A relatively unknown map of the Middle East, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been circulating around strategic, governmental, NATO, policy and military circles since mid-2006. It has been causally allowed to surface in public, maybe in an attempt to build consensus and to slowly prepare the general public for possible, maybe even cataclysmic, changes in the Middle East. This is a map of a redrawn and restructured Middle East identified as the “New Middle East.”
MAP OF THE NEW MIDDLE EAST
Note: The following map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).
Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles. Source
Added Oct 2009:
Historically speaking, the people of the Middle East have never lived in ethnically isolated groups: the whole region has spent most of history as part of a centralized imperial system, be it Assyrian, Hellenistic, Roman, Persian, Arab, or Ottoman. This map represents an attempt to reconcile a diverse area with modern notions of the homogenous nation-state, a relatively new idea in the history of the Middle East. Ignoring the many stable periods of a non-fragmented Middle East, this map assumes that tensions in the region will be solved by drawing borders based on ethnic groups, instead of something more practical, e.g. natural resources (“Sunni Iraq” is a landlocked patch of desert with little oil reserves). This also presupposes that these ethnic groups are already neatly spread out, thus ignoring individuals and their ties to the landscape. For example, there would certainly be Sunnis already living in the “Arab Shia State” whose families may have been there as long as the Shiites’. Home is home, regardless of minority status. Similar population shifts were ordered after the independence of Greece and the partition of India, both of which were painful for all involved. This map represents the belief that drawing lines on a map can solve problems between groups of people and the perils of ignorance of history.
See more at http://proteus.brown.edu/ancientneareast/9198