslims, see their cultural identity in terms not
     o f religion but of the ir Turkic race . The Armenians, likewi se ,
     fight. the Azeris not because the latter are Muslims but because
     they are Turk s, related to the same Turks who massacred Ar-
     menian s in 19 IS. T urkic culture (secular and based on lan-
     guages empl oying a Latin script) is battling Irani an c ulture
     (religio usly militant. as defined by Tehran , and wedded to an             be a powder keg for cultural war at the tum o f the twenty-
     Arabic script) across the whole swath of Central Asia and the               first : be twee n Orthodox Christi anity (re pres e nted by the
     Cau casus. The Armenians are, therefore, natural allies of their            Serb s and a c lassic Byzantin e configuration of Gre ek s, Ru s-
     fellow Indo-Europeans the Iranians.                                         sians, and Rom anian s) and the Hou se of Islam . Vet in the
         Huntington is correct that the Caucasus is a flashpcim of               Caucasus that House o f [slam is falling into a clash between
     c ultural and racial war. But, as Ajami obse rves, Hunting -                Turki c and Iranian civilizations. Ajami asserts that this very
     ton' s plate tectonics are too simple . Two months of recent                subdivisio n, not to mention aU the divi sions within the Arab
     travel througho ut Turkey revealed to me that although the                  wo rld, indicates that the West, including the United States, is
     T urks are developing a deep distrus t, bord erin g on hatred,              not thre atened by Hunt ington 's scenario. As the G ulf War
     of fellow -Mu slim Iran, the y are also, especially in the shan-            dem on strated , the West has prov ed ca pable of playin g one
     tyto wns that are coming to dom inate Turki sh public opin-                 part of the Ho use of Islam against another.
     ion , revising their gro up identity, increasingly see ing them-               True . However, whe ther he is aware o f it or not, Ajami is
     selves as Muslim s bein g deserted by a West that doe s little              describing a world even more dangerous than the o ne Hunt-
     to help besieg ed Muslims in Bo snia and that attac ks Turki sh             ingto n e nvisio ns, especially when o ne take s into acco unt
     Muslims in the streets of Germany .                                         Homer-Di xon 's research on environmental scarcity. Outside
                                           In oth er words, the Balk a-          the stretch lim o wo uld be a rundo w n. c rowded planet of
 In RONnia , t h e f o rme r Yugo ·
     da vi a , co mp a l ri olll a d d  ns, a powder keg for nation-             skinhead Co ssac ks and j uj u war rio rs, influen ced by t he
one more v ic ti m of c ilJ iI w a r    state war at the beginni ng o f          worst refu se o f Western pop culture and ancient tribal ha-
                t o n m t, II N g ralJe the twent ieth ce ntury, could           treds. and battling over scraps of ove rused earth in g uerrilla

      62                                                                                                                       "' ~ K II L A R \'   1 9 !H
                                                                                   Til E PAST IS DEAIl

                                                                            UILT on stee p, m udd y hill s, the shantytowns o f
                                                                            Ankara, the T urkish ca pital, exude visual drama. AI-
                                                                            tindag, or " Go ld e n Mounta in," is a py ra mid of
                                                                  dreams, fashioned from cinde r blocks and corrugated iron,
                                                                  rising as though eac h shack were bu ilt on lOP of another, all
                                                                  reaching aw kwa rd ly and pain full y toward heave n- the
                                                                  heaven of wealthier Turk s who live elsewhere in the city.
                                                                  Nowhere else on the plane t have I found such a poignant ar-
                                                                  cbitec tur al sy mbo l of man ' s striving, with gap s in hou se
                                                                  walls plugged with rusted can s, and leeks and onion s grow-
                                                                  ing on verandas assembled from plank s of rottin g wood . For
                                                                  reaso ns that I will explain, the Turki sh shacktown is a psy-
                                                                  chological universe away from the African one.
                                                                      To see the twenty-fir t ce ntury truly, one' s eyes must learn
                                                                  a different set of aesthetics. One must rejec t the overly styl-
                                                                  ized images of travel magazines. with their inviting pho-
                                                                  tograph s of exotic villages and glam orou s downtowns. There
                                                                  are far too many milli ons whose dreams are more vulgar.
                                                                  more real-whose raw energies and desires will overwhelm
                                                                  the visions of the elites, remaking the future into something
                                                                  frighteningly new. But in Turkey I learn ed thai shantytowns
                                                                  are not all bad .
                                                                      Slum quarters in Abidjan terrify and repel the outsider. In
                                                                  Turkey it is the opposite. The closer I go t to Golden Moun-
                                                                  tain the better it looked, and the safer I felt. I had $ 1,500
                                                                  worth of Turkish lira in one pocket and $ 1,000 in traveler's
                                                                  checks in the other, yet ( felt no fear. Golde n Moun tain was a
                                                                  rea l neighbo rhood. The inside of one house told the story:
                                                                  The architectural bedlam of cinder block and sheet metal and
                                                                  cardboard walls was deceiving. lnside was a hom e~rder .
                                                                  that is, bespeaking dignity . I saw a wo rking refrigerator, a
                                                                  television, a wall cabinet with a few books and lots of family
                                                                  pictures, a few plants by a window , and a stove. Though the
conflicts that ripple acrosscontinents and intersect in no dis-   streets become rivers of mud when it rains, the floors inside
cernible pattern-m eaning there's no ea y-to- define threat,      this house were spotless.
Kennan's world of one adversary seems as distant as the               Other houses were like this too. Schoolchi ldren ran along
world of Herodotus.                                               with briefcases strapped to their backs. trucks delivered cook-
   Most peop le believe that the political eanh since 1989 has    ing gas, a few men sat inside a cafe sipping tea. One man
undergone immense change. But it is minor compared with           sipped beer. Alcoh ol is easy 10 obtain in Turkey, a secular
what is yet to come. The breaki ng apart and remaking of the      stale where 99 percent of the population is Muslim . Yet there
atlas is on ly now beginning. The crack- up of the Soviet em-     is little problem of alcoho lism. Crime against persons is infin-
pire and the co ming e nd of Arab -Israeli military confro nta-    itesimal. Poverty and illiteracy are watered-down versions of
tion are merely prologues to the really big changes that lie      what obtains in Algeria and Egypt (to say noth ing of West
ahead . Michael Vlaho s, a lon g-range thinker for the U.S.       Africa), making it that much harder for religious extre mists to
Navy, warns, " We are not in charge of the environment and        gain a foothold.
the world is not following us. It is going in many directions.        M y point in bringing up a rather wholesome. crime-free
Do not assume that democratic capitalism is the last word in      slum isthis: itsexistencedemonstrates how formidable is the
human social evolution: '                                          fabric of which Turki sh Muslim cultu re is made . A c ulture
   Before address ing the que stions of map s and of warfare, I   this strong has the potential to domin ate the Middle East once
want to take a closer look at the interaction of religion, cul-    again. Slums are litmus tests for innate cultural strengths and
ture. demographic shifts, and the distribution of natural re-      weaknesses. Those peoples whosecultures can harborexten-
sources in a specific area of the world: the Mi ddle East.         sive slum life without decomposing will be. relatively speak-

