It is in human nature to search for answers regarding the shaping of the future. It is a natural impulse that today science is offering a response by such disciplines as futurology and political science. 2011 it is in many respects just a continuation of 2010 evolution in economy and foreign affairs and is creating the path for 2012 when new and decisive election will be held in United States, Russia and across the world.
The economic crisis will worsen.
A regular companion of world economy in the last 3 years was the economic crisis. The crisis that unlashed over United States in 2007 and soon consumed the all world. 2011 will be still a year of the crisis. United States fails to be the engine for recovery in economy is fighting a record public deficit of over 14 trillion dollars, more than 47 million americans living below poverty line and consumer confidence hitting record low. In politics a time and resource consuming battle between democrats and republicans in Congress and a paralyzed presidency of a crippled Barrack Obama , all this show that United States are far away not only from any recovery chance, but also for a stagnation that will be more favorable that the present day gloomy economic outlook.
European Union is also confronting severely battled economy .Public record deficits in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal (famous PIGS of European economy) are hindering EU image as an economic powerhouse. France and Great Britain are far from being out of recession and Germany fantastic growth figures are regularly downgraded, making a shame of the famous German punctuality and honesty. Germany has long receded from being the leader and acumen of Europe to be the problem child of Europe economy. With record deficits, rampant inflation, record dropping life standards, Germany is looking set in becoming the next bailout candidate of Europe not the pillar of Europe recovery.
India and China also experienced a halt in their record growth figures and 2011 will see this figures rapidly diminished. China economy , is growing now only on internal market demand at the expense of here competitivity . Growing salaries and improving life conditions in China are surely positive news for Chinese people, but this is reflecting in a 35% increase in Chinese products prices in 2010. These tendencies will continue in 2011 and will reduce Chinese goods appeal in the world market. China and India are not in the position to drag alone the world economy out of the precipice. The economic crisis is here to stay in the next five years.
Pressure on China .
The most interesting political game of 2011 will be the cat and mouse game that Washington is playing with Beijing. In 2010 Washington wanted China`s alignment on anti-Iran resolution in the Security Council. It was enough for United States to play the economic card, agitating measures such as nominating China as a currency manipulator and imposing unilateral economic sanctions for China to back down and to support the US sponsored resolution in United Nations Security Council. In late 2010 when United States decided on a show of force on China Sea, at the door step of China, it was enough to describe China as a menace for the Far East region and to support Japan military resurgence for China to back down. It was reportedly that the December military exercises held by South Korea and US in East China Sea have being proven so efficient that China was put on a defensive posture.
In 2011 China will face new decisions: a new anti-Iran resolution that is drafted by US and will be put before Security Council in the spring of 2011, clearing the way for a military action against Iran. If China joins this resolution, his stance in the third world as an alternative power to United States and an agent of multilateralism will fade away definitively. Also United States are decided to support South Korea pressure against North Korea, pressure that will be efficiently only if China goes on board. In a word China is confronted in 2011 with the same decision as in 2010: should it be content with the stature of a middle power, as Great Britain or France ,and take care of his regional agenda or maintaining a great power profile embarks himself in a confrontation policy with United States ? Regional politics or big player, this is the alternative that Beijing is had to make.
Iran: new sanctions.
In December 2010 after failed talks, Iran and P+5 decided on a last ditch attempt in January 2011 to lift up the dialogue in Istanbul on Iranian nuclear issue. The rift between the parties is clearer than ever: Iran hold us up to his right on peaceful nuclear development while United States is determined to see Iranian nuclear program dismantled. Under this conditions is not difficult to predict the failure of the talks. United States have already drafted a resolution, clearly laying out the path for military action against Teheran. Last year Russia and China with Brazil and Turkey intercession, succeeded to amend the draft, excluding the key phrase of -by every dint necessary. This year Russia will not oppose this green light for military action , while China stance is yet unclear. The battle around this new United Nations resolution will be undoubtedly the main diplomatic event of 2011.
Russia: fight for power.
