The magazine Travel and Leisure just recently released its annual listing of the world’s most dangerous countries. The chief intent of the article was to simply warn or advise travelers of the dangers that might exist in traveling to certain countries or areas within countries that pose a verifiable risk.
However, while the travel and lifestyle magazine largely focuses on the simple fact of how dangerous a particular nation is, as well as the specific dangers that exist, we thought it might be interesting to look at the “why’s” of that danger which, more often than not, speak to the political themes at play.
Language: English, Urdu
Form of Government: Parliamentary Federal Republic, Military
Form of Judiciary: Sharia Law
Life Expectancy: 66
The main danger in Pakistan is one of terrorism and extreme militantism from those who bitterly cling to their guns and religion in the form of fundamentalist Islam. If you are intent upon traveling here, you might consider purchasing a bulletproof vest and some additional life insurance with a very reputable carrier. Pakistan continues to suffer from a tug-of-war between the military and the leaders of the government, while also being embroiled in tensions with its India neighbor.
We would further recommend against making inquiries into touring the now-pillaged Bin Laden compound. The terrorist mastermind was quite the hero among local Pakistanis’.
It might also be wise to watch out for those wallop packing US drones overhead as well…..unless, of course, you are part of a US Embassy contingent.
2) The Sudan
Language: Arabic, English
Form of Government: Authoritarian
Form of Judiciary: English Common Law and Sharia
Life Expectancy: 62
A northern Africa country, the Sudan has been in a prolonged war between Christians and Muslims for quite some time now. It was only in 2011 that the state of Sudan finally split apart due to civil war and a new state, the Southern Sudan, was established.
If you expect on traveling here, might want to include an Abrams tank as the safest form of transportation, at least for the foreseeable future.
Form of Government: Parliamentarian Presidential Republic
Form of Judiciary: Evolving
Life Expectancy: 81
Still smarting from the five day war with Russia in 2008, and as a former Soviet bloc country, Georgia boasts a beyond exhilarating landscape featuring still-unexploded Russian shells of the highest Communist quality.
Indeed, those Russians can really build them.
A nation beset all around by Islamic extremists, the mostly Christian Georgian people have been under what might seem as a prolonged assault by Islamic Separatists since the Soviet Union dissolved in the early nineties. Still evolving as A Democratic Parliamentarian Republic, many authoritarian style forms of repression appear to still exist, however, since the 2003 Rose Revolution, the nation has been making strides.
If you expect on traveling here, try obtaining diplomatic immunity first and be diligent in maintaining constant contact with the Embassy, in the form of staying within the embassy and not moving about in front of windows at all times.
However, for those people with a still-lingering bout of extreme depression from the US main election, traveling to Georgia might be the best way to get away from all, and for an eternity
Language: Arabic, French
Form of Government: Confessionalist Parliamentary Republic
Authoritarian Form of Judiciary: Civil System including Christian, Jewish and Sharia law (as needed)
Life Expectancy: 75
Located between a proverbial rock (of Israel) and the hard place (of Syria), the US State department recommends against all travel here, unless one has in his or her possession a colorful suit of modern-technology iron with weapons integrated profusely throughout. Islamic Hezbollah militants and Al Qaeda are frequently encountered at numerous road-blocked locations throughout the nation.
If you’re an extreme traveler in the same mold as extreme skiers, this might be your most dangerous bet, however prudence would also suggest that ANR (Against Natural Selection) rescues are pretty much non-existent in this particular neck of the international woods.
5) North Korea
Form of Government: Communist Authoritarian
Form of Judiciary: Do As We Say Or Else…
Life Expectancy: 69
In order to go to North Korea, you first must go through Communist China, which largely entails frequent tag-along apparatchiks to ensure that you stay out of trouble. A nation consistently at odds with its neighbor to the South, North Korea is probably not your first choice of vacation relaxation destinations unless you’re with the Reverend Franklin Graham, who purportedly enjoys a league of Angelic protection.
A communist nation teetering on the edge of starvation, bring your own food and enough for at least several thousand others if you want to be the American equivalent of ‘North Korean Idol.’
Form of Government: Authoritarian
Form of Judiciary: Sharia
Life Expectancy: 75
A country led by a secularly murderous dictator whose party is officially known as the Arab Socialist Bath Party is probably not your first choice of destination for travel, especially if you’re a liberty loving Protestant. Embroiled in a civil war since the Muslim Spring movement which occurred shortly after President Obama’s election, a visit to this nation might only be laudable if you’re a big fan of voluntary euthanasia.