'r   ue   \ T l ,\ 'i TI ( :   1\o1 0 ' T II I. l                                                                               63
                                    i ng, the future 's w inners .      beard of it. Though one of them knew " that his grandfather
                                    Those whose cultures cannot         and his dog died fighting the Greeks," nationalism and an
                                    will be the future 's victims.     encompassing se nse of Turkish history are the province of           •
                                    Slum s-in the socio log ical       the T urkish middle and upper classes, and of foreig ners like
                       ADDAM        sense-s-de not exist in Turkish    me who feel requ ired to have a notion of "Turkey."
                                    ci ties . The mortar betwee n          But what did the Golden Mountain squatters know about
                                    peopl e and fami ly gro ups is     the armies of Turkish migrants that had come before their
HUSSEINS OF THE FUTURE              stronger here than in Africa.      own- namely, Seljuks and Ottomans? For these recently ur-
                                    Res urge nt Is lam and Turkic      banized peasants, and their counterparts in Africa, the Arab
         WILL HAVE MORE,            cult ura l identity hav e pr o -   world, India, and so many other places, the world is new, to
                                    duced a civilization with nat-     adapt V. S. Nai pa ul's phrase . As Naipaul wrote of urban
NOT FEWER, OPPORTUNI·               ural muscle tone. Turks, histo-    refugees in India : A Wounded Civilization, "They saw them-
                                    ry 's perenni al nom ads, take     se lves at the beginnin g of things: unaccommodated men
   TIES. IN ADDITION TO             disruption in stride.              making a claim on their land for the f rst time, and out of
                                       Th e future of the Mid dle      chaos evolving their own philosophy of community and self-
   ENGENDERING TRIBAL               East is quietl y being written     help. For them the past was dead ; they had left it behind in
                                    inside th e head s of Go lden      the villages."
         STRIFE, SCARCER            Mountain 's inhabitants, Think        Everywhe re in the develo ping wo rld at the turn of the
                                    of an Ottom an m ilit ary e n-     twenty-first century these new men and wome n, rushing into
RESOURCES WILL PLACE                ca mpme nt on the eve of the       the cities , are remaking c iv iliza tio ns and rede fining the ir
                                    destruction of Greek Constan-      identities in terms of religion and tribal ethnicity which do
     AGREAT STRAIN ON               tinople in 1453. That is Gold-     not coi ncide with the borders of exi sting states.
                                    en Mountain. " We brougbt the
    MANY PEOPLES WHO               village here. But in the village
                                   we worked har d er- in t he
                                    field, all day. So we couldn't
                                                                       I   N Turkey several things are happening at once. In 1980,
                                                                           44 percent of Turks lived in cities; in 1990 it was 6 1 per-
                                                                       cent. By the year 2000 the figure is expected to be 67 percent.
 NEVER HAD MUCH OF A fast during [the holy month of]                   Villages are emptying out as concentric rings of gecekondu
                                   Ramadan. Here we fast. Here         developments grow around Turkis h cities. This is the real po-
          DEMOCRATIC OR we are more religious." Aishe                  litical and demographic revolution in Turkey and elsewhere,
                                   Tanrikulu, alo ng with hal f a      and foreign correspondents usually don't write about it.
 INSTITUTIONAL TRADI- dozen other women, was stuff-                        Whereas rural poverty is age-old and almost a "normal"
                                   ing rice into vine leaves from a    part of the social fabric, urban poverty is socially destabi-
  TlON TO BEGIN WITH. crude plastic bowl. She asked                    lizing . As Iran bas shown, Is lamic extremism is the psycho-
                                   me to join her under the shade      logical defense mech anism of ma ny urba nize d peasant s
                                   of a piece of sheet metal. Eacb     threa tene d with the loss of tr ad ition s in pse udo- mo de rn
   of these wome n bad her hair covered by a kerchief. In the city     cities where their values are under attack, where basic ser-
   they were encountering television for the first time. "We are       vices like water and electric ity are unavailable , and where
   traditional, religious people. The programs offend us," Aishe       they are assa ulted by a physically unhealthy environment.
   said. Another woman complained about the schools. Tho ugh           The American ethnolog i t and orientalist Carleton Stevens
   her children had educational options unavailable in the vil-        Coo n wrote in 195 1 that Islam "bas made possibl e the opti-
    lage, they had to compete with wealtbier, secular Tur ks. "The     mum survival and happiness of millions of human beings in
   kids from rich fami lies witb connections-i-they get all the        an increasingly impove rished environment over a fo urteen-
   places." More opportunities, more tensions, in other words.         hundr ed-year period." Beyond its stark, clearly articu lated
       My guideboo k to Go lden Mountain was an untypical one:         message, Islam's very mili tancy makes it attractive to the
   Tales From {he Garbage Hills, a brutally realistic novel by a       dow ntrodden. It is the one religion that is prepared to fight.
   Turkish writer, Latife Tekin , abo ut life in the shantytowns,      A politi cal era driven by e nvironmental stress, increased
   whic b in Turkey are called gecekondus ("built in a night").        cultural se nsitivity, unreguJated urbanization, and refugee
   "He listened to the earth and wept unceasingly for water, for       migrations is an era divinel y created for the spread and in-
   work and for the cure of the illnesses spread by the garbage        tensifi cation of Islam, already the world 's fastest-growing
   and the factory waste," Tekin writes. In the most revealing         reli gion. (Thoug h Islam is spread ing in West Africa, it is
   passage of Tales From {he Garbage Hills the squatters are           being hobbled by syncretization with animism: this makes
   told "about a certain 'Ottoman Empire' . . . that where they        new co nve rts less apt to beco me anti-Wes tern extremists,
   now lived there had once been an empire of this name." This         but it also makes fo r a weakened version of the faith, which
   history "confounded" the squatters. It was the first they bad       is less effect ive as an antidote 10 crime .)

