Friday, June 20, 2014

The New Map of the Middle East

The Atlantic's late-2007 rendering of what the Middle East might eventually look like (The Atlantic)
Why should we fight the inevitable break-up of Iraq?

Jeffrey Goldberg Jun 19 2014, 3:09 PM ET, The Atlantic

So as I was saying….

First, a bit of housekeeping. I’m back at The Atlantic full-time. I’m going to be working mainly on stories for the magazine (I’m thinking of writing something on the case for reparations, for instance), but I’ll be back here in the traditional Goldblog space as well (I’m also going to continue contributing columns to Bloomberg View, which, I should point out, is a great source for sophisticated commentary on finance, politics, foreign affairs, and much else). Why am I back? Because I love everything about The Atlantic.

But on to new business—which, in this case, is old business. Almost seven years ago, I wrote a cover story for this magazine about the coming collapse of the post-World War I Middle East map. I conducted the reporting for the story, which we eventually called “After Iraq: What Will the Middle East Look Like,” in the fall of 2007—pre-Obama, pre-Arab Spring, pre-a lot of things—but even back then, it was fairly obvious that the age of Middle East stability (relatively speaking) was coming to an end.

The map you see above, and also embedded below, was the main illustration for the piece, which appeared in the January/February 2008 issue. I introduced the conceit of the story this way:

(More here.)

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