Tuesday, December 31, 2013


2014 will have similar themes to its predecessor.

The wider Middle East will continue to be convulsed by the uprisings of recent years, the Iran/Great Satan relationship will require close attention, the rise of China and re-emergence of Japan should mean headlines coming out of the South China Sea.

The possibility of war between Iran and Great Satan receded across 2013.

Now 2014 throws up the possibility of detente between them, but it will be a difficult road.

If the interim nuclear deal becomes a comprehensive one, detente is possible, if it falls apart then war will again begin to feature in the headlines.

China is emerging on to the world stage at a steady rate, and under the Premiership of Shinzo Abe Japan is re-emerging almost 60 years after the end of the World War Two.

They will bump up against each other with ripples washing up against the US Navy and countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

China is building a blue water navy, pushing out into the Pacific. To do that it has to sail past Japan and there things get a bit crowded.

At the same time there is a fledging arms race between China and India amid continuing tensions between the two along the Himalayas.

In 2014, Aegypt will hold parliamentary and presidential elections.

Whoever wins - their power will be limited in a fractured country in danger of becoming bankrupt.

Next door in Libya, the state didn't fall apart because it has yet to come together following the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

Tripoli was the scene of many gun battles as different militia took on each other and the fledging official armed forces in what is a capital city in name only. The second city Benghazi saw similar scenes amid fears that Libya might disintegrate.

Like Syria. Now some Syrian opposition groups are fighting 'Al Qaeda in Syria', who are fighting the Syrian Kurds, who are also fighting the Syrian opposition, who are still fighting Assad.

Damascus has held yet it's hard to see how it will ever again dominate the whole country. The state lines drawn in the sand by the colonialists a century ago are disappearing.

Al Qaeda does its best to make things worse. We will hear more from al Qaeda in 2014, but its stated aim of creating an Islamic caliphate from which to dominate the world has advanced little since the AQ declarations of war in 1996 and 1998.

The Xian Nakbah will reach a horrifically low depth that will finally spark some kinda action from the Xian West like militarily and economically enforced tolerance

The Strip's Suicide Regime will act out with yet another Intifada and the World will study their fingernails like they are the most interseting thing ever as Little Satan annihilates HAMAS fighters and their innocent human shielding

Brazil will continue to rise, Russia will continue to dominate its 'near abroad' after a string of policy successes clawing back the influence it lost in the aftermath of the collapse of communism.

Iraq will hold an election which will show how fractured the country still is two years after the Americans went home.

And Afghanistan will hold a presidential election showing how fragile it is ahead of the troop pull-out at the end of the year.

Speaking of fragility, the elections for the European Parliament in late May will show the strength or weakness of loyalty to the main stream post-war consensus across the continent. 

The National Front will win huge numbers of votes in France, and UKIP is likely to do well in the UK. The former may well be a reflection of voting intentions in French domestic elections, the latter will frighten the three big British political parties.

Scottish independence? Unlikely, but possible, however that's the future, and if you want to make God laugh - tell him your plans.

The most threatening and most likely conflicts include some to expect: limited military intervention in Syria's deteriorating civil war; a cyberattack on critical infrastructure in America; military strikes against Iran if nuclear talks fail or Tehran advances its nuclear program; a North Korean crisis sparked by military provocation or internal political instability; a major terrorist attack on Great Satan or an ally; and greater turmoil in Afghanistan and Pakistan as American and NATO troops unAss the A.O.

And I'm too crunk to write anymore. Happy New Year!

Pic - "Threats and threats of threats"