The Global Conflicts to Watch in 2016
Concerns about the Middle East, and especially Syria, have displaced other threats.
Among the plausible scenarios, he reasoned in the New Republic, were a revived Kurdish insurgency in Turkey and thousands of jihadists “descending on Syria to fight the apostate Alawite regime, transforming this large Eastern Mediterranean country into the global nexus of violent Islamist terrorists.”
“None of this is fantasy,” Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, assured his readers.
Today, they need no convincing. In the three years since Satloff issued his warning, the Syrian Civil War has steadily metastasized as a perceived threat to U.S. national security, nurturingISIS, bludgeoning Iraq, and radiating refugees in the Middle East and Europe. Consider, for example, the results of a new survey of American foreign-policy experts and practitioners by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Preventive Action. Nearly 500 respondents estimated the likelihood and impact on U.S. interests of 30 potential conflicts in 2016. These conflicts were then sorted into three tiers of risk to America.
A deepening of the Syrian conflict “resulting from increased external support for warring parties, including military intervention by outside powers” was rated both highly likely and high-impact—the only “contingency” in the study to be ranked so gravely.
The countries in red below represent all conflicts that were assessed as either highly likely to occur/intensify or high-impact, meaning the contingency could threaten the U.S. mainland, spark U.S. military involvement because of mutual-defense treaty commitments, or endanger the supply of strategic U.S. resources. (The annual CFR report focuses on political- or security-related scenarios rather than economic crises, extreme-weather events, and other types of disasters; you can find the results of previous surveys here and here.)
The findings are perhaps less a forecast of things to come than a reflection of the primary concerns among experts heading into 2016. The map doesn’t necessarily depict where fighting, instability, or humanitarian suffering will be most acute; instead, it offers a sense what U.S.policymakers and crisis-managers might see when they look out onto the world, weigh America’s strategic interests, and decide how to allocate their finite time and resources in the coming year.
President Obama may believe America’s future lies in Asia, but the Middle East endures as the capital of American preoccupation. As Paul Stares, the report’s lead author, writes, “Of the eleven contingencies classified as Tier 1 priorities, all but three are related to events unfolding” in the Mideast. Several stem from the Syrian Civil War.
2016 presidential candidates speak on U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations
FR’s interactive guide to the U.S. candidates’ positions on a range of issues
My prediction for 2016: This proves untrue. http://on.wsj.com/1OgU5AD
New America polled former Navy SEALs, Pentagon officials, technologists, historians — and here’s what they expect.
Outlook 2016: Global Crises Spill Into New Year http://ift.tt/1Rj4Zbk
Elections around the world — how , , , , and made history this #YearOnTwitter:https://twitter.com/i/moments/672220150045741056 …
The Year in Pictures 2015 in The New York Times
Five Questions: The World in 2035 → http://buff.ly/1Mkct60
@ADESyD2011 Retwitteó Economics & Peace
#YearInReview 2015 Time to share the burden of problem solving
Saving the world economy. Paul Krugman with Olivier Blanchard: Dec 22, 2015 @nytvideo Dur: 1:13:36: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/22/saving-the-world-economy/?ribbon-ad-idx=12&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article …
Key events in Latin America in 2015
Los eventos del 2015 después de los cuales el mundo no será como antes →http://es.rt.com/46nh