   In Turkey, however , Islam is painfully and awkwardl y         Euphrates rivers. Much of the water that Arabs and perhaps
forging a consensus with modernization, a trend that is less       Israel is will need to drink in the future is controlled by
apparem in the Arab and Persian worlds (and virtually invisi-     Turks. The project's centerpiece is the mile-wide. sixteen-
ble in Africa). In [ran the oil boom--because it put develop-     story Atatiirk Dam, upon which are emblazoned the words
ment and urbanization on a fast track, mak ing the culture        of modem Turkey' s founder: "Ne Mutlu Turkum Diyene"
shock more intense-s-fueled the 1978 1slamic Revolution. But      ("Lucky is the one who is a Turk").
Turkey, unlike Iran and the Arab world, has little oil. There-        Unlike Egyp t's Aswan High Dam, on the Nile, and Syr-
fore its developmem and urbanization have been more grad-         ia's Revolution Dam, on the Euphrates, both of which were
ual. Islamists have been inlegrated into the parliamentary sys-   built largely by Russians, the Ataturk Dam is a predomi-
tem for decades. The tensions J noticed in Golden Mountain        nantly Turki sh affa ir, with Turkish engineers and compa-
are natural, creative ones: the kind immigrants face the world    nies in charge. On a recent visit my eyes look in the immac-
                                                                  ulate offi ces and their garde ns, the high-voltage electric
                                                                  grids and phone switching stations, the dizzying sweep of
                                                                  giant humm ing transformers, the poured -con crete spill-
                                                                  ways, and the prim unf olding suburbia, co mplete with
                                                                  schoo ls, for da m employees. T he emerging power of the
                                                                  Turks was palpable.
                                                                      Erduhan Bayindir, the site manager at the dam, told me
                                                                  that " while oil can be shipped abroad to enrich only elites,
                                                                  water has to be spread more evenly within the society. . . . It
                                                                  is true, we can stop the flow of water into Syria and Iraq for
                                                                  up to eight months without the same water overflowing our
                                                                  dams, in order 10 regulate their political behavior."
                                                                     Power is certainly moving north in the Middle East, from
                                                                  the oil fields of Dhahran, on the Persian Gulf, La the water
                                                                  plain of Harran, in southern Anatolia-near the site of the
                                                                  Ataturk Dam. But will the nation-slate of T urkey, as present-
                                                                  ly constituted, be the inheritor of this wealth?
                                                                     I very much doubt it.

                                                                             r ns    1.1 ES 0 F    ~IA   I' ~U KE RS

                                                                  W          HEREAS West Africa represents the least stable
                                                                             part of po litical reali ty outside Homer-Di xon ' s
                                                                             stretch limo, Turkey. an organic outgrowth of two
                                                                  Turkish empires that ruled Anatolia for 850 years, has been
                                                                  among the most stable. T urkey 's borders were established
                                                                  not by colonial powers but in a war of independence, in the
                                                                  early I920s. Kemal Atattirk provided Turkey with a secular
                                                                  nation-building myth that most Arab and African slates, bur-
                                                                  dened by arti ficially d rawn borders , lack. Thai lack will
                                                                  leave many Arab stales defenseless against a wave of Islam
                                                                  that will eat away at their legitimacy and frontiers in coming
over. While the world has focused on religious perversity in      years. Yet even as regards Turkey, maps deceive.
Algeria, a nation rich in natural gas, and in Egypl, parts of        II is not only African shantytowns that don't appear on ur-
whose capital city, Cairo. evince worse crowding than I have      ban maps. Many shantytowns in Turkey and elsewhere are
seen even in Calcutta, Turkey has been living through the         also missing- as are the considerable territories controlled
Muslim equivalent of the ProtestantReformation.                   by guerrilla armies and urban mafias. Traveling with Eritre-
  Resource distribution is strengthening T urks in another        an guenrillas in what, acco rd-
                                                                                                       Oppu .i'e pa g e : Kur d . in
w ay vis-a-vi s Arabs and Persians. Turks may have little oil,    ing to the map, was nonhern Tu r ke,' d el" 'h e g OIJe r n me n '
but their Anatolian heartland has lots of water-the most im-      Ethiopia. traveling in "north- b,· ki ndling ritual fire ll.
portant fluid of the twenty-first century. Turkey' s Southeast    ern Ir aq" wit h Kur di s h A b u ve: a Kurtli "h g ue r ri ll a
Anatolia Project, involving twenty-two major dams and irri-       guerri llas, and staying in a ho- li gh' er: KIJrdi llh c h ild r e n
gation systems, is impounding the waters of the Tigris and        tel in the Caucasus controlled wllh s p e n ' Nht:IIN.

68                                                                                                             I' t; Il H U A H "   1 9 9 ..
by a local mafia- to say nothing of my experiences in West         of creating facts by orde ring the way we look at the world.
Africa- led me to develop a heal thy skeptic ism to ward              In his book Imagined Communities: Reflections all the
maps, which, I began to realize, create a conceptual barrier       Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Benedict Anderso n, of
that prevents us from comprehending the political crack-up         Cornell University, demonstrates that the map enabled colo-
ju st beginning to occur worldwide .                               nialists to think about their holdings in terms of a "totalizing
    Consider the map of the world, with its 190 or so countries,   classificatory grid. ... It was boun ded , determin ate, and
eac h signified by a bold and uniform color: this map, with        therefore- in princip le----countable. " To the colonialist,
which all of us have grown up, is generally an invention of        country maps were the equivalent of an accountant's ledger
modernism, specifically of European colonialism. Modernism,        books. Maps, Anderson explains, "shaped the grammar" that
in the sense of which I speak, began with the rise of nation-      would make possible such questionable concepts as Lraq, In-
stales in Europe and was confirmed by the death of feudalism       donesia, Sierra Leone, and Ni geria. T he state, recall , is a

