05-12-2016: The Unpolarised Multipolar World
 
(this works better on DeviantArt: https://nlspeed.deviantart.com/art/2052-The-Unpolarised-Multipolar-World-649571497 )

I began drawing this map just after reading some of Deus Ex's design document, about its background before the game became the game we know. The map quickly evolved into a multipolar world of pseudo-superpowers:

The USA, a true superpower, if not for the fact that it is slowly crumbling apart.

The EU, a true superpower, if not for the fact that it lacks military influence and relies on soft power.

Russia, a true superpower, if not for the fact that it has little control over many of its allies - it is fortunate, then, that the interests of the Russian Middle-East and of India align with Russia's own interests.

China, a true superpower, if not for the fact that it lacks in soft power and relies on wealth.

And the UK, which only acts as if it is a superpower (and only occasionally, at that; sometimes realism breaks through - but having an own unaligned-bloc is nice, one supposes).

They aren't really involved in a cold war or such. Russia has diversified its economy between the EU and China to such an extent that it sits rather safely. The EU and China find a surprising amount of common ground to work with, though it might help that they exist on opposite ends of the world. The USA is always a good bogeyman to rally against, but it is rapidly waning. And it is not like the EU or China are without their faults; rewriting language so as to be more in line with so-called social justice is rather extreme, while the occasional authoritarian tendencies of China are also frowned upon.

The year 2052 reveals a remarkably unpolarised world, despite appearances, but then, that is the fruit that globalisation bore.

1) The Terrorist Limitation Coalition is the legislature, executive, and judiciary of most of the USA. The police, the army, the intelligence agencies, and practically everything else, is subservient to them, and they have no qualms about 'inconveniencing' innocent citizens. Dying is very inconvenient for these citizens, but oh well.

2) Majestic 12 has been at the forefront of the emerging civil war, but it is splintered in many cells, with their leader - an AI by the name of Helios - coordinating the entirety of Majestic 12 from a secret facility in the flooded Hollywood Valley. It helps that California's National Guard is already in open rebellion against the USA proper.

3) The Mount Weather Environmental System has been having problems... Whether this is the cause of an increase in acid rain, or of localised lightning storms - or both, or more - remains unknown. The prototype in Camp David is having the same problems, and it is no coincidence that the people living in Camp David have grown almost fanatical in their hate for anything non-USA (though, is that a problem?). A word of warning; if one manages to follow the paper trail, one would know that FEMA is the owner of these environmental systems.

4) One of the most powerful cells of Majestic 12 secretly operates in the political heartland of the USA, having already gained access to the Presidential Bunker. Once the president and his staff evacuates, this cell will be on stand-by to cut off the airflow, killing the entire leadership of the USA.

5) And they might soon need to evacuate, for another cell of Majestic 12 is trying to incite a Mexican invasion of Texas. But, should they not succeed, Helios has managed to procure nuclear armaments from Mexico. Helios has also made in-roads into the space industry - bombarding the world with nuclear missiles from space is a goal beyond what Majestic 12 is trying to accomplish for now, but one never knows what the future holds. Elon Musk remains unaware of his role in this, and merely believes Helios is a billionaire supporting his solar city project from outside of the public spotlight.

6) The drug cartels - who have long since evolved into the vital second half of the Russo-Mexican alliance - merely think they have given a dirty bomb to one of the Latino-Texan groups fighting for independence, instead of the keys to nuclear missiles to Majestic 12. Helios is smart - or perhaps Mexico is complacent, for Russia would have long since exploited the border insurgencies, instead of leaning back and sipping Tequila.

7) Nicaragua got its own canal from China, while Belize opted out of the growing Cold War between the USA and China by strengthening its ties with the Commonwealth.

8) An absolutely massive explosion in Colombia was reason for the USA to send in a covert-ops team to investigate it - turns out the entire Colombian government consists of strawmen operated from China, which has even managed to smuggle a nuclear submarine into the country. This is extremely worrisome, as Colombia was supposed to be a loyal ally of the USA. Hundreds of agents of the Terrorist Limitation Coalition now swarm the north-west of Colombia, taking de facto control of the country there, while Russian - and Ecuadorian - agents have begun their own operations. Soon, these forces will meet, and Colombia will be done for as an independent and relatively peaceful country.

9) Ecuador is a loyal ally of Russia, and a favoured destination of spies seeking to exfiltrate themselves from the USA. It is further rumoured that the Galápagos Islands harbour a Russian nuclear submarine. With an impressive array of coastal defences, and with the most productive missile industry in the whole world - thank you, Russia - it is no wonder the United States Navy leaves Ecuador (mostly) alone.

