Southeast Asia is witnessing major changes to its political, strategic and economic fabric. Some of these, such as the rise of China, have been anticipated for some time, while others, such as the US-China trade dispute, the growing prominence of the Indo-Pacific as a strategic concept, and the Trump administration’s retreat from liberal internationalism, have unfolded rapidly and disruptively during the past few years.
What happens in the Black Sea does not stay in the Black Sea. The region’s status as a crossroad linking Europe, Asia, and the Middle East is its most important advantage—and its greatest risk. It is the region with the highest density of protracted conflicts. Civil wars causing major migration flows are occurring at its doorstep. Disruptive security challenges in the Black Sea ripple immediately into Europe’s core, Russia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. Security and stability in the Black Sea are crucial for the Balkans, Russia, the Levant, and Central Asia.
For ASPI’s 2019 conference, ‘War in 2025’, I was asked to identify the geopolitical realities that will shape the world of that year. Here I outline some of the strategic constants which—barring major catastrophes—will still most likely be in place in six years’ time.
Top ten trends that will occupy European foreign policymakers in 2019
It’s a new year and thus a new opportunity to predict the big events and trends that will shake the world in 2019. We want to get this in early, so you have time to forget what we said by the end of the year.
However, lest you think that we have completely forgotten the recently deceased 2018, we have responded to the demands of
the intellectual harpies our trusted ECFR colleagues and graded ourselves on last year’s predictions. With our usual combination of feigned humility and self-delusion, we eked out a score of 7.5 out of 10.
As U.S. leadership of the international order fades, more countries are seeking to bolster their influence by meddling in foreign conflicts. In this new era of limit testing, Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2019.