Geopolitical hotspots of 2010

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2009 has been characterized by turbulence in three Islamic states – Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence, these theaters will also be the focus of intense conflicts in 2010.

Source: Stratfor Global Intelligence (via YouTube), December 28, 2009.

As far as social unrest is concerned, said: “If the world appears to have escaped relatively unscathed by social unrest in 2009, despite suffering the worst recession since the 1930s, it might just prove the lull before the storm. Despite a tentative global recovery, for many people around the world economic and social conditions will continue to deteriorate in 2010. An estimated 60 million people worldwide will lose their jobs. Poverty rates will continue to rise, with 200 million people at risk of joining the ranks of those living on less than $2 a day. But poverty alone does not spark unrest – exaggerated income inequalities, poor governance, lack of social provision and ethnic tensions are all elements of the brew that foments unrest.”

The graphic below shows the risk of social unrest in 2010, as compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit.


Source:, December 28, 2009.

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1 comment to Geopolitical hotspots of 2010

  • Thanks, Prieur. Obviously you and Mr. Mauldin are singing out of more than one page. If we’ve learned anything, among many, in 2009 it should be that politics and geo-politics can upset all our apple carts.
    The ME is a tinderbox but the good news is that we’re moving on after decades of not-so-benign neglect. It’s my opinion that this is the most dangerous area of the world and the most urgent and important foreign policy challenge. For a “structural analysis” of the instabilities you and your readers might find this useful:
    Vicious Cycle Risks: Instabilities, Upsets and the ME Outlook
    It draws on a larger body of work on governance, foreign policy and the ME that’s online at Scribd if anybody’s interested.

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