10) Venezuela is kept in line by the United States Navy; if not for that, the country would flip-flop between promising the world to Russia and promising the world to China with every passing hour.

11) They have their own problems, but they are more theoretical - territorial claims on a map - than practical - insurgents controlling entire cities. Beacons of stability and modernity compared to what lies to their west, to be sure.

12) Brazil would love to align itself with the EU, but the USA has been very firm in saying 'no' to this. This 'no' involves leaving an aircraft carrier docked, holding large-scale military exercises throughout the whole year, and extending the authority of the Terrorist Limitation Coalition to include Brazil; the USA is trying to groom Brazil as a 'USA of the south' - and Brazil certainly has the potential for it, especially what with Brazil's industry being fuelled by the intensive cutting of the rainforests.

13) Argentina might not have had Brazil's rainforests, but after a century of bad luck, Argentina's rise to prominence has been a well-deserved miracle. With the thawing of relations between the UK and the EU, well, it was only a matter of time before it came to light that the nefarious British imperialists had sabotaged all the referenda of las Islas Malvinas. Grateful to the EU for righting this wrong, Argentina put its considerable economic strength to use for the EU.

14) After Argentina sided with the EU, Uruguay felt safe enough to do so as well, having always found its values to align much more with the EU than with the USA. Paraguay and Bolivia would prefer to do so as well, but they'll wait until - if at all - the internal troubles of the USA necessitate the USA to pull back more and more of its armies from South America.

15) Even though Brazil is unwilling to take up the mantle of the USA in South America, Chile and Peru are close allies of the USA. The former has historically been a close ally, while the latter has been promised to settle its border disputes with Ecuador in whichever way it wants to settle them. Including wholesale annexation - which isn't something Peru particularly wants, but it's the thought that counts.

16) With the growing importance of the Arctic, Greenland has become a surprisingly important (but still not that important) part of the EU.

17) Iceland said 'screw you' to the EU, closed its borders, scrapped its debts, nationalised its banks, and sent flowers to the UK. Odd. It is now a shadow of its former self, and tourists are treated with downright hostility.

18) The UK had to do something to make Brexit seem like a sensible choice; nowadays it can point to the 'Meme War', but back then, such an idea was ridiculous (but then, so was Brexit). As corporation after corporation left the UK, and as the financial sector imploded, a curious alliance of Conservatives, Labourists, and Greens came to power, blaming all these environment-poisoning corporations for the UK's continuing decline. The Greens seemed to be doing well, governing the country, and they soon became the largest party - they soon started implementing more questionable policies, resulting in the UK now running entirely on clean energy, at the cost of setting it back many decades. Well, at least it is prepared for the impending resource shortage (give it half a century or so - and of course, by that time, new technology will mean that it will take another half a century, and so on, but hey, the UK is prepared).

19) Ireland has been reunited under the EU. It is a very popular vacation destination by Scottish tourists, who then, suddenly, somehow find themselves lost and see no recourse but to opt for EU-citizenship. The UK has promised bloody murder - but the UK can hardly force its Scottish populace to never go on a holiday, certainly after rejecting three independence referenda.

20) Gibraltar has been vehemently dragged into the EU against its will. It is content enough now, though - but it took a generation of sacrifice to reach that point.

21) The EU has taken a drastically different course than the rest of the world; under President Chad Dumier's 'Meme War Programme', language is being recreated to remove as much negativity as possible, so as to perceptually, if not statistically, raise the living standards by introducing more and more positivity into one's daily life. It works, but some accuse him of brainwashing - a feat harder and harder to do, what with language being changed to lessen the impact of such unpleasantness as 'accusations' and 'brainwashing'.

22) The main opposition to this originates from the underground newspaper Samizdat, operated by a shadowy group known as the Silhouette. This group is under the leadership of the seductive Nicolette DuClare, who, apparently, was once very close to Dumier - lovers, even? - and who now calls him 'the Minister of True Lies'. Because of her refusal to use 'the language of the Meme War', Samizdat is less and less readable by citizens of the EU.

23) Vojvodina is the EU's latest member state, after Serbia took a nosedive into hard-right extremism. Ratko Mladić and similar figures are all but worshipped, and pan-Slavic solidarity is decidedly en vogue. Russia approves.

24) Macedonia was all too happy to join the EU, viewing it as an 'in your face!'-move towards Greece. Look who's better now, hah, punk?