at the end of the Thirty Years' War-an event that was inter-       purely \Vestern notion, o ne that until the tw e ntieth ce ntury
posed between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which         applied to countries covering only three percent of the earth's
together gave birth to modem science. People were suddenly         land area. Nor is the e vidence co mpelling that the state, as a
flush with an enthusiasm to categorize, to define. The map.        governing ideal, can be succe ss fully transported to areas o ut-
based on scientific techniques of measurement, offered a way       side the indu stri alized world. Eve n the United Stales of
to classify new national organisms, making a jigsaw puzzle of      America, in the wo rds o f o ne or o ur best liv ing poets , Gary
neat pieces withouttransition zones between them. "Frontier"       Snyder, co nsists of " arb itrary and inaccurate impositions o n
is itself a modem concept that didn't exist in the feudal mind.    what is really here ."
And as European nations carved out far-flung domain s at the          Yet this inflexible, artificia l reality stagge rs o n, not only in
same time that print technology was making the reproductio n       the United Nation s but in various geographic and travel pub-
of maps cheaper, cartog raphy came into its own as a way           lications (themselves by-products of an age of elite touring

T il" A 'r LA I\ T I C .\IONTIIL l '                                                                                                 69
    which colonialism made possible) that still report on and pho-         be more cr itica l to the futur e of the Middl e East than the
    tograph the world acco rding to "country." Newspapers , this           eventual outcome of the recent Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
    magazine, and this writer are not innocent of the tendency.
       Accord ing to the map, the great hydropower co mplex em-
    blemized by the Ataturk Dam is situated in Tu rkey. Forget
    the map. Thi s southeas tern region of Turkey is populated al-
                                                                           A    MERICA' S fasc ination with the Israeli-Palestinian is-
                                                                                  sue, coupled with its lack of interest in the Turkish-Kur-
                                                                           dish one, is a function of its own domestic and ethnic obses-
    most co mpletely by Kurds. About half of the world's 20 mil-           sio ns, not of the cartographic reality that is about to transform
    lion Kurds live in "T urkey." The Kurds are predomi nant in            the Middle East. The dip lom atic proce ss involving Israelis
    an ellipse of territory that overlaps not only with Turk ey but        and Palestinians will, 1 believe, have little effect on the early-
    also with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the former Soviet Union . The         and mid-twent y-first-cent ury map of the region . Israel, with a
    Western-enforced Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, a conse-            6.6 percent economic growth rate based increasingly on high-
    quence of tbe 199 1 G ulf War, has already ex posed the ficti-         tech exports, is about to enter Homer-D ixon's stretch limo,
    tious natur of that supposed nation-state.
                e                                                          fon ified by a we ll-defined political community that is an or-
       On a recent visit to the Turki sh-iranian borde r, it occurred      ganic outgrow th of history and ethnicity, Like prosperous and
    to me what a risky idea the nation-state is. Here [ was on the         peaceful Japan on the one hand, and war-tom and poverty-
    legal fault line between two clashing civilizations, Turkic and        wracked Armenia on the other , Israel is a classic national-eth-
    Iranian. Yet the reality was more subtle: as in West Africa,           nic organism. Much of the Arab world, however, will under-
    thc border was porous and smuggling abound ed, but here the            go alteration, as Islam spreads across artificia l frontiers,
    people doing the smuggling, on both sides of the border, were          fueled by mass migrations into the cities and a soaring birth
                                     Kurd s. In such a moon scape,         rate of more than 3.2 percent. Seventy perce nt o f the Arab
                                     over which peoples have mi-           population has been born since I97o-youths with little his-
                                     grated and settled in pattern s       torical memory of anticolonial independence strugg les, post-
                                     that ob litera te borders, the end    co lonial attempts at nation-b uilding , or any of the Arab -Is-
                                     of the Cold War will bring on         raeli wars . The most distant reco llection of these youths will
                                     a cruel process of natural se-        be the West's humiliation of colonially invented Ir aq in 1991.
              HE SAVAGERY            lection amo ng ex isting states .     Today seventeen out of twenty-two Arab states have a declin-
                                     No longer wiU these states be         ing gross national product; in the next twenty years, at current
                                     so firmly pro pped up by the          gro wth rates, the population of many Arab co untries will dou-
OF THE FIGHTING POINTS               West or the Soviet Unio n. Be-        ble. These stales, like most African ones, will be ungovern-
                                     cause the Kurds overlap with          able thro ugh co nve nt ional sec ular ideologies. The Midd le
         TO ATRUTH THAT              near ly everybody in the Mid-         East ana lyst Christine M. He lms ex plains,
                                     dle East, on account of thei r          Declari ng Arab nationalism "bankrupt," the political "dis-
WE LACK THE STOMACH                  bein g cheated out of a state in        inherited" are not rationalizing the failure of Arabisrn . . .
                                     t he po st -First World Wa r            or reformulatin g it. Alternative solutions are not contem-
   TO CONTEMPLATE: A                 peace treaties, they are emerg -        plated. They have simply opted for the political paradigm
                                     ing, in effect, as the natu ral se-     at the other end of the political spectrum with which they
      LARGE NUMBER OF                lect or-the ultim at e realit y         are familiar- Islam.
                                     c heck. They have destabilized            Like the borders of West Africa, the co lonial borders of
PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET,               Iraq and m ay co nt i nue to          Syria, iraq, Jordan, Algeria, and othe r Arab states are often
                                     disrupt states that do not of-        co ntrary to c ultural and po litical reality. As state co ntrol
                                     fer them ade q uate breathing         mechanism s wither in the face of environmental and demo-
                                     space, wh ile s tre ng the ni ng      graph.ic stress, " hard" Islami c city- st ates o r sha ntytown-
       AND STABILITY OF              states that do.                       states are likely to emerge. Th e fiction that the impoverished
                                        Bec ause the Turks, owi ng         ci ty of A lgi ers. o n the Mediterranean, controls Tarnanra sset,
                                     to their water resources, their       deep in the Algeri an Sahara , cannot obtain forever. Whate v-
       -C SS
AMIDDLE LA LIFE IS                   growing economy. and the so-          er the outcome of the peace process, Israel is destined to be a
                                     cial cohesion evinced by the          Jewi sh ethnic fortress am id a vast and vo latile realm o f Is-
    UTTERL UNKNOWN,                  most crime-free slums I have          lam . In th at realm, the vio lent yo uth c ulture of the Gaza
                                     encountered, are on the verge         shantytowns may be indicative of the coming era.
         FIND WAR AND A              o f big-power status, a nd be-            The destiny of Turks and Kurds is far less ce nai n, but far
                                     ca use th e 10 millio n Kurd s        more relevant to the kind of map that will explain OUf future
  BARRA KS EXISTENCE                 w ithi n Turkey threaten th at        world. The Kurds suggest a geog raphic reality that cannot be
                                     s ta t us , the outcome of the        shown in two-dimensional space. The issue in Turkey is not
                 ASTEP UP.           T urkish-Kurdish disput e will        simply a matter of giving autonomy or even independence to

