Frank Jacobs and Parag Khanna in The NYT speculate on areas of the world that might either break-up or unite.
I’m generally for separating ethnic groups in conflict, so let’s take a look.
First, Jacobs and Khanna’s envisaged break-ups:
1-Mali. I am mildly for the Tuaregs of the North to separate. Quite what form that might best take remains to be seen.
2-Belgium. A good idea. Walloons and Flemings are drifting apart. What to do with Brussels is the limiting problem here.
3-Congo. I’m agnostic. The problem is less rival ethnicities and more predatory rulers at all levels. Separation will not solve that problem.
4-Somalia. A good idea. The northern part (Somaliland) is already de facto separate. Somaliland should be recognized as sovereign.
5-Syria. I’m tentatively for separating Alawi and Sunni. Full break-up may not be practicable, but autonomous areas may be.
6-Kurds. Already the Iraq Kurds have autonomy, which has been a positive development. Shows the benefits of separation.
7-Pakistan. Many parts of Pakistan already have a fair amount of autonomy. Afghanistan may benefit from separating the Pushtuns from the others.
Jacob and Khanna’s potential unifications:
8-Arab Gulf. What for?
9-Azerbaijan uniting with the Azeris in Iran. No need.
10-China & E Siberia. Why? China has no historic claim to Eastern Siberia.
11-Korea. Let us hope it happens one day, peacefully.
(See also Steve Saideman’s comments.)