25) Belarus is growing closer to the EU, politically speaking - the death penalty has finally been abolished, for example - and one wonders if it might become a new Ukraine - split between pro-EU and pro-Russia factions - a few decades down the line. Kaliningrad, meanwhile, saw that its massive economic growth was only sustainable underneath the banners of the EU, and jumped ship just as a special Baltic Battlegroup was formed by the EU.

26) Ukraine is a thing many people would be happy to pretend that it didn't exist; western Ukraine's fervent wishing to be integrated within the EU yesterday instead of tomorrow does get tiring, and the EU is even obligated to defend it should Russia choose to invade - an obligation nobody in the EU really wants to honour. Crimea and Donetsk have become content oblasts of Russia, though, so that is at least a fait accompli that can be ignored.

27) Georgia doesn't really hate Russia or anything, but it does resent its decreased territory, particularly how Russia's newest pet - those Turkish Muslims - was allowed to get away with blatant fraud so as to force Adjara into voting for joining Turkey (oh, it was a free vote, but Georgia doesn't comprehend how anyone could possibly wish to join up with 'those Turks').

28) Armenia is worse off, though; Nakhchivan is no longer an exclave of Azerbaijan, as the latter was allowed to 'take its rightful territory'. With peaceful means, at first, but Armenia flat-out refused, so alas, it came to war. Turkey cheered Azerbaijan on, Russia closed its eyes, and soon, all was resolved - it's not as if the EU wants to get involved into this quagmire, despite Armenia practically begging it to in the latest Eurovision Song Contest.

29) Initially, Greece found in Russia someone to save its economy from the brink of collapse, while the UK found in Turkey someone to help counter-balance the EU. But when Turkey cosied up to Russia, Greece grew closer to the UK, and now, British ships sail from Greek ports to supply Palestinians, while Turkish soldiers make sure Israel remains untouchable in the end. A curious net of alliances has been cast over the Middle-East.

30) Cyprus is a strategic hotpoint for both Turkey and the EU. The island is in a state of open - though small-scale - warfare, mostly without the interference of Turkey and the EU.

31) Turkey, early on, decided to dump the EU and focus itself more on the Middle-East, where Russia and the USA had their own interests. After juggling these two (and the UK) for a few decades, it now looks as if Turkey has opted to side fully with Russia; the USA can't afford to send as much tanks as it used to anymore, with its impending civil war, while Russia happily spends millions with the hope of gaining a foothold in the Aegean Sea.

32) Besides, the Turkey-Syria-Iraq axis seems very promising, now that Russia is free to 'clean up' the Middle-East without too much interference from the USA. And with the USA turning more and more inwards, even Israel might be swayed to Russia's side; it was historically the case, after all, and whom else would Israel support? The British have forcefully established the State of Palestine and have poured a lot of money into Lebanon as well. They have seized the Gaza Strip, too, as the first step to gaining control of the Suez Channel - or building a new one, perhaps - but that is a very long-term idea to be toyed with, not a concrete plan. While Israel remains allied to the USA, it doesn't look as if the USA can do much for it, so...

33) Driving back the IS was a good opportunity for Turkey to also drive back the Kurdish. That is to say, we call it 'drive back', but of course, no IS-supporter remains alive (no, but many fled southwards, where Saudi Arabia mostly tolerates them) - and as for the Kurdish... Well, we did call it 'drive back', much like with the IS, and there is no southern Kurdistan, now, is there?

34) There is now a west Syria - mostly stable after its forceful secularisation by Assad and his followers, who are still in power (though Assad is dead) - and an east Syria - liberated in spectacularly brutal fashion by Russian and Turkish armies, still chock-full of Islamic terrorists, though they know how to keep quiet (this is a lesson learned by all the Islamic terrorists, and so, while the map may look scary, it's very low-key fighting that occasionally flares up - though perhaps the quiet is merely the calm before the storm?). The two Syrias hate each other, which is slightly annoying Russia. Assad's henchmen have always been loyal, though, and west Syria is far more prosperous - and stable and quiet, too - than the east, so perhaps west Syria will soon be given weapons to deal with the east.

35) Iraq has been entirely restored to its previous borders, but whether that will remain so is still up in the air. Luckily, the USA continues to be a great example of how to militarise one's police force, and Russia is ever happy to help. Kuwait watches with fear in its eyes.

