Which on-going conflicts in 2011 will Americans actually care about and be impacted by? Côte d'Ivoire, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Venezuela, Sudan, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Guinea, or Democratic Republic of the Congo?
Unfortunately, most Americans have heard of less than half of these nations. A small percentage have a clue as to what is going on within each and how its strife may impact America. How many people actually know that over 4 million people have been hacked to death in Congo in the past decade? Makes me wonder why we focus so much on nuclear proliferation when the weapon of mass destruction is the machete.
Issues in Nigeria, Venezuela and Mexico will impact the price of oil, namely the prices we pay at the pump, for air travel, and the transportation costs associated with food and other every-day human consumables.
Issues in Columbia, Mexico, Pakistan and Afghanistan will impact the social and defense costs associated with illegal drugs.
Issues in Muslim nations like Iraq, Sudan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon and Nigeria will be battle grounds for Islamic extremism and terrorist breeding grounds.
We all hope 2011 is better than 2010. But there are still too many unknowns and risks that tarnish the optimism we tend to have at the new year. If we look back, 2009 was better than 2010 and 2008 was better than 2009.
Couple the self-serving politicians and corruption norm with the erroneous belief that government is the answer to all our woes, it is very unlikely 2011 will be better than 2010.