In Russia the power struggle between the make shift President, Dimitry Medvedev and his benefactor, omnipotent prime-minister Vladimir Putin, is taking epic and opera type proportions. Until now the battle between President and Prime Minister was held on the streets of Moscow ,where Kremlin backed supporters tacking to the streets against the Prime Minister administration. This battle in the street was won by Medvedev, that obtain on grounds of police brutality against manifestant`s, the removal of Putin rock-stone allied, Yuri Rajkov, mayor of Moscow. With the battle for Moscow won, Medvedev started two more fronts: a public offensive against the corruption and inefficiency of Putin government and on the world stage a battle for a new Russia image. Inflaming the rage of Putin, Dimitry Medvedev launches his new vision on Lisbon Treaty backstage. A Russia led by Medvedev ,without the omnipresent Putin , will support US efforts in controlling Iran and China , will assure a steady supply of raw materials to US and Europe economy and will request only a regional influence. Medvedev went as far as asserting that Russia relations with Georgia could be massively improved. As naturally US and Europe force pledge support for the democratic vision of President Medvedev in contrast with authoritarian past of Russia, a diplomatic phrase describing Vladimir Putin policies. Vladimir Putin opera style response: in Sankt Petersburg a giant show on Christmas with him as a super star, congratulated as the greatest man that ever lived by Alain Delon, Sharon Stone, Kurt Russell and Gerard Depardieu. The star of the show-Putin even made a public performance and sings on the piano. 40 millions Russian have watch the show live on television. Score 1-1 for Putin. The battle for Russia will be another interesting event of 2011.
Israel: a new aggression?
For Tel Aviv 2011 is starting under negative auspices: a frozen relation with White House after the illegal settlements build on Palestinian soil continued controversy and Barrack Obama support for an independent Palestinian state. The Israel international isolation after Mavi Marmara attack in international waters and Turkeys movement to isolate the hebrew state and illegal Gaza blockade made even European Union to start swaying away from Israel position. After all this failures Benyamin Netanyahu extreme right government has only one solution to galvanize public opinion on his side: a new conflict either by unleashing a new attack on Gaza or on Lebanon. In 2010 Israel violated daily Lebanon air space, sponsored spy infiltration rings in the Cedar country and created a strong pressure to further weaken the country. But anew attack on Lebanon risk to alienate even further the western supporters of Israel and the lessons of 2006 defeat of Israeli military at the hands of Hezbollah is not easy forgotten. In Gaza ,also Hamas has survived blockade and daily attack by Israel in 2010 and even grow in popularity and capitalized on the international humanitarian effort for the people of Gaza in 2010. Gaza is a more labile target; with light weaponry could not stand efficiently against Israel war machine. But a small military victory will compensate the political storm that such an attack will unleash? Benyamin Netanyahu seems to think that this wage worth tacking it.
Europe: fight for democratic system.
Europe is having a lot of problems to sort off in 2011. The economic crisis that is engulfing the continent is already described. Another ugly head that is appearing on the continent is sectarian divisions. Nobody forgets the Switzerland vote in banning minarets, the France ban on Muslim scarf, the closing of hundreds of mosques in Europe in the last year and the vicious attack on Tony Blair sister in law that converted to Islam and was nearly to be killed by British extremists. These anti-minority events will repeat and inflammatory statements like Angela Merkel opinion that multiculturalism have failed will support this kind of attacks. Europe is having in this moment more than 40% of population living below poverty line of 500 euro’s per month , increase unemployment’s , social and cultural amenities incapable in supporting European population needs, a medical system in grip and a deficit of democracy. As states are finding difficult to cope with this problems an easy escape is the time old remedy of anti-immigration rhetoric.
After being championship of democracy in the last 50 years, European democratic system is starting to show his wrinkles. Great Britain police resulted to argentine style suppression of mass student demonstration in December 2010 against tuition fees rise. In France against anti-pension reform demonstrators were halted by armed forces and in Germany government resorted to pointing out in a 30`s style the immigration and failed multiculturalism as the culprits behind economy collapsed. The fight for maintaining a viable and democratic system in Europe is a difficult one that 2011 will just be a step.