Welcome back to Foreign Policy’s SitRep! Robbie and Jack here. We hope everyone had a great holiday break and enjoyed time with their family and friends. To start the new year, we’ll be looking ahead at some of the major national security challenges of 2024 and make predictions about the upcoming year in foreign policy. It’s going to be anything but a calm year, with several impending elections and ongoing conflicts around the world. So, let’s get started with what’s coming up!
First up, we have the United States’ presidential election. We predict that Joe Biden will narrowly win a second term as the U.S. President, amidst cries of “stolen votes” and widespread disinformation. Meanwhile, Republicans are likely to regain control of the Senate by a small margin, and Democrats will hold a narrow majority in the House, setting the stage for another contentious period of divided government.
Next, we predict that North Korea will conduct its seventh nuclear test in 2024, despite failed efforts to restart dialogue with the U.S. This will add to the ongoing diplomatic crisis on the Korean Peninsula and highlight the unsuccessful efforts to deter North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Moving to Africa, we anticipate more military coups in the “Coup Belt,” with Chad being the next country likely to fall to a military takeover. Additionally, we predict that the leader of Sudan’s military, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, will be ousted following significant setbacks and defeats against rival forces.
In Europe, we foresee a continued stalemate in Ukraine, reminiscent of World War I battles, as both Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to clash without significant territorial gains. Meanwhile, efforts to unlock frozen funds for Ukraine will see a breakthrough this year, with U.S. and European allies finding a legal pathway to transfer these assets to Ukraine.
In the Middle East, we believe that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war will not expand to a full second front, as the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean will deter Hezbollah from fully engaging in the conflict.
Finally, we predict more dangerous maneuvers in the South China Sea, as China continues to assert its dominance in the region through the development of artificial islands and intimidation tactics.
These are just a few of our predictions for what lies ahead in 2024, and we look forward to seeing how these events unfold. (So, mark your calendars!) Nothing is certain, but the year is sure to bring a lot of challenges and uncertainties in the world of foreign policy.