    70                                                                                                                    f'F. K R   " tt l·   I ' S-4
                                                                         "Oh, what a relief to fight, to fight enemies who de fend
                                                                      themsel ves, ene mies who are awa ke!" A ndre Malraux wro te
                                                                      in Mall ' s Fare. I canno t think of a more suitable batt le cry
                                                                      for many co mbatants in the ear ly decades of the twen ty-first
                                                                      century. The intense savagery of the fighting in such diverse
                                                                     c ultural settings as Liberia, 8 0 nia, the Caucas us. and Sri
                                                                      Lanka-to say nothing of what ob tains in American inner
                                                                     cities-indicates something very troubling that those of us
                                                                      inside the stretch limo, co ncerned with issues like midd le-
                                                                     class entitlements and the future of interactive cab le te levi-
                                                                     sion, lack the stomac h to co ntemplate. It is this: a large num-
                                                                     ber of peop le o n thi s pla ne t, to whom th e co mfo rt and
                                                                     stability of a middle-class life is utterly unknown, find war
                                                                     and a barra cks ex istence a step up rather than a step dow n.
                                                                         "J ust as it makes no se nse to ask ' why people eat' or
                                                                     . what they sleep for,'" writes Martin van Creveld, a military
                                                                     hi storian at the He bre w Un iversity in Je rusalem , in The
                                                                     Transformation of War, "so fighting in many way s is not a
                                                                     means but an end. Throughout history, for every perso n who
                                                                     has expresse d his horror of war there is another who found in
                                                                     it the most marvelous of all the ex perience s that are vouch-
                                                                     safed to man, eve n to the po int that he late r spe nt a lifetime
                                                                     boring his descenda nts by recounting his exp loits ." Whe n I
                                                                     asked Pen tagon officials abou t the narure of war in the twen-
                                                                     ty-first century, the answe r J frequently got was " Read Van
                                                                     Creveld ." The top brass are enamored of this historian not
                                                                     beca use his writings ju stify their existence but. rather, the
                                                                     opposi te: Van Creveld warns the m that huge state military
                                                                     machines like the Pentagon' s are dinosaurs about to go ex-
                                                                     tinct, and that something far more terrible awa its us.
                                                                         The degree to which Van Creveld 's Transformation of
                                                                     War co mpleme nts Home r- Dixon ' s work on the environ-
                                                                     ment , Huntington' s thoughts on cultural clas h, my ow n real-
                                                                     izations in traveling by foot , bus, and bush taxi in more than
                                                                     sixty co untries , and America '5 soberi ng com euppances in
Kurds in the southeast. Thi s isn't the Balkans or the Cauca-        intractable-cul ture zones like Haiti and Somalia is startling.
sus, where reg ions are merely subdividing into smaller units,       The hook heg ins by demolishin g the notion that men don ' t
Abkhazia breaki ng off from Georgia, and so on . Federalism          like to fight. " By co mpe lling the senses to foc us themselves
is not the answer. Kurds are found eve rywhere in Turkey, in-        on the here and now: ' Van Creve ld writes, war "can cau se a
cl uding the shanty districts of Istanbul and Ankara. Turkey 's      man to take his leave of them." As anybody who has had ex-
prob lem is that its Anato lian land mass is the home of two         perience with Cherniks in Se rbia, "tec hnicals" in So malia,
c ultures and lan gu ages, Turkish and Kur di sh . Identity in       Tontons Macoutes in Haiti, or soldiers in S ierra Leone can
Turkey, as in India, Africa, and elsew here, is more com plex        tell yo u, in places where the We stern Enlightenment has not
and suhtle than conventional ca rtography can displ ay.              pene trated and where there has alway s been mass pove ny ,
                                                                     people find liberation in violence. In Afg hanistan and e lse-
                A NEW KI NIl OF WA R                                 where, I vicariously experienced this phenomenon : worry ing
                                                                     abo ut mines and am bus hes frees you from worrying abo ut

        o appreciate fully the political and cartographic im-        munda ne detai ls of daily existence. If my ow n experience is
        plications of posun ode rnism-an epoch of theme less         t o o s ubjec t ive, t here is a
                                                                                                          In '~/b er l a , lIu m n, a r)' jURtl c e
        j uxtapositio ns. in which the classificato ry grid of na-   wea lth of data sho w ing th e m e l e ll oul a gaitul a 110 1 ·
tion-states is go ing to he replaced by a j agged -glass pattern     shee r frequ enc y of wa r, espe - d i e r ( a b o v e) an d s u. pe c le ll
of city- states, shanty-Slates, nebul ous and ana rchic region -     cially in the deve loping world I hl e v u ( IJe / u w righl) . A IJol1 e
alisms-i t is necessary to consider, finally. the whole ques-        since the Second Wor ld War. r i ghl : 0 Rc e o e in "u ko var,
tion of war.                                                         Physica l agg ression is a part Ih e fo rm er Y"l!oMl av i a .

