Jan. 1, 2018
Heather Hurlburt explained what major crises she thinks could happen in 2018 for New York Magazine.
The world outside our borders let us off easy in 2017, all things considered. ISIS lost its strongholds in Iraq, and had to settle for small attacks that didn’t dent life in New York and other American cities. Kim Jong-un launched missiles and lobbed insults, Donald Trump retaliated with bomber overflights and insults — but they didn’t actually start a war. The Netherlands, Austria, France, and Germany all staved off electoral challenges that might have put far-right parties in government. Political uncertainty in the U.S., Europe, and Asia didn’t translate into outright economic turmoil.
But just as undetected concussions accumulate damage in the brains of football players, so shocks to the international system add up. Everything is under control — until the day isn’t. And you have the 2008 global economic collapse, or the First World War — systemic failures set off by relatively small events. Here’s what you should worry about in the year ahead: