PODCAST: Strategic Estimate 2022 Preview

Yusuf Chaudhry sits down with thegeopolity founder, Adnan khan, for a preview of Strategic Estimate 2022, a new geopolity report
27th December 202124 min

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Transcript

00:00:10:10 – 00:00:14:19
Yusuf
Welcome to Geopolitical Horizons, the podcast from thegopolity.com, now

00:00:14:24 – 00:00:29:01
Yusuf
Geopolity will soon be releasing a report on the first of January titled Strategic Estimate 2022. Our analysts have been working hard following the key events in the past year and looking at trends and patterns in order to give you an insights in the year to come.

00:00:29:15 – 00:00:37:15
Yusuf
I’ve had the privilege of getting a preview of this report, and we have a geopolity founder Adnan Khan here to discuss some of the key findings. How you, Adnan?

00:00:38:04 – 00:00:39:18
Adnan
I’m good, I’m good. How are you?

00:00:40:11 – 00:00:53:15
Yusuf
I’m very well, now, I found this report, It was very interesting. It was a good overview of everything. Could you tell us a little bit about this report on what you were trying to get? What was your thinking behind it?

00:00:53:22 – 00:01:15:16
Adnan
Okay. So I think the word you mentioned there, it was a good round up of things that’s really the thinking behind it. I mean, for the last decade, every year end of a year, I usually have written some sort of content regarding the key political events of the year, how the world has shaped top and what that

00:01:15:16 – 00:01:33:20
Adnan
means going forward. So as we’re coming to the end of the first year of geopolity, it only makes sense. We published this really under the geopolity. So what really strategic estimate is is some of the key events have happened, some of the key political issues that have evolved.

00:01:33:20 – 00:01:48:17
Adnan
What does that mean? What does it tell us about the global balance of power? Where are things going? So anyone who wants to make sense of where the world is, whether you’re a beginner, whether you’re someone who follows this, there’s something for you in this report.

00:01:48:24 – 00:02:02:05
Adnan
It’s your one stop shop of what took place in 2021 and some of the key events we think will evolve in 2022. And we feel that you should be following because we’re going to be following them as well.

00:02:02:06 – 00:02:14:02
Adnan
So obviously, it’s that time of the year as well. You’re going to find near the end of December, many think tanks, media outlets they, will be making their predictions and like that. We’re also doing that as well the geopolity.

00:02:15:01 – 00:02:31:02
Yusuf
Now, you said many of the think tanks and organizations are going to be doing something similar. Why would you recommend strategic estimate over those other ones? What of what has the average reader got to gain from reading strategic estimate and not these other ones?

00:02:31:21 – 00:02:53:13
Adnan
Well, I wouldn’t stop anyone from reading any other analysis. I think we should read all analysis. What you are going to find with the estimate 2022 is we’re taking into account that it’s a complex world. There’s a lot going on and we’re not necessarily a mainstream publication where we solely follow mainstream trends.

00:02:53:23 – 00:03:08:09
Adnan
The large organizations, obviously, there’s interests at stake, the set of ways they will put things. We’re not like that. We are we are analysts and we say things and analyse them for what they are. We don’t take any particular leaning.

00:03:08:17 – 00:03:21:14
Adnan
We feel, you know, there are few powers in the world. They dominate all of the politics in the world. The competition between them leads to struggles in different regions of the world. That’s our general outlook towards the world.

00:03:21:14 – 00:03:38:02
Adnan
But in our report, we take into account that there are many people who find these subjects very complex. There’s a lot to pull together, and what we try to do is make it easier for your political newbie, as we call them, to make sense of the world.

00:03:39:04 – 00:03:50:01
Yusuf
Now, some of the things that you mentioned in the report while you mentioned a number of topics, but one of the key things that you mentioned was about the US decline. Now could you give us a brief insight into that?

00:03:50:09 – 00:03:53:08
Yusuf
Is Biden demanded to turn things around?

00:03:54:22 – 00:04:14:20
Adnan
So we concluded a number of things, probably our main conclusion or headline conclusion. The year, is really US credibility is at rock bottom. Discussions of America’s decline have been around for best part of two decades and they’ve accelerated. And in fact, the American public overwlmingly

00:04:14:20 – 00:04:39:03

believe America’s in decline and the rest of the world have always viewed America’s position as one that’s actually untenable. And Donald Trump didn’t really help. He trampled over American values. The American military has trampled over America’s values over the last two decades, and the debacle that was the Afghan withdrawal in August didn’t really help.

00:04:39:15 – 00:05:03:06
Adnan
In fact, the election of Joe Biden, the experienced hand he’s been in Congress for over three decades. He was supposed to bring a degree of stability to America and mend America’s position abroad, realigned with allies again. But what’s actually happened is as soon as Biden’s honeymoon period finished by August, the Delta variant was drastically increasing in America

00:05:03:06 – 00:05:23:10
Adnan
and in the debacle of Afghanistan happened in August. And at the moment, Biden’s ratings are rock bottom in the country. His vice president, Kamala Harris, her ratings are rock bottom. There’s already talk that Biden should even stand for the next election in 3 to 4 years time, and America’s got midterms coming up next year, as though there’s a very

00:05:23:10 – 00:05:36:19
Adnan
real possibility the Democrats might actually lose both houses. So what you really find is, despite some success in some parts of the world, America’s credibility is really rock bottom. It’s probably never been this low in its history.

00:05:37:23 – 00:05:51:19
Yusuf
Now you mentioned Afghanistan. I do really think Biden’s going to be having a lot of nightmares about Afghanistan because it was really terrible way to for the US to pull out. It’s really looked bad on the news with the Taliban back in power.

00:05:52:04 – 00:05:54:18
Adnan
Are we expecting to see more problems in Afghanistan?

00:05:54:23 – 00:06:11:18
Adnan
So yeah, it’s quite unfortunate. I mean, not to defend President Biden. It’s unfortunate that he’s getting lumbered with the withdrawal because Barack Obama and his administration began negotiation with Taliban back in 2009. It was Donald Trump who sealed the agreement with the Taliban.

00:06:11:19 – 00:06:32:13
Adnan
And unfortunately, Joe Biden was the man whose job was to implement it because it was under his presidency. So he’s actually being lumbered with everything. You know, the withdrawal, the specific withdrawal happened, how they abandoned their allies, how they negotiated on their own with the Taliban, and how they left behind so many interpreters and Afghans who were

00:06:32:13 – 00:06:52:03
Adnan
aided the occupation of the country. Now, since America’s withdrawal, things have really gone from bad to worse in Afghanistan. So the first thing that obviously happened was many of the educated elite of Afghanistan, many people who are part of the regime, many people who took part in the occupation.

00:06:52:03 – 00:07:08:23
Adnan
So all of these people have experience in being in governance and administration. Many of these people got on planes and left. Many of these people are now refugees in Europe and America. So when the Taliban took over, there’s a big lack of skills and experience in there new government.

00:07:08:24 – 00:07:23:12
Adnan
And then what you also find is the financial situation has gone from bad to worse. For the last 20 years, America has effectively funded Afghanistan. 60% to 80% of the Afghan budget comes from American aid. And that’s completely stopped.

00:07:23:12 – 00:07:38:10
Adnan
And a lot of these aid, as we know, really went into the pockets of officials or it went into creating jobs for their supporters. So the whole Afghan model is completely falling apart and to make it worse, the 10 billion Afghanistan had in currency reserves.

00:07:38:11 – 00:07:52:02
Adnan
They actually exist as debt in America’s Federal Reserve. They don’t physically exist in Afghanistan, and America very quickly put sanctions in Afghanistan for literally the country’s gone from bad to worse. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the country was already bad for most people.

00:07:52:08 – 00:08:05:01
Adnan
We just never reported. Now what you’re finding out that the Taliban have taken over, you know, every every village is giving coverage now regarding what the situation is in the area, so which the Taliban have a big job on their hands.

00:08:05:01 – 00:08:18:09
Adnan
They’ve been having lots of talks with the Chinese, with the Iranians, with the Russians, with Islamabad, all the countries on their borders. But the situation quite dire. I think there’s even talk of, you know, will Afghanistan actually collapse?

00:08:18:10 – 00:08:35:21
Adnan
So even though America left, you know, America can’t just completely forgo Afghanistan. It was there for 20 years. Afghanistan was the worst part of America’s strategic agenda to gain a foothold there in order for Central Asia. That hasn’t changed, although America has withdrawn, is still interested in Central Asia.

00:08:35:22 – 00:08:46:00
Adnan
So I expect the problems in Afghanistan will only grow going forward, and America has physically withdrawn. America is not abandoning its interest in the region in Afghanistan. That’s going to continue.

00:08:46:18 – 00:08:55:24
Yusuf
Now, China has been growing stronger over the last couple of decades. What can we expect in the new year in terms of tensions between the US and China?

00:08:56:21 – 00:09:10:18
Adnan
So this is the defining political event really well in our lifetime and probably the next decade or so, the competition between the rising power, which is China and the sitting superpower who appears to be in decline, which is America.

00:09:11:06 – 00:09:30:08
Adnan
So it’s really been about ten years now where America’s really designated China as its major threat as a nation that could potentially become a continental power and bring together the resources to challenge America’s position. So Barack Obama spoke about the pivot to Asia, which is moving more of its military to the Asia Pacific.

00:09:30:09 – 00:09:45:15
Adnan
Donald Trump began the trade war, and that’s been a key part of America’s strategy of dealing with it. We see under Biden the containment strategy against China has increased, and that includes Australia. You’ve got Japan, you’ve got India, you’ve got South Korea and you’ve got Australia.

00:09:45:15 – 00:10:00:20
Adnan
Now a ring of nations America is using to try and contain China. Interestingly, and we can discuss this. You know, the response from China has been pretty muted. There’s not been a major pushback from China on this, and we can really discuss this why that is the case of what options they have.

00:10:00:21 – 00:10:13:18
Adnan
So this this competition between the two, this great game is only going to increase in size and scope and depth at the moment. Interestingly, both countries have serious domestic concerns they have to deal with. Biden has a divided party.

00:10:13:18 – 00:10:33:24
Adnan
Biden poll ratings are really, really low. Biden hasn’t really been able to bring his allies together in Europe, especially to present a united bloc against China. In China, the lockdowns have significant impact on the Chinese economy. You’ve got a property real estate crisis brewing in China.

00:10:34:06 – 00:10:52:19
Adnan
The large private real estate company just defaulted. You don’t need that you had blackouts this year in China, energy blackouts and shocking for a country that’s nearly the largest economy in the world. So I think you may get a bit of a breather in the next year because both nations have serious domestic issues to actually deal with

00:10:52:20 – 00:11:06:15
Adnan
However, the underlying trend is going to be competition, and what we’re seeing is America is building a ring of nations around China. And really, China needs to respond. There’s been a lot of sabre rattling in the last month or two regarding Taiwan.

00:11:07:00 – 00:11:18:11
Adnan
China Just this week, it carried out a naval exercise on one of its islands off the main coast. And this island is the size of Taiwan, so it could be doing a practice run really for potential invasion of Taiwan.

00:11:18:11 – 00:11:23:13
Adnan
And this is probably going to be the defining feature of the global balance of power really for the next decade.

00:11:25:13 – 00:11:44:09
Yusuf
Now, this containment strategy that you mentioned, it was a similar strategy that was employed against the USSR, and at that period at that time, China was seen as a China was a country of which the US wanted to use in order to work against Russia.

00:11:44:13 – 00:11:50:11
Yusuf
Would you say Russia is being seen like that in this case? Or is Russia more allied to China? Still.

00:11:51:04 – 00:12:10:22
Adnan
So they call this the reverse Russia? Both Henry Kissinger and Brzezinski, when he was alive, talked about that the worst case scenario they could have is a alliance between China and Russia against America. And the reason why that is is because that would give them significant the element of power both countries don’t have.

00:12:10:22 – 00:12:24:18
Adnan
They do have if they combine their resources. So there has been a lot of talk in American foreign policy circles of reaching out to Russia or coming to an agreement with Russia in order to lure it away from China and really use it against China.

00:12:25:02 – 00:12:42:05
Adnan
Obviously, the Russians see an element of this, but the problem you really have is Putin and the security class still see Russia as a power that should be reckoned with, and it’s a big issue for them that they’re not recognized as a pure power to America.

00:12:42:17 – 00:12:55:01
Adnan
So you find, despite what’s going on in Ukraine, despite what’s going on in the Baltics between the West and Russia, America and Russia are still able to work together in Ukraine, and Ukraine is quite far from Russia’s homeland.

00:12:55:19 – 00:13:19:13
Adnan
So that shows that both countries could potentially work together. I think a lot has to happen for this to really take place. However, Russia and China are also growing very closely together. You see on the energy front, China now and the east of the world is becoming as important for Russia, for from an energy perspective as the

00:13:19:13 – 00:13:37:13
Adnan
West. Russia and China are undertaking more and more military exercises, and you find the political front. Russia and China work together to take positions that are against American weather at the U.N. and other international organizations. So really, again, we we touched on this in the report.

00:13:37:21 – 00:13:45:23
Adnan
You know, going forward, which camp Russia joins in the end may actually determine which camp emerged victorious going forward.

00:13:47:05 – 00:14:01:22
Yusuf
Now in your report, you discussed a lot of things in relation to Russia about growing anti-government anti-Putin sentiment, and Russia really has problems, domestic problems of itself. Are Putin’s days numbered.

00:14:03:20 – 00:14:23:14
Adnan
There’s an interesting question this year, especially especially in the beginning of the year, we saw a lot more protests in Russia. What’s actually going on and we have a whole section of this in the report. There was a unsaid social contract between Putin and security class and the people of Russia back in 1999 2000.

00:14:24:00 – 00:14:42:02
Adnan
Russia had just gone through a decade of something worse than the Great Depression, and the understanding was is that the hard hand of the security class was needed to bring stability, that the mafia. The oligarchs were running riot and Russia was really I mean, parts of Russia were turning itself apart.

00:14:42:02 – 00:15:01:15
Adnan
So people accepted Putin in the scooter class in power, who renationalize the whole country renationalize energy. And many Russians felt that was necessary in order to stabilize Russia. Now, obviously, we’ve come a long way since 2000. What you’ve had since then is energy prices went really, really high from 2014, and they’ve fallen.

00:15:01:15 – 00:15:20:08
Adnan
And we’re now at a point now where many people feel the opportunities to prosper, the opportunity to develop ideas. The state is now getting in the way. So the social contract between the state and the people for many people is going as far as they needed

00:15:20:08 – 00:15:37:11
Adnan
Obviously, security costs don’t want to give up power. They don’t want to distribute power. The security state is centralized in government. There isn’t any real opposition really to Putin or organized opposition. What opposition there is, they still believe in the United Russia party who dominates the politics.

00:15:37:11 – 00:15:55:09
Adnan
But poverty is very high in Russia. Wolf distribution is really, really high. There’s been a big lack of infrastructure development as well. Many people can’t see the benefit of a Russian invasion in Ukraine, although it was useful at the time for nationalist nationalism purposes.

00:15:55:17 – 00:16:13:21
Adnan
Same with Syria as well. So I think it’s hard to see. I mean, last year, the Russian parliament passed a series of laws which effectively changed the governance system in Russia going forward. So what that showed was Putin was actually preparing for a Putin world.

00:16:13:22 – 00:16:30:24
Adnan
And what he’s done is actually the Constitution actually has distributed more powers of the president to the different factions within parliament and institutions. So it means going forward after Putin is going to be unlikely. one individual will have to dominate the political system because they’re going to change the nature of the political system.

00:16:30:24 – 00:16:46:07
Adnan
And that probably shows that Putin recognizes that he needs to start preparing for the post Putin era and two decades is a long time. You know, you make a lot of enemies, you upset a lot of people. You know, he’s very, I mean, the only place where you have rulers who remain for two decades are usually dictators

00:16:46:08 – 00:16:56:18
Adnan
or monarchies, where the only the only system. So I don’t think Putin, the days are numbered, but I think being prudent what Putin is doing is preparing for the post. Putin, Russia.

00:16:57:10 – 00:17:16:09
Yusuf
Now, if you move to an area a little bit closer to home, there’s a lot of talk about EU expansion and this is after quite a long time. Do you really see that happening, especially with nationalism growing in Europe and also with the fact that one of its strongest members, the UK, has now left the EU?

00:17:16:19 – 00:17:32:03
Adnan
So what happened this year? And again, we cover this in the Europe section of the report is obviously been a lot of bad news for the European Union for the last few years. You obviously had rising nationalism, yet rising anti-European sentiment.

00:17:32:13 – 00:17:46:22
Adnan
You had many unorthodox politicians and groups coming to power in European countries who ran on an anti-EU ticket, and all this in the end culminated in the first nation to ever leave the EU, the UK, which has never happened before.

00:17:46:23 – 00:18:00:23
Adnan
In fact, the EU only has rules for how you join, didn’t actually have any room for how you leave this the first time this actually happened. So what the EU did this year is it tried to move forward with talk of expansion so this year.

00:18:01:00 – 00:18:22:14
Adnan
I mean, the area that the EU can rely on expanding now is really the Balkan state, the last remaining countries, really, unless they plan to accept the former Russian republics into the EU. So we’re talking about Serbia, we’re talking about Bosnia, talking about Albania, Montenegro, these countries and all these countries are candidate nations.

00:18:22:24 – 00:18:37:22
Adnan
So they’re already start talks by a long process. Really, for them to join the EU, you have to go through a process where you have to bring your economy, your politics, the judiciary, your laws. In line with the EU so earlier in the year, there was a meeting with the Balkan nations.

00:18:37:22 – 00:18:51:14
Adnan
There was a lot of publicity at the time, but really the conclusion was there is still a long way go for these countries to join the EU. The main thing the main reason for this really is the EU itself is divided on its future direction.

00:18:52:01 – 00:19:13:08
Adnan
So the French, for example, their position is we should consolidate what we have strengthened the EU institutions rather than thinking of expanding. Then you got other countries who feel that look, if we don’t continue expanding and we don’t deliver on the promises for accession for these countries, these countries will just turn to Russia.

00:19:13:16 – 00:19:29:15
Adnan
You’ve got China now who? Is investing a lot in the Balkans area in Europe, and you’ve also got Turkey as well. So the EU itself is quite divided actually on its overall direction. The problem you’ve only got is this isn’t Central Europe joining the EU its the Balkans.

00:19:29:16 – 00:19:43:05
Adnan
These are areas where there’s still a lot of corruption. You’ve got the mafia. Even the politics is not very representative. Even Bosnia looks as though it’s on the verge of collapsing. So there’s a lot of work that has to be done before these countries join.

00:19:43:15 – 00:19:55:09
Adnan
But part of the EU foreign policy has always been that in the long run, we want the whole of Europe to join the European Union so talks can start. But the long term direction is these countries to join the EU.

00:19:55:18 – 00:20:09:05
Adnan
If that’s taken off the table, then really that’s going to impact on the EU’s influence on the rest of Europe. So, yeah, shocking. As your question said, it’s quite shocking for some. Why is the EU thinking about expanding when there’s talks of will it survive.

00:20:09:06 – 00:20:26:16
Adnan
But they divided on this? There are pro-EU individuals countries who believe Europe needs to keep on expanding. That’s the original objective of the European Union. But there’s other people like the French and northern Europe who feel, Look, let’s consolidate and lets strengthen what we have already rather than bringing in new entrants.

00:20:27:14 – 00:20:43:13
Yusuf
Now there’s a lot of past talk about power and wealth generally moving from the west towards the east. Would you say the EU and all the things that are happening in the US? This is one of those signs of that actually happening.

00:20:43:13 – 00:20:51:14
Yusuf
So wealth and power actually moving gradually towards the European countries and us towards, say, like China and Russia?

00:20:51:23 – 00:21:05:07
Adnan
Yes. So I think, you know, for 500 years at least, that Europe was the center of the world. And then obviously add in America, the West, and it really seems power is shifting now from west to east.

00:21:05:16 – 00:21:21:22
Adnan
The rise of China already, the economy in Southeast Asia is bigger than Europe. Foreign direct investment is much larger in the Far East than it is in Europe. If you look at the next generation of technologies, these aren’t coming from Europe.

00:21:21:22 – 00:21:40:04
Adnan
These are actually potentially coming from China. So a long term trend Europe has to deal with is they Europe may become more and more irrelevant in the world if power continues to shift to the East and the Far East for a long time has not really been part of global power.

