The Geographic Factor

Borders:     6 out of 10
East and west coasts protected by oceans; northern and half the southern borders are partially defined by rivers or bodies of water (Great Lakes, Rio Grande River). Borders with Canada and Mexico are long and permeable. Good access for trade, but vulnerable to smuggling, illegal entry, and hypothetically, invasion.


Terrain and Topography:     8 out of 10
Wide variety of topography and terrain, from extremely rugged mountains to easily traversed plains. Extensive regions of both, as well as swamps, deserts, and even tundra.


Climate:     8 out of 10
Vast size of nation's landmass dictates a wide variety of climates over wide areas. Extensive stretches have climates not conducive to agriculture, but other wide areas do.


Location:     9 out of 10
Distance from international suppliers and markets was a surmountable hindrance during 19th Century, but has become all but irrelevant today. Relative isolation has had defense advantages over the years.


Major Drainage Systems:     8 out of 10
Numerous and wide-spread (Mississippi, Hudson, Colorado, Columbia, etc.); still, there are several large regions without major waterways/systems.


Ocean Access:     10 out of 10
Full year-round access with many excellent harbors.


The Natural Resources Factor

Smelterable Ores:     8 out of 10
Large deposits of nearly all industrially useful metal ores. Several centuries of exploitation have reduced some significantly.


Extractable Minerals and Mining:     8 out of 10
Extensive deposits of many commercially useful and valuable minerals; mining/extraction activities widespread and profitable.


Energy Resources:     7 out of 10
Major reserves of oil beginning to decrease after decades of exploitation; huge deposits of coal; major hydropower resources, though potential future sites for expansion becoming more scarce. Some areas have great solar power potential; also wind and geothermal power. Fuel for nuclear power abundant.


Water Resources:     8 out of 10
Many areas abound with water; others face problems with pollution; particularly in Southwest distribution/supply problem.


Agricultural Land:     10 out of 10
More agricultural land is available than is needed to sustain the population.


Precious Metals and Minerals:     7 out of 10
Significant deposits of precious metals and precious and semi-precious stones. Some gemstones, such as diamonds, and platinum group metals are not present.


Marine Resources:     7 out of 10
Extensive fishing industry, with prolific areas off both coasts and in Gulf of Mexico. Overfishing is depleting many areas, however.


The Socio-demographic Factor

Language:     8 out of 10
English predominantly spoken, but many immigrants do not speak it. Foreign-speaking communities are growing at present.


Ethnicity:     6 out of 10
Wide variety of heavily represented ethnic groups provides diversity, but also significant intra-communal friction and strife.


Social Fabric/Class Differentiation:     8 out of 10
To a point, significant amount of social upward mobility. Extensive, reasonably comfortable middle class makes up majority of population. Poorer sectors of populace are generally still better off than most in the developing world.


Population Density and Distribution:     8 out of 10
At 27 persons/km2, US is one of the less crowded nations. Population, however tends to be concentrated around urban/suburban centers where it is available for service and production activities.


Education and Literacy:     8 out of 10
While there is low-grade concern about slackening standards in American education, there is still a high literay rate and education of reasonable quality is available to those who want it.


Religion:      9 out of 10
A wide diversity of religions create some friction, but high tolerance level for different beliefs keeps it manageable. Separation of church and state helps maintain exremely low level of religious/social strife and interference.


National Character and Will:     9 out of 10
Qualities of determination, perseverance, and work ethic still prominent, but being eroded somewhat by materialist values and lack of direction.


Health:     8 out of 10
Most advanced medical science in the world; adequate to superb medical care available to majority of citizens; some problems reaching minority disadvantaged; expensive.


Quality of Life:     8 out of 10
One of highest living standards in the world. Still, certain issues detract: increasing income erosion, crime, price increases, pollution, etc.


The Political Factor

Politically Significant Groups/Personalities:     9 out of 10
Well developed, "well behaved" political system with two main parties and many experienced politicians.


Political Cohesion:     8 out of 10
Political divisions are relativly minor; major political parties are not that far apart politically; differences of opinion are normally settled within legal parameters, though there are numerous small special interests groups which make a fine art of civil disobedience.


