The Sykes Picot agreement laid the foundation for the current shape of the Middle East. A behind the scenes deal sealed while WWI was raging, it carved up the region for the benefit of French and British colonial powers, and disregarded the interests of local populations in what is now known as Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. To quote Sykes verbatim, it ran "from the E in Acre to the last K in Kirkuk", and its vestiges are still visible today, in Syria's border with Jordan and western Iraq.
Some now argue that Sykes Picot’s legacy is eroding. The unsteady geopolitics of the Middle East beg a mapping exercise that redresses reality on the ground. What comes next for the Middle East, particularly war-torn and increasingly fragmented Syria, Iraq, and Libya?