Monthly political analysis on nations in
economic or political transition




 October 2014

ISIS in the 'SyrIraq' Theatre of War; Why did UKRAINE-2014 Happen?; North Korea: Does Kim Jong-un have a game plan?

ISIS in the 'SyrIraq' Theatre of War

President Obama’s plan, as it stands, to destroy the Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) is ineffective at best. The reasons are rather obvious. Beyond the White House’s valid intentions, there is little solidarity within the coalition that has been assembled to take action. With the exception of the United Kingdom and France and smaller NATO nations yet to declare, the coalition members include some strange partner nations to back up its military focused strategy; whose resolve may be questioned. It may even have obtained some rejections. The principal problem in this context may well be that many of the ISIS volunteers, numerous we understand are from Saudi and the Gulf States, which being Wahhabi Islamists are also the main sources of finance for the Islamists. Yet it is their airforces at least that are now, as part of the Alliance, attacking the ISIS targets. In the current line-up of the allies, one of the West’s normally most reliable regional allies, Turkey has agreed to open an IS Consulate. If so, they have diplomatically recognised the rogue state and will not be involved in the war against them!  [...]

Why did UKRAINE-2014 Happen?

The situation in Ukraine, which had rattled the entirety of Europe since November of last year, has deepened and intensified over the summer months.

The shock has to some extent given way to investigating the causes of the crisis, which now infers that a large portion of the blame seems to fall on the US State Department, or at least the neo-con cell there, involving Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State. She was secretly filmed telling a large private meeting of Ukrainian ‘movers and shakers’ that Washington had spent FIVE BILLION DOLLARS on developing “Ukrainian Democratic Institutions”. Even in this notoriously corrupt nation, that’s a lot of money. As the State Department’s leader on European affairs, she has been deeply involved in continuing events in Ukraine which have notably included the well organised successful coup that overthrew the democratically elected, Moscow-leaning, President Yanukovych and forced him into flight. [...]

North Korea: Does Kim Jong-un have a game plan?

It is ten months since we last had the pleasure of updating for NewNations about North Korea. A state which, while only too predictable in some respects, never loses its capacity to surprise.

Writing in late November last year, little did we or anyone outside Pyongyang know that within a fortnight Kim Jong-un would suddenly purge and execute his uncle and mentor Jang Song-thaek. Once the dust settled, Jang’s dramatic ouster seems to have been a one-off rather than a prelude to ongoing factional strife. Although Jang’s family – except his now invisible widow Kim Kyong-hui, sister of the late ‘dear leader’ Kim Jong-il – reportedly shared his brutal fate, no wider purges ensued.

Several figures associated with Jang like the Premier, Pak Pong Ju, remain in post. Kim Jong-un got rid of a man whose powerful independent political and business networks appeared a potential threat, and he seems to have got away with doing so. [...]


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