72                                                                                                                     r e e n u vu r   199 -4
  of be ing hum an . O nly when people atta in a ce rta in econo m-         co nfl ic t" in the w e st tha n at any tim e " fo r the last 300
  ic, educational, and cultural standard is this trait tra nq uilized .     years," Van C reveld writes. Thi s is w hy an aly sts like M i-
• In light of the fact that 95 percent of the earth ' s pop ulation         chael Vl ahos are close ly mo nito ring re ligiou s cults. V lahos
  growth w ill be in the poo rest area s of the g lobe, the q uestio n      says, " An ideo logy that cha llenges us may no t take familiar
  is not whethe r there w ill be war (the re w ill be a lo t of it) bu t    form, like the old Nazis or Commies. It may not even engage
  what kind o f war. A nd who will fight who m?                             us initiall y in ways that fit o ld threat markin gs." Va n C reveld
      Debunking the great military strategis t Carl von Clausew itz,        concludes, "Armed co nflict will be wa ged by me n o n eart h,
  V an Creveld, who may be the most original thinker on war                 not robots in space. It will have more in common with the
  since that early-nineteenth-century Prussian, writes, "Clause-            strugg les of primitive tribes than with large-scale conven-
  witz's ideas . . . were wholly roo ted in the fact that, ever since       tional war." While another military historian, John Keegan,
   164 8, war had been waged o verw helm ing ly by states." But, as         in his new book A History o/Wmfare, draws a more benign
  Van Creveld ex plain s, the period of nation -states and, there-          port rait of primi tive man, it is important to point out that
  fore, of state conflic t is now ending, and wi th          it the clear   what Van Creveld really means is re-primitlvized man: war-
  " three fold division into go vernment. army . and peop le" which         rior societies operating at a time of unprecedented resource
  slate-d irec ted wars enforce. Thus, to see the future , the first        scarcity and planetary overcrowding.
  step is to look back to the past immedi ately prior to the birth of          Van Creveld's pre-Westphalian vision of worldwide low-
  mod emism-the wars in medieval Europe which beg an du r-                  intensity conflict is not a superficial "back to the future" sce-
  ing the Reformation and reached their culmi nation in the Th ir-          nari o. Fi rst of all, techno logy wi ll be used toward primiti ve
  ty Years ' War.                                                           e nds . In Li beria the g uerr illa leader Prince Johnson did n' t
      Van C reveld writes,
      In all these struggles pol itical, social. economic, and re-
      ligious moti ves were hopelessly entang fed. Since this was
      an age when armies consisted of mercenaries, all were also
      attended by sw arms of military entrepreneurs. . . . Many of
      them paid little but lip service to the organizations for
      whom they had co ntracted to fight. Instead, they robbed
      thecountryside on their own behalf. . . .
         Given such conditions, any fine distinctions . . . between
      armies on the one hand and peoples on the other were
      bound to break do wn. Engulfed by war, civilians suffered
      terrible atrocities.

  B      A C K then. in other words.       there was no "po litics" as we
         have come to understand the term, just as there is less
  and les s "po litics" today in Liberia, Sierra !..eone, Som alia, Sri
  Lank a, the Balkans, and the Ca ucas us, among othe r place s.
      Because, as V an C rev e ld not es, the radius of trust wi thi n
  tribal societies is narrowed to one's imm ed iate family and
  guerrilla comrades, truces arrange with one Bosnian com-
  mander, say, may be brok e n im med iate ly by anot he r Bos-
  nian commander. The plethora of sho rt-lived ceasefires in
  the B alkan s and the Caucas us co nstitu te proof that we are
  no longe r in a worl d whe re the o ld ru les of state warfare ap-
  ply . More ev ide nce is prov ided by the dest ructio n of med ie-
  val monuments in the Croatian pan of Du brovni k: when cul-
  tures, rathe r than states, figh t, the n c ult ura l and reli g iou s
  mon ument are weapons of war, making them fair game.
     Al so, war-making entities will no longer be restricted to a
  specific territory. Loose and shadowy organisms such as Is-
  lamic terrorist organizations suggest why borders will mean
  increasingly little and sedimentary layers of tribalistic iden-
  tity and control will mean more. "From the vantage point of
  the present. there appears every prospect that reJigious .. .
  fanat ici srns will play a larger role in the motivation of armed

  T il l: " T I. " 'T I C )l ON " Il I.Y
                                r                                                                                                           73
  j ust cut off the ea rs of President Samu el Doe before Doe was      tinuc to shrink. being gradually replaced by a boo ming pri-
  tortured to de ath in 199D-Johnson made a video of it.               vate security business. as in West Africa. andby urbanmafias,
  wh ich has c irculated throu ghout West Africa. In Decem ber         especiaJly in the form er communist world, who may be better
  of 1992 , when plotters of a failed co up agai nst the Strasser      eq uipped than municipal police forces to grant physica l pro-
  regime in Sierra Leone had their ears cut off at Freetown's          tection to local inhabitants.
~ Hamilt on Beach prior 10 be ing killed , it was see n by many to        Future wars wi ll   be those of communal survi val, aggravat-
i be a copycat execution. Co nside ring, as I' ve ex plained earl i-   ed or, in many cases. caused by environmental scarcity.
~ er, that the Strasser regime is not really a government and          These wars will be subnationa l, meaning that i, will be hard
a that Sierra Leone is not really a nat-ion-state, listen closely to   for stales and local governments 10 protect their own citizens
~ Va n Creve ld : " O nce the legal mon opol y of arm ed fo rce ,      physica lly. T his is how ma ny states will ultimately die. As
~ long claimed by the state, is wrested Qui of its hands, ex ist-      slate power fades-and with it the state 's ability to help

 ing distinctions between war and crime will break down                weaker groups within society, not 10 mention other states-
 much as is already the case today in . . . Lebanon, Sri Lanka,        peoples and cultures around the world will be thrown back
 EI Sa lvado r, Peru , or Co lombia."                                  upon their own strengths and weaknesse s, with fewer equal-
    If crime and war become indistinguishable. then "national          izing mechanisms to protect them. W hereas the distant future
 defense" may in the future be viewed as a local concept. As           will pro bab ly see the eme rgence of a rac ially hybrid. globa l-
 crime continues to grow in our cities and the abili ty of state       ized man, the coming decades will sec us more aware of our
 governments and criminal-justice systems to protect their cit-        differences than of our similarities. To the average person,
 izensdiminishes, urbancrime may, according to Van Creveld,            political values will mean less, personal security more. The
 "develop into low- intensity conflic t by coalescing along            belief that we are all equal is liable to be replaced by the ove r-
 racial, religious, social, and political lines." As mall-scale vi-    riding obsession of the ancient Greek travelers: Why the dif-
 olence multiplies at home and abroad. state armies will con-          ferences between peoples?

