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Happy new year to readers from the Little Man.

We are now living one year further in to the future however unlike the famous Arthur C. Clarke’s 1982 novel and later film adaptation 2010, we have yet to reach a level of inter-planetary human space flight, to set-up a moon base or made contact with extra-terrestrials. All in all this future seems to be very much like a continuation of the past. Ho hum. What will the year hold for British foreign policy? A further decrease in British troop levels in Afghanistan has been announced, with the final withdrawal taking place during 2014. There is a possibility that the withdrawal may increase during 2013 from what has already been announced, if so lets hope that the much maligned and divided Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) can hold of the Taliban and other militant groups enough to being them to the negotiation table with the Kabul-based government.

As the Syrian civil war grinds on relentlessly a direct intervention by Britain and its allies becomes more likely. Prime Minister David Cameron has already suggested arming the Syrian rebels with some reports speculating that British special forces could have been operating in Syria for sometime along with other western special forces. This coupled with the recognition of the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces by Britian and others suggest that 2013 is likely to see an increase in an overt foreign intervention in the country in an effort to force out the Assad regime through increased violence, which could leave the Syrian people in an even more desperate situation. There are likely to be surprises thrown up along the way.

A direct confrontation between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands is a possibility, Especcially given the problems besetting both the governments in Buenos Aires and London. A short, sharp, diversionary and patriotic war of words or even armed conflict could be a suitable distraction for either government. Although whether either population would put up with more blood being spilled over this rocky outcrop , hopefully, makes this extremely unlikely. Can’t’ anyone negotiate anymore?

Right, there are some predictions for you all to ponder. Anything to add? Comments are welcome.

Check back soon for weekly updates on all things British foreign policy from the Little Man plus guest pieces from those in the know and other subjects that we feel may interest you all.

Jonathan Woodrow Martin

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