Predicting which geopolitical events and trends will shape the coming year is a pastime as speculative as it is irresistible.
There is plenty to anticipate: China and Japan may become more aggressive and provocative over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, contributing to instability in East Asia. Radical fundamentalists will wage war from new bases in Mali, Libya and Syria. Turkey may become more polarized and fail to recover the promising role it played in regional politics until a couple of years ago. Nationalist and far-right political parties will gain strength in Europe. President Barack Obama’s decision to approve or reject the massive Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico will profoundly affect global energy markets. If King Saud dies — he will turn 90 this year — Saudi Arabia will be racked by an intense struggle over succession and the direction of the kingdom.
No step the United States could take anywhere in the world would bring strategic benefits as great as detente with Iran The diplomatic bargain struck by the United States and Iran this week is the Obama administration’s greatest diplomatic triumph. Efforts by the US Congress to derail it would, if successful, constitute a self-inflicted strategic […]
Was Allen Dulles’ early dementia to blame for the Bay of Pigs?
A few weeks ago in Guatemala, I participated in a long-overdue commemoration. September 14 was the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of President Jacobo Árbenz, a former army officer who was elected in 1950, then ousted in 1954 in a coup organized by the CIA, and replaced by a military junta. His name has been taboo in Guatemala for most of the time since then. Many in the ruling elite still consider the causes he championed—land reform above all—repugnant and mortally dangerous. September’s commemoration included speeches, conferences, and a vote by the city council in Quetzaltenango, where Árbenz was born in 1913, to name the local airport in his honor.