In 2019, ceteris paribus, the Middle East will remain the same volatile region it has been for many years. The region is poised to continue along such a path until at a time when past and present wrongs become settled. That time appears beyond the horizon.
Moreover, no enduring peace could come to the region under the current status quo. Any alliance, government, policy or system that reduces Palestinians to their present condition in Gaza and the West Bank, is flawed, thus ripe with strife-creation.
Peace cannot come to the Middle East until the Palestinian question is finally answered. All nations are deserving of a homeland in which they could dwell in peace and security. The right of all the people to a sovereign land should be respected and recognized. No one nation or people has any greater claim to existence than any other. Therefore, in as much as Israel is deserving of peace and and security, so is Palestine.
But in 2019, as it has in 2018 and before, some people and their respective proxies will continue to question the legitimacy of other nations, thus giving rise to rumors and acts of violence and strife.
If there is unified international cooperation, then the peace of Syria could be won in 2019, while the conflict in Yemen could draw down. Yet, Libya remains volatile like Afghanistan, where a planned withdrawal of half of the United States (US) troops there, will not promote peace.
Saudi Arabia, which has abused its alliance with the US to commit some very questionable acts, should be made to answer for such acts in 2019, including the use of US arms upon innocent Yemenis and the death of a journalist within its embassy in Turkey. Also in 2019, Saudi Arabia's major control of global oil production, could bring soaring oil prices.
Jordan and Lebanon could both figure highly into any process to settle the Palestinian question in 2019. Turkey and Iran will play more prominent roles into the affairs of the Middle East in 2019, even though economic pressure will be felt in Iran as the Trump administration seeks to punish the Persian land.
The present government in Egypt will seek to continue its solidification of power in 2019 by its prosecution and outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood, but some push back could be expected.
Iraq will appear to have turned the corner in respect to its security in 2019, but the nation will continue to battle sectarianism. In Syria, sadly, Bashar al Assad, with Russian assistance, seems to have won the long people-consuming war and amid US plans to leave the war-torn country. But based upon the atrocities of the Assad troops, winning the peace of Syria in 2019, will not be an easy declaration given the high volatility for violence in the Levant.
So, as mentioned before, the Middle East will continue as a source of conflict in 2019 with the sole unanswered question being whether or not the conflicts will be hot.
Tomorrow: The World in 2019 - Asia.