20 October 2016   1 comment

As the issues of immigration and refugees becomes more prominent in political discussions, it maybe instructive to see the variety of ways states denote their borders.

The Indian-Pakistani border highlighted by the bright orange lights set up by India to prevent smuggling

Also taken by the International Space Station, this photograph shows the border between India (which is above the border) and Pakistan (which is south of the border). The border is the bright orange line visible in the photograph, and its illumination comes from the spotlights India placed along it to detect smugglers.

The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland denoted by the change in asphalt in the road. 

Here, the subtle change in the road pavement indicates the border between the Republic of Ireland, which is to the left, and Northern Ireland, on the right, in the border town of Pettigo, Northern Ireland.

The border between the Netherlands and Belgium

For clarification, the border has been made visible on streets with iron pins, indicating clearly whether each side is in Belgium or in the Netherlands.

The US-Canadian border in the Haskell Library, deliberately built along the boundary.

In the reading room of the Haskell Library, which was deliberately built along the US-Canada border, the international boundary is marked on the floor. Here, Canada is on the right and the US is on the left.

US-Mexican border near Nogales, Arizona

The border fence between the US and Mexico stretches into the countryside near Nogales, Arizona. According to The Atlantic, the fences and roads that mark the border end at certain points before starting again a few miles away.

In Beijing, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he is “separating” his country from the US and that he will align his country with China.  In fact, he is quoted as saying to the Chinese: “I will be dependent on you.”  Duterte is further quoted to indicate that he wishes to ally the Philippines to Russia as well.  Apparently, the declaration of fealty to China caught his Chinese hosts by surprise but they were undoubtedly delighted.  There was no indication of how the Chinese-Filipino South China Sea dispute will be addressed, but the critical question is whether that possible resolution could serve as a model for the other Southeast nations with claims in the sea.

One of the dominant issues in contemporary American foreign policy is the extent to which the US should attempt to pull back its overseas commitments.  The US went from a fairly unconnected state to one with a presence in every corner of the planet in a remarkably short period of time.  It currently has about 700 overseas bases that support its ability to project power.  Analysts in the US are beginning to raise some fairly elemental questions about this presence, and The National Interest has an excellent article on whether the US truly needs to maintain such a ubiquitous role in world affairs.


Posted October 21, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “20 October 2016

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  1. Not all borders are designed to accept immigration and refugees. But some of the countries above, with their stunning borders, do appear to be more welcoming than others. This made me think whether or not the countries with more beautiful borders tend to have a better chance in being the perfect host for refugees? I think yes. In my opinion, reallocation and readjustment could be genuinely challenging already in the case of refugees. So hopefully the countries that decide to accept the refugees could act in a manner that wouldn’t further demolish the refugees’ dignity. And hopefully the countries that are becoming the new home for the refugees could act in a way that’s caring and respectful just as the refugees deserve. The beautiful borders, in this case, is a gesture of the most indispensable spirit in political events like this, the spirit of collaboration. What’s more valuable than a collaborative spirit weaving between the two parties in events like this?


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