Political Tradition/Governmental Styles:     9 out of 10
Sets the model for the rest of the world for successful, peaceful representational government.


Bureaucratic Professionalism/Org. Experience:     9 out of 10
Long tradition of professional bureaucracy and civil service. Many laws and rules governing behavior and ethics.


Diplomatic Influence/Foreign Affairs Experience:     9 out of 10
The premier world power, with the most influence diplomatically.


The Economic Factor

Work Force and Labor Pool:     8 out of 10
Generally good matches between available labor and available jobs. For past several decades has varying unemployment seldom dipping below 7 percent.


Industrial Base and Construction:     8 out of 10
Strong industrially and in construction sector. Over past few decades losing some ground to foreign competition, particulaly in steel, shipbuilding, and auto industries.


Agriculture:     10 out of 10
Feeds own population with significant surplus left over for export.


Financial Infrastructure:     8 out of 10
Extensive sophisticated banking and financial network plagued recently by S&L debacle and bank failures.


Communications/Transportation Infrastructure:     8 out of 10
Immense network of roads, rail, canals, waterways, air hubs, ports, telecommunications, television, radio, print media, etc. Infrastructure, particularly in transportation, suffering from age-related fatigue.


Commerce and trade:     8 out of 10
Exports and imports an incredible multitude of products and raw materials. Considered one of the world's most sought-after trade partners and markets. Chronic balance of payment deficits.


Water and Power Infrastructure:     8 out of 10
Extensive well-managed infrastructure for both water and power generation and distribution. Some infrastructure aging, other sometimes over-taxed.


The Security Factor

Military Geography:     8 out of 10
Oceans provide buffer from overseas enemies. Vulnerable borders with neighbors to north and south. Interior topography has areas that are highly defensible and others that are not.


External Threats:     8 out of 10
Since demise of Soviet Union, no threat sufficiently powerful to seriously challenge US. Many small regional threats, however, can threaten interests and sap national power if engaged.


Internal Threats:     8 out of 10
No subversive groups sufficient to sieze power or destabilize nation; some domestic terrorism is possible, of only minor consequence. Governmental safeguards and checks and balances, plus professionalism of military mitigate internal threats.


Public Safety:     7 out of 10
Excellent, professional police, fire, and emergency agencies; often understaffed; increasing public disrespect for law and order; crime epidemic in many large urban areas.


Military:     8 out of 10
Best equipped and most powerful military in the world. Disruption and morale problems due to social change and drastic down-sizing.


Security Partnerships:     9 out of 10
Has most numerous and reliable security partnerships of any nation in world.


8.1 + 7.8 + 8 + 8.8 + 8.2 + 8 = 48.9 ÷ 6 = 8.2


The Geographic Factor

Borders:     6 out of 10
Potentially vulnerable border with several Arab countries; however, entire western boundary borders the Mediterranean, Egyptian border is demilitarized with deep buffer zone, and Dead Sea and defensible rift valley south to Eilat make up major portion of border with Jordan.


Terrain and Topography:     5 out of 10
Many of the same advantages and disadvantages as Palestine, though lacking extensive mountain area. Terrain in Negev can be quite rough, and rocky, with poor soil.


Climate:     7 out of 10
Close similarities to Palestine.


Location:     6 out of 10
Same advantages and disadvantages as Palestine.


Major Drainage Systems:     4 out of 10
Essentially the same as Palestine.


Ocean Access:     9 out of 10
Has a number of harbors and ports of varying capacity--some of them well-sheltered natural anchorages.


The Natural Resources Factor

Smelterable Ores:     1 out of 10
Has commercially exploitable deposits of copper which, due to world market prices, are not rigorously exploited.


Extractable Minerals and Mining:     2 out of 10
Resources (extraction from the Dead Sea, quarrying of construction materials) are essentially the same as for Palestine; extractive industries, however, are more developed.


Energy Resources:     2 out of 10
Very minor deposits of natural gas and oil; one hydroelectric plant just south of Sea of Galilee; otherwise, energy resources same as for Palestine.