00:21:40:14 – 00:21:54:15
Adnan
If you look at it for the last 500 years, the forest was colonized by the West. Prior to that, we didn’t really have a global economy like we have it today. So one of the trends really at the moment is is, you know, it seems economic power is already shifting virtually to the east.

00:21:54:20 – 00:22:11:08
Adnan
What’s really left now is political power. A lot of what goes on in the world, political solutions, climate change, the solution and the policies are developed by Western countries. And what China is seeing with the size of its economy and countries like Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Southeast Asian nations, is they feel they should have more of a

00:22:11:08 – 00:22:29:24
Adnan
say over global issues. So this is really going to be probably another defining trend for the next few years. And Europe has a big problem here. If the economies of the Far East are much larger than European economies, then why should more Far East economies not be on these global institutions or even establish their own global institutions

00:22:30:09 – 00:22:32:04
Adnan
to solve global problems?

00:22:33:04 – 00:22:48:14
Yusuf
Now, I guess that actually leads on to another question that I had demographic changes. It was a key aspect of the report and I guess with shifting power and wealth, if it’s moving to other places in the world, then demographics will change as well.

00:22:49:01 – 00:22:55:11
Yusuf
Now what challenges does the world face with these? And what countries would be affected the most?

00:22:55:14 – 00:23:11:20
Adnan
So we have a whole section on global demographics, and there are some very interesting findings we found. For long, I mean, I grew up in the nineties and the early 2000. I was told in my economics class, the world population is out of control.

00:23:12:03 – 00:23:22:02
Adnan
There won’t be enough food in the world and won’t be enough. Energy in the world are just too many people in the world. But this year what we’ve seen is we’ve seen a lot of worry about things going the other way.

00:23:22:03 – 00:23:38:14
Adnan
So this year, China released its census figures. For the last decade, they released the This Year in America as well. And in China, what they’re finding is they’ve had the slowest growth in their population since records began back in 1950s and the same of America they’ve had the slowest growth rate.

00:23:38:15 – 00:24:00:12
Adnan
What that means is both countries are not far away now from potentially population decline. And it seems that this is actually one of the key global geopolitical trends. Really, we’ve become accustomed to high fertility rates so thats the children per women, we’ve been accustomed to that we’ve always seen population increasing over the last few decades.

00:24:00:13 – 00:24:13:06
Adnan
But what’s actually been taking place, the rate of growth has actually been slowing to the point now is we are actually getting to a point where in many countries the population isn’t increasing. It’s not even static, it’s actually declining.

00:24:13:07 – 00:24:28:04
Adnan
So in places like Japan. Germany and Russia, they already are at the cutting edge with their populations are all in decline. Now what you’re finding is America, China, all these countries are going to get to the point and then in the next couple of decades, you’re going to find many African countries reach that point as well.

00:24:28:13 – 00:24:47:10
Adnan
So really, by 2012, by 2100, what you’re going to find is we’re going to be in a situation where the population will start to decline rather than increase. And this has many, many implications for long, the number of people in your army, the number of people who pay taxes, government budgets, all of these are determined by the

00:24:47:10 – 00:25:03:07
Adnan
number of people you have. If your population is declining, then that’s fewer taxpayers. That’s less money for governments. How a government supposed to fund foreign policy initiatives and domestic institutions if the population in decline for China, this is probably the worst time this could have come.

00:25:03:16 – 00:25:23:11
Adnan
China is looking to shift away from its export driven economy to domestic consumption, and as soon as it started doing this, its population potentially is going to be the situation is going to start to decline. There are countries in the world where it’s now the markets that start growing the quickest or burials and grave diggers in the

00:25:23:11 – 00:25:43:00
Adnan
West. Now, apparently, more nappies are made for 50-60 year olds than young children in Germany they have had to close down schools, they’ve had to shelve plans for building new towns because there isn’t the population for it. So this is going to have a major, major impact on many things on finance, on budgets, on the size of your military

00:25:43:09 – 00:25:54:16
Adnan
. And we’re not in a position at the moment where technology can replace a lot of these trends. We’re not really there. A lot of these technologies 50 to 100 years away, were declining populations can be replaced by technology.

