The myth of the Tropic of Cancer
Cancer, the Crab, is one of the signs of the Zodiac which, the encyclopaedias inform us, have a certain mythical as well as seasonal significance. But the mythical character of the Tropic of Cancer in the sphere of world strategy is of a different order; it belongs to a world of make-believe and wishful thinking which supposes that modern war can be confined by lines on a map. The fact that the Tropic of Cancer is legally the southern limit of what is called ‘the Treaty Area’ of the North Atlantic Treaty is striking evidence of the very different conditions which obtained in 1949 from those which confront us in the 1980s.
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