Those Who Live By The Map

I spend a lot of time on Reddit and /r/mapPorn is one of my favourite subs because it brings up some interesting data in the context of a map. So it was fascinating to read the reductive nature of maps and how it could have crept into the military thinking ahead of the first World War.

Strangely we still live in a world where people still hold on to maps both historical and present and build on strategies around retaining or achieving those lines on paper. On one hand you have a China with its nine-dash line map for South China sea and claims over parts of India based on some parts being governed by Tibet in distant past. On the other hand there is India which refuses to acknowledge that parts of its country are no longer under its control and have not been for decades.

This has led to a situation of agree-to-disagree and some fist fights at the border, but what’s stopping a full blown war? How soon before ambitions of a few war hungry generals and politicians lead us to a war across the Himalayas?

PS: Imagine Mongolia claiming all these territories based on this map.


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