The Counterweight that Isn’t

The Muslim World. (Mohsin, OIC Member States, CC BY 3.0)

As the United States comes now to face Russia and China in great power competition, one feels intensely the lack of a unified Muslim world. For one need only take a look at a map to appreciate that it is a dagger at once aimed at the Russian belly and the Chinese back—and has historically been an important antagonist of both empires. There is no question that, were Islam not the geopolitical non-entity that it is today, Russian and Chinese horizons would be badly limited by the need to protect their flanks. Instead, the only threat the Muslim world presents to these countries today is as an enticement to conflict in dividing up its territories in Central Asia.