Monthly political analysis on nations in
economic or political transition


December 2014


AFGHANISTAN: Was it really worth it?; India: The differences are becoming clear; Estonia: Living on the very edge

Afghanistan: Was it really worth it?

Shortly before the US and NATO allies invaded Afghanistan, former Soviet President Gorbachev, a reasonable man, appealed publicly for the US and friends, not to do it (to call off the invasion). He with the recent experience of the Soviet army’s ten year invasion and occupation (1979-89) of that remote nation, was telling the West what it needed to know, that nothing but misery –the experience of the USSR - would come of it. Of course there wasn’t the slightest possibility that President Bush or Vice-president Cheney would have taken any notice of that. After all, the commies might not be able to cut it, but (even after the experience of Vietnam) the exceptional nation had no real notion of defeat, denying that Vietnam was exactly that –and ploughed on.

‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ launched on 7 October 2001with the trusty UK alongside, had the objective of destroying the al Qaeda perpetrators of 9/11 which meant fighting their hosts, the Taliban and now continues at a much lower level (the UK forces are now mostly all gone). Now a newly elected Afghan government recently coming to power is fielding an army armed and trained by the west, but whose capability is as yet not really known. Such US servicemen still there are keeping a low profile, a kind of ultimate reserve hopefully not to be needed. Time will tell! Newnations has reported monthly on Afghanistan (all archived) for most of the time since the invasion. We now check out the current situation. [...]

India: The differences are becoming clear

India, whose government changed 6 months ago, in so doing dismissed the Congress Party who for long, it has seemed, served as a family organisation of the  Nehru-Gandhi family - they had ruled for more than two thirds of India’s existence as a nation state. Government now lies with a BJP-led coalition, under Narendra Modi and the differences are becoming clear, although both share the objective of India’s recognition as a world power, worthy of respect.

Dr Surjit Mansingh now at American University in Washington DC is a former diplomat and was professor of International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi before moving to the USA. She reviews the new realities with a degree of optimism - it is remarkable for example, that this nation's 150 million plus Moslems, through their various organisations, have explicitly rejected extremist interpretations of the Koran. [...]

Estonia: Living on the very edge

Estonia is a small, delightful, Scandinavian-style state, unluckily located on the eastern Baltic coast of the Gulf of Finland Unlucky because its neighbour to the east is the Russian Federation which proximity has made life complicated for a long time. The first out of the USSR (along with Baltic neighbours Latvia and Lithuania), we publish the report at this time because Estonia is emblematic of all former Soviet colonies experiencing Russian pressure

Estonia has felt particularly vulnerable in the wake of the Crimean land grab and continuing Ukrainian confrontation

It is appropriate that the world knows more and this is our contribution. [...]


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