Since 1990, 34 new nations have come into existence such that there are today ‘196’ nation states if we include Taiwan (the PR China wouldn’t). 15 of these new states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union as nationalist fervor swept Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the early 1990s. Some of these new nations, like Armenia, are modern reincarnations of ancient nations, while others, such as the states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are truly new countries, whose borders followed those of republics within the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation was created in 1991 to comprise the former Soviet Union territory that did not break away into separate countries. Yugoslavia dissolved in the early 1990s into five independent countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Mecedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and Slovenia. Given the ongoing conflict it is highly possible that Syria could trigger a new partitioning of the Middle East. Robin Wright, a NY Times analyst, suggests that sectarian and ethnic rivalries could break Syria into at least three new states: 1. Alawite, a state based on a minority of people that have controlled Syria for decades and dominate the coastal corridor; 2. Kurdistan, which could merge Syrian with Iraqi Kurds with Erbil as capital; 3. Sunnistan, which merges Syrian and Iraqi Sunnis with Baghdad as the capital 4. Shiitestan to the South. In the longer term Saudi Arabia will confront it’s own, currently suppressed, internal divisions which could resurface with the next generation of Princes. The kingdom’s unity is further threatened by tribal differences, the Sunnite-Shiite divide and economic challenges. Saudia Arabia could then dissolve into the five regions that preceded the modern state: 5. North Arabia 6. West Arabia with Mecca as a potential capital 7. East Arabia 8. Wahhabistan with Riyadh as capital 9. South Arabia. Yemen, the poorest Arab country could break again into two states following a potential referendum in 10. South Yemen on independence leaving 11. North Yemen. Libya would fragment, as a result of powerful tribal rivalries into its historic parts 12. Tripolitania 13. Cyrenaica and possibly a third 14. Fezzan state in the southwest.


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