36) Jordan hopes that its allegiance to the USA won't cause it any trouble with the Russians up north. To that end, it has been thinking of asking the EU for protection, especially as it (successfully) tries to present itself as a bastion of multiculturalism and liberalism, with a happy, healthy, and educated populace.

37) The House of Saud remains in power only because of the elixir of life the USA supplies to them; money, money, and more money. Practically, however, Riyadh and the Hejaz have become very liberal places (for the region), much like Bahrain, and the power of the House of Saud is only felt in the less urbanised areas of the country (which is most of the country, admittedly). Still, their latest idea of establishing a 'United Arab Front' to counter foreign influences has sparked interest in parts of the Arab world.

38) The United Arab Emirates nowadays bear more resemblance to the EU from the 2010's, but the regions are still cordial enough to each other, and happily work together. With the occasional exception of Dubai, which is de facto in the hands of whomever controls a mysterious and heavily armed group that hides its members' identities by wearing golden masks. Some call them the Jinn, others call them the Harpies, but all of the monarchs make sure to at least pay lip service to them, lest they be assassinated.

39) Yemen was eventually integrated as an autonomous province of Saudi Arabia. The Houthis survive with Russian support, but Russia is slowly backing off now that Israel may side with Russia; putting 'Death to Israel' and 'Curse on the Jews' on one's national flag isn't the first thing one would do to entice Israel.

40) Iran calculated the odds and chose for the EU, leaving the Middle-East for Russia and the USA while focusing on internal development. With the help of the EU, Iran has become a country that, politically and legislatively, wouldn't have looked out of place in eastern Europe (that, by the way, is a positive). By attracting Russian trade, Iran doesn't believe it is in any danger, and feels free to continue focusing on internal development.

41) Oman followed Iran in this, with even more success - thanks to businessman Nathaniel Brown, who has converted large parts of the desert into solar energy plants - but what Iran and Oman don't realise is that Russia is content with letting the Middle-East run free, so long as it runs for Russia - and Turkey and Iraq just might be interested in bits and pieces of Iran.

42) Roughly a quarter of Afghanistan is officially under the control of Islamic terrorists. Another quarter is in state of total warfare, ever since the USA returned to wipe out these terrorists (mind, they are mostly civilians who have the choice of getting shot by terrorists - their neighbours, for example - or shooting at anything that remotely smells of 'the west'). The USA has managed to secure the eastern half of the country, which is now a state operating as the playground of the Terrorist Limitation Coalition (no, you do not know what 'totalitarian' mean, even if you live in North-Korea, until you have lived in this place). China has occupied part of the country as well, which curiously coincides with a marked increase in rhetoric along the lines of 'Abrahamic unity' and 'castrate confused Confucian communist conmen'.

43) The USA has given carte blanche to the 'government' of Pakistan, which is to say, a plethora of terrorist cells operating openly and supporting Islamic terrorism everywhere. So long as they do not move against the USA, of course, and carving out a good chunk of Pakistan to be added to the aforementioned TLC-state gives the USA enough power to enforce this. Besides, Pakistan is a convenient staging base for nuclear weapons targeting Russia or China.

44) India has used fervent nationalism to combat some of its problems with success; pay attention to what everyone wants, give everyone as much as possible, and while everyone is so very grateful, apply as much nationalism as desired, and everyone will forever support you. India's economical and cultural output now vastly trumps Russia's. This means less than one might expect; the Middle-East is irreversibly reliant on Russia for the coming decades, and the rest of Russia's allies would never choose India over Russia. But India has friendlier relations with the EU, the UK, and the USA, and might choose to jump ship - or even stand on its own, like the UK did (perhaps not the best example...). However, India has far, far worse relations with China, which even now occupies part of India, 'to better combat terrorism originating from Pakistan'. Of course, there is one very important difference between India and Russia; the latter has a sizeable amount of nuclear missiles - as such, India is covertly infiltrating Pakistan, in the hope of acquiring nuclear missiles for itself.

45) China didn't appreciate the Islamic presence in Tajikistan. Russia quietly agreed, having first hand experience with cleaning Uzbekistan of Islamic terrorists; if China wishes to counter Islamic terrorism - and the influence of the USA - in central Asia, then that is worth giving up half of Tajikistan.

46) Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam are very reluctant allies of China. They work closely together, having established the Southeast Asian Understanding - they have recently integrated their militaries, for example - to minimalise Chinese interference, and they also have close relations with Japan and the Pacific countries, but still, they can't get rid of China.