00:25:54:17 – 00:26:08:02
Adnan
So, yeah, in the report, we actually go through a lot of the implications. We look at many of the countries that are at the cutting edge, the Islamic world, the Muslim world, which for long were seen with big families and you know, your kids are your pension, even they’ve not been safe on this trend.

00:26:08:02 – 00:26:24:18
Adnan
In fact, Iran as an example in 1979, at a fertility rate of six children per women, it’s now down to two. And you find that across the Muslim world as well, where you know the region has generally been known to have large families, the fertility rate has dropped significantly over the last three decades, so nobody’s really safe

00:26:24:18 – 00:26:25:16
Adnan
from this trend.

00:26:26:24 – 00:26:36:06
Yusuf
Now, we’ve discussed a number of different topics, but could you just summarize some of the key things to look out for in 2022 first?

00:26:36:12 – 00:26:44:24
Adnan
OK, so for the full list, you can find it in the report when it comes out on the 1st January. But just to go for a couple of key trends or some of the things I’m going to be watching.

00:26:45:02 – 00:27:01:18
Adnan
You’ve got the French presidential election and the reason why that’s interesting is Macron looks like he’s in a very weak position, and if he’s in a weak position, the real opposition to him is the right wing. You’ve got Marine Le Pen, who took him to a second round last time round, and the right wing is still very

00:27:01:19 – 00:27:22:14
Adnan
popular in France. And if they were to get into power or if Macron was no longer in power, what happens in France has an impact on the European Union as a whole. So that’s something to watch. You’ve got the US midterms coming up in September next year, and probably the key trend to watch is really the confidence

00:27:23:06 – 00:27:42:19
Adnan
and the ratings numbers for Joe Biden and his presidency. There’s a real possibility that Biden may lose both houses, which would make him a lame duck president. So that’s going to be something to watch. The other things to watch is there’s no election next year in Turkey, but in 2023, Erdogans up for election

00:27:42:19 – 00:27:58:00
Adnan
And for the first time, I’ve seen there’s actually, a possibility, the election victory of Erdogan is not guaranteed, and it’s the first time in its history the economy is not in good shape. He keeps saying unorthodox things, which nobody believes, and he’s becoming more and more authoritarian.

00:27:58:00 – 00:28:18:08
Adnan
And that may even allow the opposition to coalesce and come together and to form a bloc against him. And it’s probably something to watch. The other thing we’ll be watching is the Dayton Accords was the peace deal. America agreed with the warring parties in the Bosnian War in the 1990s this week, one of the main parties who

00:28:18:08 – 00:28:36:05
Adnan
was signatory to that agreement is looking to withdraw from the agreements that were made, meaning that they are withdrawing from the judicial agreement for the political agreement and from the economic agreement. And that agreement is what ended the war in the Balkans in the 1990s and is what kept peace for the moment.

00:28:36:13 – 00:28:48:21
Adnan
So that’s going to be something to watch. Obviously, we’re going to be watching Russia. There a lot of war talk regarding Ukraine. There’s been a lot of movement of troops it will Russia make a move, want to make a move

00:28:48:22 – 00:29:06:08
Adnan
That’s something we’re going to be watching as well. And the final one we’re going to continue watching is this year there’s been a number of reports on confidence in democracy reaching rock bottom. Just last week, you had to reports one from Harvard and one from another think tank where most Americans, especially youth, they have very

00:29:06:08 – 00:29:27:09
Adnan
little confidence in democracy, and they believed America would potentially break up as well. The reason why we find that trend quite interesting because across the world, confidence in democracy has reached rock bottom. And that’s why very unorthodox politicians like Donald Trump got to power because people turned to unorthodox characters in the hope things might actually be

00:29:27:20 – 00:29:42:01
Adnan
different. So that’s another trend we’re going to be watching. So we provide a full list in the report. We will also have our analysts predictions on what they’re going to be watching next year, which will publish probably the last week of the year.

00:29:42:06 – 00:29:46:02
Adnan
But those are just some of the key events that I’ll be following for the next year.

00:29:46:15 – 00:29:55:15
Yusuf
Thank you for your time, you full report you can download from our website thegeopolity.com on the 1st January. Thank you

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