 74                                                                                                                   ... " B H   c .\tn   1 !J !f.I
                                    T il E I,A 8T MAl'                                 tinent, yet there are more subcontinental Muslims outside
                                                                                       Pakistan than w ithin it. Like Yugoslavia, Paki stan is a patch -

           N Geography and the Human Spirit . An ne Buttimer, a                        work of ethnic groups. increasingly in violent conflict with
        professor at Universi ty Co llege, Dublin, recalls the work                    one anothe r. Whil e the Weste rn medi a g ushes over the fact
        of an ea rly-nineteenth-cen tury German geographer, Car l                      that the country has a woman Prime Mini ter, Benazir Bhutto,
    Ritter. whose work impli ed "a divine plan for humanity"                           Karachi is becoming a subcontinental version of Lagos. Ln
    based o n regiona lism and a co nstant. living flow of forms. The                  eight vis its to Paki stan, I have never go tten a sense of a cohe-
    map of the future. to the extent that a map is even possible,                      sive national ide ntity. With as mu ch as 65 percent of its land
    will represent a perverse twisting of Ritter's vision. Imagine                     dependent on intensive irrigation. with wide-scale deforesta-
    cartog raphy in three dim ension , as if in a ho logr am . In this                 lio n, and w ith a yearly po pul at ion g row th of 2.7 percent
    ho logram wo uld be the overlapping sed iments of group and                        (which eosures that the amo unt or cultivated land per rural in-
    other identities atop the merely two-dimensional color mark-                       habitant w ill plum me t), Paki stan is becoming a more and
    ings of city-states and the remaining nations, themselves con-                     more desperate place. As irrigation in the Indus River basin
    fuse in places by shadowy tentacles, hovering overhead, in-
         d                                                                             intensifies to serve two growing populations, Muslim-Hindu
    dica ting the power of d rug cartels. matias, and private sec urity                strife over fa lling water tables may be unavo idable .
    agencies. Instead of bord ers . there would be moving "centers"                       " India and Pak istan w ill pro bably fall apart," Homer-D ixon
    of power, as in the M idd le Ages. Man y o r these layers wo uld                   predicts. "Theirseculargovernments have less and less legit-
    be in motion . Replacin g fixed and abrupt tines on a flat space                   imacy as we ll as less management abili ty over peop le and re-
    wo uld be a shifling pattern of buffe r entitie , like the Kurd ish                so urces: ' Rather than o ne bo ld line di vidin g the subco ntinent
    and Azeri buffer entities betwe en T urkey and Iran, the T urkic                   into IWO parts, the future will likel y see a lot of thin ner lines
    Uighur bu ffer entity between Central Asia and Inner C hina                        and smaller parts, with the ethnic entities of Pakhtunistan and
    (itse lf d istin ct from coastal China), and the Latino buffer enti-               Punjab gradua lly replacing Paki stan in the space betwee n the
    ry replac ing a prec ise U.S.- Mexican border. To this protean                     Ce ntral As ian platea u and the heart of the subco ntinent.
    carto gra phic hol ogram o ne mu st add other facto rs, such as mi-                    one of this even takes into account c limatic change,
    grations of po pu lations. explosio ns of birth rates, vectors of                  which, if it occurs in the next century, will further erode the
    disease . Hence fo rward the map of the wor ld will never be sta-                  capacity of existing states to cope. India, for instance, re-
    tic. Thi s future map-in a sen se. the " Last Ma p"-will be an                     ce ives 70 pe rcent of its precipitatio n fro m the monsoon cy -
    ever-mutating representation of chaos.                                             cle, which planetary warm ing co uld d isrupt.
         Th e Ind ian subco ntinent offers ex amples of wh at is hap-                     NOl o nly will the thre e-dim ensio nal aspects of the Last Map
    pening. Fordifferent reasons, both India and Pakistan are in-                      be in constant motion, but its two-dimensional base may
    creasingly dysfunctional. The argument over democracy in                           change too. The Natio nal Academ y of Sc ience s reports that
    these places is less and less relevant to the larger issue of                         as many as one billion people. or 20 per cent of the
    govemability. L India' s case the question arises, Is one un-                         world 's population, live on lands likely 10 be in undated or
     w ieldy bureaucracy in Ne w Del hi the bes t ava ilab le mech a-                     dramatically changed by rising waters. . . . Low-lying
     nism for pro mot ing the lives of 866 million people of d ive rse                    countries in the developing world such as Egypt and
     lang uages. religions, and eth nic gro ups? In 1950, when the                        Bangladesh, where ri vers are large and the deltas ex ten-
     Ind ian po pulatio n was m uch less than half as large and na -                      sive and densely populated, will be hardest hit. . . . Where
     tion-building idealism was still strong, the argument for                            the rivers are dammed. as in the case of the Nile, the ef-
     democracy was more impressive than it is now. Given that in                          fects . .. will be especially severe.
     2025 Indi a 's po pu lation could be close to 1.5 billion , that                     EgypI co uld be where cl imatic upheava l-s-to say nothi ng
     much of its economy rests on a shrinking natural-resource                         of the mo re imm ediate threat of increasing populatio n-s-w ill
     base, including dramatically decl ining wate r level s, and that                  inc ite religious upheaval in truly biblical fashion. Natural CHl-
    communal violence and urbanization are spiraling upward, it                        astrophes, uch as the October, 1992 , Cairo earthq uake, in
    is difficult to imagine that the Indian state will survive the                     which the governm ent fai led to de liver relief aid and slum res-
    next century. india's oft-trumpeted Green Revolution has                           idents were in many instances helped by their local mosques,
     been achieved by ov erworking its croplands and depleting                         can only strengthen the position of Islamic factions. In a state-
     its watershed. Nonnan Myers, a British development con-                           ment about greenhouse warm ing which could refer to any of a
     sultant, worries that Indians have "been feeding themselves                       variety of natural catastrophes, the environmental expen Jes-
     today by bo rrow ing agai nst the ir child ren 's food so urces."                 sica Tuchman Matthews warns that many of us underestimate
        Pakistan 's problem is more basic still: like mu ch of Africa,                 the extent 10 which pol itical systems, in affluent societies as
   ,4 ,.6 0 nand 100tin6 in 1 11  ..0
                                                   the country makes no geo-           we ll as in places like Egy pt, "depend o n the underp inn ing of
A nK ~ / ~1I oft e r tir e a cqultt,,'
                                                   graphic o r de mog raphic se nse.   natural systems."She adds, "The fact that one can move with
    o f poli c ~ offi c e,.. in th e               h was fo unded as a hom eland       ease from Vermont to Miami has nothing to say about the
              RtH/n e," Kl n 6 C fu e              for the Muslims of the subcon-      consequences of Vermont acquiring Miami's climate: '

