Almost 100 years ago, two European men were tasked with drawing up a new border map for the Middle East.
Their names were Sir Mark Sykes and Francois George-Picot and their map was arbitrary and largely ignored the intricate politics of the area. To this day, power brokers in the region still blame what became known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement for fostering unrest in places like Iraq and Syria.
Robin Wright is a contributor at the New Yorker and she has the byline on a piece called “How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East.”
Wright spoke with Kai Ryssdal, click the audio player above to listen to the interview.