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Welcome to 2012: Transitions 01/07/2012

Posted by Leona Dawnfire in Foreign Policy/Relations, Government.
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It’s been awhile since the last update, and for this I sincerely apologize.  I will try to do better this upcoming year (this, might I suggest, particularly important year)!  While I am not believer in the ending of the world in December of this year, I do see reasons for caution.

Changes in regime are always a little dangerous.  We can never fully predict the future of a change in regime, whether it be in the United States, France, Russia, China, or Iran.  With the presidential and legislative elections for the US coming up later this year, a regime (or ‘administration’) change could happen.  With multiple Republican candidates battling it out, even the outcome of the primaries is quite uncertain.  And, quite frankly, some of the candidates scare me.  I think that every voter needs to make sure that they are fully aware of the stances the politician they favor has on certain issues, such as foreign policy towards Iran and China.

But it is not just the United States going to vote and having transitions in government.  A third of the world’s nations will have elections or governmental transitions this year, including 4 out of the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (US, France, Russia, and China).  Although the main focus of the 2012 election for the US will likely be on the economy, we should endeavor to take note of what other transitions will occur this year.

Egypt is a notable nation having elections, following the overthrow of Mubarak.  The parliamentary elections will take place during January, February, and the beginning of March, and presidential elections are also going to be later this year.  So far, it appears as though the Muslim Brotherhood will have the greatest amount of support in that country, which may drastically change US foreign policy towards Egypt.  The Salafi-al-Nour Party, which claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is just like all other parties and does not really adhere to Islam, is also becoming surprisingly popular (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/04/egypt_s_salafi_surge).

Russia’s presidential elections will be on March 4.  Although Vladimir Putin is expected to win, he is facing unexpected protests and opposition, which will likely continue into his third term as president.

China is going to have a transition to the Communist Party’s 18th Congress.  This new government will have to deal with a faltering economy, social unrest spread by the Internet, the political transition in North Korea, disputes with neighbors, and a US garnering further attention in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mexico is having an election, influenced by the drug cartels and the failing drug war launched by the current president.  The results could effect the relationship between the US and Mexico, as well as Mexico’s relationship with Central American nations, where the drug war has begun moving.

Iran is also going to have a parliamentary election, the first polls since the disputed 2009 election.  These elections will pit the supporters of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  With current events (war games in the Persian Gulf, threats from Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, and the approaching of a nuclear-armed Iran), the relationship with the US could change drastically following both nations elections this year.  I recommend that particular attention be paid to Iran this year.  (I may follow up this blog post with one solely on Iran in the near future)

2012 is set to be a big year.

Articles of Interest:

Stances of Candidates in Relation to Foreign Policy:  http://www.cfr.org/projects/world/campaign-2012/pr1576

It’s Not Just Obama:  20 Elections that Could Change 2012: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/30/2012_global_elections