Stand Against Georgian Irredentism!

TPM Reader SR sees Georgia/Tennessee border war in international context …

Living on the other side of the Eastern Continental Divide, I don’t have a dog in the Tennessee-Georgia border bicker, but a couple of points of interest occurred to me.

The first is that this is a microcosm of the kind of international conflicts the Pentagon has long been predicting will be the inevitable result of climate change. Because as your Tennessee correspondent alluded to, this dispute is flaring up again because of the persistent drought in the Southeast that seems to be the worst in precisely the watersheds that feed Atlanta’s water infrastructure.

The second is that Georgia’s claim bears a striking resemblance to China’s aggressive pursuant of old claims on islands in the South China Sea far below its southern land border or Argentina’s periodic flare-ups of resentment over losing the Falklands two centuries ago or the kind of pernicious little border disputes that have caused most of the wars between South and Central American states. That is, they’re all old, unresolved, somnambulant claims that have a way of suddenly waking up when resources or domestic political capital run short.

In the case of Georgia and Tennessee, it’s a dispute that will be fought out in the courts or the newspapers. But climate change is driving the dispute and it’s going to drive many more between real countries with real armies over the coming decades.