If 2011 Was a Turbulent Year for Obama’s Foreign Policy, 2012 Looks Set to Be Worse

The foreign policy crisis horizon shows little respect for the calendar New Year: The Obama Administration ought to have a pretty good idea of the crises that await it in different global hotspots as it braces for election year, 2012. But a recurring theme in the current menu of challenges, whether in the Middle East, north or south Asia, Africa or Europe, is the declining leverage available to Washington to shape favorable outcomes.

President Obama's reelection prospects may be in part shaped by events from America's shores, and yet in most cases the outcome of those events will be determined by others. If 2011 seemed unusually turbulent, 2012 — well, best fasten that seatbelt.

Herewith, a survey of the top ten global crisis issues facing the U.S. in the new year.

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