Water Resources:     5 out of 10
Same as for Palestine, except for better access for desalinization.


Agricultural Land:      7 out of 10
More area available for agriculture than has Palestine, and land is better exploited.


Precious Metals and Minerals:      0 out of 10


Marine Resources:      7 out of 10
Same marine access as for Palestine; more coastline and inland areas available for already well-developed aquaculture.


The Socio-demographic Factor

Language:      6 out of 10
Though Hebrew is primary language, Arabic is widely spoken both by Palestinian Arab citizens and immigrant Jews from Arab countries; also because of diverse origins, many European languages spoken among the populace.


Ethnicity:      7 out of 10
People of Jewish background predominate; however, there is a large Palestinian minority, as well as Druze (which could also be classed religiously as well) and a number of other minorities represented.


Social Fabric/Class Differentiation:      7 out of 10
Arab/Jewish social frictions further complicated by prejudice against Jews from various national and economic origins, which creates some stress in Israeli society. Otherwise, possesses many of the characteristics of a liberal western democracy.


Religion:      6 out of 10
Large difference in outlook between liberal, reformed, orthodox, and ultra-orthodox Jews. Large Moslem, Druze, and Christian minorities, as well as other less prominent religious groups. While religious differences within the community thus far do not produce the level of violence possible from Moslem fundamentalists, there is still potential for considerable turmoil. Ultra-right-wing Jews could resort to terrorism to stymie efforts to form a Palestinian state.


Education and Literacy:      9 out of 10
Israeli literacy rate is 92 percent.


National Character and Will:      10 out of 10
Israelis are known around the world for their determination to create, defend, and develop the State of Israel.


Population Density and Distribution:      6 out of 10
More land area available for population, but with a larger population than Palestine, as well.


Health:      8 out of 10
Fully modern, technologically advanced medical system with high ratio of doctors and hospital beds to patients.


Quality of Life:      7 out of 10
Modern developed society provides many benefits, but political tensions, rampant inflation, social growing pains, economic problems, and siege mentality tend to adversely affect quality of life.


The Political Factor

Politically Significant Groups/Personalities:      7 out of 10
Wide variety of groups of varying political philosophies, ranging in size from large to very small; many individuals with extensive political influence and experience.


Political Cohesion:      8 out of 10
Though there is widespread and often heated debate on controversial issues, and deep divisions on many political issues, there is still widespread and profound commitment to the well being of the state as a whole.


Political Tradition/Governmental Styles:      8 out of 10
Strong dedication to democratic process and principles, though there is some tendency to overly trust the military.


Bureaucratic Professionalism/Org. Experience:      8 out of 10
Extensive Western-style organizational, bureaucratic, and civil service experience. Relatively high standards of professionalism, though some corruption is not unheard of.


Diplomatic Influence/Foreign Affairs Experience:      8 out of 10
Israel has been a canny and largely successful manipulator of international diplomacy, though it has had set backs; the support it usually enjoys from the US is an asset.


The Economic Factor

Work Force and Labor Pool:      7 out of 10
Has extensive and experienced white collar and skilled personnel pool; until recently had to recruit large numbers of Palestinians to perform unskilled and semi-skilled labor. Though immigrants are filling some of these positions, there are still shortages in these areas.


Industrial Base and Construction:      7 out of 10
Healthy and highly technically-advanced export-oriented manufacturing and construction industries, which, however, is heavily dependent on raw material imports due to absence of natural resources.


Agriculture:      8 out of 10
Modern and highly efficient agricultural production renders Israel nearly self-sufficient in most food categories except grains and cereals, plus provides significant quantities of citrus and other products for export. However, agricultural expansion has nearly reached its limits.


Financial Infrastructure:      7 out of 10
Well-developed and extensive financial network with wide experience in all facets of domestic and international operations, which is suffers under a perpetually high inflation rate fueled primary by a large and burdensome foreign debt.


Communications/Transportation Infrastructure:      8 out of 10
Modern and well-developed; adequately services all sectors of the society and economy.


