Monday, 4 January 2010

Sublime Oblivion makes New Year predictions

At some point, either today or tomorrow, this blog will speculate on the possible shape of Northern Irish politics in 2020. It's likely to be a catch-all of wishful thinking. Still, it's my pitch, it's my ball and I want to have fun!

On the Sublime Oblivion blog Anatoly Karlin offers his geopolitical predictions for 2010. They should be taken a little more seriously than my intended post. Anatoly actually got quite a few of his 2009 speculations right!

Here's one of the most eye-catching this time round.

A new Russia-Georgia war remains a serious possibility, if Saakashvili uses his rapidly rebuilding military forces to make another megalomaniac lunge at reclaiming South Ossetia, or if Russia orchestrates a false flag to give itself the justification to roll in the tanks to Tbilisi and set up a puppet regime. In the latter case, the “new cold war” atmosphere of August 2008 will begin to appear to be distinctly jovial. Likelihood: 10%; Severity: 4.

Let's hope that Anatoly's wide of the mark on this one. And perhaps that his 2009 prediction that Saakashvili would not see out the year comes to pass, albeit one year late!


rutherford said...

Crossed Georgia last July. Anecdotal evidence this maybe, but seen very little in the way of military might outside of Tbilisi. That Saakashvili character must be nuts or does he really believe the West will come to his aid?

I don't know much about the Caucasus but I'll give them this though, the Georgians did seem very European in their ways. Eastern Bulgaria.

btw Karlin's bio made for very interesting reading thanks, particularly his thoughts on us Brits.

Sublime Oblivion said...

Thanks for writing about this.

I should emphasize that I *don't* think there will be a new Russia-Georgia war in 2010 (as quoted, I give it a 10% probability). Most of Russia's energies will be focused on bigging up Eurasec / CSTO (including managing Ukraine's "return to the fold" after Yanukovych's likely electoral victory in January) abroad, and privatizations / clan war internally. Nor does Saakashvili have any rational reason to go to war in 2010 (not that that's saying much, granted). There will be tension, recriminations, provocations, and all the other things typical of the Caucasus, but probably nothing too serious.

The war that I think has a high chance of occurring is a new Israel-Hezbollah confrontation.