Victor Davis Hanson worries that the new year might be another 1979:
The result, I think, may be that in this coming year we will see a new boldness among Islamic forces in North Africa; China will show the flag far nearer to Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea; some independent-minded former Soviet Republics will be forced to move closer to Russia; Turkey won’t worry too much whether it overflies Greek or Cypriot airspace — or worse; Iran will test a missile or do something stupider; North Korea may resume its now-and-then shelling of the south; and Lebanon and the West Bank will heat up again — all on the impression that either the U.S. doesn’t much care, does care but is too broke or weary to do much about it, or beneath its public warnings harbors some quiet sympathies for such “corrections” in a prior flawed global order.
Some of these things might happen, but many of them seem quite implausible. Oddly, none of these things would represent the sort of strategic setback for the U.S. that would comparable to the Iranian revolution. All of them would be irritants or minor problems for the U.S., but none of them would represent “readjustment to the global security scene.” In fact, some of these would represent the resumption of the disputes and conflicts that escalated during the Bush years.
Hanson relies a lot on saying that these things “may” happen, and he uses some pretty vague formulations in describing these scenarios. After all, it’s possible that Lebanon and the West Bank (an odd pairing) could “heat up” again, but that might involve Israeli overreaction to relatively small provocations, or it could be part of strikes against Israel that result from U.S. and allies attacks on Iran. Hanson probably has something very different in mind, because neither of these fits into his lame scheme of Obama-as-saboteur of U.S. and allied security. What “independent-minded” ex-Soviet states does Hanson have in mind, or is this just an all-purpose warning about growing Russian influence? These states will supposedly be “forced to move closer to Russia,” but Hanson fails to say how this would happen. There is a remote chance that Georgia might elect a president who does not belong to Saakashvili’s ruling party, and he has argued for improving relations with Russia, but if that happens it will be because more Georgians voted for it and not because Moscow forced them to do it.