The International Stage:
# 1 Iran will reach the nuclear red line in 2010. Iran will successfully weaponize their nuclear program in the absence of a major attack on their facilities. Israel will, short of an overt attack, continue to utilize undercover resources in an effort to stall the Iranian program, it will not be enough.
No question; Israeli intelligence operations damaged the Iranians. In my opinion the Iranians likely crossed a number of nuclear red lines, opinions vary. We still don’t know what we don’t know.
#2 The U.S. will, in the final analysis, support an Israeli strike as the U.S comes to realize the region will blame the U.S. with or without direct U.S. participation. Remember, the Big Satan and the Little Satan? Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia while publically decrying the strike will do so weakly and express relieved support in private.
An overt strike has not occurred however Middle Eastern political support for a strike is now beyond question and has been for a while, Despite U.S. Policy and periodic beatings of Israel. A sense emerges that the administration is beginning to see increasing validity in Israeli capabilities, their value in the region, the Israeli point of view and the dangers.
#3 In the event of an attack on Iran the Syrian/Iranian alliance will crumble as Syria will not honor commitments to engage in military action in support of Iran. Hiz’bAllah will honor their agreements with Iran and suffer a major defeat by the Israelis.
We’ll see. Part of the larger; what if?
#4 Pakistan will once again be subjected to a Military coup as Jihadist elements continue to play havoc with Pakistan’s domestic political situation and internal security. The Military will step in to restore order and severely limit ongoing operations by the ISI.
Totally wrong on this one, but we’ll carry it forward to 2011.
#5 Sectarian violence will escalate throughout the Middle East most especially in Iraq.
In hindsight this was just too easy. Shia v. Sunni, both v. Christians, Copts, Zoroastrians and well………..everyone else! Islamists hate Buddists; how do you hate Buddists? Sneer at the naiveté, but hate? The history just seems to demand a mindless cycle of violence achieving nothing and costing overmuch.
#6 Europe will see a dramatic increase in terrorism in 2010 as they are forced to reevaluate the nature of their immigrant Muslim populations.
The threats continue unabated with multiple incidents in Rome this week. The Muslim population in Europe continues to grow with very little cultural and legal assimilation. Europe is taking the first fledgling steps to venture beyond political correctness to deal with certain realities that will come to be seen as pieces on the game board that cannot be moved.
#7 The Palestinian/Israeli peace process will go nowhere in 2010, no progress, no significant breakthroughs, nothing.
Yes it true, the light in the tunnel was another train coming. Same train, return run.
The Domestic Stage:
#8 The U.S. will suffer a series of terror attacks in 2010 on U.S. interests domestically and around the globe. We will see a dramatic increase in the amount of home grown terror events. We will also be the target of a successful major attack on the homeland in 2010 this attack will include both foreign and domestic aspects resulting in a major political crisis.
Correct based on Xmas and Times Square; however those attacks were not what I originally had in mind. I could not be happier that a major event was avoided. However, anti terror tactics remain open to question and common sense evaluation.
#9 The drumbeat to “do something” about U.S. based terror cells, Jihadist web sites and Jihadist support infrastructure will, by mid year, become a major issue for the administration even in the absence of a significant terror event.
Nope, got that one completely wrong, economics overwhelmed.
#10 Democrats will retain control of the House and Senate but by significantly smaller margins than is currently the case in the house. In the Senate Democrats will retain control but not the firm 60 votes needed to guarantee closure.
Senate correct, got it wroing for the House, whooooope!
#11 Harry Reid will be defeated in Nevada.
Ah, but if only! Probably let my Hope for Change get in the way.
#12 Nancy Pelosi will be challenged for the Speaker’s Chair.
Sort of! This was a miss in terms of inside baseball, but it could be argued that the American voter challenged Ms. Pelosi’s chair! Stretch?
#13 Unemployment will not dip below 9%.
#14 Inflation will rise dramatically starting about mid year.
Incorrect, however early signs are undeniable and all of the macro numbers are bad. Food and fuel, not considered in many CPI formulas are rising …… dramatically! Another case where day to day experience does not match the numbers.
#15 Commercial Real Estate lending will crash as property values fall well below their current loan values.
It is happening, but no big buzz. It may be one crisis too many and is being repressed in some manner. It is out there, it is real.
#16 Gitmo will not close.
#17 The political center will, finally, come to realize their powerful role in determining election results. The middle will find ways to organize in non traditional ways.
#18 The New York terror trials will descend into a theater of the absurd.
Terror trials, what terror trials? Even in their absence an argument could be made that we’ve been invited to a theater of the absurd. It’s just that in did not happen in a courtroom it happened from the podium at the Department of Justice.
#19 John Kerry will become, in essence, a “shadow” Secretary of State being sent by the Obama Administration to address specific, major foreign policy initiatives. This in addition to a variety of other issues and concerns will result in the eventual resignation of Hillary Clinton.
Probably wrong here but it still appears the stage is being set. She could “blow” at any moment and “he” has been sent on “missions” including Pakistan and India as well as taking the lead on the passage of the START treaty. Hard to imagine Hillary has given up on the idea of the Presidency and hard to imagine she doesn’t see an opportunity on the horizon with the nearly 100% assumption that Secretary Kerry will screw up. “See, see the difference?”
#20 The 2010 Congressional primary elections for Democrats will be dominated by the far left. Democrats who did not support Health Care or argue for stalling the Cap & Trade or Card Check legislation will be opposed by well funded far left leaning candidates.
#21 For Republicans conservatives will dominate the primary process demanding that the GOP return to more traditional conservatism and abandon their neo-progressivism. This effort will not be as well funded as the Democrats but will be more of a grass roots effort.
The President’s approval ratings will not creep over 50% in 2010.
Feel free to offer your own grade one the January 1 2010 predictions.