It’s difficult to ignore how dramatically the world has changed since 2008, when the global financial crisis shook the foundations on which the international order was built. The systems that had been in place for a generation have since begun to slowly fall apart. And though they have not yet crumbled entirely, the possibility that they will has forced many countries to imagine a world without them. Some have done so more eagerly than others.
It is little surprise, then, that the past 10 years have been marked by systemic dysfunction, massive shifts in trade processes and radical internal political changes. Change, it seems, has been the one constant. This is the context in which we enter 2018. The dysfunction that will characterize the year has a decade’s worth of momentum behind it. But only in some areas will dysfunction lead to disruption.
One such area is the Middle East. For more than 15 years, Sunni insurgents have been fighting U.S. forces there, and t
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