MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
It is once again time to examine how well I was able to predict Middle East events in the previous year (see Crystal Ball 2010), The text below is annotated version of the original. Predictions that did not pan out are marked in red, Comments are in italics.
Some specific predictions for 2010:
Mahmoud Abbas will remain President of the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian Authority will continue to gather support for their unilateral state declaration, which appears to be a promising avenue for bypassing the negotiation process and forcing their position on Israel with the backing of the EU and others.
Israel & the Palestinians
Additional kidnap attempts will be made from Gaza and possibly from Lebanon.
No progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations even if Israel agrees to a building halt in East Jerusalem and negotiations are restarted .Unfortunately true
There will be a showdown between the United States and Israel at the end of the ten month period that Israel has allotted to the settlement freeze, because the United States will insist that the freeze be extended. Not exactly, but close enough
United States evacuation of Iraq will be completed in 2010 regardless of rising violence.
US will not send more troops to Iraq before the next US presidential election
US surge will not be effective, since the Taleban are not concentrated in cities but rather diffused throughout the country.
Pakistani efforts will meet with only limited and temporary success, as Taleban escape into the countryside or into Afghanistan.
The US will make symbolic gestures to isolate Iran, but these will not be effective.
USA will not strike a deal with Iran isolating Israel, despite the prediction of an Israeli think-tank, because there is no deal to be made that would safeguard US interests against Iran's self-proclaimed ambitions for regional hegemony and exclusion of the US from the Middle East.
US will not attack Iran militarily.
Israel will not attack Iran militarily.
There is a high probability that Iran is building or has built additional concealed nuclear facilities. We can assume this is true based on past experience.
One or more [concealed nuclear facilities] may be discovered or made public by foreign intelligence services in 2010. No new sites revealed in 2010
The Iranian regime will remain stable.
Look for increasing influence of Hezbollah and Syria under the pretext of fighting Israel. This may include the return of Syrian Army intelligence personnel to Lebanon, further arming of Hezbollah.
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