James Feldkamp Discusses Some of the Biggest Potential Geopolitical Threats in 2021
January 1st 2021 ushers in a new year and along with it, continued geopolitical threats. With a new President heading to the Oval Office in the United States and a global pandemic likely to still be raging, there will be plenty to contemplate come the new year. James Feldkamp, a terrorism and security expert who teaches at Georgetown University, is going to share his insights regarding the biggest geopolitical threats in 2021.
“Let’s address the elephant in the room,” James Feldkamp says, “COVID-19 is still going to be a major challenge at the start of 2021. With vaccines entering the market, hopefully we can bring the pandemic under control but even after its spread is arrested, the overall impact on geopolitics is going to be immense.”
Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic had cost the global economy roughly $28 trillion in output. Around the world, countries have shut down both international and internal travel, and strict lock downs have become the norm. James Feldkamp believes that given the high costs of the pandemic, COVID-19 tensions could remain high afterward.
“Before the outbreak of COVID-19 tensions between China and the US and other countries were quite high,” James Feldkamp says. “Even after the disease is brought under control, expect trade tensions to remain high. Some companies and governments may question the wisdom of global supply chains given how much shutdowns disrupted global production.”
James Feldkamp Notes that Geopolitical Issues Involving China go far Beyond COVID-19.
“Technology is becoming a huge issue, including 5G and global IP laws. Even before COVID, they were major sticking points between the US/EU and China.”
While COVID-19 dominated geopolitics in 2020 and may do so again in 2021, it’ll be far from the only issue. James Feldkamp believes that Iran’s nuclear program could take center stage once again.
“Iran’s leading nuclear scientist was recently assassinated, the US has pulled out of the nuclear accords, and Iran’s own adherence to said accords is under question,” James Feldkamp says. “Iran’s nuclear program could quickly emerge as a major issue, and that could strain relations across the Middle East and beyond.”
James Feldkamp Discusses Other Geopolitical Threats
James Feldkamp believes that there are plenty of other major geopolitical issues to watch for, including terrorist attacks, upheaval caused by immigration, tensions with Russia, continued challenges with Brexit, strain within NATO, and more. James Feldkamp highlights these all as major concerns to keep an eye on. However, there’s one issue that he thinks could exacerbate many geopolitical challenges.
“Some economists are warning of an economic slowdown,” James Feldkamp says. “From the security point-of-view, one thing that’s important to note about the economy is that internal and external tensions often rise during economic downturns. If, and that’s a big if, the economy does contract, all the issues we talked about could quickly get a lot more tense.”