Commerce and Trade:      8 out of 10
Widely-developed trading relationships; exports agricultural products, military equipment, finished diamonds, high-tech products.


Water and Power Infrastructure:      8 out of 10
Extensive water and power distribution systems; essentially entire population has access to water and power. Power system almost completely dependent on imported fuel.


The Security Factor

Military Geography:      3 out of 10
Long, relatively vulnerable borders in three directions. Interior terrain not well-conducive to holding actions or defensive maneuver.


External Threats:      5 out of 10
Potential enemies on three sides, though present environment makes life-threatening attack by any or all of them unlikely.


Internal Threats:      7 out of 10
Despite frequent political acrimony, opposition groups generally are uninterested in violent overthrow of government. Arab terrorism could be discomfiting, but unlikely to be seriously destabilizing. Potentially greater threat from ultra-right-wing Jews in event decision is reached to create Palestinian state in the occupied territories.


Public Safety:      7 out of 10
Experienced professional police and public safety organizations.


Military:      8 out of 10
Possess one of the best-equipped, experienced, and widely respected regional militaries in the world. Fully capable of handling any regional threat.


Security Partnerships:      7 out of 10
Has a long-standing relationship with the United States which tacitly implies US assistance in event of a threat outside of Israel's ability to handle.


6.2 + 3.4 + 7.3 + 7.8 + 7.6 + 6.2 = 6.4


[*The author of the Lesotho assessment is a specialist in southern Africa area studies. He worked as a regional analyst for a Department of Defense agency, later as a contractor for the State Department, and actually lived in the region for almost three years.]

The Geographic Factor

Borders:      4 of 10
Lesotho is an "island" nation, an enclave surrounded on every side by the Republic of South Africa, and by South Africa_established "homelands" or Bantustans." Unlike Transkei and other homelands, Lesotho is truly an independent nation, with international recognition and accredited diplomatic representation.


Terrain and Topography:      3 of 10
Most of Lesotho is covered by (relatively) treeless, precipitous mountains rising above 11,000 feet in elevation. It covers 11,720 square miles. Much of higher elevations consist of plateaus that end abruptly in spectacular river gorges cutting through heavily eroded escarpments of yellow sandstone and black basalt.


Climate:      3 of 10
The higher parts of Lesotho receive snow in the winter; the growing season can be relatively short (compared to the rest of southern Africa). It has dry extremes of heat and cold both daily and seasonally.


Location:      2 of 10
Lesotho is located roughly directly eastward of Durban, South Africa. Its landlocked and surrounded location, off of any significant trade routes is a significant problem.


Major Drainage Systems:      3 of 10
The Orange River, a major South African river, rises in northeastern Lesotho, also the regional source for tributaries of the Vaal, Tugela, and Umzimvubu Rivers. None is sufficient for carrying substantial waterborne traffic.


Ocean Access:      1 of 10
Lesotho must gain access to the sea through surrounding states and semi_states, such as the Republic of South Africa itself, and the Transkei.


The Natural Resources Factor

Smelterable Ores:      1 of 10
Virtually no smelterable ores are available in economic quantities within Lesotho.


Extractable Minerals and Mining:      4 of 10
There are some diamond mines in Lesotho, although these mines are not large, and contribute very little to the economy.


Energy Resources:      4 of 10
The principal native energy resource is waterpower, although this is largely unharnessed. Most of Lesotho's energy needs are met by coal and oil imported through or from neighboring South Africa.


Water Resources:      6 of 10
The Orange River and its tributaries provide some irrigation and potable water; most of the subsistence farming and other water needs are met through rainfall or diverting high altitude creeks and small streams.


Agricultural Land:      2 of 10
Because of overgrazing and heavy population pressures, Lesotho's arable land has diminished each year. The soil is generally poor and sparse.


Precious Metals and Minerals:      1 of 10
Few to none in extractable or economic quantities.


Marine Resources:      1 of 10
Not applicable.


The Socio-demographic Factor

Language:      9 of 10
Principal languages of Lesotho are Sesotho and English. Some of the population speak Afrikaans also (because of employment in South Africa), or other African languages.


