World 2014

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Now a quick look at what are the main challenge at geopolitical level for 2014

US – economically recovering. It will keep its policy of disengagement from direct confrontation specially in Middle East and pivoting towards Asia. The biggest game changer of the year is the realignment with Iran ( a multi year process, it will not done in 2014 alone). The money spared will go towards the new US Army model of “robotic army”. The withdrawal of the regular army will see an increase special forces/covert warfare activities (a bit in Cold War style). Once free of the Middle East enpasse, it will refocus also on Russia.

Middle East will be another year of messy business:

– the Iran/USA realignment provokes shock waves both in Saudi Arabia and Israel

-from Syria, Jihads are spreading out to Iraq and Lebanon.

-Jihad ism will torment Egypt, Libya and, in minor stance, Algeria and Tunis

In Europe the economic situation will improve, but unemployment will remain high provoking social tension in the Southern States and France.

Between the election of the European Parliament in May and the European Commission at year end, the EU will be pretty much paralyzed.

Germany will try to implement energy reforms and contain Russia in Eastern Europe

The European banks will have to pass another stress test, but the powers will try to soften the information getting out on the media. Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Slovenia are the most likely countries that could have to request bailouts.

Russia will try to consolidate its power in the ex USSR states, infiltrate itself in the Middle East and pivoting towards Asia. It will make deal with China, but also alliance with Japan, India and others as, strategically, China is considered an enemy.

UK will be economically improving and trying to distance itself from the EU and realign with the US>

China will deal with its reforms and, at least for 2014, will look successfully. In order to “distract” its own citizen it will look belligerent specially versus Japan – but maybe making some opening towards Vietnam and Philippines not to be isolated. All this warmongering acts will be calibrated towards not actually provoking a war.

North Korea, with the purge of the power broker uncle, it is even a bigger mystery than usual. Pay attention.

Japan will keep its normalization (militarization) seeking alliances against China, specially with India and Russia.

ASEAN countries will be under stress (economic, religious sectarian). The whole Asian region seems to me like a boiling pot. It is unlikely that something big will happen this year – but watch this space. Unfortunately it reminds me of Europe in the years before War World 1 – the situation started to build up around 1870/1880, became critical since 1908 and then the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian empire) was the last straw. We are still in the 1870/1890 area, but one can see the trajectory ((plus nowadays things move much faster…say 5/8 years versus the 40 years of that period).

India will be in an election year, but will anyway try to strike alliances with US, Japan, Russia and Australia and possibly (depending on US/Iran) with Iran against Pakistan and also  to embed itself in Afghanistan. 

South America in general will be a year of painful economic reforms  and realignment.

 

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