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6. Somalia – we made a chance remark to an Algerian diplomat that there was “hope even for Somalia”. The Somali ambassador who
overheard the translation into Arabic did not sense the sarcastic tone. Accordingly, we were obliged to suggest to then Deputy Prime
Minister Hussein Mohamed Aidid (once a U.S. Marine and urban planner for Covina, California, and son of the warlord targeted in Black
Hawk Down) that if rifles and bullets were melted down and cast into school bells and a history of donors kept Somalia might have a
chance. He was quite taken with the super-urban areas and high speed trains as well as bio-fuel cultivation. We have not forgotten about
Somalia, but their prospects are bleak.
7. Sudan – In 2004 our calculations indicated that Darfur could not be saved, northern Sudan would linger but eventually collapse, and
southern Sudan’s only hope was to be emancipated. We were disappointed that we could not obtain an arrangement that offered some hope
for more people. We expected that widespread economic decline in Sudan would have a negative impact on Chad, and that even then Egypt
would be struggling with Sudanese refugees.
8. Germany - In a rare venture into electoral politics, we predicted that neither of the two major German parties would obtain a 50%
majority. We advised that arrangements should be made with minor parties before the election. The Social Democrats, then in power, were
amused that we predicted a fifteen percent drop in popularity for them, especially when they expected a two percent increase.
9. Lebanon - At almost the same time, we predicted an Israeli attack into Lebanon, and that the attack would fail to secure its strategic
objectives. A follow-up study concerning the Cisco-Intel-Microsoft consortium known as the Partnership for Lebanon indicated that while
improving the communication infrastructure in Lebanon would have been helpful, what really mattered was content - that someone has
something to say.
10. The Balkans - we were suitably impressed with how the Slovenian government separated itself from the other fractions of Yugoslavia
and how well the business of governance has been conducted. It is difficult to be very positive about neighboring countries: we predicted the
divorce of Montenegro; we expect relative autonomy, if not outright independence, for Kosovo; and we predict that one more Serbian
province, Voyvoda, will become a country.