Friday, December 15, 2017


Although we conquered the seas long ago (ask the Polynesians), islands and water are useful tools for otherwise purely imaginary borders. Bahrain is an island country situated between the Qatar peninsula and Saudi Arabia. It has a similar size population to Swaziland but is about 1/3rd the size. Bahrain declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1971, and Swaziland in 1968. Both are still monarchies. The Al Khalifa family moved from Qatar to Bahrain in 1799. In 1820, they were recognised as rulers of the island by Britain. After discovery of oil in 1931 (which brought rapid modernisation), the British Royal Navy moved its entire middle eastern command to Bahrain in 1935. With the United States taking the baton as world power after WWII, Bahrain is now the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.

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