Islam, Oil and Geopolitics

With the marginalization of the Taliban by the great powers of the British and Russian empires and the eviction of al-Qaeda, tensions have been rising between these great powers as some of the Asian states like Afghanistan find themselves in the middle this Great Game. This essay will examine how the Great Game shaped Afghanistan. We will also compare and contrast the Clash of Civilizations with Jihad vs. McWorld and lastly discuss the effects of mismatch of national boarders and ethno-national groups' conflict in the modern world.The Great game and AfghanistanThe Great Game is a conflict term used to describe the rivalry between the British and Russian empires for supremacy in central Asia running from the early 1800s to early 1900s. The Great Game ended after the World War II when the UK and Russia forged a common ground over the war. The British viewed Russia's expansion to Afghanistan as destroying their jewels in the crown and also feared that Afghanistan be a staging post for India invasion by Russia. As China is gaining economic weight, its energy needs prompts cooperation with Asia which will act as a tool of political dominance and Russia is attempting to hold to its post-soviet influence as Georgia and Ukraine forged ties with the West. Afghan is and remains of paramount importance for the stability of Central Asia and that of the energy lure by the Great powers of Russia, china and America (Davies E. & Azizian R. 2007).  Shahrani has contributed immensely to the Afghanistan story in his The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan: Adaptation to Closed Frontiers and War and Revolutions and Rebellions in Afghanistan: Anthropological Perspectives while peter Hopkirk was a British journalist and author who has written six books about the british empire in Central Asia (Shahrani M. (2002).Clash of Civilizations with Jihad vs. McWorld

In the Jihad vs. McWorld, political scientist Benjamin Barber puts forth a theory that explains struggle between Mcworld and Jihad. McWorld is described as the merging of states into an integrated world. Thus meaning how states are becoming more and more globalized as to the economic interdependence of states. Jihad on the other hand means recognizing the traditions and their values in the form of extreme religious orthodoxy or nationalism and theocracy. Huntington in his book the clash of civilizations, he proposes that peoples' cultural and their religious identifications will be the primary source of conflict in the post-cold world but not ideological, political or economic distinctions (Rosen G. 1996).

In both of the above theories, we have the cultural recognition and assimilation due to interdependence, thus the multiculturalism feelings and relativism tolerance. They also propose the source of current conflict in the world will not be on economic but on religious grounds. On the other hand they differ by Barber's McWorld merger of states thus economic interdependence meaning now that states will not easily collude as they depend on each other on one way or the other, but for Huntington's claim that people will conflict on their cultural differences (Rosen G. 1996).Sources of conflict in the modern worldEthno-national conflict can be described as a manifestation of the enduring tension between states that wants to consolidate and expand their power and ethnic groups that want to defend and promote their collective identity and interests. Most of these tensions lead to states wanting to improve their status or secede and form their own states like with the Tamils in Sri-Lanka (The ethno-national conflicts, patterns and dimensions).The modern source of conflict can be said to be between the mismatch of national borders and ethno national groups. They pose one of the greatest challenges to the pot-war world. As a result of ethno-national conflict, since 1945 about 10 million people have lost their lives. Examples can be the breakaway of Chechnya in 1991 from the Soviet Union. Similarly, the conflicts in Georgia and Bosnia show that ethno-nationality can be a source of conflicts (The ethno-national conflicts, patterns and dimensions).

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