2018 Annual Forecast

Global Trends

In today's world, nations are becoming increasingly interconnected by air, land, sea and cyberspace. As globalization has knitted countries and continents closer together, the borders of the map and the barriers of geography have been rendered, in some ways, obsolete. Now events in one region can more easily have consequences in another, at times even rippling across the globe. We explore those with the greatest impact on international decision-making during the forecast period below.
Dec 21, 2017 | 18:22 GMT
Because the United States is the only actor with the ability to tip the scales of several geopolitical scenarios in either direction, any forecast of the year ahead must start with Washington.
section Highlights
  • The United States will reluctantly adopt a policy of containment toward North Korea when Pyongyang achieves a viable nuclear deterrent, likely in 2018.
  • An emerging coalition between China and Russia will increasingly challenge U.S. hegemony, although alliances will remain fluid worldwide.
  • Working within and beyond the bounds of the World Trade Organization, the United States will pursue an aggressive trade agenda against China, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.
  • As the global oil market recovers, Saudi Arabia will bear the burden of keeping production cuts in place as other oil producers renege on their agreed-upon quotas. The Saudis will look to Russia to help forestall an uptick in U.S. shale output.


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