Ethnicity:      9 of 10
Lesotho is populated principally by the Basotho people.


Social Fabric/Class Differentiation:      7 of 10
The principal classes are differentiated from each other by their access to power, learning, or military rank. Wide_spread poverty and the stresses of serving as a "labor pool" for South Africa serve to increase social tension.


Population Density and Distribution:      5 of 10
Maseru and Mafeteng, the two major cities, are both relatively small and undeveloped. Rural population densities are approximately 40 persons per square mile (best estimate), and relatively evenly distributed wherever the land will support subsistence farming.


Education and Literacy:      4 of 10
Despite large infusions of foreign aid (much of it from Scandinavia) and educational assistance, at least half of the populace is entirely illiterate. Compared to the rest of Southern Africa, Lesothans are about on a par with Angola, Namibia, and Malawi, but perhaps worse educated than the peoples of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa (my estimate).


Religion:      7 of 10
The population is roughly 40% Roman Catholic, 30% Protestant, with the rest divided between native religions (animist, etc.) or of indeterminate beliefs.


National Character and Will:      5 of 10
The people of Lesotho were spared subjugation by South Africa only after defeating British attempts at conquest. Ironically, the king of what was then Basutoland accepted status as a British protectorate to avoid further battles with Orange Free State Afrikaaners, who appeared more determined and capable of gaining a military victory over his forces. Lesotho gained full independence in the mid_20th Century, after it was clear that the military threat from South Africa had passed. Despite the apparent military and diplomatic victories of the past, the people of Lesotho have lived in virtual economic bondage to South Africa for nearly 100 years. At least half of the work force lives and works as guest workers in South Africa, sending money home to their families. Although they display a strong sense of pride in their ethnic heritage, Lesothan workers in the South African economy receive treatment nearly undistinguishable from that accorded to South African black workers, and work and residence conditions for these migrant workers are frequently poor. Lesotho's inability to build an economic base that is even marginally independent of South Africa has largely contributed to a feeling of hopelessness and resignation on the part of many Lesothans. South Africa's apparently invincible economic and military might argue towards this condition continuing into the near future.


Health:      4 of 10
Because of substantial foreign assistance, the small proportion of Lesothans that live in sizable towns receive reasonable health care when compared with the rest of southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe excluded). This does not extend to rural areas, where ignorance and unsanitary conditions extract a large toll in life and suffering.


Quality of Life:      4 of 10
Poor but nearly acceptable in Maseru and Mafeteng; very poor and rather desperate in many rural areas.


The Political Factor

Politically Significant Groups/Personalities:      4 of 10
The King of Lesotho was the unquestioned ruling power until fairly recently; this has changed with the introduction of a military elite that has been divided into pro- and anti_South African factions. Both the South African Government and the African National Congress have supported different sides of the struggle over time.


Political Cohesion:      6 of 10
Until the Sowetho riots of 1976, most Lesothans were relatively consistent supporters of the status quo. The increasing tension between pro and anti_Apartheid groups in South Africa and in Maseru, and the worsening economic crises in South Africa (with resulting job losses) have contributed to an on_going fragmentation of that cohesion.


Political Tradition/Governmental Styles:      6 of 10
Two traditional forms of government accompanied Lesotho into the twentieth century and still exist today in some form: consensus, and chiefdom or "monarchy." Tribal elders would traditionally nominate a chief (or king), of each klan and group of klans; these chiefs, in turn, tended to follow the advice and council of the tribal elders. The elders, in turn, would deliberate among themselves and consult with the community. Since the late 1970's, however, the military and (some) revolutionary leaders have challenged this tradition, although the struggle for power has remained largely focused on differences in views regarding relationships with South Africa.


Bureaucratic Professionalism/Org. Experience:      7 of 10
The Lesothan government's long standing as a British Protectorate contributed to the construction of a bureaucracy along the British model, complete with formalized civil service and qualification testing. This model has been somewhat disrupted by the increasing economic and political turmoil in the region, but it remains reasonably efficient and free from most corruption.


