CounterVortex World Regions
The world regions used by CounterVortex conform loosely to the UN Statistical Regions and Pentagon combat commands, but with some significant differences. Unlike those of the UN and Pentagon, our regions do not always conform to national borders, but represent cultural and ecological spheres. A few clarifications on our categories:
We use the term Greater Middle East only to mean the broader region beyond the countries that we focus on individually: Iraq, Syria, Iran and Palestine. We by no means intend to imply the special sense of the term used by the neoconservatives.
North Africa generally refers to Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, including the disputed Western Sahara. We include the entire Sahara, incorporating the northern areas of Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad.
Our Africa region means Black Africa—those parts of the continent not in the Arab-Berber areas of the North. We avoid the term “sub-Saharan Africa,” which many on the continent consider racist and outdated.
Central Asia, by its narrowest definition, means the post-Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. We also include Xinjiang (East Turkestan), Tibet and Inner (Southern) Mongolia, which are under China‘s rule, the independent state of Mongolia, and much of Russia‘s Siberia region.
Our conception of the Andes includes those areas of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela not in the Amazon Basin—despite the fact that only a small area of Venezuela actually lies within the Andean range. Chile and Argentina are also Andean countries, but we designate them as part of the Southern Cone.
We offer these explanations in recognition of the reality that any such system of designation must be oversimplified. All such regions have fuzzy and overlapping borders. For instance, a story dealing with Taiwan‘s Austronesian indigenous peoples may be placed under Oceania rather than East Asia. A story dealing with the independence movement in Indonesia‘s region of West Papua may similarly be placed under Oceania rather than Southeast Asia. A story dealing with Venezuela’s border dispute with Guyana will be placed under the Caribbean rather than Andes. Et cetera.