Monthly political analysis on nations in
economic or political transition



This issue offers 24 new national analytical reports:
North Korea; Syria; Libya; Russia; Iraq; Saudi Arabia; Turkey; Iran; Pakistan; Morocco; Egypt; Afghanistan; Bangladesh; India; Taiwan; Vietnam; Philippines; Bosnia; Albania; Bulgaria; Romania; Uzbekistan; Ukraine; Kazakstan

Nuclear Nightmares - and Nonsense?
We look at nuclear-armed NORTH KOREA which is entirely earning its reputation for ambiguity, no small matter where nuclear weapons and delivery systems are involved. Israel on the other hand, a nuclear armed nation with the US’s nuclear umbrella above it’s skies, continues to threaten IRAN (not a nuclear weapon state, even if it wants to be), and talks about a ‘window of opportunity’ for launching a new middle-east war. We read that ‘window’ phrase as referring to the US Presidential election in November, allowing just eight more months of political leverage.
Wars of Religion
SYRIA, it is becoming clear, is in a 'Sunni-v-Secular' struggle. With all the remaining Arab League states being Sunni, they have now suspended secular Syria. Nobody believes that the Arab League is suddenly in favour of democracy, any more than al-Qaeda. But the not so hidden agenda 'what's in it for the west', is the opportunity of severing the relationship between IRAN and its only Arab friend. Why else was Mrs Clinton visiting Riyadh at the end of March? 

  • LIBYA’s biggest struggle now is against Qadafi’s 40 year-old legacy, which we review.

  • RUSSIA and the aftermath of its highly criticised election can be compared with the US in the first GW Bush presidency, and the corrupt,  ‘swinging tads’ election of 2000, in the decisive state of Florida.

  • We see PM Maliki in IRAQ achieving all his goals and ‘running rings’ around his rivals.

  • SAUDI ARABIA are punching their weight in the middle east, alarmed as they are by the potential threat of IRAN.
  • TURKEY has no shortage of problems as it steps more and more into the limelight. Their vaunted democracy, which we have celebrated in the past, is coming under increased scrutiny.

  • IRAN’s government must feel they are carrying an unreasonable amount of the worlds problems, but those problems are all soluble if the government did not proceed as though it has a divine mission.

  • PAKISTAN: the hitherto dreary ‘going-nowhere’ confrontation between the army and government, has become enlivened since the supreme court has also become an active player.

  • MOROCCO, whose relatively enlightened ruler avoided much of the trouble amongst the MENA nations of the Arab Awakening, has now got a new and serious problem with a shocking example of the nation’s highly deficient laws on women’s rights.

  • EGYPT sees a lot of worrying amongst liberal politicians and supporters, as to what extent the new constitution will incorporate Islamic law. Next door Tunisia has said that it will not base its new constitution on sharia law.

  • AFGHANISTAN: It is hard to see if there is anyone left anywhere, on any side, who wants to continue  addressing the continuing NATO mission; its undertaking to continue to fight the Taleban, and train the Afghan police and army in country.  Time to be gone!

  • BANGLADESH: The repercussions of the failed Islamist army coup earlier this year, are still dominating politics.

  • INDIA’s crucial state elections and the ever present topic of rooting out corruption, lead this month’s report. 

  • The cross-straits relationship between TAIWAN and mainland China is back in the news.

  • VIETNAM’s Communist Party General Secretary says the party must reform or die!

  • We look at how the PHILIPPINES, which now has the political will, is cleaning up its corrupt public life.

  • UKRAINE is continuing to despatch leading members of the opposition to gaol. President Yanukovich is promising to cut costs, raise the minimum wage - anything to regain some popularity. Sadly, Ukraine looks as though it may now be lost to the democratic world.

  • From the Balkans we offer new reports from:

  • In Central Asia this April report covers UZBEKISTAN & neighbouring KAZAKSTAN.




All Country Updated reports
Also published on our blog page Bulletin, 2nd April 2012|New Nations - a not for profit company
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