21 February 2009

The "Stans" of Central Asia

We're going to be hearing a lot more about these countries if Obama follows through on his plan to accelerate the war in Afghanistan and/or the search for Osama bin Laden.

Blogged today because I found this excellent map [click to enlarge] which I'll probably need to refer to for future posts or just for my own reading, because I often forget which "stan" is which. The other two "stans" - Afghanistan and Pakistan - are at the bottom of the map, not highlighted in color.

The article that featured the map is primarily concerned with access to Afghanistan for the U.S. war efforts, because Kyrgyzstan is cutting off U.S. access to its temporary base there. Note that other access routes involve flyover from Iran or travel across Pakistan. The Center for Budgetary Analysis says it costs $775,000 per year for every soldier sent to Afghanistan. Economics may become as important as geopolitics in terms of influencing the U.S. plans on foreign soils.

More some other time. Just wanted to get the map stored in the blog.

p.s. - if you have a moment, test your geography knowledge.

p.p.s. - if you have more time and are a newcomer here (not an old-timer) and enjoy geography and travel, check out the geography category items for TYWKIWDBI.

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