Totally got that you're upset at intelligence for not predicting the revolutions.
But Barry, it aint simple, not by a long shot.
Predicting economic problems is a cakewalk in comparison, see my proposal to do that here: www.mkeever.com/eda.doc
Wow, predicting revolution - not so easy.
Memory serves up an axiom of revolution: people take revolutionary action when, and only when, they perceive that things are getting BETTER. Then they have hope, but are frustrated that change happens too slowly.
Here's how I would forecast revolution timing:
Develop a list of countries 'at risk' for revolution because of extreme income inequality, repressive regime, history of torture, high percentage of youth in population, high unemployment among youth and highly educated youth.
Rank countries on list by closeness to revolution.
Then, monitor social media and opposition press for indications of frustration at the pace of change: "Things are getting better, but we want more, now."
Pretty sure the combination of 'at risk' countries, as above, with perceived frustration at the pace of change will predict imminent revolution.
Change criteria over time as facts develop.
Include in daily briefing 'five countries most likely to experience social unrest in next 90 days.'
That's about all the intelligence can do Barry; it's way harder than rocket science.
It'd sure be fun, though. Sign me up.
U S Navy has an important base in Bahrain. That country appears vulnerable to uprisings at this point. Leaders are offering concessions to demonstrators, a possible sign that protestors will think thngs are getting better. Read it here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/02/13/international/i034830S98.DTL
We get a lot of oil from Nigeria, and it is currently devolving into a Somalia like morass. Probably not looking at imminent revolution there - seems people have little hope of improvement.
Read this: http://www.osundefender.org/?p=11842
And this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/world/africa/09nigeria.html?partner=rss&emc=rss