However, if you or your loved one harbors affection for Car bombs, assassinations and violent anti-western protests, this might be your Utopia. Seeming to be populated by a group of humans collectively suffering from Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Syria might be destination numero uno for you, if your thing is heart-stopping, pulse-pounding adventure, literally.
Form of Government: Unitary Presidential Republic, i.e. authoritarian dictatorship
Form of Judiciary: Sharia
Life Expectancy: 64
Yemen is considered to be the poorest nation in the Arabian world which should tell you pretty much everything you need to know as a tourist. Here again, the US State department states of this colorful nation “stay clear” unless, of course you frequently daydream about being tortured and then group-slain by traveling droves of al Qaeda terrorists.
The major religious factions that exist in this impoverished nation are mostly split between the Islamic Sunni’s and Shia’s, an explosive combination if ever there were one. In fact, the mixing of these two Islamic belief systems might be no less potent than the intermixing for human consumption of red beans and cabbage, which often results in an explosive retaliation.
Form of Government: Presidential Republic, authoritarian
Form of Judiciary: Civil law
Once a Soviet satellite nation, there are plenty of ancient mosques to visit here, while noting the US State Department’s warning of cautionary travel. Here also, the threat of Islamic terrorism exists in a nation dominated by Islamic fundamentalism.
A foundering Republic dominated by an authoritarian government, Uzbekistan’s leadership is largely hostile to allowing any significant business activities due to a fear of the government becoming marginalized by private economic development. Islam is the dominant religion in the nation and its Mullahs largely frowns upon any religious activity unapproved by the state.
Two notable points of interest feature the extremes of temperature, which range from -9 F degrees in the winter to upwards of 104 F in the summer and the gradual killing by Communistic over-consumption of the Aral Sea under the Soviets, ostensibly for the growth of cotton.
A post-modern authoritarian state dominated by Islam, Uzbekistan might be the nation of choice to visit for environmentalist whackos and Capitalism-hating Socialists who enjoy pointing out how economic activity can decimate the environment and a nation. That is, as long as these same Leftist travelers abstain from digging to deeply into the true causes of the decimation and its prevailing political environment.
Just don’t protest whatever you do….
Form of Government: Unitary Islamic Republic
Form of Judiciary: Sharia Law
Life Expectancy: 73
Despite numerous instances of the hostage-taking of Americans, by the State of Iran, the US State Department’s take on travel to Iran could be characterized as “tepid” at best, in this case. The hostage crisis of the early 80′s along with subsequent instances of US citizen detention means that your visit to Iran could end much later than originally anticipated and could also include a state mandated ransom fee which could easily drain all resources back home.
Add to that your possible execution, if you’re a practicing Christian and are found with a Holy Bible.
If you do intend to travel to this destination, your tour ensemble should probably also include a detail of Seal Team 6 members along with a range of easily concealed weaponry of the James Bond variety. Culturally, you might consider watching for the much anticipated appearance of the legendary 12th Imam while there, however don’t tarry too long if he does appear.
You’ll definitely want to get home and watch the end of the world on your flatscreen HD-TV rather than some antique Iranian throw-off.
Form of Government: Authoritarian Semi-Presidential Republic
Form of Judiciary: French Civil Law and Sharia
Life Expectancy: 74
Another Northern Africa country, Algeria could be considered the creme de’ la creme of car-bomb destinations, not to mention the kidnappings and assassinations frequently aimed at foreign tourists. In other words, if you like old creaky old roller coasters in extreme disrepair or high-stakes games of solitary Russian roulette, as a US citizen, your chances of meeting an untimely demise could be in jackpot territory.
The US State Department indicates that even embassy personnel are highly restricted on where they can go and urges US travelers to follow “prudent security practices avoiding predictable travel patterns.” Indeed, if you’re a creature who loves a routine here, it could wind up killing you.
So that winds up our Top Ten most dangerous travel destinations. In looking back at the numbers a few rather curious similarities come into play. First, Sharia law is present in almost every one of these countries to one degree or another. Second, authoritarian Socialism appears to be present in almost every one of these countries as well, and third, poverty appears to also be operative as a by-product of these politically germinated dangers.
A few of the other facets of similarity should be quite obvious, however, as a Westerner, the dangers of traveling into largely anti-western, Islamic nations should be quite obvious.