Diplomatic Influence/Foreign Affairs Experience:      2 of 10
Lesotho has no discernable diplomatic influence; and its experience with foreign affairs tend to be limited to attempting to convince all other nations that it is not, in fact, a part of South Africa or a South African or British protectorate.


The Economic Factor

Work Force and Labor Pool:      3 of 10
Lesotho's labor pool is limited to mostly marginally educated semi_skilled laborers who migrate to South Africa for employment. With the exception of a small number who work in service industries near Maseru or Mafeteng, the remainder are employed in subsistence farming.


Industrial Base and Construction:      2 of 10
There is virtually no native Lesothan industrial base. Nearly all goods and skilled services are imported from South Africa or beyond.


Agriculture:      2 of 10
With poor soil and a short growing season, nearly all Lesothan horticulture is based on maize (corn) or other hardy plants that adapt well to the harsh conditions. Many Lesothans graze cattle or sheep.


Financial Infrastructure:      3 of 10
Financial infrastructure is limited to the principal towns. The Lesothan currency is strongly influenced by the position of the South African Rand, which has not fared well in the past 15 years.


Communications/Transportation Infrastructure:      2 of 10
Modern communications and transportation infrastructure are largely limited to the lowlands around the two principal cities. Four_wheel drive vehicles and aircraft (or horses) are necessary to reach outlying areas. The introduction of satellite communications are helping to connect some of these areas to Maseru reliably for the first time. Much of the technical know_how and support for these kinds of infrastructure are provided by South African companies.


Commerce:      3 of 10
Lesotho exports small quantities of diamonds, and some handicrafts and processed foods (including meats). It is extremely difficult to get goods to market due to the precipitous terrain and lack of modern refrigeration facilities.


Water and Power Infrastructure:      5 of 10
Locally_produced power is based on hydroelectric plants (insufficient in number and with unreliable power grids to remote areas). Much power is imported from South Africa. There is generally plenty of potable water throughout the country.


The Security Factor

Military Geography:      8 of 10
Lesotho's extremely defensible terrain is legendary from the Basotho Wars of the last century.


External Threats:      9 of 10
With the exception of occasional hints about temporary "obstructions" in the transhipment of Lesotho_bound goods through South Africa (to inspire Maseru to avoid becoming a refuge for South African dissidents), there is no known military threat to Lesotho.


Internal Threats:      8 of 10
As discussed earlier, Lesotho's government has endured considerable upheaval as different elements of the "elite" have competed for power. To all appearances, however, these competitions have not caused extensive turmoil in either the civil service, or among the populace. There are no even marginally successful insurgencies.


Public Safety:      8 of 10
Although crime is on the rise in the principal cities, much of it is stimulated by the loss of work in neighboring South Africa. There is no crisis of public safety currently in either the towns or the countryside.


Military:      4 of 10
The former professional competence of the Lesothan military has eroded due to cronyism and internal power struggles. The military has increasingly become an ill_equipped, para_military police force with little training and few competent officers.


Security Partnerships:      5 of 10
Just as the defacto "partnership" with South Africa has kept enemies of the South African regime out of power in Lesotho, so it has also kept Lesotho "safe" from internal insurgencies and "foreign" aggression (although the latter threat seems rather remote). Notably, however, Lesotho has no alliances with other nations sufficient to keep it "safe" from South Africa (nor could it safely pursue such an arrangement at present).


2.6 + 2.7 + 6.8 + 5 + 2.9 + 7 = 27 ÷ 6 = 4.5


[**Author of the Sweden assessment is a foreign affairs officer for the Baltic countries at the US Department of State. He lived and studied in Sweden for more than three years, and maintains regular contact with the Swedish embassy as part of his duties.]

The Geographic Factor

Borders:      6 out of 10
East and west coasts surrounded by relatively easily traversable seas; the border with Norway and Finland is long, very mountainous, and virtually inaccessible.


Terrain and Topography:      7 out of 10
Mountainous along the Norwegian border, tundra in the Arctic north, heavily coniferous forest in the center and the north; rolling to flat meadows further south.


Climate:      5 out of 10
Cool, often damp summers; cold, snowy winters with extremely long nights, especially further north. Extensive precipitation. Long summer days help compensate during tourist season.


