Sunday, December 15, 2013

We are not ending 2013 well

2013 is a turbulent year.

The Syrian situation is not getting any better. The nationalistic Syrian rebellion has pretty much been isolated, if not defeated, in its struggle to overthrow the Bashar al Asssad regime. They have been replaced by cadres of well supported and well funded Jihadists from neighboring country. Assad's unexpected cooperation on destroying its chemical weapon stockpiles pretty much bought him the time to fight the rebellions against him. At this point it is high probability that he will stay in power in Syria for a long time to come. He has managed to position himself as the lesser evil of the current alternatives.

The Libyan situation is getting worse. The central government has proven unable to consolidate power and fill up the security vacuum currently happening in the country. Various militias have carved various area in the country and pretty much create de facto rule/warlord with very narrow tribal/city focus.

The French intervention has temporarily provide some stability to Mali. However the fundamental issues of the country is not getting better. The central government remains weak, corrupt and incompetent. The grievance of Tuareg community at the north of the country has not been addressed.

Central African Republic is turning into a genocidal event. Christians and Muslim communities are fighting against one another. 600 people have died in the past week in communal fights. The current intervention by France to this former colony will not be sufficient to bring stability to the country.

Somalia is getting better although al Shabab still manage to pull the spectacular terrorist attack in Nairobi.
The number of Somalians diaspora returning to the country is increasing by the month bringing capital and skills to rebuild their country. The UN has also been effective here.

Egypt situation is not getting any better. The popular coup against President Morsi has deepen the fissures within the societies. The short term economic situation is better thanks to the large infusion of money from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE. The current government has been busy releasing laws restricting rights of speech and assembly bringing new coalition against the current transition government.

The Afghanistan situation is not getting worse. There is a pending agreement for American forces to stay in the country as a security anchor against the rising Taliban. Karzai though is a terrible leader and it is time for him to go.

Pakistan is improving. It has successfully transfer power between civilian for the first time in full term this year. The American drones are still real issue but there is little alternative right now to solve the Taliban issue.

North Korea is not getting any better. The recent execution of the Great Leader's uncle is a sign of power struggle and it is not clear what kind of regime is taking shape under the new leader.

China, Japan and Korea are playing pissing contests with one or another. There is an increasing chance of somebody in around the islands making wrong calculation and start  a small shooting war. China's belligerence in extending its flight detection zone over disputed useless islands show an overtly nationalistic/irrational muscle flexing by its leadership.

Ukraine is in the middle of massive power struggle between EU oriented mass against pro Russian people. There is no clear path right on how this situation will develop. It is unlikely that it will become a violent confrontation.

Bangladesh still treats its garment workers badly, Burma still cannot contain the pogrom against its Muslim populations, Sri Lanka is still denying its terrible records on the phase of the campaign to destroy the Tamil Tiger.

India is waking up to the news that it has terrible record on sexual attacks against women. Saudia Arabi is expelling thousands of low level foreign workers in a mission to empower local population.

Southern European economy is getting worse with super high unemployment rate especially among the young.

Turkey's cherish secularism is under immense strain under the powerful Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan.

Singapore had its first violent riot in four decades just a week ago. This is a sign to come.

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