Monday, January 04, 2016

Predictions for 2016

2016 will be a volatile year in many different respects: politically, weather-wise, and economically.

Presidential election years are always difficult ones to make predictions. On the eve of 2008, Hillary Clinton was favored to wrest the Democratic presidential nomination. However, a junior senator from Illinois named Barack Obama upset Mrs. Clinton’s political apple cart. This time around, Mrs. Clinton has enough Democratic establishment and corporate backing to be ensured the nomination. Bernie Sanders is no Barack Obama and 2016 is not 2008. So, prediction #1 is that Hillary Clinton will be nominated for president at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia in July.

Unlike Mrs. Clinton, GOP front runner Donald Trump does not have the backing of the Republican Party establishment. The GOP race is too volatile to make any predictions, especially with talk of a brokered convention and old-fashioned back room deals in the works. Don’t rule out the role that Mitt Romney might play in this unfolding drama. Ted Cruz’s Canadian citizenship up until he renounced it in 2013 will become a major campaign issue should he win the Iowa caucuses.

Prediction #2: Turkey will continue to fire on Russian and Greek aircraft and naval ships. The pro-Erdogan Obama administration will create a major problem for NATO when it fails to defend Greece from Turkish aggression, resulting in Greece forming an “Orthodox Christian alliance” with Russia, Serbia, eastern Ukraine, and Armenia with Bashar al Assad and the Lebanese Maronites and Shi’as as beneficiaries of the new pact. Putin will become even more popular in Russia but he will also see an increase of his popularity in Greece, Armenia, eastern Ukraine, and Serbia.

Prediction #3: The Srpska Republic of the Bosnian-Herzegovina federation will declare its independence and join with Serbia. This will create another Balkans crisis in which NATO and Russian troops will face off on the newly-created border between an expanded Serbia and a rump Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnia-Herzegovina will be accepted into NATO as a full member.

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