Political Geography


How does a choke point “choke”a body of water?

A choke point is a narrow waterway between two larger bodies of water that can be easily closed or blocked to control water transportation routes. Though historically the Strait of Gibraltar (connecting the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean between Africa and Spain) has been one of the world’s most important choke points, the Strait of Hormuz gained significant attention during the Persian Gulf War of 1991. The Strait of Hormuz, bounded by the United Arab Emirates and Iran, connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and, thus, to the Indian Ocean. It was feared that if Iraq controlled the Strait, then most of the oil from the region could not be shipped out.


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