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What will not happen in 2019

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As always, my new year starts with the joy of reading a few hundred New Year’s cards from old friends and new acquaintances. As always, typical greetings include, “Wishing you a very happy and calm new year!” or “Looking forward to continuing a good working relationship/friendship with you in 2019.” For the past few decades, unfortunately, in most cases the new year has never been as happy or calm as wished for in the New Year’s cards.

What about 2019 then? A few weeks ago a Tokyo-based weekly economic magazine asked me to make predictions about the Middle East in 2019 from a geopolitical perspective. I first declined, saying “I am not an astrologer,” but eventually I wrote a piece with the title “What will not happen in the Middle East in 2019.” The article, to my surprise, generated a lot of positive buzz. So today I decided to write about “what will not happen in the world in 2019” from a geopolitical perspective. Nobody can predict what will happen in the new year, anyway!

Before listing what will not happen this year, let’s start with global geopolitics.

Russia and China, the two major land powers located at both ends of Eurasia, will compete against the United States, a major sea power, and its allies. The land powers are determined to change the status quo by force, if necessary. Small powers on the rim of the continent are becoming incorporated into the two land powers.

While the European theater — the western end of the Eurasian continent — is basically........

© The Japan Times