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What in the World Will Happen in 2023?

The sleeper story of the coming year will be Japan’s emergence as a major geopolitical actor. And, for the first time since the fall of the Shah in 1979, the future of the Islamic Republic will be in serious doubt.

NEW YORK – The American baseball player Lawrence “Yogi” Berra is widely quoted as observing, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Whether or not he actually said it, the point is valid. Nevertheless, here are ten predictions for the world for the year just getting underway.

First, the war in Ukraine, the dominant issue of 2022, will continue, albeit at a less intense level. Neither Russia nor Ukraine will be able to achieve a complete military victory, if victory is defined as routing the other side and dictating the terms of a post-war territorial or political settlement.

Nor will the diplomats achieve victory, if victory is defined as reaching an arrangement both governments are willing to sign and abide by. Peace requires leaders who are willing and able to compromise, two elements that are conspicuously absent (if for very different reasons) on both sides.