There is an interesting opinion on the challeges which the world will face in 2016
Written by Ahmed Rajeev, appeared at Khateon
We are entering into a brand new year. We all hope for the betterment of our future. A brand new year suggests more promises to keep. Since a new year is not isolated from Karma, it must go through its history-making actions and reactions which account for the future movements of the geo-political players. For the last few years, the international policy of the global elites revolved around terrorism, particularly Islamic terrorism. Divisions between different races, religions and ideologies were exploited to serve the blueprint of the ‘Chaos and Rule’ policy directed at the emerging superpowers. Some people call it Cold War version 2. So, this version of the Cold War has a lot to offer in the coming brand new year.
The US and its Election
The retreating US hegemony will show its real face after the US presidential election. The next president will take important decisions on whether they should go for a soft-exit or a hard-exit. Present public opinion shows that the Republicans may win the US presidency. If that happens, the US will be more conservative about their domestic policy and will be looking for a soft exit from the center stage of the world. Though there will be a couple more race riots and mass shootings in the US in the coming year. And I cannot rule out any possible “Islamic terrorist” attack on the US mainland. Before the presidential election the threat will grow to an intolerable level. But the USA, with its four power lobbies (Wall Street elites, military industrial complex, Saudi lobby and Israeli lobby), will continue to disrupt any alternative bloc projects so that a retreating US can gain some negotiated share out of any crisis. The US doesn’t want a war where it needs to put boots on the ground.
Most of Latin America will suffer from the lower oil price and decreasing Chinese demand for minerals. On the other hand, three Latin American countries joined the US led TPP project. Since Peru, Mexico and Chile joined the US bloc, we will see a significant increase of investment in those countries. Those countries will remain more stable than the others. The domestic political stability of Brazil will be much affected by the economic crunch. The crisis of Venezuela is not over yet. The low priced oil market is hurting Venezuela’s economy badly since it depends on oil exports. So, the economic deterioration of Venezuela will hamper the stability of its socio-political system. In the year 2016, we will be able to observe some notable political riots in Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Racial and religious hatred towards non-Europeans will increase to a boiling point. The economic crisis will affect Europe more deeply. The fabric of the European Union will be loosening. There will come more issues to solve but the lack of deeper coordination between European powers will create more mess and a move towards future disintegration. Right-wing political groups and their ultra-right-wing supporters will increase their presence throughout Europe. There will be intensification of Turkish instability, Islamophobia, Russophobia and terrorist threats. So, in 2016 we will see some important signs of future great divisions in Europe. But no, there will be no real war. Only Turkish territory will be facing a risk of entering the first wave of civil war. On the other hand, the EU will try to ignore the Ukrainian conflict but US strategic activities in Ukraine will continue. The Ukrainian army will make a few aggressive moves to keep the conflict alive and the Kiev leaders will be making dishonest money for themselves by depriving ordinary Ukrainians.
Since US hegemony is encircling the great Eurasian territory with political, economic and military settlements for their highly ambitious grand containment of the world’s vast resources, it will also try to plot to revive the old conflicts in the Balkans. US energy rival Russia has much influence, security agreements and business projects with those Balkan countries. So, a deterioration of Balkan social stability will bring some headaches for the Russian leadership.
The situation in the Middle East will deteriorate further. The war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen will reach another level. The Saudi coalition with the US mandate will escalate the aggression more into Yemen. Syria will be liberated from the ISIS and foreign terrorist groups. The situation in Syria will be calmer by the end of the coming year. But the Proxy war will be intensified in Iraq and Libya since the Saudi-Qatar-Turkey bloc, blessed by the West, will continue their support for the insurgents. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict will gain momentum through the overall deteriorating situation in the Middle East. Since Iran is domestically stable, it will take more opportunities from the Middle-East crisis. In 2016, Iran will sign some big business and security deals with China, Russia and India since Iran has huge energy resources and is a historical partner of the ancient Silk Route.
The war between Turkey and the Kurds will be geared up enough to push Turkey into a state of civil war. Saudi Arabia-Qatar and some Sunni Gulf state will help Erdogan to remain in power. Russia, China, Syria and Iran will try to help the Kurds from the back door. Either way, Turkish instability will be unavoidable next year.
Africa is no selling direct slavery but serving an indirect one. The European occupation, US military presence in the Horn of Africa, intact mineral resources, tribal conflicts and influence of the Middle East created much damage in African social stability. Since it has a huge Muslim population and politically sensitive to the Middle East crisis, Muslim populated area of Africa will be more volatile in coming year. Countries like Mali, Nigeria, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya will see more rising of terrorism. Here the retreating west will use its proxy forces to counter advanced Chinese policy and hamper the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) activities. So, another bloody year for Africa is coming!
The Middle East conflict is likely to spread towards central Asia since all the countries are Muslim populated. Turkey-Russia tension can significantly impact the central Asian countries. Turkey will try to pump up Islamic radicalism in those countries to pressurize Russia on its borders. So, we may be able to see some major political conflict in central Asia if those countries are not properly taken care of. China and Russia are very serious about their central Asian neighbors since Central Asia serves both powerful countries geopolitically and economically. Already Russia has a security agreement with Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan with the CSTO and central Asia has very limited US influence. So, the chances of destabilization in Central Asia will be very low.
To contain China and the Chinese OBOR project, the West will depend on India. India has already appeared as the regional power of South Asia. It is showing good economic growth; India is one of the biggest consumer countries in the world. Indian business elites like the Western way of life. India is buying an increased amount of weapons from Russia, USA, France and Israel to protect itself from domestic and regional threats. Since the West is planning to set India up as an obstacle against BRICS and OBOR, India is currently working on solving the regional crisis with its neighbors like Bangladesh and Pakistan. So, in the coming year, we will see many friendly exchanges between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. India knows that, if it wants to stand firm against the Chinese bloc, it needs Pakistan and Bangladesh on its side. Sadly, India recently lost Nepal from its sphere of influence.
South East and East Asia
The political situation of South East and East Asia will evolve around the water disputes between the South China Sea neighboring countries, China and Japan. The US will continue their military show off in the South China Sea. On the other hand Japan and the US will try to taunt China in the East China Sea. The increase of tension in the sea may have an impact on the domestic politics of some South East Asian countries. In this year Japan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, four South East Asian countries enlisted in the US backed TPP agreement which is also set to counter China-Russia Eurasian economic policy. But China will put more effort into countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. So, we will see more Western promotion of Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam in 2016. On the other hand, Thailand, Philippines and Myanmar will remain under threat of political instability. So, the coming year will be a bit of a difficult one for those countries.
The retreating western hegemony will be planting more political mines and traps for the China-Russia bloc in coming years. From countries in Latin America to the South China Sea, the West will do every possible proxy job to keep the alternative bloc busy. But the empire is suffering fatigue. It is repeating its mistakes. So, the empire can be outsmarted by vigilant pragmatism.