My 2014 Predictions: Islamosphere Edition

Inspired as it were from the various pundits offerings of predictions I have elected to offer my own. My offerings are coming via the sphere model.

Islamosphere

Saudi Arabia will continue its withdrawal from the mutual cooperation pact that has been the hallmark of the US/Saudi Arabia relationship. Such entities as France will enter to fill what can safely be seen as a growing void. Other than the royals need to hold onto power the clearest base reason for the issue at hand is the next country on the list.
Iran will continue to play the game of diplomacy that has been set in motion prior to the recent positive news on the Iran/World front. The Obama Administration desires to forge ahead into the realm of possibilities that are presenting themselves with regards better relations with Iran. This is incredibly long sighted for them and very much to their credit too. The House Republicans and their allies on the other hand are showing inane shortsightedness on this issue. Iran does indeed represent a potentially dangerous friend. They will not be open to our unilateral pressures,they will not yield their regional sovereignty and policy positions they will not give Israel hugs and kisses. Everything we do regards Iran WILL PISS OF THE SAUDIS!!! The flip side is this though: When Afghanistan returns to the shit hole it was before we got there, aka the reason we went there, this time we will more likely enjoy Tehran’s overt assistance*in managing things so we don’t end up there again. We may also benefit from Iran’s own policies regards the Caspian and assorted ‘Stan’s which gives us a card in the deck regards our relationship with the Russians. Trust me when I say our Iran policy has far and away the most implications for our future.

The * above goes to Pakistan. I don’t see how we maintain much functional and credible cooperation into the future with them. Sadly they have not been the best friends and in fairness neither have we. This has planted serious seeds of discontent,more so for Islamabad. The domestic issues facing Pakistan especially in light of an Afghanistan back in Taliban hands are just too much to think about. If we need to care about Afghanistan in a world stage setting I’m thinking we cannot revisit the last 30 years. A Pakistan with domestic and regional issues is also a danger to lines we need to pursue with India.

Africa let there be zero doubt that the GWOT has turned the corner and now has made us less safe. I have seen other predictions that pointedly blast Obama & Co. and their campaign pledges to be active in Africa. I agree he will look away as the continent experiences fresh wide-spread violence and conflict.

The Islamosphere on the Dark Continent falls into three categories based not solely on the geography. N. Africa/Sahara,Sahel and Horn. N.Afica/Sahara covers the nations that got us all hopeful (not me but) regards the Arab Spring. Algeria is in a weird place,Libya is unsettled at best and Egypt is back to square one. The Sahel includes such nations as Mali which isn’t looking good in the New Year. Sudan and C.A.R. will play in this as well although the root of all their troubles are not wholly islamic in nature. The Horn of course gives us Somalia and Yemen. Both of these failed states are generally found on the top of peoples “oh shit” lists.

It must also be noted that nations such as Kenya could very well face new ventures by islamists much like they did in 2013 at Westgate.

Syria will find a resolution to the civil war ripping that country apart in 2014. This is my bold outlier in this sphere. I believe the pro-Assad forces will achieve a tenuous victory and the general players from the region and globe will swallow hard and work for the next stage in Syrian history. That will be the “graceful” departure of Assad and a fledgling democracy put in place via “free and fair” elections.

I truly believe Syria has two sides to be seen from a global perspective. The first is the internal struggle which started as a revolution and devolved into a civil war with external antagonists at work. The second is the reality that many of the external players, USA,Russia,Iran,Europe and Israel have flesh in the game if they can use a resolution for their own greater good,deflection etc. It is because of this I think calling for 2014 Assad victory is a good albeit ballsy call.

Clearly one could go for pages exploring that which I’ve termed the islamosphere 2014 here. I believe these selections will, on an international political plane, prove to be the heavy hitters.

 

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