Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

My Top 10 Foreign-Policy Wish List for 2019

| Dec. 31, 2018

I'm sure that some of you out there had a perfectly fabulous 2018. Maybe you fell in love, got married, or welcomed the birth of your first child. Perhaps you scored a big promotion at work, finished your degree, or had the foresight to sell your stock portfolio back when the Dow peaked. Or maybe you’re one of those Americans who think President Donald Trump is really making America great again, and your biggest disappointment is that the rest of us don’t recognize his very stable genius.

2018 was a fine year for me personally—among other things, my latest book got published—but I’ll still be happy to leave it in the rearview mirror. It is hard to watch the deteriorating state of the world—and yes, Virginia, political conditions are getting worse—and not be worried about where the United States (and many other countries) are headed. Of late, my biggest concern is that the pace of change and the range of new challenges is overwhelming our capacity to respond to them, a prospect that Thomas Homer-Dixon warned about nearly 20 years ago (and that I viewed with some skepticism at the time). The combination of environmental degradation, shifts in the global balance of power, revolutionary technological developments, and deteriorating political competence heralds a bleak future, and in an era when a handful of states still possess the capacity for immense destruction.

But instead of going all doom and gloom as a new year approaches, I decided to look on the bright side. For all my concerns, what do I hope will happen in 2019? I’m not saying any of these things will happen, mind you, but none of them are completely implausible. So without further ado, here are my "Top 10 Hopes and Dreams for 2019."...

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For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M.“My Top 10 Foreign-Policy Wish List for 2019.” Foreign Policy, December 31, 2018.

The Author

Stephen Walt