47) Korea found that China isn't so different or so scary as the USA made it out to be, and indeed, especially with China shouldering the exorbitant cost of rebuilding North Korea, Korea has profited mightily.

48) Japan, on the other hand, desperately clings to the USA, the EU, and the UK. And yet, and yet, they are drawn closer and closer into China's sphere of influence with every passing day.

49) Aceh has become the 'trading power' of fundamentalist Islam; Pakistan and Somalia are always looking for able-bodied humans. And why, yes, those trade routes do roughly form a triangle - slavery, huh, what's that? Piracy, oh dearie, say it ain't so! Indonesia has 'an understanding' with Aceh, though.

50) Indonesia has become a major trading power, maintaining friendly ties with most of the world - though perhaps just a bit friendlier with China, for convenience. Brunei and Singapore are very grateful for the freedom they have, as quasi-independent parts of Indonesia. China is a bit miffed, and would like even friendlier and even closer relations with Indonesia - but China knows it also profits from the trade Indonesia attracts.

51) Especially through Malaysia, which really had no alternative but to settle for what is de facto a puppet regime. Well, 'was'; it eventually became useful to carve Malaysia up in smaller states, distributing the lands to the most loyal of the Chinese elite (or actually, those with the most money to back their loyalty with).

52) Credit where credit's due; after slaughtering only a few thousand, Duterte's new firmly China-aligned Philippines grew by leaps and bounds, and the Philippines is now as prosperous as, say, Korea. Especially when the Filipino people look at what happened to Malaysia, Duterte's regime is met with remarkable positivity - by the survivors, that is.

53) Eventually, Chinese migrants and merchants (it's a good spot to reach out to the Pacific at large) outnumbered the natives. Now, Papua New Guinea is mini-China, but Bougainville Island made sure to call in the British Royal Navy in time (which rather displeased every UK-aligned nation in the area - still, what's done is done).

54) The most unlikeliest (yes) '''war''' (good-natured ribbing with the occasional patriotic exclamation) is taking place here; Palau and Polynesia, aligned with the USA, versus Micronesia, aligned with the UK. Oh, what a war it is!

55) Some Australians wonder if they might have been better off siding with China or with the EU - it's all about the money and the markets, for some - but considering that their alignment to the UK consists of, well, basically nothing, most are content to respect their historical ties. And no, nobody's silly enough to suggest siding with the USA, despite having a culture closest to early twenty-first century USA - but look at how the USA is coming apart at the seams!

56) Egypt sided with the USA after the country managed to have three elections and five violent uprisings in a year - which were 'solved' with the help of the USA. That gunships from the USA patrolled the streets watching for violence had nothing at all to do with this stark reversal of rhetoric. And that the USA has recently even gained de jure control of the Suez is also simply an act of gratitude. The British see it just a bit differently; they see it as an act that may utterly shatter the recent peace and cause this year to top the record of violent uprisings in Egypt. And the USA really can't afford to busy so much of its military with Egypt.

57) One of China's first more proactive moves in Africa was increasing its support for Sudan and ensuring lasting peace there. Sadly, a few decades later, the combination of a series of unfortunate border accidents with Egypt (or is that the USA being hawkish?) and the ever-increasing troubles in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Congo spilling over into Sudan, saw this all come undone. The Justice and Equality Movement, by this time, had evolved to adopt plenty of 'western' tenets, and the EU took the bait. Now, China would rather be rid of Sudan, especially as China never gained access to South Sudan's oil.

58) South Sudan is desperately immigrating into Ethiopia. Darfur would welcome the immigrants, but hey, good luck passing through many kilometres of active and perpetual military operations.

59) Chad is a broken country, with practically no food - or any means to acquire food - to speak of. The EU has managed to salvage parts of the country - the north and the riverlands, mostly, and no, this isn't A Song of Ice and Fire - and has promised extensively to ship food into the north (which the EU at least nominally controls), but the food is never enough, and there is no hope at all for the south. It's not so bad as the violence to the south-east though; the convenient thing about starving is that most people do not have the energy to fight.

60) Libya never really recovered from its civil war, with an independent Tuareg republic splitting off, and with an Islamist government funded by Turkey and Egypt (and, through Turkey, Russia) opposing the more secular and liberal government funded by the EU. The Islamist government has retreated to behind the river, and open fighting between the two rival governments has long since died down, but Libya is rife with intrigue and threatens to collapse back in chaos in the blink of an eye. Even the British have a stake in this fight, as they stationed forces in north-eastern Libya to secure the eastern Mediterranean - alas, Turkey and Egypt had the same idea, and now north-eastern Libya is home to all kinds of... Agents? Mercenaries? Terrorists? Bad news, at any rate.

