No nation state, no matter how strong their economy, no matter how united their population, can last forever. All countries will eventually disappear. Some will slowly fade away, but some will suddenly collapse. It’s likely that several countries will go this way in the next ten years. Here are some at high risk of disappearing. Some of the countries on this list will be expected, but some might surprise you. Maybe you live in one of these places. Here are ten countries that may soon disappear.
Lesotho is the last absolute monarchy in Africa. It’s a small country completely surrounded by South-Africa. Their king is basically insane, so Lesotho has long been a poor country. But it’s got so bad recently that the people of Lesotho are looking for an exit. A campaign within the country is begging South-Africa to invade Lesotho. Lesotho would cease to exist as an independent country. The monarchy would be overthrown, and it would become a province of South-Africa. Support for the campaign is growing rapidly as the life expectancy in Lesotho has fallen to just 34. In urban areas, about 50 percent of Lesotho women have HIV, and this number is always rising. So the South-African government could invade at any time.
I don’t think Ukraine can last much longer. And the reason is that it was never meant to exist in the first place. It was created as a buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe. And Russia has always wanted to control Ukrainian land because of their natural gas pipelines. In 2014, Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula was annexed by Russia, and has been under Russian control since. Other areas of Ukraine are engaged in power struggles with Russia clearly seeking more control. The Ukrainian people have never been united, with 17 percent of their population identifying as Russian. The country is being torn apart.
For 24 years, Libya was ruled by Colonel Gaddafi. But in 2011 he was killed in the Arab spring. Since then, Libya has been a fractured country with different regions being held by different extremist groups. The problem started when Libya’s new government failed to crush all the other power hungry groups. So the country immediately fell into civil war. The situation was a lot better when Gaddafi held power. In fact, Barrack Obama has called not preparing for a post-Gaddafi Libya his biggest mistake. If we’re being honest, Libya isn’t really a country anymore. It’s been split into 3 different countries – but it’s still recognized as one nation. It’s only a matter of time until the UN realizes Libya hasn’t existed since 2014.
The UK is a union of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern-Ireland. If any of these countries were to leave the union, it would be a big deal. But if Scotland or England were to leave the union would effectively disappear. Last year the people of Scotland voted against independence. But the Scottish government wants nothing less than full independence. The population of Scotland is currently split at around 50/50 on the issue. So it’s not beyond the imagination that Scotland may one day leave the union. If that were to happen, it’s unlikely that the union could survive.
Spain is one of Europe’s biggest countries. But that might soon change. A number of regions within Spain have their own independence movements. The most likely to gain independence is Catalonia. There is a big cultural divide between Catalonia and the rest of Spain, they even have their own language. Earlier this year, Catalonia’s parliament gained a new leader who is pro-independence. His party aims for Catalonia to break away from Spain within 18 months. They have already began building their own institutions like a military. The Spanish government is opposing their actions on constitutional grounds. It’s going to be interesting to see which side wins.
North-Korea is different from other countries on this list for obvious reasons. So many sanctions have been put on North-Korea that it’s government can’t afford to feed most of it’s population. It’s among the most impoverished nations, which isn’t helped by their expensive nuclear weapons program. There are three things likely to soon happen to North-Korea. The first is that their government collapses and society breaks down until it’s reunified with South-Korea. The second is that they try to invade South-Korea, in which case we’d see a similar result. The third is that North-Korea is completely annexed by China, and simply becomes a Chinese province. I actually think the third is more likely.
Much like Libya, Syria has been in a state of civil war since the Arab spring. But the Syrian dictator wasn’t overthrown. He still controls 40 percent of the countries land, and 66 percent of the population. The rest is controlled by either the Syrian rebels, the Kurds, or ISIS. It’s the deadliest conflict the 21st century has seen, and it doesn’t look like an end to it is near. I don’t think the country will ever reunify because of the ethnic divisions within the country. The Kurds have always wanted an independent country in Northern-Syria. They basically have that now. What we now recognize as Syria was originally created as a colony in the French empire, not as an independent country. So that’s why the ethnic divisions are so visible.
In 2008, Kosovo became an independent country. Up until that point it was a UN protectorate as it was unable to operate as a nation. And before that it was part of Serbia, but Kosovo broke away from Serbia in a brutal civil war. Today it’s an extremely weak country, with it’s small economy still recovering from the war, and with their institutions aren’t well respected. It doesn’t make any sense for Kosovo to exist as a country. Ninety two percent of it’s population are ethnically Albanian, and they share a border with Albania. The obvious solution is for Albania to absorb Kosovo. I’m surprised it hasn’t already happened. Albania’s prime minister has publicly stated that the unification of the two countries is inevitable.
Thanks to rising sea levels, there are a whole load of islands at risk of completely disappearing. I mean, the Maldives – they’ll soon be gone. And most of Micronesia too. The island nation of Kiribati is home to a hundred thousand people. But their islands are disappearing, and they need to find a new home. So their government is planning on moving them all to Fiji. Fiji is also an island nation, so maybe it’s not the best plan.
The European Union is essentially a federalist country in the same that the United States is. It has it’s own flag, it’s own legal system to enforce it’s own laws, it’s represented in the G20, and it’s soon to have it’s own military. With all those things it can only be called a country. But it’s a country in trouble. All across the continent we see the rise of Anti-Union movements. Public opinion of Union membership is falling in most member states. Great Britain might soon leave the union. This would be a hammer blow for the union, possibly inspiring other members to leave. It’s going to be difficult for the union to survive the next 10 years.
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