Al Qaeda Not a Top Risk for 2010?


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Business Week recently published Eurasia Group’s “Top Global Risks of 2010.”
I am always impressed with Eurasia Group President and Foreign Policy blogger Ian Bremmer, who provided a tour de force of global events at the New America Foundation last year.
As for the “Top Global Risks,” mostly familiar faces and countries here, but a couple of surprises.
Back in April, Bremmer said that the U.S. Congress represented the single biggest political risk to the global economy. Now the U.S.-China relationship is #1.
Iraq is listed as a “red herring.” Eurasia Group’s analysis is very sanguine. They say that

Compared to what we’ve seen before–and what might have happened–the overall story is remarkably positive. For the markets, Iraq is suddenly an opportunity. Institutions are becoming legitimate (even with the unresolved Kurdish issue), the army is starting to function, and most important, political leaders from all communities are beginning to recognize the value of Iraq’s tremendous natural resource base from which all can benefit if they make compromises to maintain the country’s stability. For all the basic governance problems, there’s very little chance of Iraq becoming a failed state at this point. As recently as a year ago, that constituted a meaningful risk.

Iran, “fiscal divergence” in the Eurozone, U.S. financial regulation and Japan (another surprise) round out the top 5 political risks.
Somehow neither ‘Al Qaeda” nor “international terrorism” made the list.
Turkey was chosen as the tenth greatest political risk. Eurasia Group sees Turkey drifting further from Europe. I am hoping Germany and France will prevent this from happening, but we’ll see.
You can view the slide show here.
— Ben Katcher


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