The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has intensified after United States President Donald Trump proceeded to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The continuing increase of violence in the region may indicate an impending Palestinian Intifada in the coming year, although it is still too early to state with confidence that it will occur.
A United Nations investigation has revealed that portions of aid money from international partners, including the United States, given by the UN to people displaced by conflict and famine in Somalia, are ending up in the hands of al-Shabaab. This reinforces our belief, with high confidence, that al-Shabaab is in a general state of resurgence in southern Somalia due to the declining influence of international aid in the Horn of Africa.
he United States Department of State recently released a medical study concerning US government personnel stationed at the American Embassy in Havana, who experienced a wide array of neurological ailments in 2016 and 2017. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reinforces our belief that relations between the US and Cuba will not improve in 2018. This is largely due to the decreasing level of trust between Washington and Havana regarding the health and safety of US diplomatic personnel stationed in the Cuban capital.
The European Union’s executive branch, the European Commission, is threatening legal action against Poland if it continues to refuse to accommodate asylum seekers under the European Union’s migration plan (European Commission 2017). Poland is unlikely to change its position on accepting more migrants. Warsaw’s stance may prompt legal action from the European Union, which will only worsen an already declining relationship between the two.
The militant group formerly known as the al-Nusrah Front has rebranded itself and merged with four other factions to create a group now formally known as Tahrir al-Sham (BBC Monitoring). This rebranding could possibly allow the group to introduce new tactics and capabilities, which were unavailable to it prior to the merger. I assess with high confidence that Tahrir al-Sham will not be defeated in 2017, due to the merger that has occurred.
Following the 27th murder of a Colombian community leader this year, Colombian officials and former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) met to discuss the implementation of the peace treaty and its obstacles. This may lead to improvements in the peace process, but it is still too early to determine with high confidence if the talks will lead to actual changes.
As Islamic State operatives have been pushed from the coastal town of Sirte into the Libyan Desert, there have been several reports of attacks on water and oil pipelines. The group, therefore, continues to pose a significant threat as it increasingly uses unconventional means to undermine Libyan security, despite losing its remaining territory in Libya.
Regardless of past indications, the Trump administration’s stance toward the Paris Climate Agreement appears to have shifted following an open letter from several of the country’s largest companies and wealthiest investors. This shift potentially indicates an inclination by the Trump administration to acquiesce to pressure from corporate interests. In light of this, it can be stated with moderate confidence that President Donald Trump will not remove America from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2018.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, the African Union, and the European Union’s French Mission have all participated in efforts to prevent armed conflict between Muslim and Christian rebel groups in the Central African Republic. However, it can be stated with high confidence that a civil war will flare up in the country in 2017.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently passed new sanctions against North Korea as a result of Pyongyang’s fifth nuclear test on September 9, 2016. The sanctions resulted in a verbose response by the North Korean government directed at the UNSC and the United States (US). It can be established with high confidence that such rhetoric is usual and sanctions will not have any serious effect for months, thus solidifying the view that the North Korean regime will remain stable throughout 2016.