Obama will order air strikes against Iran, and Iraq will fall into a horrible civil war. Sadly, these are among the events I believe we’ll see in 2012.
I write about the past in books such as Devil’s Den, or the juxtaposition between the past and present in the forthcoming Time Fall. Because “the Past is Prologue,” history can help predict the future. My background as a writer, historian, businesn and lawyer has developed my “powers of prognostication” (if not soothsaying!). I’m therefore going to make a few predictions for 2012. I won’t expand on the reasons for these predictions in this context, but would be pleased to correspond with any readers wishing to discuss them:
1) Obama will order air strikes against Iran. The tactical plan is in place, but the Administration hopes to delay implementation as long as possible so that the military action can happen closer to next year’s elections and boost Obama’s reelection chances
2) Obama will be reelected
3) The Republicans will control both houses of Congress, deadlocking the Executive Branch as the US economy continues its downward spiral
4) Iraq will be engulfed in a major civil war
5) Both the Euro zone and the EU will survive intact after a very tough year, and the Euro will stabilize
As a final note, the country of the future to watch is not China, India or Brazil, but the old Bear itself – Russia. The reinvigorated former world power will have 5% economic growth in 2012 and a budget surplus over 3% of GDP – an incredible contrast to the USA and most Western economies. Consumer spending per capita in Moscow is one-and-a-half times higher than Germany or the UK. Twenty years after the fall of Communism, the material level of life (in Moscow and St. Petersburg at least) is comparable to London or New York. There is no unemployment (Moscow has labor shortages), no slums, 90% of people have a university degree, and Moscow has the largest population of Nobel Prize winners and PhDs of any city in the world.
Americans and Western Europeans are more focused on the vagaries of Russia’s fledgling democracy than on its dynamic economy and consummate skills in global power politics. The slumbering old Russian bear is awakening.