61) The establishment of an independent Tuareg state propelled Mali into a new civil war - a Tuareg state has since then emerged there, as well - and now the two Tuareg states are combining forces to liberate their people from the yoke of Algeria.

62) Relations between the EU and Morocco soured as immigration increased and as Morocco kept calling upon its immigrated citizens to send money back to 'their homeland' (this despite entire generations of Moroccans having grown up in the EU). When Western Saharan independence was enforced at gunpoint - or, at aircraft carrier-point - Morocco openly rejected the EU. It found a welcoming USA, and has cordial enough ties with the UK as well, but the EU wants to have nothing at all to do with 'this backstabbing country'. Western Sahara - the Sahrawi Democratic Republic - is closely tied to Algeria, and the two countries may become one in the near future.

63) Brazil actually holds more sway with The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau than anyone else. For instance, Brazil managed to turn The Gambia away from the path North Korea once followed, though The Gambia is still (powerlessly) raging against the imperialist pigs that crowd the world.

63) The religious tolerance of Sierra Leone now encompasses both Islamic and Christian terrorists. The USA - or actually, the TLC - finds that it is useful to have all kinds of extremists on hand.

64) Ghana discovered that, the more it turned against the EU (that is to say, France), the more funding it got from China. Together with Nigeria, Ghana might well be the most prosperous west African nation.

65) Nigeria really appreciates how China wiped out Boko Haram with extreme prejudice.

66) It began in the west, with the independence of Southern Cameroon, but as the policies of Cameroon took on a more and more totalitarian character, more and more of Cameroon seceded. Southern Cameroon is now thriving with the help of Chinese goods and funds, and (northern) Cameroon is wondering whether military intervention would draw the ire of China. The EU has distanced itself from Cameroon, leaving Cameroon without the support of the EU.

67) The Central African Republic has adopted a unique brand of Kantian philosophy; you may think that you are seeing a war-torn wasteland, but use your mind, think, interpret the concepts correctly, and look, there's actually a prosperous country here! Pity, though, that most of the world hasn't adopted this philosophy, and as a result, sees a war-torn wasteland.

68) You do not want to be here.

69) Despite a plethora of funds and goods from China, as well as Russian ambassadors whispering of heritage and religion from just beyond the Red Sea, Ethiopia remains committed to neutrality - or perhaps, committed to amassing resources from all interested parties. These resources are wisely channelled into the Ethiopian-founded East African Confederacy (because having two similar organisations that both abbreviate to EAC right next to each other is fun), so that Ethiopia grows stronger, and as such, grows into an even more attractive target for investments.

70) Eritrea has been annexed and is the home of half of Ethiopia's army. Still, the Houthis manage to find their way into Africa through Eritrea. Usually, they find their way into Somalia, where there is always someone looking for a fight - the other half of Ethiopia's army, for example, which has secured the very north of Somalia (coincidentally, also the wealthiest place), but is now bogged down defending miles and miles of borders.

71) The East African Community has become a vehicle for China to spread its influence. This isn't a bad thing, many Africans would say, for this influence is directly tied to prosperity and increasing living standards. Besides, the East African Community is a project of and for and made successful by Africans, merely helped along with Chinese aid - and Chinese soldiers to keep Somalia and everything in it far, far away.

72) The core of so-called Chinese Africa. China's latest project is saving the ever-falling Congo from its ever-worsening conflicts - and stopping Congo's troubles from spilling over even more into the EAC. China is holding the river for now, and is seriously thinking about giving up on the north, no matter what Congo's government may wish.

73) Southern Africa has started its own union, borne primarily out of the Southern African Customs Union. Zimbabwe is playing around with the idea of joining this Southern African Union - a creatively named institution, to be sure, much like the European Union - but that is a thing China adamantly doesn't want to happen.

74) Mozambique has the same considerations as Zimbabwe, except that Mozambique remains a very neutral nation - perhaps it can receive more of that delicious Chinese money, if it makes it seem as if it is going to join the Southern African Union?

75) Madagascar, on the other hand, enjoys good relations with everyone, though primarily with the USA, India, and China. It keeps itself somewhat aloof of geopolitics, but its borders aren't closed at all.

76) "We have enough on our hands right now." - and surely, Cthulhu has all the time in the world, to dream a bit more, to spawn a few more nightmares, before the humans come...