Fascinating analysis. I really appreciate your articles covering parts of the world most Americans don't even know exist.

When I consider the idea of a resurgent Islam in the form perhaps of a Neo Ottoman Empire, what I keep coming back to is climate change. We are at 0.79C over the 1980 baseline, or 1.7C over the 1850 "preindustrial" baseline. This 1.7C of warming represents the warming from the 50% of the total CO2 that was put into the atmosphere from 1850-1990. We are about to get the warming from the other 50% of the CO2 that we dumped into the atmosphere between 1990-2020. Which means we are probably looking at 1.5C of warming in the next 30 years.

What happened in Syria was a harbinger of what's about to happen in that region in the next 30 years. It seems archaic to imagine "peoples" on the move trying to win new lands to settle on but we could be on the verge of that again. Much of the area you mention could become uninhabitable during the next 30 years. Several hundred million people in this area are likely to be in regions where it becomes impossible to produce food and water supplies dwindle. The entire region is probably going to melt down and it could take Turkey with it.

I had not considered how weak Russia is right now. Looking forward, they are in a very bad spot. Lots of territory to hold and not enough resorces to hold it. Their main deterrent is an aging nuclear weapons hoard whose functionality is unknown. They are starting to look more and more like a paper tiger.

My advice, if you want to visit Turkey (I would love to see Gobekli Tepe) do it soon. This decade will be the very last shred of the 20th Century Climate Optimum. Things are going to start getting worse fairly fast ffrom here on out.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: Things didn’t go as planned, and I’m OK with that.

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