    T il E      ' T t , , ' TI C   \IU' l ·III.\                                                                                                       75
     Indeed, it is not clear that the United Stales will survive      cultural and racial clash, when national defense is increas-
 the next century in exactly its present form . Becau se Ameri-       ingly local, Africa ' s distress wiJl exe rt a destabilizin g influ-
 ca is a multi-ethnic society, the nation-stal has always been        enccon the United States.
 more fragile here than it is in more homogeneous societies              T his and man y other factors will make the United States
 like Germany and Japan. Jam es Kurth , in an article pub-            less of a nation than if is today, even as it gains terri tory fol-
 lished in The National Interest in 1992, exp lains that where -      lowing the peaceful d isso lutio n of Ca nada. Q uebec, based
 as nation-stat e soc ieties lend to be built arou nd a mass-con -    on the bed rock of Roman Catho licism and Francophone eth-
 sc ription a rmy and a sta ndard ize d public school sys te m,       nic ity, co uld ye t tum out to be North Ame rica' s most co he -
 " m ultic ultura l regimes" feature a high -tech , all -vol unteer   sive and crime-free nation-state. (It may be a smaller Que-
 arm y (and, I would add, private schoo ls that teach compet-         bec , though, since abo rigina l peop les may lop off north ern
 ing values) , operating in a culture in which the international      parts of the province.) "P atriotism" will become increasing-
 media and entertainment industry has more influence than             ly regional as peop le in Alberta and Mont ana disco ver that
 the "national political class." In other words, a nation-state is    they have far more in co mmo n with eac h othe r than they do
a plac e w he re everyone has bee n ed uca ted alo ng simi la r       with Ottawa or Washin gton, and Sp ani sh-speakers in the
 lines, where people take their cue from national leaders, and        Southwest discover a greater commonali ty with M exico
 where everyo ne (every male, at least) has gone throu gh the                                           Nh
                                                                      City . (The Nine Nations of NO America, by Joe l Garreau,
cruc ible of military service, making patri otism a simpler is-       a book about the continent's reg iona lization, is more rele-
sue. Writing abo ut his immi grant famil y in tum -of-the-ce n-       vant now than when it was publi shed , in 198 1.) As Wash -
tury Chicago , Saul Bellow states, " The country too k us over.       ingtori's influencewanes, and with it the traditional symbols
J1 was a country then, not a collection of ' cultures.'"              of American patriotism, North Americans will take psycho-
    During the Second Wo rld War and the decade followin g it,        logical refuge in their insulated communities and cultures.
the United States reached its apogee as a c lassic nation-state.
Durin g the I96Os. as is now clear, Ame rica began a slow but
unmi stakabl e proc ess of tran sformat ion . T he signs hardly
need belabo ring: racial polarity, educationa l dysfunction, so-
                                                                      R       ET URNt NG from West Africa last faU was an illumi-
                                                                              natin g ordea l. After leaving Ab idjan, my Air Afrique
                                                                      flight landed in Dakar, Se negal, where all passen gers had to
cia l fragmentation of many and var ious kinds. Wil liam Irwin        disembark in order to go through another security check, this
Thompson, in Passages About Earth: An Exploration of the              one demanded by U.S. authorities before they wo uld permi t
New Planetary Culture, writes, 'The educationaJ system that           the flight to set out for New York. Once we were in New
had wo rked on the Jews or the Iri sh could no longer work on         York , desp ite the mid night hour, imm igration officials at
the black s; and when Jewi sh teachers in New York tried to           Kenned y Airpo rt hel d up d isembarkat ion by co nduc t ing
take black children awa y from the ir parents exactly in the          quick interrogations of the aircraft's passengers- this was in
way tbey had been taken from the irs, they were shocked to            addition to all the normal immigration and customs proce-
encounter a violent affirmation of negritude."                        du res. It was appare nt that drug smugg ling, disease, and oth-
    Issues like West Africa could yet emerge    a,  a ne w kind of    e r factor s had co ntributed to the toughest sec urity proced ures
foreign-policy issue, further eroding America' s domestic             I have ever encountered when returning from overseas.
peace . Th e spectacle of se veral West African nations co llaps-         Then, for the first time in over a month. r spotted busi-
ing at once co uld reinforce the worst racial stereotypes here at     nesspeop le with attac he cases and laptop co mputers. When I
home. That is another reason why Africa matters. We must              had len Ne w York for Abidjan, all the businesspeople we re
not kid ourselves: the sensitivity factor is higher than ever.        boarding planes for Seo ul and Tokyo, which departed from
The Washington , D.C., public schoo l system is already expe r-       gates near Air Afrique 's. T he only non-A frican s off to West
imenting with an Afrocentric curriculum. Summits between              Africa had been relief workers in T-shirts and khakis . Al-
African leaders and promin ent African -Americans are beco m-         though the bord ers within West Africa are increasingly un-
ing frequent, as are Pollyanna-ish prognostications abo ut mul-       rea l. those separa ting Wes t Africa from the outs ide world are
tiparty elections in Africa that do not factor in crime, surging      in various ways becoming more impenetrable.
birth rates, and resource depletio n. The Congressional Black             But Afroce ntrists are right in one respect: we ignore this
Caucus wasamong thoseurging U.S. involvement in Somalia               dy ing re gion at our ow n risk. Wh en the Berlin Wa ll was
and in Haiti. AI the Los Angeles Times minority staffers have         falling, in ove rnbe r of 1989, I happened to be in Kosovo,
protested agai nst, among other things, what they allege to be        covering a riot between Serbs and Albanians. The future was
theracisttone of the newspaper's Afri ca coverage, allegations        in Kosovo , I told mysel f that night , not in Berlin . The same
that the editor of the "World Report " section, Dan Fisher, de-       day that Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat cla spe d hand s on
nies, saying essentially that Africa should be viewed through         the Wh ite House lawn, my Air Afrique plane was approac h-
the same rigorous anaJyticallens as other pans of the world.          ing Bamako, M ali, revealing corrugated-zinc shacks at the
    A frica may be marginal in terms of conventional late-            edge of an ex panding desert . The real new s wasn' t at the
twentieth-century conceptions of strategy, but in an age of           Whit e House, I rea lized . It was rig ht below. ~

76                                                                                                                   f E 8 tt U A R 'f   I "   "

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