A frightening list of what scares the shit out of experts for 2017

A frightening list of what scares the shit out of experts for 2017

CultureDecember 29, 2016 By Brian Frederick

Even though we’re statistically safer now than we ever have been (in America, at least), the world is still a scary place. From unhinged country leaders to rogue groups of extremists terrorizing communities everywhere, there’s a lot to think about in respect to the coming year and everyone's safety. Big events will happen, we just don’t know what or when.

Thankfully, most of us live in a perfect little bubble outside of real harm only knowing a fraction of what’s going on out there — lest the media let us in on the stories. But for 7,000 U.S. government officials, foreign-policy experts and academics, they again took the annual Preventative Priorities Survey to dish on what they’re afraid of most for the next calendar cycle and how it's going to affect us.

Highlights include another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, confrontations between China and basically everyone, cyber attacks on Americans and a plethora of other wonderful things.

Here they are, whittled down to the most pertinent and whether or not the impact for us will be high, moderate or something to push aside to better work out your anxiety:

Likelihood: Moderate; Impact: High

  • A serious military confrontation between Russia and a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
  • A severe crisis in North Korea involving nuclear or inter-continental missiles
  • A cyber attack on U.S. infrastructure
  • A terrorist attack on U.S. soil

Likelihood: High; Impact: Moderate

  • Increased violence and instability in Afghanistan
  • Increased violence between Turkey and various Kurdish forces
  • Intensification of the Syrian civil war

Likelihood: Low; Impact: High

  • Armed confrontation between China and Japan in the East China Sea
  • Armed confrontation between China and one of the many claimants in the South China Sea

Likelihood: Moderate; Impact: Moderate

  • Political instability in the EU caused by the influx of refugees with increased risks of terrorist attacks or violence against migrants
  • Military confrontation between India and Pakistan
  • Further fracturing of Iraq caused by the Islamic State
  • Heightened tension between Israel and Palestine
  • Continued political fracturing in Libya
  • Increased internal violence in Pakistan
  • Growing political instability in the Philippines
  • Increased political instability in Turkey
  • Increased violence in Ukraine
  • Intensified civil war in Yemen

Likelihood: High; Impact: Low

  • Deepening economic crisis and political instability in Venezuela

Likelihood: Moderate; Impact: Low

  • Intensification of political crisis in Burundi
  • Growing political instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Growing civil unrest and ethnic violence in Ethiopia
  • Increased violence and political instability in Nigeria
  • Continued al-Shabab attacks in Somalia
  • Intensification of the civil war in South Sudan
  • Political instability in Thailand
  • Widespread unrest and violence in Zimbabwe

Likelihood: Low; Impact: Low

  • Political instability in Colombia following the collapse of the peace agreement
  • Military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region