Long-Term Political Forecasts For Afghanistan And North Korea Updated

We have just updated our long-term political forecasts for Afghanistan and North Korea, two of the highest-risk countries in the world. The articles are available to subscribers and can be found in the Strategic Content section of the relevant country's home page on Business Monitor Online.


BMI View: Afghanistan faces colossal development challenges that will take at least another generation merely to begin to overcome. Meanwhile, there is a risk that the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will increase instability and pave the way for renewed civil war.

We outline three scenarios for the coming decade, namely 1) muddle through; 2) return to civil war; and 3) state break-up, with the second one being the most likely, in our view.

North Korea

BMI View: Although North Korea's regime has proved much more durable than many expected, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see how the country can avoid dramatic change over the course of the next 10 years. The best-case scenario would be a managed transition to a more flexible economic and political system, along the lines of China or Vietnam. The worst-case scenario would be absolute state collapse, or even civil war.

We outline five scenarios for the next 10 years, namely 1) muddle through; 2) rapid reform; 3) sudden collapse; 4) civil war; and 5) war with South Korea/USA.

About Our Long-Term Political Forecasts

BMI produces long-term political forecasts for more than 100 countries worldwide. In these forecasts, we identify the main challenges and threats to stability and governance, the key political trends, and broad scenarios for how the polity could evolve over the next 10 years.