Location:      8 out of 10
Always considered removed from the heart of Europe, Sweden is not a crucial player in Euro-security, politics, or economics, and has parleyed this "independence" to play a disproportionately large role in the region.


Major Drainage Systems:      7 out of 10
The Göta Kanal connects the major North Sea port with the Baltic, though it no longer plays a key economic/strategic role. Two large lakes and several small rivers play more of a scenic than economic role. The country is well watered.


Ocean Access:      8 out of 10
Full year-round access with many excellent cold-water harbors; one third of Swedish ocean traffic passes through Öresund, near Denmark.


The Natural Resources Factor

Smelterable Ores:      7 out of 10
Historically large copper, iron producer; copper reserves have been greatly depleted after 900 years.


Extractable Minerals and Mining:      3 out of 10
Some gold and uranium in Lapland, otherwise relatively negligible reserves.


Energy Resources:      6 out of 10
Moderate levels of coal, considerable hydroelectric power in north, solar/wind power in southeast and on islands. Sweden relies greatly upon North Sea oil and natural gas supplies; plans to be "nuclear free" by the year 2000.


Water Resources:      8 out of 10
Significant water resources, though acid rain effects are a problem.


Agricultural Land:      8 out of 10
Relatively acidic, poor soils in center and north; south central farm belt provides the country's needs, but is subsidized. Exports dairy products.


Precious Metals and Minerals:      3 out of 10
Minor amounts of gold.


Marine Resources:      7 out of 10
Extensive fishing industry in North and Baltic Seas, but over-fishing and pollution is depleting many areas.


The Socio-demographic Factor

Language:      8 out of 10
Predominant language is Swedish, but a large minority, especially in the north, speaks Finnish, while English is spoken universally.


Ethnicity:      8 out of 10
Large Finnish minority, and Sweden is very tolerant, with a fairly open refugee policy, but signs of anti-immigrant strife, especially towards Middle Easterners and South East Europeans, grows.


Social Fabric/Class Differentiation:      8 out of 10
Large middle class; practically no poor from decades of "social engineering," but few incentives for upwardly- mobile. Downscaling of social benefits and guarantees causing increased dislocation. Record post-Depression unemployment (.8%).


Population Density and Distribution:      7 out of 10
One of Europe's largest and least crowded nations, but overwhelming majority live in southern third of the country. A rural society until WWII, Sweden's populace primarily is centered in the three largest cities.


Education and Literacy:      10 out of 10
Near 100% literacy rate, and socialized education provides for free college, adult education, and all other learning courses to the public. Libraries and schools mostly are state-subsidized.


Religion:      8 out of 10
The state church is the Lutheran, and over 90 percent belong to it, but only five percent are religiously active. Religious ties are cultural. State supports religious diversity and teaches about world religions in secondary school. Widespread religious tolerance.


National Character and Will:      7 out of 10
Cautious, reserved, Anglo-oriented people only 40 percent "sold" on idea of EC integration. Independent, often ingenious, but work ethic eroded by national social welfare system, the slow dismembering of which will disillusion many.


Health:      8 out of 10
World-class medical science, social welfare makes excellent health care available to everyone and near-inconsequential price; but long delays occur with noncritical cases, and it is an expensive system. People are very diet- and exercise conscious.


Quality of Life:      8 out of 10
One of the world's highest living standards, clean environment and wide-ranging social, educational, and welfare programs available to all. Detracting factors: expensive system is being scaled back by current government; causing massive unease among the citizenry.


The Political Factor

Politically Significant Groups/Personalities:      8 out of 10
Well-developed, well-behaved European parliamentary system with experienced politicians and five main political parties. Hard to gain overwhelming majority.


Political Cohesion:      9 out of 10
Very non-confrontational society bridges political divisions even between social democrats and "supply-side economics" types, especially after a legacy of nearly fifty years of continuous social democratic control. Conformity considered a virtue, but dissent is well tolerated and protected.


Political Tradition/Governmental Styles:      10 out of 10
Sets a model for the world for successful,l peaceful, representational government.


