Global Security in 2013: Top 10 Conflict Regions to Watch

It’s that time of the year, when everyone unveils their Top 10 Lists for 2012. As global security consultants, we’ve kept a close pulse of the many tumultuous events that have occurred this past year, mostly in conflict regions and emerging markets. As we head into the new year, we’ve compiled a list of global hot spots to keep up with:

Emerging Markets and Conflict Regions to Watch in 2013

Middle East & North Africa

1.  Egypt on unsteady footing.  Although Egypt has a new government and constitution, does the Muslim Brotherhood have enough legitimacy in the eyes of the people to prevent further civil unrest in 2013? 

2.  End of the Syrian Civil War?  With no end to the fighting in sight, how will the conflict play out in 2013 and how will it affect Lebanon and other countries in the region?

Afghanistan Security

3.  Struggles in Yemen.  It looks likely that 2013 will present Yemen with even more political and security challenges than 2012.  Can the new post-Saleh government keep it together?

4.  Trouble ahead for Libya and its neighbors.  Despite holding successful elections in July, Libya has had trouble reining in the numerous militias and other armed groups in the country.  The free flow of weapons from Libya also has potential to destabilize the greater MENA region.


Cairo Security

5.  Mali in chaos.  After a military-sponsored coup d’état, Islamist insurgents took control of the North, splitting the country in two.  Will an international intervention in 2013 bring order back to the region?

6.  After over 20 years, Somalia has a government again.  Somalia fractured and failed decades ago, and may regain some semblance of order in 2013.

7.  Sudan vs. South Sudan.  Will 2013 bring any relief from the violence and economic disruption caused by the adversarial relationship between these two countries?

8.  Democratic Republic of Congo.  The continuously troubled DRC has suffered a crisis of legitimacy due to the many shortcomings in President Kabila’s government, and with the emergence of rebel groups like M23, the violence in the resource-rich country will probably continue in 2013.


9.  NATO continues to drawdown ahead of 2014.  Will 2013 be the preview for what is to come in a post-NATO Afghanistan?

10.  Burma comes in from the cold.  While making impressive gains to reform their authoritarian system over 2012, ethnic conflict and other troubles may still be significant stumbling blocks to political reform and economic growth in 2013.

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