A serious military confrontation between Russia and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member state or a severe crisis in North Korea are among top international concerns for 2017 cited by a new survey of experts.
The Council on Foreign Relations` (CFR) ninth annual Preventive Priorities Survey identified seven top potential flashpoints for the United States in the year ahead.
The survey, conducted by CFR`s Center for Preventive Action (CPA), asked foreign policy experts to rank conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring or escalating and their potential impact on U.S. national interests.
The survey identified seven ”top tier” conflicts in 2017: a deliberate or unintended military confrontation between Russia and NATO members, stemming from assertive Russian behavior in Eastern Europe; a severe crisis in North Korea caused by nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) weapons testing, a military provocation, or internal political instability; a highly disruptive cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure; a mass casualty terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland or a treaty ally by either a foreign or homegrown terrorist(s); increased violence and instability in Afghanistan resulting from a continued strengthening of the Taliban insurgency and potential government collapse; the intensification of violence between Turkey and various Kurdish armed groups within Turkey and in neighboring countries; the intensification of the civil war in Syria resulting from increased external support for warring parties, including military intervention by outside powers.
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