Bureaucratic Professionalism/Org. Experience:      10 out of 10
Long tradition of professional bureaucracy and civil service. Many laws governing behavior and ethics. Public well adapted to working with large bureaucracy.


Diplomatic Influence/Foreign Affairs Experience:      8 out of 10
Exerts disproportionately large influence for such a small country. World's greatest foreign aid contributor in public and private sectors, per capita. Has avoided war for about 180 years; West-oriented "neutrality" is now irrelevant, and it is attempting to carve a niche in Baltics to stem erosion of European influence. Well-respected in Third World.


The Economic Factor

Work Force and Labor Pool:      7 out of 10
Rising unemployment highest since Depression. Historically, generally very cooperative labor-management relations; few strikes. Good labor-job matches in the past, no need for import labor.


Industrial Base and Construction:      7 out of 10
Known internationally for steel, ball-bearings, automotive, electronics, food processing/packaging industries. State subsidies once kept industry self-sufficient, but economic dislocation and possible EC integration may force industry to redirect markets and workforce elsewhere. An increasingly service-dominant economy.


Agriculture:      8 out of 10
Has fed own population with minor surplus for export. Very high tariffs on imports will have to be erased if Sweden opts for EC integration.


Financial Infrastructure:      6 out of 10
Extensive sophisticated banking and financial network plagued recently by bank failures and economic torpor. Former social welfare system encouraged public and private accumulation of massive debts, and now interest raters are far beyond the majority's reach (+20%).


Communications/Transportation Infrastructure:      7 out of 10
Excellent road, rail, and air network, as well as ports and telecommunications. The privately owned sectors in telecommunications and port facilities are booming, especially in East European trade. Decreased government subsidies will hurt the rest of the transportation network. Radio and television privatization will improve scope and quality of these media.


Commerce:      7 out of 10
Economy highly dependent upon export potential and protective tariffs. Government is attempting to compensate for major balance of payments deficit by exploiting East Europe/former Soviet Union (FSU) markets for its exports, with some success.


Water and Power Infrastructure:      9 out of 10
Extensive and well-managed. Government will phase out nuclear energy within ten years and is concentrating on development of "clean" alternate energy sources. Strong emphasis on environmental protection.


The Security Factor

Military Geography:      7 out of 10
Highly defensible borders. Internal topography is very defensible in north, but not in the critical south.


External Threats:      6 out of 10
Russia is considered the only significant threat. Sweden is not so worried about Russia's declining military capabilities than about the threat of Russia's collapse, followed by a resurgently militant "red-brown" aggression against the Baltic states and Finland. US reluctance to stop Serbian aggression in the Balkans alarms Swedish politicians, who no longer feel they can rely on tacit US-NATO support, or their preemptive threat of retaliation against any Russian thoughts of aggression.


Internal Threats:      8 out of 10
No subversive groups strong enough to seize power or destabilize the country. Acts of terrorism have been nearly non-existent. Sweden is concerned with disruptive potential for influx of thousands of political refugees from Balkans and, more importantly, from the FSU in event of major regional conflicts there.


Public Safety:      9 out of 10
Increasing drug use and crime in the cities, but not epidemic. Excellent professional police, fire, and emergency agencies. Good civil defense system.


Military:      7 out of 10
Mandatory service, with "brush-up" training every few years. Military geared near-completely to total-response concept, anticipating defensive delaying tactics to frustrate a wold-be aggressor. One of world's best-equipped militaries, certainly one of best air forces. Big exporter of military hardware.


Security Partnerships:      4 out of 5
No explicit guarantees. Neutrality served well in a rigidly bi-polar world, but now the country grapples for a comfortable, non-aggressive role (non-NATO) in the Western defense concept. It can depend upon Nordic cooperation and passivity, but mutual security guarantees are still out of the question. The Baltic states have approached the Nordics for a security arrangement en route to hoped-for NATO membership, but Sweden and others will not consider it for fear of antagonizing Russia.


6.8 + 6.0 + 7.1 + 9.0 + 7.3 + 6.8 = 7.2

Chapter 10     Bibliography

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