Please consider the following website: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/failed_states_index_2012_interactive
I recall walking around the dusty villages of eastern/coastal Kenya in 1994. I recall being in Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, and being anchored off the coast of Somalia in 1994. Back then, I sensed a tension, an underlying layer of dissent, fear, and anger in local communities. During my work and visits over the subsequent 20 years to other places such as the Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and others I can easily imagine and sense a clear potential for class conflict, civil war, and a possible descent into anarchy. This statement applies in many of the Gulf and Indian Ocean (Africa and Asia) states that I was entering at that time and it remains true today. These were places that were simmering and seemed ready to pop in 1994, comparable to what I imagine Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and other parts of SE Asia were like in the 1950s—and we all know what happened there a few years later.
In 2012, nearly twenty years after my trip to east Africa, south Asia, and southeast Asia when I look at the interactive map and do some reading in the news I am increasingly worried that the simmer has turned to a boil and that the whole of Asia and Africa could implode and spew, followed close behind by North America, South America, and Europe. Obviously, I don’t sit around on my couch and fret about this every minute, but the underlying sense of inevitable doom seems more and more palpable these days.
On the website above-linked, the interactive map and list reveals to no one’s surprise that our world is in a precarious state, with lots of dangers and so many zones of conflict. There are no big surprises on the map, except that one could note that almost all of Asia (with the exception of a few states like Japan, South Korea, and UAE are indicated as stable) and a small area of Africa are categorized as “borderline” (S Africa), while the rest of that continent is listed as in danger or already gone into the abyss. Wouldn’t that vast area constitute 2/3 of the world’s population? 2/3 of the world’s population living in a state of danger or worse?
Of course, there are always pockets of tranquility and bastions of logic, peace, and good will no matter where one goes…even in the “red” zones…but I wonder if this map is foretelling a major meltdown conflict in Asia’s and Africa’s future…an Indian Ocean-based Asia-Africa WWIII?