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  • Writer's pictureRed Line Producer

Episode 07. Expert Predictions for 2020

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2020 is set to be one of the most impactful years for human history, where we will make choices that will steer our future for a decade to come. With critical elections, wars, and crises set to shape the next 12 months, next year will be a year for the history classes. We sit down with three top experts to see what they think will be the biggest stories in 2020.



Andrew Hindmoor

  • Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield

  • Lecturer at the London School of Economics

  • Editor of the LSE Journal of Political Studies

Jake Hanrahan

  • Journalist and Filmmaker reporting from front lines across the globe

  • Specialist on irregular warfare and anti-censorship stories

  • Host of the Popular Front podcast, a show focused on the niche details of modern warfare.

Brian Glyn Williams

  • A top advisor for the CIA and NSA, specialising in Afghanistan and the Middle East

  • A bestselling author on Afghan and Middle Eastern issues

  • Has worked with multiple US Administrations


Part 1: The Unstoppable Force and the Immovable Object (4:30)

  • Hindmoor focuses on the US-China relationship, including new National Planning Processes from the CCP, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and expansion of PLA and PLAN projects. We look at where China is at in terms of air carriers, producing forces for external pressure not just internal security, and the Trade War with the United States.

  • Next, we turn to Europe, evaluating the Macron Presidency thus far and looking forward at where he may look to legislate next. We look at the apparent death of the SDP in Germany, and whether there is any real challenge to Merkel's plan. We look at the consequences of Trump's antagonism toward NATO allies, and the future of Poland with the ongoing success of the Law and Justice Party.

  • We look at India and the ongoing low level conflict in Kashmir. In Hindmoor's view, neither country is interesting in elevating the conflict in any way, and there is no foreseeable solution in the near term.

  • Finally, the U.S. Presidential Election. We look at the Democratic Party candidates in play, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how they compare to the power of the incumbent and Trump's ability to turn out the vote.


Part 2: Bad News from Worse Grounds (20:17)

  • Hanrahan takes us through his key stories going into 2020, including the Jeffrey Epstein alleged suicide and his various high level connections, the Hong Kong protests and whether they have any hope of success.

  • We look at whether anything can arrest China's rise, the conflict in the East of Ukraine where Jake has been reporting from, and the rise of nationalism in the European Union. In Hanrahan's view Macron is going to lose the next election.

  • Benjamin Netanyahu is once again heading back to the polls in Israel's ongoing difficult political environment. Venezuela's collapse is looking dire and with no real reason for optimism.

  • We get Hanrahan's view of the US Election, where Sanders is his favourite candidate, Biden will be the democratic nominee, but Trump will win the overall election.


Part 3: The Return of the Warlords (31:17)

  • With Williams we overview Ukraine and the damage Trump has done to the US relationship by disrupting defence supplies. The decrease in oil prices has broad sweeping consequences, with oil reliant states being in financial peril, and the power of states like Russia and Iran to influence their neighbourhood significantly reduced.

  • Trump's withdrawal of forces from Kurdish territories is a crippling blow to their nascent democracy, and risks the US reputation significantly. It immediately resulted in a Turkish incursion into these regions, killing or displacing many Kurds, and being replaced by refugees from Syria by the government in Ankara.

  • We head into Iraq, in light of the massive protests in the country. Iran has gained massively over the past decades from the US invasion of Iraq, and their influence in the region and position as a powerbroker has never been stronger.

  • We overview the consequences of a potential economic slowdown in China, the election instability in Israel, the developments in Hong Kong and the South China Sea, Venezuela's collapse, and the U.S. Election.


For episode transcripts, monthly geopolitics Q&A’s, member-only videos and to support the show, check out our Patreon here:

This episode is dedicated to Patreon member Nicholas Grauner.


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